On reading a book by the anti-christ

Actually, the book was Love Wins, by Rob Bell. But after the trailer for the book came out, people said he was a heretic, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and an anti-christ.

So, shortly before Easter, I read it. I wanted answers. The idea that everyone in the world not fortunate enough to have heard the gospel and be able to believe it is going to hell (and that this is an indicator of God’s goodness and justice), was becoming hard to swallow. Add on to this, many Christians believe that people have to have heard a specific telling, with some elements, like sin nature, being more prominent than others, like heaven, or the conversion can’t be real, so many people might only *think* they believe. This further limits the number of people who aren’t going to be tortured in a lake of fire for all eternity. Also, how could I be sure I was one of the fortunate few, and not one of the unfortunate who only *thought* they were following Jesus? and even if I were, what about the rest of the world?

So I read Rob Bell’s book.
He definitely seems to be an inclusivist.

Which makes him an evil, satanic, heretic?

Have the people so mad about this actually read the book? I was expecting, from all the anger, to see him deny Christ ever resurrected, or to deny hell in a way that meant there was no justice, neither of which he does.

I think it’s strange for people to preach a god of amazing, shocking grace and love, and then throw metaphorical stones when someone suggests that god is much more full of grace and love than they think.

Why is hell and eternal torture for people who aren’t Christians – ‘true’ Christians – such a vital doctrine to (most) evangelicals?


2 thoughts on “On reading a book by the anti-christ

  1. Pastor James Miller

    Well, because Jesus seems to think that there is actually a hell and people actually go there. So to dismiss it, one must dismiss the teachings of Jesus. And that’s pretty essential. I’ve posted a review of Bell’s latest book and what I saw when I last heard him speak.

    1. lanamhobbs Post author

      I appreciate the comment, James, especially considering you read the book 🙂
      But doesn’t it bother you, countless souls being tortured for eternity, while you’re going to be in heaven singing that God is good? It does bother me, it’s a terrible thing. The terribleness of it not being, by itself, an argument of whether or not it’s true. But i think it’s important to feel the horror of it. I’ve been condemned for being horrified by that, as though because god decreed himself good, i am not allowed to feel pain or dismay at any of his actions, without doubting him and coming dangerously close to being a satanist. But i can’t make myself feel happy about hell, and i no longer feel any need or desire to.

      I read your review on the book, I thought you treated it respectfully. However, you claimed that Rob Bell put his intuition over the scripture (a rough paraphrase but i think it captures the spirit). Which is, I admit, what i also am doing when i doubt hell. but i don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think we always use our intuition and logic (and our presuppositions) when we read the bible. So I saw it as Rob Bell using his intuition to find meaning in a very large and complex book, with the most attention paid to the parts about god being good, and everything else viewed through that lens.

      Many people I know would say if you don’t believe hell, and that hell means eternal torture for all those who are not true believers (and who believe in Jesus by name), you can’t be a Christian.
      I wish that fundamentalist and evangelical Christians could be tolerant of the fact that others can view scriptures differently and still respect both the bible and God.


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