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The Love Wins Companion: A Study Guide for Those Who Want to Go Deeper Paperback – November 15, 2011
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From the Back Cover
For those looking to go deeper with Rob Bell’s bestselling pioneering book Love Wins, this companion offers:
- Insights and commentary by theologians, Bible scholars, scientists, and pastors
- Deep analysis of all relevant Bible passages on heaven, hell, and salvation
- Detailed chapter summaries, discussion questions, and Bible studies for individuals, groups, and classes
- Excerpts from works throughout Christian history illustrating the variety of teachers also debating the issues Bell wrestles with
- New material by Bell on his mission for the book and how people can take the next step
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Top Customer Reviews
Some initial thoughts:
I expected Rob Bell to use scholars to "prove" his leanings toward universalism. However, The LW Companion did not appeal to anyone contemporary who is overtly universalistic. At the end he quotes some early church fathers (and others who are hopeful universalists and one annihilationist). I found it compatible with LW in his non-committal universalism. He makes what appears to be a very strong case for it only to later claim he's agnostic: "Ultimately no one knows the answer" (pg 79). (This created for me a major tension that I will mention later.)
Rob Bell is clearly a lover of Scripture. He includes a chapter entitled "Becoming a Deep Reader of Scripture" where we are encouraged to "take in great swaths at a time" in order to see the big picture of God's Story. He cites and quotes copious amounts of Scripture throughout and even devotes an entire chapter as a step by step tutorial on how to do word studies using a lexicon, concordance etc.,
A brief overview of the book:
Bell utilizes many different voices, giving them considerable space, to fill out the vision of the Kingdom through their stories of grace and redemption. Some of the authors include N T Wright, Don Miller, Anne Lamott and Frederick Buechner. There are questions at the end of each chapter to gently help people work through their religious baggage of fear and censorship and also for working through the texts of Scripture.Read more ›
I have read Rob Bell's Love Wins five or six times. I get it. Maybe because of this fact, I find this companion book to be more of a 'Primer' to Love Wins. An overview of what Bell wrote in Love Wins. I discovered that this companion book offered little new information. I am curious if others think the same as I?
Personally, I have a thought as to WHY this book was written. I think it has more to do with all of the criticism Bell received than it does to expand on the subject matter. I think Rob Bell wrote this book as a clarification to those critics who did not get the point of Love Wins. Yet, I doubt my reasoning as that doesn't seem to be Bell's style. STILL, I think my hypothesis is closer to the mark than what this book is being touted as.
This is a book meant to be read and studied corporally. As a matter of fact, it demands it. I love all the thought-provoking questions that go with each chapter. I look forward discussing them with a group.
In closing, since I consider this book to be a primer to Love Wins, I suggest just reading Love Wins. If you have some extra money the Love Wins Companion makes a great Cliff's Notes.
As expected, Bell's argument provoked an avalanche of controversy. Critiques and reviews popped up in every Christian circle. TIME magazine even devoted a cover story to the issue. All of which meant that hell, excuse the pun, was the hottest theological topic of 2011.
One year later, Bell is back with a follow-up book titled The Love Wins Companion: A Study Guide For Those Who Want to Go Deeper (HarperOne, paperback, 198 pages).
Even though his name appears on the cover, Bell contributes a mere dozen of the 198 pages. Most of the book is old material from other writers--excerpts from past books and reprinted essays. The contributors are admittedly diverse, though most are in line with Bell's thinking: progressive Emergents like Peter Rollins and David Dark, and creative writers like Anne Lamott and Frederick Buechner.
However some will raise eyebrows. The book features an entry from Pope Benedict XVI, which I see as a veiled attempt to say, "See, even the Pope agrees with Rob Bell!" Benedict's essay is excerpted from Spe Salvi, his encyclical on hope, and explores the ineffability of eternal life. The excerpt never touches upon the more controversial elements of Love Wins, namely the topics of hell, salvation, and universalism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read anything and everything by Rob Bell--I love what he has to say--he takes the fear out of Christianity--and the bigotry...It's all back to what Jesus intended--Love Wins!Published 12 months ago by Maggie T.
Rob Bell’s book "Love Wins" was a thought-provoking and divisive look at questions of salvation and the afterlife in the context of the Christian faith. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lothe
A very helpful and readable examination of grace as well as of many Church teachings and attitudes among US Christians. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Robert Hillenbrand
Brings up good questions for further reflection. Using it for an adult Sunday School class. Getting lots of participation in discussion time.Published 18 months ago by Keith Chappelow
"Love Wins" is an outstanding book that provides a very creative way of looking at some major issues related to Christianity. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Theodore F Weiss Jr
My women's bible study group is doing "Love Wins" and purchased these companions to go along with it. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mom-Wife-Youth Leader
I don't know why Christians are so afraid to discuss the mystery of our lives and what happens when we take our last breath. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Michael Barton