A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better…. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.I got that quote from Tim Challies, who offered up the first review of the book that I could find. I would attempt to offer up some thoughts on the book myself, but I haven't read it yet. I did find this interview of Rob Bell from MSNBC to be extremely interesting and revealing to Rob Bell's beliefs.
I don't know about you, but watching that video just made me sad. A while back I was a fan of the Nooma videos that were produced by Rob Bell. There is still some good stuff in those videos, but seeing this departure from the truth was disheartening. I begin to understand what Christians from previous eras felt as they saw Christian leaders and institutions give way to liberal theology.
There are some men who are much smarter than me that have offered up their critiques of this book. Here is a short list, in case you are interested.
Tim Challies book review on challies.com.
Albert Mohler's review of the book from his blog. I found this one to be quite interesting.
Christianity Today has a review of the book.
Ligon Duncan has some thoughts about hell and how we should talk about it.
Aaron Armstrong offers some thoughts as well. He has a blog called Blogging Theologically.
Josh Harris shows his concern and shares some quotes from Denny Burke.
USA Today has an article with some revealing quotes from the book.
CNN has a blog post highlighting some of the details.
Kevin DeYoung, a blogger with The Gospel Coalition, offered one of my favorite reviews of the book.
Carl Trueman offers up some extremely enlightening thoughts on Rob Bells ability to support his claims. I found this post to be one of the most helpful.
Most of this was brought to the table because of Justin Taylor, another Gospel Coalition blogger.
There are more blog posts and tweets out there, but these would keep anyone busy for a little while. One of the most interesting aspects of all of this is the compassion that I get from most of these Christian leaders that I have spent the last few years following via their blogs. They are concerned about truth, but they are also concerned about Rob Bell. To me, that is astounding.