Saturday, May 26, 2012

Love Wins, Part 01

Love Wins, a book by Rob Bell, is written for Evangelicals, with the aim of helping them 'rediscover a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of unerstanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance.'  So says the blurb on the back of the jacket, adding, 'The result is the discovery that the good news is much, much, much better than we ever imagined.'

I'm not sure how many Evangelicals woulda gree.  it certainly presents a whole series of challenges for them.  Here is a snippet from pages 2-3.  I can't indent it because that's one of the many features Blogger is no longer offering with this outdated browser, but here it is:

* * * * * begin quote * * *

Of all the billions of people who have ever lived, will only a select number 'make it to a better place' and every single other person suffer in torment and punishment forever?  Is this acceptable to God?  has God crated millions of people over tens of thousands of years who are going to spend eternity in anguish?  Can God do this, or even allow this, and still claim to be a loving God?

Does God punish people for thousands of years with infinite, eternal torment for things they did in their few finite years of life?

This doesn't just raise disturbing questions about God; it raises questions about the beliefs themselves.
Why them?
Why you?
Why me?
Why not him or her or them?

If there are only a select  few who go to heaven, which is more terrifying to fathom:  the billions who burn forever or the few who escape this fate?
Random selection?
Being born in the right place, family, or country?
Having a youth pastor who 'relates better to the kids'?
God choosing you instead of others?

What kind of faith is that?
Or, more important:
What kind of God is that?

* * * end quote * * *

Long-time readers of this blog will appreciate that I find this book delicious.  The questions, scores more of them besides these, are spot-on, and the answers this author provides are very nearly Orthodox, with a quibble or two now and then.

I plan to post more snippets from this book as we get into it more.  I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I am. 


s-p said...

I'm looking forward on your take on Rob Bell. From what I read (excerpts) he seemed to dance with Orthodoxy quite a bit. The problem is when you start talking about salvation in terms of the love of God apart from a pen-sub view people accuse you of heresy and universalism. I got quite a few comments like that on my "chair video" about "love wins". To many evangelicals pen-sub IS the gospel... sigh.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

It seems to me that Rob Bell does flirt with universalism.

But then so do some Orthodox writers. Ast least, we are all taught, are we not, that we may HOPE and pray for the salvation of all, while not affirming it.

In case I forgot to tell you at the time, I absolutely LOVE your chair video!!!