More on Rob Bell and Hell
I have finished reading Rob Bell's newest book, Love Wins. I found it a good read and very thought-provoking. I recommend you watch his YouTube video in which he responds vehemently to his critics about his basic beliefs. He insists he is orthodox. The strength of the book is that he raises good questions that cause thoughtful people to stop and think. Christians can emphasize the judgement of God overtly more than God's grace-filled nature which pursues us and desires a relationship with us. We are all God's precious and claimed children. The weakness of Bell's book is all the grey areas he leaves hanging. I realize he is seeking to engage young adults and others in our culture that do not think in terms of absolutes and folks who avoid the black and white approach to faith and life in general. I was glad to see and hear in his video that he does affirm the orthodox teachings of Christianity and the existence of hell and heaven. The truth is God does not condemn a person to hell - we condemn ourselves when we reject or ignore God's love for us and the offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. As for those who have never heard the good news of Jesus, I think Christians ought to put more energy into sharing their faith and reaching out to those who do not yet follow Jesus Christ. Focus on the Great Commission that Jesus gave us to go into all the world and make disciples instead of focusing on whether or not God is just or fair. Leave the judgment and who goes to hell or heaven to God - for the truth is God's love wins when we turn and trust in Jesus Christ.
Here is a great article by Mary Jacobs found on the UMPortal about Rob Bell's book, what John Wesley teaches on hell and the "Methodist way" of thinking on this subject. I recommend you read it. It sums up the whole issue for me in the love and grace of God who is merciful and just in all things. If you want to talk further about this subject, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This discussion is good for the church, believers and seekers.