“Love Wins” by Rob Bell: An Analysis
A conservative analysis of Rob Bell's book, "Love Wins" and what it says to modern evangelicals.
Living on a prayer?
In the recently popular book, Love Wins, the heretical preaching of the nonexistence of hell is preached in a very appealing way, and it is gaining wide acceptance in America. Many conservative Christians are furious with the author, Rob Bell, for such blatantly antiscriptural teaching. Church leaders are fuming, professors are rebuking, and Christians are complaining.
But who is responsible for this book? Who should we cast the blame upon? Who will ultimately be held accountable? Although Rob Bell authored this work, all the blame cannot be cast upon him. In fact, he brings many worthy questions to the table in regards to the credibility of contemporary Christianity. Yes, Bell will be held responsible for this promotion of error, but one must recognize that he is merely responding to what he has observed within Christianity. Can anything less be expected?
He places multiple attacks against what he sees traditional Christianity to be. Many of the attacks are very fair and somewhat accurate. The reality is that much of his argument exposes the faults within contemporary Christianity as it has been portrayed in our culture. What he attacks is not a true Christianity that is Christ centered and God glorifying, but rather the man centered Christianity that perverts the message of the Bible.
One of Bell’s arguments (Pg 5) is centered upon the “sinners prayer.” He points to the common belief that one must say a prayer to be saved. Then he points to the inconsistencies, such as those who meant nothing when they said it, or those who said it in an emotional moment, or did not know completely what they were doing, or those who never said such a prayer but live more Christian-like than those who have. Is this the Gospel? According to an unfortunate amount of “Christians” today, it is. So many within fundamental and evangelical circles teach that salvation is all about the prayer. It is taught that all you have to do is “believe” and that saying certain words qualifies you as redeemed. So many teach that once you have prayed, nothing else matters; that if you are saved, you can continue living however you want. Assurance of salvation is given to so many people who claim faith but show nothing in their lives to have changed.
The question again is, “Who is responsible for the publication of this heresy?” Rob Bell will have his day to answer to God, but so will those who promote the watered down Christianity that ignores the preaching of “repentance and remission of sins”(Luke 3:3, Luke 24:47) and “repentance unto life” (Acts 18:11); who turn a blind eye to passages such as 2 Peter 3:9, Hebrews 6:1, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Acts 26:20, Acts 20:21, Luke 5:23, Mark 2:17, and Mark 1:4 that show that Jesus’ and the apostles’ teaching was founded upon repentance, not just acknowledgment. Jesus made it clear that salvation is more than just believing when He said “repent ye, and believe the gospel.”Jesus’ disciples went out and “preached that men should repent” (Mark 6:12). The book of 1 John makes it clear that one knows that he has eternal life when his life evidences the work of Christ. The book of James, especially in chapter two, clearly shows that unless a life is evidenced by good works and service to God, that person’s faith is not genuine, it is all a masquerade. This is the Gospel that Jesus preached, and it is the Gospel that is largely ignored by both fundamentalists and evangelicals. And because we are not promoting the true and glorious Gospel of Christ, the world is not being drawn to it by the power that the true Gospel holds.
P.S. Francis Chan wrote an excellent response to Love Wins in his book Erasing Hell, it is worth a read