I thought it would be appropriate and fun to go chapter-by-chapter through Rob Bell's newest book, Love Wins, and discuss it with you guys. It's received a lot of criticism. For a lot of folks, what he's proposing and writing about is grounds for heresy.
What this is NOT, is a place to call and label people and ideas heretical. That's not what I'm going for. I'm also not just trying to build up Bell or this book. Rather, I want to critically analyze the ideas and questions being proposed.
Ok, onto chapter 1...
Chapter 1 - What About the Flat Tire?
Bell does what he does best in Chapter 1, ask questions! He asks tons as it pertains to salvation.
How is one saved?
Is it a free gift?
That's what most evangelicals say, that the gift of salvation is free (its what has uniquely set Christianity apart from other more works-based faiths). But then we typically follow that phrase up with, "then all you have to do is..."
And this list is usually part (or all) of the following:
say the sinners prayer
follow the commandments
serve, give, live like Christ, etc.
Bell goes through lots of scriptural examples of people being "saved" via numerous means. Belief, child bearing, baptism, who you know, marriage...the list goes on and on.
So apparently its not just one, form-fit, check this box and your in, method.
And even when Jesus is asked directly by a rich young man, he doesn't give him a straight answer. Jesus answers with more questions.
So is it a mystery?
Is it (salvation) only for some to know & obtain?
Just how powerful was the Cross?
I assume we'll get into those questions as we proceed.
That's what I gathered from Chapter 1. It lived up to Bell's preface - that it wasn't going to be anything new - that all of these ideas have been wrestled with and asked from the beginning of time.
I hope you'll engage and lets chat more about what's being said and the implications of its ideas and questions.