Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review of Rob Bell's 'Love Wins' Part 2

Chapter 1  What About the Flat Tire?
One thing that Bell is the master of in this book is the rhetorical question.  Many in our day no longer knows what that means.  A rhetorical question is a question that doesn't need an answer, because the answer is obvious.  An example from Scripture is when the Apostle Paul asks at the end of 1 Cor. 12 "Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Do all speak in tongues?"  The answer is obviously no.  Bell does the same thing quite often in this chapter.  On page 2 Bell says this 

"Of all the billions of people who have ever lived, will only a select number 'make it to a better place'      and every single other person suffer in torment and punishment forever?  Is this acceptable to God?  Has God created millions of people over tens of thousands of years who are going to spend eternity in anguish?  Can God do this or even allow this, and still claim to be a loving God?"  
Rhetorical questions.
The answer is no for him.  

On the next page he continues 
"What kind of a faith is that? Or, more important:  What kind of a God is that?"  
Again, rhetorical questions.
The answer is a horrible faith.
A horrible God.  

Please be honest.  That was his psychological intent.  This is inescapable.

The biggest problem that Bell has here is a worldview that is removed from the Biblical one.  He doesn't believe in a holy God who the prophet Habakkuk said "You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong." 1:13   I know that may be hard for some of you to hear, but my evidence for this is not only these statements, but also many other statements he makes throughout the rest of the book.
On the other hand, Bell does something right in his book.  Kind of.  He makes very keen observations on parts of Christian culture.  He plays the reductio ad absurdum card on these ideas and he comes out correct.  For instance on page 4 he speaks about the-so-called age of accountability.  He says that if there is such a thing, the most loving thing to do for the human race is to terminate these humans before they reach that mystical age so that they would go to heaven.  He asks why should we run the risk. (Because of the view of eternal hell that he is rejecting) I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I know he's NOT saying we should do that for obvious reasons.  It's murder.  However he does this quite often in the book.  He reaches correct conclusions on problems that are inherent to American Theology.  The problem is, is that his medicine will kill you.  Instead of asking whether the presupposition that he is taking to it's logical conclusion is correct, he dismisses other doctrines to compensate for the fallacy.
On page 12 to the end of chapter one he starts to ask a lot of questions.  In fact, on almost any two pages, he asks like twenty questions per one statement.  The questions he asking?  How does one get saved?  He pits almost all the sayings of Jesus against themselves, painting this picture of a labyrinth of uncertainty and doubt.  In fact the Jesus that he quotes seems to be a Jesus who is out of his mind.   He never settles it, and sadly he is a pastor.  That's sad because according to Titus 1 where the qualification of a pastor are listed, one is supposed to be able to 'exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict'--Titus 1:9.  Not only is he not doing that, but he is throwing so much dirt into the stream that the sheep cannot even drink the pure water of the word without being terrified.  
It's loving to be clear.
It's unloving to be confusing.

More to come...

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