In recent weeks much of professing Christendom has been buzzing with comments and reviews of Rob Bell’s latest book called ‘Love Wins’. On Premier Christian Radio in the UK Rob Bell has been airing an advert for his book and he is very keen to emphasise that in apparently “only 12 verses” does the Lord Jesus Christ make direct reference to ‘hell’ – the clear inference by Mr Bell is that ‘hell’ obviously does not figure all that highly in God’s thinking if it is “only” mentioned 12 times by His Son.
This is a very deceitful and deceiving line of approach by Rob Bell – consider how many times the Lord mentioned the absolute necessity of being “born again” in order to see or enter “the Kingdom of God” – in John chapter 3 the Lord mentions it directly or indirectly about 5 times – that is a lot less than His 12 references to ‘hell’ so does that mean the need to be “born again” is of even less of a consideration in God’s thinking than the question of ‘hell’?
Such a conclusion would be ridiculous as is also Rob Bell’s suggestion about God’s thinking on ‘hell’ because the Lord apparently “only” mentioned it 12 times.
Because of His over-emphasis on ‘God’s Love’ Rob Bell has great difficulty with the Bible’s teaching on ‘everlasting punishment’ in ‘everlasting fire’ (see Matthew 25:46 & 41). He fails to recognise the supreme attribute of God, namely His Holiness (see Isaiah 6:3 & Revelation 4:8).
Because of His GREAT Holiness we learn in Habakkuk that God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13). Only “born again” believers who by faith alone have been clothed in the very righteousness of God Himself (see Romans 3:21-22) shall be able to dwell eternally in God’s heavenly presence – all others will be excluded – that is the clear teaching of the parable of the Wedding Feast that we read about in Matthew 22:1-14.
For me the message of the Bible is not so much one of “Love Wins” but rather one of “Holiness Rules”.
A number of reviews of the book have been published and one that I feel will be of help is by Pastor Kevin deYoung and it is located on http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2011/03/14/rob-bell-love-wins-review/
Another provisional revue is by the UK based Evangelical Alliance and in one part they write “Rob Bell is a valued brother in Christ and has felt it important to raise publicly some difficult areas of Christian theology that many people feel uncomfortable with” – such a statement serves to once more underscore just how unreliable Evangelical Alliance [remember their approach to Steve Chalke and the ‘penal substitution’ question] has become over recent decades.
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 1st April 2011
A recent in-depth review of ‘Love Wins’ by Pastor Larry DeBruyn has come to my attention and it is simply a must-read for those who want to see an excellent biblical critique of Mr Bell’s book.
The review is located on http://guardinghisflock.com/2011/05/09/love-loses/
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 1st June 2011