In Conclusion: Rob Bell on Love, Jesus, and Judgment

Darrell L. Bock's picture

Rob Bell's final chapter is on the love of Jesus and an invitation to enter into the same love he has experienced since he was a young boy. This chapter is simple, short, and well said. 

The chapter brings us to the end of the book. I hope this chapter by chapter review has been of value to you as it calls for reflection on a very important topic Rob Bell's book raises. My summary on the book reflects what I have posted in full earlier. Here it is in a nutshell:

The book as a whole is a very mixed bag. Much of what is included has value. What is omitted is the start of where the problems lie. It is a one-sided, lop-sided book. What is said about the gospel is clear in terms of drawing people to Jesus and the significance of his unique work. What is said about judgment and hell is so poor that it ends up leading into a serious distortion of God's grace, justice, and character, not to mention how much of the call of Scripture to our accountability to God in this life becomes moot if what Bell claims is true. Half truth can mean little truth. Unfortunately that is the case for the major point Bell wishes to make about God's character, love, justice, judgment, and hell.

Against his rendering stand several texts that we have pointed to: Luke 16:19-31, Rev 20; Matthew 25:1-13, Luke 13:15-24, plus one text a blogger noted in his comment Hebrews 9:27-34 (Thanks to E for this one).  This life counts with God. What we decide about him here leads to how God responds to us in judgment. Once we are dead, the door is shut and the book is closed. Is this harsh? Only if one decides that God sending Jesus, His son, to die for us, take our place, and offer us the free gift of his saving grace if we will only receive Him and His gift is not good enough for God's creatures. There is nothing harsh about the offer of the gospel–or its consequences for rejecting it. There is only tragedy if one refuses to accept God's gracious way of salvation that we cannot make happen for ourselves on our own work or strength anyway.

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