“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
— Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I read Love Wins by Rob Bell a few months ago. I haven’t really written down my thoughts about it, and can’t even begin to try at the moment.
My ongoing questioning has caused some rather seismic events in my theological life. Not caused by Rob’s book really…nothing in it shocked me, having come to some of his conclusions myself. In fact I remember questioning the Gospel that was presented to me when I was 12 years old. I wondered aloud how it could be considered just that people who had never had a chance to accept Christ (because they lived and died before him) or lived now in deepest darkest Africa and died never hearing about Jesus, could be sent to eternal conscious tortuous torment in hell. A trusted person answered me (a theology student and long time minister) by saying that God would judge them according to what they had done, how they had lived, according to their conscience. It was some comfort on the surface but it didn’t take long for me to see the glaring inconsistencies: that mankind is born into sin, that it is not so much our behaviour that is the problem but our condition, that no amount of good behaviour would help. And besides….weren’t these native Africans worshipping false gods? Isn’t this really really bad? This is what my 12 year old self worried about. My gospel seemed just too small. Not quite good enough. The almost good news.
Anyway. I liked Rob Bell’s book. I don’t really understand why people get all upset about it. Do Chrisitans actually like the idea of people going to hell?
I may write more on my thoughts another day, but here’s a review that I think covers it pretty well.
Will Hell Be Empty? Rob Bell’s Love Wins – at Faith & Theology
Will hell be empty? I do not know. But it is my sincere hope that it is.
Just because I like it.