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Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell's "Love Wins" Paperback – August 2, 2011


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Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell's "Love Wins" + Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived + The Love Wins Companion: A Study Guide for Those Who Want to Go Deeper
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Edenridge Press LLC (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982706332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982706336
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I teach theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and I enjoy writing books on important theological topics that can be read by any interested person. Many scholars write for other scholars. While it's important to write books that don't oversimplify and are credible with other scholars, my ministry is to write books for the church.

Customer Reviews

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The doctrine of hell only makes sense if we are really sinners who have sinned against an infinite, holy God.
Amazon Customer
Rob Bell's "Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, And The Fate Of Every Person Who Ever Lived" has taken the Christian community, if not the general public, by storm.
Rex M. Rogers
The result is that Wittmer ably models how to engage in theological debate, even as he distinguishes error from truth in Bell's work.
Trevin Wax

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

237 of 286 people found the following review helpful By Desert Father on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell's Love Wins. by Michael E Wittmer

As the title of this book implies, the focus audience of this book is for a much narrower audience then the audience of Rob Bell's book Love Wins. I suspect that most of the sales of this book will be to evangelicals who are "safe in the fold" and have already made up their minds about Rob Bell and his message, and are simply looking for a fluid and convincing voice to verbalize their mindset. And Mr. Wittmer does not disappoint his intended readers. He is an excellent communicator, and comes across as one who genuinely respects Mr. Bell. Unlike others who have reviewed Bell, or interviewed him, or even had a knee jerk reaction to the book even before reading it...such as Piper's famous tweet: "Rob Bell is history!", or Rob Bell's detractors who praised Martin Bashir for "ripping apart" Bell during an interview and "theologically bitch-slapping him". I have to take Mr. Wittmer at his word that he really respects Rob Bell and even likes him.

Christ Alone follows a systematic approach to discussing Love Wins...this would only be expected from a professor of Systematic Theology. The arguments, from my perspective, are quite predictable since I have been born and raised in Evangelical traditions and dogmas.

Early on, Mr. Wittmer says that Bell asks questions in Chapter 1 of Love Wins that few Evangelicals are struggling with. I can't help but wonder if he also believes that few Evangelicals are struggling with the issues raised throughout Love Wins? And that would make sense to me. If, like most evangelical pastors and theologians one is exposed only to those who think like they do, it would be no wonder to think that Evangelicals are not seriously asking these questions...
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81 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Jay Matthews on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you're the type of person who likes questions but not answers, then this book is not for you. Michael Wittmer takes up Bell's questions and provides biblical answers. Besides providing an even-handed critique of Bell's book (if you're looking for Bell-bashing, look elsewhere), Wittmer focuses on answering the questions that can be answered, explaining what the Church believes and why, and even gives a defense of the doctrine of hell as a necessary aspect of a truly loving God. He is not really interested in proving Bell wrong, but rather demonstrating that the Bible and the Christian faith provide satisfying answers to the questions Bell raises. In fact, Wittmer interacts with Bell's text extensively, allowing Bell to set the agenda and showing a level of charity and understanding that has been noticeably absent from other responses.

Christ Alone moves quickly, is filled with creative and illuminating application, and, most of all, takes a definitive stand on an important and complex issue. While it tackles difficult theological concepts, the material is accessible to the average reader who simply wants to continue to explore the questions of hell, eternal suffering, and salvation in Christ Alone.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Systematic theologian Michael Wittmer (author of books such as Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God, Don't Stop Believing: Why Living Like Jesus Is Not Enough, etc.) has written an interesting critique of young megachurch pastor Rob Bell's book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

Wittmer (who says that "I like Rob Bell") states in the Introduction to this 2011 book that his two goals are (1) to help the reader understand the biblical and theological issues, and (2) to "persuade you to side with what the Scriptures and the church have historically said about these issues."

Admitting that the "age of accountability" argument is not expressly taught in the Bible, he argues that God could not unequivocally tell us that all infants go to Heaven "without giving well-meaning parents a logical but terrible reason to destroy their own children." (Pg. 7-8)

He strongly critiques Bell's suggestion of the chance for repentance after death ("How does Bell know that it's true?"; pg. 22), and concedes that while he can WISH that God would empty hell, "I can't say that I HOPE for that." (Pg. 23) He makes a strong case that Bell's treatment of all the biblical verses about "Gehenna" ignore other pertinent texts such as about the "lake of fire" (Pg. 25-26). Wittmer says that Bell is an "incipient universalist" (pg. 71), and that Love Wins proposes "textbook Pelagianism." (Pg.
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By JM on June 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wittmer shows where Rob Bell comes from historically and shows how scripture refutes those erroneous concepts. Wittmer makes clear that God has revealed an eternal heaven and an eternal hell.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Armstrong on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
In the weeks prior to the release of Rob Bell's latest book, Love Wins, it seemed that it was all anyone could talk about. What is Christian universalism? Is our only opportunity to be saved in this life or are there more opportunities after death? What does the Bible really say about heaven and hell, anyway?

These are all good questions, and ones that we should be asking as we work out our understanding of the Scriptures. One of the challenges that evangelicals face in responding to questions that cut to the very heart of the gospel is doing so with grace, wisdom and humility. Michael Wittmer does that superbly in Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell's Love Wins as he follows Bell's arguments, offers praise where it ought to be offered and addresses several key areas of contention.

*A Personal Challenge*

As the co-author of one of the first reviews of Bell's book, reviewing Christ Alone has been an interesting challenge in that my desire has not been to retread that well-covered ground. So many words have been spent on this controversy that it is difficult to know where to begin as I seek to faithfully interact with Wittmer's assertions in this book. Time (and possibly some additional proof-reading) will tell how successful I've been. While space prevents me from interacting with every chapter as deeply as I might wish to (I'd rather not have this be a series), I trust you will find these few highlights helpful.
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