Review of Love Wins!

2012/07/12

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever LivedLove Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book has been treated to some detailed, lengthy responses but that has more to do with the celebrity of the author and his influence than the substance of the book. That’s because it has so little substance. The book immediately insults anyone opening it, as it is formatted more like a child’s night time story book. The large amount of blank space on each page fits the hollowness of Bell’s argument. A few barely coherent paragraphs break up monotonous lists of rhetorical questions and emotional appeals.

Bell sets himself an easy task by building sad caricatures of eternal punishment. Bell holds a dazzling sideshow of specious and incomplete inferences while most of the relevant Scriptural passages are ignored entirely. On the other hand, Bell does provide some interesting historical background theories for some of the Biblical passages cited, but the relevance and decisiveness of such material is doubtful. Add a generous measure of sarcasm, a clichéd overuse of rhetorical questions, and a few heavily one-sided anecdotes and you have the structure of Bell’s argument for how eventually everyone will be saved and no one will be treated to endless divine retribution. It can’t be overstressed how Bell’s crusade to have a supposedly more loving Christianity crumbles under the weight of Biblical data that he conveniently avoids in these sparsely printed pages. Bell needs to decide whether such a controversial question is settled on the basis of the Bible or because of emotional and personal preference served by cheap rhetorical tricks. This book wants to have it both ways but fizzles out on one side.

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