So, I just finished reading Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell. I really appreciated what he had to say. It is interesting, because a lot of Christians have taken the message of the book as saying the Bell doesn't believe in Hell. However that is not true. Bell seems to believe in Hell, he just believes that God can change a person's heart when they are there. This idea of a postmortem conversion is one that I agree with. Earlier this year I tried to articulate this position to friends, but none of them really understood what I was saying. I can't really blame them for thinking I had gone off the deep end; this is not a commonly talked about theology. At least not until recently. Bell's book argued what I have been thinking for the last year or so.
I'm not uncomfortable with the idea of Hell. I know that it has to exist, because my understanding is one of a duality. Like Newton said, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. I think the same is true for Heaven. If Heaven exists, and I'm mostly sure that is does, then there has to be a place opposite of that as well. This place must be the ultimate bad place, since heaven is the ultimate good. So, that is not something that makes me uncomfortable. What does make me uncomfortable is when we limit God's ability to save us through the sacrifice of his son.
God can do whatever he wants. I have a really hard time with people saying that Jesus, who conquered death, can't go into Hell and give people another chance. The idea that God would accept defeat that easily does not line up with the parables we see in the Bible. When the woman loses one of her gold coins, what does she do? Does she look around for a bit then give up? No! She searches until she finds that coin. When the shepherd lost his sheep he leaves the rest of his flock and does not come back until that little lamb is on his shoulders, safely home. Why would Jesus not do the same?
Overall, Bell presents and argument that I do agree with. I will admit that sometimes his writing style is a bit much. I.
Seriously, use complete sentences. It's not that hard. And I do agree with one of my friends who found it entirely obnoxious that pretty much the entire first chapter was made up of questions. Be that as it may, they were good questions. So all in all I definitely liked the book.