Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die

Welcome to Wednesdays. This is going to be the day I post book reviews. I won't have one every week, but this will be where you find it. I used to post these on Fridays, but I said changes were coming. Here's another one of them. Oh, and here's my book review for this week.

It may be the title of my post bringing you here. I'm sure the word 'Hell' and Rob's name do a better job of that than calling this post 'A Book I Read'. However, I must let you know that I have not read Love Wins by Rob Bell. It's not that I didn't want to. It's not that I read a bad review and made up my mind from that. I just didn't...or haven't yet.

What I have read is Bobby Conway's Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die. As I said recently here, it makes a bit uncomfortable when people appear to be attacking someone instead of merely presenting their own viewpoint. So I imagine that Rob Bell may not appreciate the focus of this book. (Then again, maybe Hell and the people who die don't appreciate the focus either.)

I thought Conway did a good job of presenting the subject in a fair manner. He quoted from Bell's book several times. Then he presented his case using many scriptures from the Bible. It was a compelling argument, one that I happen to agree with. To be completely fair, since I have not read Bell's book, Conway could be accused of pulling quotes out of context. Somehow I doubt this is true.

I believe that Conway did a great job in presenting the argument in a manner that disagrees with Bell's stand but does not demean the person. He presented his case in a manner that was easy to follow and will be easy to reference. He also added video links at the end of each chapter to make this conversation easy to continue. Since Conway's book is on the shorter side, that is a very helpful addition for those who desire more.

I would recommend this book for any and all who want to be well informed on very important teachings of Jesus. After all, your life depends on it.

My good friends at Waterbrook Multnomah provided me a free copy on my Kindle. They asked that I review the book but did not coerce me to say nice things. You can buy a copy for yourself at


whatthehellbook said...

The Bible does not teach eternal punishment. God's love & mercy endures forever. Does it really endure forever or only in this life? How can it be Good News if it doesn't translate to the afterlife? God will still judge but He will not punish forever. He's a better father than we are, right?

1 Tim 4:10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

That's like saying track is for everyone, especially for those who like to run. Salvation is for everyone, especially those who believe.

Rick Nier...Woo! said...

Hi Jackson,
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your spirit of encouraging conversation. We need more of that.

With that in mind, let me submit that I think what Paul was communicating was that God's saving grace is intended for all, but not that everyone will accept it.

As I'm sure you might guess, we don't agree on the Bible teaching eternal punishment. Can you tell me what you do with the following scriptures, which all describe eternal punishment?

Matthew 18:8
If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.

Matthew 25:41
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:46
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Jude 1:7
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

This does not even mention the descriptions given to us in Revelation.

I think we need to remember that God has made us to live forever. But there are clearly two choices for where we spend the eernal side of life.