Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Hey Mario, what about Rob Bell?"

Since last week, a few people have been asking me to give them my opinion about Rob Bell. Of course, they are referring specifically to Rob Bell's upcoming book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Interesting note: One of my friends will present his views on the book in late April for our "History of the Christian Afterlife" class and I am looking forward to it.

So, what is my opinion of the book: N/A.
"N/A you say?"
Yes, N/A...because the book is not out yet; the book comes out in March 15.

Sure, the description of the book is available now. Also, there is the promotional video for the book by Bell and a group of us at church decided to find it. In the video he tells us that someone attached a hand written note to an art piece related to Gandhi (one piece among many different works that were part of an art exhibit at his church) and the note said: "Reality check, he is in hell."  This is Bell's reaction: "Gandhi is in hell?" "Really?" "Do we know that?"

I can see where Bell is coming from on this because similar questions have been on my mind for a long time: Eternal punishment? To a finite/non-eternal being ONLY because he is not a Christian? These are all questions connected to Soteriology and Biblical Hermeneutics. In a less formal way, anyone opening a Bible and trying to understand what may be coming in the "afterlife" may ask these questions.

I also know a lot of people (personally, not just in the virtual world but people of flesh and blood) that have asked similar questions, about themselves AND people like Gandhi; these are very old questions and I am not talking 50 years or a couple of centuries but all the way back to the early Church. And it appears that this book will look into these questions.

But still, my opinion of the book: N/A.  When I read the book (quite frankly after all the controversy I cannot wait to read it) THEN and only then, I will give my opinion.

If I had to do a book report and I gave one single page to my teacher with the words 'I don't like this book' I think we all know what the teacher would say: "Very well Mario. Now, can you tell me why?"

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