The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Rob Bell's Love Wins

I started reading it over the weekend, and am now near the end. I think what I find most refreshing about it is Bell’s accessible, this-feels-so-familiar-and-comprehensible style. I had not even heard of Rob Bell or Mars Hill until earlier this year. Actually, my first exposure to Bell was probably a few months ago, via a very succinct, almost matter-of-fact youtube video someone recommended.

Okay, so, as I began reading it, I was under the impression, based on comments I had heard, that Bell does not actually espouse universalism. I was chuckling while reading because I thought: perhaps he doesn’t use the “u” word (or does he?), but the entire gist of the book is clearly a call to us all to consider the vastness of love, the unfathomable dimensions of a God whose love is most assuredly capable and willing to reach all creation, a love that seeks out the lost 99, a love that is steadfast and patient, a love that refuses to lose anyone within its reach–and its reach is mighty. So I chuckled because it was about as universalistic as it could possibly be without blatantly declaring it.


I know this is an older, inactive thread, but I had to comment after reading through it this morning.

This is exactly what happened for me after reading it. Before reading* Love Wins* about a year ago, I had nothing more than an intellectual belief, and no desire at all to worship, much less truly partake of His loving nature and work towards being His disciple. Reading this book helped me to cross the internal gap of believing in an abstract, transcendent love, to feeling and knowing that He could (and does!) love* me*. I’m currently reading Talbott’s and Parry’s works, and while they’ve given me much inspiration and information now, I doubt that they would have broken through my intellectual/emotional barrier in the way that Bell’s books did. Bell’s writing style, much like his speaking style, is filled with reflective space and open-ended questions that tug at the heart as much as the mind, and that, I think, is the greatest strength of the book.

While many will read it only to scoff or disprove, I hope many more people, especially the disillusioned, will read it and gain some hope and renewal from it. I think a lot of congregations of all denominations would benefit from an influx of inspired people that have an open mind towards UR and a greater desire to live a life based on His example of love.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. and Mrs. Talbott, too. May they be wonderfully sustained by Him, and brought through these hardships.

That’s an interesting response Eric. Thanks for sharing.

Eric, This was good to hear. I’m glad God uses a variety of instruments toward our growth.

Bell appeals to many people because he values being open minded and seems to have an aversion to being dogmatic about his beliefs. And by dogmatic I mean “asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner”. This almost anti-dogmatic approach appeals to a lot of people because they’ve seen so many Christians be arrogant and negative of others. Bell, through questions, reveals what he’s come to believe though he will not come out and be difinitive, much less arrogant, about his beliefs. I appreciate this about him, though I do prefer to hold convictions about my beliefs but doing so in humility, recognizing that I very well could be absolutely wrong in my convictions. In fact, I estimate I’m between 30% and 70% wrong in my beliefs; I just don’t know which ones!