I’ve almost completed reading Rob Bell’s latest book, Love Wins. It appears that the pre-release press effort for the book and its supposedly controversial material were successful. A buzz has been generated.
It is important that we read perspectives we disagree with along with those opinions that echo our own. For too long conservative Christians (I consider myself one) have resonated loudly, but not always charitably, with those with whom we agree without giving serious consideration to the voices of others. Disagree if you must. But, disagree with what Bell is saying.
I encourage you to read the book and consider what he proposes. At its basis I don’t believe what he has said so far is that new. I do not believe he is promoting universalism but a perspective on hell that looks a lot like C.S. Lewis’s take in The Great Divorce along with what the Orthodox church teaches regarding hell. Perhaps the most important point he makes is that heaven and hell are to be taken seriously on this plane of existence and not limited to experiences of the after life.
Richard Mouw, the president of Fuller Seminary and a Calvinist theologian and philosopher, has a good but general, review on Bell’s book. You can find it here: Richard Mouw on Rob Bell.