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Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived Hardcover – March 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006204964X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062049643
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,013 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bell, influential pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church and author of Velvet Elvis, aims to provide an introduction to some of the big questions of Jesus' life and message. Claiming that some versions of Jesus should be rejected, particularly those used to intimidate and inspire fear or hatred, Bell persuasively interprets the Bible as a message of love and redemption. He is clearly well-versed in the scriptures, and for support his arguments look to everything from the parable of the prodigal son to Revelation to the story of Moses, in addition to his own personal experiences as a pastor, many of which are the book's highlights. Bell's vision of Christianity is inclusive, as he argues against some traditional ideas--for instance, hell as eternal punishment reserved for non-Christians--in favor of a God whose love and forgiveness is all encompassing. His style is characteristically concise and oral, his tone passionate and unabashedly positive. The result is a book that, while not exploring its own ideas deeply, may be a friendly welcome to Christianity for seekers, since they don't have a dog in the fight over hell that this book has ignited among the professionally religious. (Mar. 15)

Review

“In Love Wins, Rob Bell tackles the old heaven-and-hell question and offers a courageous alternative answer. Thousands of readers will find freedom and hope and a new way of understanding the biblical story - from beginning to end.” (Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity and Naked Spirituality)

“It isn’t easy to develop a biblical imagination that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ . . . Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination--without a trace of soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction.” (Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, and author of The Message and The Pastor)

“A bold, prophetic and poetic masterpiece. I don’t know any writer who expresses the inexpressible love of God as powerfully and as beautifully as Rob Bell! No one who seriously engages this book will put it down unchanged. A ‘must read’ book!” (Greg Boyd, senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church and author of The Myth of a Christian Nation)

“One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors, Rob Bell, has stuck a pitchfork in how Christians talk about damnation.” (USA Today)

“Claiming that some versions of Jesus should be rejected, particularly those used to intimidate and inspire fear or hatred, Bell persuasively interprets the Bible as a message of love and redemption. . . . His style is characteristically concise and oral, his tone passionate and unabashedly positive.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Bell fights every impulse in our culture to domesticate Jesus [and] challenges the reader to be open to surprise, mystery and all of the unanswerables. . . . Bell has given theologically suspicious Christians new courage to bet their life on Jesus Christ.” (Christian Century)

“This attention-getter of a book ignited a heated popular conversation about whether God saves people like Gandhi or sends him and billions of other non-Christians to a fiery and painful place in the afterlife.” (Publishers Weekly, Best Books of the Year)

“Love Wins will make Christians re-examine their faith and will help them reclaim a vital and exciting vision of heaven and God’s love.” (Relevant)

“Bell is at the forefront of a rethinking of Christianity in America.” (Time magazine)

“One of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors.” (New York Times)

“This evangelical celebration of the love of God will open new doors for Jesus seekers fed up with the toxic hellfire and brimstone tirades of fundamentalist Christianity. As that happens, love wins again!” (Spirituality and Practice)

More About the Author

Rob Bell is a bestselling author, international teacher, and highly sought after public speaker. His books include The New York Times bestseller Love Wins, along with Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. At age 28 he founded Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, and under his leadership it was one of the fastest-growing churches in America. In 2011 he was profiled inTime Magazine as one of the 100 most inuential people. Rob is also the featured speaker in a series of spiritual short lms called NOOMA. Currently, he is working with former LOST producer Carlton Cuse on a television series and will be releasing a new book in 2013. He and his wife Kristen have three children and live in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

The world where the love of God will ultimately win.
Nathan J Mahand
I would like to challenge all members of Christian Churches to answer the questions Rob bell has asked in "Love Wins".
Debbie Boutwell
And makes you feel like you've read a half page when you've really just read a few spaced out words.
lighten_up_already2

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

736 of 791 people found the following review helpful By Ronnie Meek on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not a Rob Bell fanboy; however, I do have a generally positive opinion of the little exposure I've had to his ministry. When Love Wins was first being reviewed and its author was being held up in many quarters as satan's chief apostle my first instinct was ignore it. (There are only so many books one can read.) Finally, the clamor reached so close to home that I had to give in and read it for myself. I don't like to let third parties do my thinking for me.

