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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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When pastor and bestselling author Rob Bell published Love Wins, it upset many while also changing lives as he questioned who was saved, who was not, and how it all works. Bell dared to question whether hell is forever, and asked if only Christians will go to heaven, igniting a firestorm of praise and backlash across the country. Bell is known for taking an existing genre and reinventing it. In this case, he takes the traditional study guide format for popular books and reinvents it as an opportunity for modeling the kind of conversation and debate the church should be having.more
I was so very excited when Love Wins first came out, so needless to say, when I saw this companion I was equally excited for the chance to go deeper into the ideas presented in Rob Bell's previous book. My theology may differ in some ways from the author, but it's always very refreshing, for me, to find other Christians equally willing to express views different from the "mainstream" or "orthodox," who focus on the idea of God and His love as foundational to understanding the Christian faith, and I'm always glad to suggest and recommend those Christians, like Rob Bell, who pose questions the rest of us need to be asking.Even though there are many who would disagree, we are told that one of the main motivations for this book is to "lay out what the Bible actually says, what Jesus said, and then, conversely, what Jesus didn't say" (page xiv). Like in Love Wins, this book looks at the actual language used in the Bible when talking about hell (hades, sheol, gehenna), eternity, etc, and reading this book, as well as Love Wins, offers questions and thoughts to ponder, even if one ultimately rejects them. As Rob Bell tells us, the important thing "isn't discovering the "right belief," but to "engage in the material in the books, really attempt to read them," (pages xviii-xix) to really ponder the ideas.Not only does this book give a deeper insight into the material previously addressed in Love Wins, through various contributors, but there are many different sets of questions for discussion and deeper thought, so that if one were to decide to participate in reading this and discussing it in a group there would be tools and means available for that, and at the end of the book is a collection of quotes from various Christian thinkers - Origen, C.S. Lewis, Augustine, etc - reflecting on the idea of hell and "last things."Whether one ultimately agrees with what the book suggests, it is worth thinking, as Rob Bell puts it, that "Perhaps God is offering a bigger love than many of us have ever imagined." (page xxii)more