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Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell's "Love Wins" Paperback – August 2, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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...Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A typical mis-understanding of the theology of universalism. The first step in biblical hermeneutics is the reality of that of presuppositions. Everyone has them including Mr. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alfonzo
Topic by topic, Michael Wittmer exposes and deconstructs the rational and theological fallacies within Rob Bell's "Love Wins. Read morePublished 18 months ago by DD
Wittmer shows where Rob Bell comes from historically and shows how scripture refutes those erroneous concepts. Read morePublished 20 months ago by JM
I just want to comment to "desert father." You are way too full of yourself to give a reasonable review of anything! Read morePublished 22 months ago by David Bush
Very thorough and respectful. I highly recommend reading it after reading "Love Wins" so you can compare traditional Bible teaching.Published on May 18, 2013 by Donna R. Lewis
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. Read morePublished on January 9, 2012 by Rex M. Rogers
This book should be sold packaged with "Love Wins" as an extension to an important and valid conversation. Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by Kristi S.
Among the Arminian "evangelical" answers to Rob Bell's popular book Love Wins, Michael Wittmer's Christ Alone was one of the better written and most focused reflections. Read morePublished on November 14, 2011 by Mark Mcculley
The author takes Rob Bell's book, "Love Wins", chapter by chapter and address the fallacies in Bell's theology. I have to admit here that I have not read the book by Bell. Read morePublished on June 29, 2011 by Marsha