Here is a blog about the new book “God Wins”, a challenge to Rob Bell’s book and to universalism. There are no comments on his blog and I’m thinking about jumping in and commenting. Anyone want to join in? It drives me crazy when people comment on the “God is love” argument. It always seems like they are trying to say, “NO HE ISN’T!”
Listen to this comment in the above blog, it’s got me steaming mad:
"I pray people will read and heed this book with the knowledge that our evangelical churches are at a doctrinal and leadership crossroads, and much is at stake. If, after all, our sins aren’t big enough to warrant eternal punishment, then perhaps the grace God showed us on the cross isn’t big enough to warrant eternal praise."
This guy has the gall to say that the book “God Wins” offers better news than Bell’s book! Is that so? Is it really better news that most of humanity gets to spend eternity in hell? That is better news than Jesus’ blood redeeming ALL of his children? It’s better news that heaven isn’t overcrowded? I just don’t get it!
It’s like two different religions, honestly; or at least two very different understandings of God.
“I pray people will read and heed this book with the knowledge that our evangelical churches are at a doctrinal and leadership crossroads, and much is at stake. If, after all, our sins aren’t big enough to warrant eternal punishment, then perhaps the grace God showed us on the cross isn’t big enough to warrant eternal praise.”
It’s precisely because God’s mercy is infinitely praiseworthy that no sin can warrant infinite punishment.
Another argument I frequently hear is the “just God” argument. The irony is that, as pointed out in “Hope Beyond Hell”, it is precisely God’s justice that ensures the final positive outcome. People twist their notion of “His ways are higher than our ways”, until His ways are actually lower than ours, if we’re to believe the people who claim this means endless hell as a final outcome are right.
Frankly, I’m glad the topic hasn’t been smothered yet.
We’re entering a crucial phase, though, because the first wave of counter-books will soon be released.
I’m hoping to get a press release out pointing to the forum (and to my own somewhat-counter-book-release free of charge here), so people have at least some opportunity to look into matters more deeply than Rob or his opponents (so far) have done.
I’m looking forward to your release. I hope that more UR books will be born from this dialogue. I also hope that more conservatives will take another look at this topic and have their eyes opened.
“God Wins” is kind of a strange yet telling choice of title. It’s incredibly silly that they don’t realize that the two are equivalent titles! What they are in effect saying by this choice of title is: “our version of God wins”.
I think it’s interesting that if you ask conservative fundamentalists to describe God in one word, most will not say “Love”, they will say “Holy”.
There are three things that God is: Love, Light and Spirit. All of His other attributes, such as His holiness and justice, flow from these three.
God is good
God is holy
God is just
God is one
God is consuming fire
I’m not sure it’s right to say that God is only Love, Light, and Spirit and that His other attributes flow from these. Why not say that his love is an attribute that flows out of his being Just? He loves perfectly because He is just. He is a Consuming Fire because he is Merciful. He is One because He is Love. He is Holy because He is Good.
Why do you single out those three?
I think he said those things (correct me if I’m wrong) because in the Bible those are the only things God is said to “be”. as in, John 4 says God is spirit, 1 John says God is love, and James says God is light.
additionally I would say that God’s description as a consuming fire is important, too. or maybe I’ve been listening to too much Peter hiett.
Yeah, with Neal I think these are just the attributes that God is said to unequivically “be.” God is not said to be “justice” or “holiness” or “oneness” in Scripture. But he is said (by John) to be “spirit,” “light” and “love.” But I do think that the other attributes you list are just as much a part of God’s being and (with the exception of “oneness”) are harmonious expressions of God’s moral character.
There’s also God’s self description as “I am”…
I recently did a series of tweets on agape (divine love) and was amazed at how it’s emphasised (and I’m not even a quarter of the way through the verses! And then of course there are all the passages which talk about God’s love without using the word, e.g. the parable of the Prodigal Son). I just don’t see any other attribute spoken about as strongly and as often.