The anticipation is over. The book is out. Prior to the release we finally get our interview with the man gone “Rogue” (thanks Tony Jones). He was asked straight forward questions. He answered. Here are some of my thoughts.
If you are looking for a theologian, Rob Bell is not your man. If you’re looking for a poet, an artist, a creative icon, Rob Bell is your man. Rob Bell has the ability to dance around questions and once again, arrive at a Historical Orthodoxy. If you read Love Wins, and, do not like his answers, then you must be willing, in part, to throw out the theologies of the 20th century legend C.S Lewis, where Bell’s view where a person chooses Heaven and Hell, every moment, seems to come from. Many of Bell’s other views, especially on Heaven here and now, and, the coming kingdom stemming from the 21st centuries most likely C.S Lewis, N.T Wright.
While Bell affirmed in the interview, his belief in the eternal afterlife in heave and hell, he did however, seem to be nervous when answering the questions around them. For Bell, he always brought it back to, what are the implications of here and now. Heaven, here and now, he said, looks like a girl who has been free of cutting for a year.
The beautiful hope of Bell’s words is deeply connected to the existential reality of the cross and the resurrection. That some people’s image of God isn’t very good, and, it always has to be better than even the greatest human message. This is the hope behind Love Wins. That what haunts us, can be overcome. In the words of his favorite theologian, N.T Wright, “Heaven is important, but it isn’t the end of the world.”
The good news of Bell’s message, is that we get to be a part of a bigger story. A story, where Love Wins. Where Heaven becomes a part of our present reality.
If you are looking for a deeper theological book to capture the essence of Bell’s interview, Read The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis and Surprised by Hope by N.T Wright.