Monday, March 14, 2011

Kevin DeYoung Reviews Love Wins

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever LivedIn recent weeks, somewhat of a firestorm erupted on the internet in regards to Rob Bell's new book, Love Wins.  For those who are unaware of Bell or of the controversy, he is the wildly talented and creative pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids.  A few weeks ago this video was released to promote the upcoming book.  Many in the evangelical community were quick to denounce Bell, some (in my opinion) in ways that were perhaps not as well thought through as they ought to have been.

That being said, based upon the video (as well as Bell's track record) I suspected there might be some pretty major things that I would find theologically objectionable in the book.  Bell is absolutely right when he says, "What we believe about heaven and hell is incredibly important because it exposes what we believe about who God is and what God is like."  The problem is that it seemed that Bell was swerving away from what the Bible clearly teaches about heaven and hell.

In all fairness, I have NOT read the book.  But Kevin DeYoung, who regular readers of this blog will know I greatly respect, has read it, and he posted a thorough review today at his blog.  Though it is twenty pages long, it is well worth reading.  If you're absolutely not going to devote the time necessary to read it though, please at least read this paragraph from his "Concluding Pastoral Postscript."  In it, DeYoung points to the fact that when we try to get rid of or minimize hell, we lose a whole lot more in the process:
No doubt, Rob Bell writes as a pastor who wants to care for people struggling with the doctrine of hell. I too write as a pastor. And as a pastor I know that Love Wins means God’s people lose. In the world of Love Wins, my congregation should not sing “In Christ Alone” because they cannot not believe, “There on the cross where Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” They would not belt out “Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood.” No place for “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted” with its confession, “the deepest stroke that pierced him was the stroke that Justice gave.” The jubilation of “No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him, is mine!” is muted in Love Wins. The bad news of our wrath-deserving wretchedness is so absent that the good news of God’s wrath-bearing Substitute cannot sing in our hearts. When God is shrunk down to fit our cultural constraints, the cross is diminished. And whenever the cross is diminished we pain the hearts of God’s people and rob them of their joy.
You can click here to read the whole review.

1 comment:

Jeff B. said...

I didn’t read the whole review but I did watch the video. Some people want to create a god (or genie) that fits their view of the way God should be. That he loves us and understands that we are all just a product of our environment. I sin because of my flesh, my parents, my education, where I live. I could come up with a thousand excuses. If God would only give me another chance in another world with a new body I'll be good. I've learned my lesson. They never come to grips with the fact that God is a Holy Righteous God and man is a totally depraved creature. "Professing themselves wise they have become fools". All glory and praise to The Lord Jesus.