The uproar is understandable. Bell has a habit of asking hard questions. He also has a tendency to not provide definitive answers to the hard questions he asks. And when those questions concern the issues of heaven and hell and the possibility of universal salvation...well, the sacrificial fat is clearly sizzling on the altar.

It is hard to pin down Bell's position and I am strangely OK with that. I suspect the reason is because these are some very complex questions and the Bible is somewhat lacking in absolute clarity. Where the Bible is lacking in absolute clarity we extrapolate dogma at our own risk. Honestly, when it comes to eternal things I think the Bible gives us the best picture we can possibly process from our finite frame of reference. Sometimes that picture seems confusing because things that seem exclusive of each other in this world can actually be essential to each other in the various dimensions of eternity. (What sense does it make in this world to die in order to live?)

Do heaven and hell exist? Of course they do, and Bell would be one of the first to assert their reality. He does have a little different take on what, and when, heaven and hell are but he certainly doesn't deny their existence. Far from making them smaller and less meaningful he actually makes them bigger and more meaningful.
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2,714 of 2,995 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Almlie on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First of all I want to say that I have greatly admired the preaching and books that Rob Bell has put out before "Love Wins". I will continue to recommend "Velvet Elvis" and "Sex God". He is a brilliant communicator of God's Word. I listen to his podcasts more than any other preacher.

The Good
I applaud Rob for taking a risk and writing about this extremely important, touchy, weighty, and often not talked about topic. It is a topic upon which Evangelicals are underdeveloped in their thinking. In writing about this topic publicly Rob gives us permission to talk more freely with each other about it.
The more thinking and study of this topic the more we will be careful in our sometimes overly simplistic views or verbal slams against others.

Bell writes, "I've written this book because the kind of faith Jesus invites us into doesn't skirt the big questions." Amen. Completely agree.

The Great
The book is favulous, compelling writing. Bell paints pictures, turns a phrase ("It's as if we're currently trying to play the piano with oven mitts"), illustrates, and illuminates the biblical text in a way few others can.

He clearly sets the gospel in its cosmic framework, not just its human salvation framework. Jesus came not only to save sinners, but to redeem the world--every atom. He articulates a gospel that transforms trees as well as people. This is a good thing and should stretch Evangelicals to understand what Colossians is getting at when it says, "This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven" (Colossians 1.23). "A gospel that leaves out its cosmic scope will always feel small." (p. 135) Agreed.
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600 of 727 people found the following review helpful By George P. Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love questions and those who love answers.

Question-lovers focus on the ambiguity and uncertainty of belief. Reality is bigger and more complex than our theories about it. Consequently, we must be humble in the face of mystery, knowing how much we do not know.

Answer-lovers focus on the clarity and certainty of belief. Reality may slip the grasp of theory at the margins, but theory has a firm grip on reality at the center. So, we must act courageously in the world on the basis of what we do know.

Rob Bell loves questions. His critics love answers. This difference between them--a difference that is both temperamental and methodological--illuminates the controversy surrounding Bell's new book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

Bell asks, "Does God get what God wants?"--namely, "all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 2:4). He further asks, "Do we get what we want?" A "yes" answer to the first question makes you a universalist, that is, a person who believes that God both desires the salvation of all people and realizes that desire. A "yes" answer to the second question makes you a proponent of hell, that is, a person who believes that we can be separated from God for eternity.

A "yes" answer to both questions makes you Rob Bell, a hell-believing universalist.

If that description of Bell strikes you as an oxymoron, you are probably an answer-lover who longs for clarity and certainty. To you, belief in universalism and belief in hell form an incoherent set. Either/or but not both/and.

But Bell is a question-lover comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. God will get what God wants.
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