I finally read Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins. Here are my thoughts.
1) He doesn’t say there is no hell. “Hell is a refusal to trust God’s retelling of our story.” Here is what he means (I think): heaven and hell are both present in God’s party. We either choose to join in the party and have fun, or else be mad about the party and be miserable (based on the prodigal son parable).
2) He doesn’t say no one goes to hell. “Will everybody be saved, or will some perish apart from God forever because of their choices? Those are questions, or more accurately, those are tensions we are free to leave fully intact. We don’t need to resolve them or answer them because we can’t.”
3) As far as I can tell he believes God will continue to show His goodness to people indefinitely and more than likely everyone will respond to it and receive it, even if the offer is after death.
4) Bell does a good job ignoring about 9/10 of the Bible in inventing his theories.
5) His main motive seems to be to have a good story, to have a respectable gospel that doesn’t make God look angry or like a consuming fire. He is hyper-concerned with impressions and what people think of Christians and our gospel, which is fine, but his answer falls flat.
6) Seeing that some go to heaven while others burn for eternity does “not make a good story.” Whereas eventually seeing everyone saved because God is so loving is “a better story,” according to Bell. Hollywood would disagree. Most movies contain the good guy wiping out the bad guys.
7) The odd, disjointed, confused Gospel that exists today is the main reason he wrote this book. His introductory chapter is all about the various contadictory and unbiblical gospel appeals that are made. I agree with his objections, but not his answer.
In the end, I don’t like this book. He ignores any scripture that would even remotely conflict with his point. His doctrines are humanistic in nature rather than Bible driven. I think he misses the boat on many an issue and spending less time trying to impress people would do him well, as it would all of us.