Archives For Hell

 

Just thought I’d mention a few books here that might be of interest to our NACC friends and others.

Erasing Hell - Francis ChanOne of the main speakers for NACC, Francis Chan has a new book out that will be interest to many, I’m sure…

The new book, Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity and the Things We’ve Made Up (co-written with Preston Sprinkle), is described by Publisher’s Weekly as a refutation of “the Christian universalism that purportedly pervaded Love Wins, Rob Bell’s book on hell published earlier this year.”  Well, I’m not sure that we’ll be reviewing it here, but might be of interest to some of our evangelical readers.  [ Buy Now: ChristianBook.com ]

Also possibly of interest to our NACC friends is Tim Cooper‘s new book Awestruck: Life-Changing Encounters with Jesus (Wipf and Stock 2011).  Cooper is pastor of Momentum Christian Church in Lexington, KY, a new church plant there.  Awestruck is a collection of sermon-like stories that help us re-think what it means to follow Jesus.  [ Buy now: Amazon.com ]

And finally, I am starting to read Alan Hirsch‘s newest book The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure and Courage (co-written with Michael Frost).  As a member of an urban church that has seen countless people sucked into the “adventure” of urban living only to pull out several months or years later, I’ll admit to being a bit skeptical — risk and adventure, it seems, can only take us so far; what do we do when the adventure dies down and we’re left with painful realities of day-to-day life? BUT, I really appreciate Hirsch’s work and look forward to seeing where he goes with this book.  Watch for my review in the near future.  [ Buy now: ChristianBook.com ]

 

Two great videos of Wendell Berry that I discovered recently:

Reading poems from Leavings
(One of our best books of 2009… Read our review.)

Talking about the basics of his economics.
(Read our review of What Matters? One of our best books of 2010).

Continue Reading…

 

“Rumors of Rob Bell’s Heretical Universalism
Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

A review of

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell,
and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
.
By Rob Bell.

Review by Adam Ellis.


LOVE WINS - Rob BellLove Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.
Rob Bell.
Hardback: HarperOne, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon – Hardback ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

The fact that Rob Bell’s new book is considered controversial is as much a testimony to the marketing prowess of HarperOne (not to mention the unintentional marketing prowess of some critics), as it is to any theology contained in the book.  The first lesson that can be derived from all of this is that if you want to publish a successful book, HarperOne isn’t a bad way to go.

To begin with, let’s look at two things that shouldn’t be surprises, but (based on the more angry reviews I’ve read) apparently are:

  1. Rob Bell is not a Calvinist (“New”, “Neo”, or otherwise).  He doesn’t write like one.  He doesn’t adhere to exclusively Calvinist doctrine.  He doesn’t see the terms “non-Calvinist” and “Christian” as mutually exclusive.
  2. Rob Bell writes almost exactly like he talks.  That means that there will be

words

      and half-sentences

            laid-out unconventionally

                  throughout

                        the

                              book.

Continue Reading…

 

Faith And Trust

Liberty Hyde Bailey

Editor’s note: I re-encountered this poem earlier this week, and was struck by how poignant a response it held to all the recent controversy about Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins. Or, at least this is how I feel about it…

Two workmen true as I passed by
Announced what things beyond us lie,—
Two views that never can agree
Yet each one knew just what will be.
Of present days they were not sure
But each man’s future was secure,
For faith had set them both to know
Precisely how our destins flow.

But only this and this I know,—
That I am here and then I go.
I pass my work with hope and zest
And live my time as it seems best;
I live it full and drain it deep,—
’Tis well to live, ’tis vain to weep.
If there be things I cannot tell
The more I trust that all is well.
I take the cheer from daily lot
And for the rest I vex me not,
For what there is beyond the sod
I leave it all to Time and God.

— from Bailey’s collection of poems, Wind and Weather
(Doulos Christou Press reprint edition 2008)
Read the Book’s introduction here

Faith And Trust

Two workmen true as I passed by

Announced what things beyond us lie,

Two views that never can agree

Yet each one knew just what will be.

Of present days they were not sure

But each man’s future was secure,

For faith had set them both to know

Precisely how our destins flow.

But only this and this I know,

That I am here and then I go.

I pass my work with hope and zest

And live my time as it seems best;

I live it full and drain it deep,

Tis well to live, ’tis vain to weep.

If there be things I cannot tell

The more I trust that all is well.

I take the cheer from daily lot

And for the rest I vex me not,

For what there is beyond the sod

I leave it all to Time and God.

 

“A Radical Revision of Church Teaching
on Hell and Eternity

A review of
Razing Hell:
Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught
About God’s Wrath and Judgment
.
By Sharon Baker.

Reviewed by Karen Altergott.

Razing Hell: Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught
About God’s Wrath and Judgment
.
Sharon Baker.

Paperback: WJK Books, 2010.

Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Razing Hell - Sharon BakerThroughout most of this book, I was saying, “yes, but…” to the provocative ideas presented.  Written in a style that is at once informal, because it relies on interjected questions from real and altered conversations, and substantial, because it uses academic theological work and frequent Old and New Testament passages, Razing Hell is a highly readable book.  A slowly and carefully developed argument against a wrathful God who just can’t wait to throw unrepentant sinners into the fires of hell, this book arrives at a most persuasive conclusion that no faithful Christian can deny.  God is, indeed, a God of infinite love and power.  And all that power is devoted to reestablishing a relationship with each human being.

This is an important book.  It goes deeper into the quest to understand Christianity for our time, and for all time.  If you appreciated A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren, if you enjoy the open-minded yet thoroughly faith-centered books by N.T. Wright, I think you will appreciate this treatment of hell.  Other contemporary works are a bit too disconnected from scripture or offer academic arguments that are a bit challenging to follow.  Razing Hell starts with truly significant wrestling with theological ideas, like how can good but non-professing people like Lisa’s grandmother go to a place of never-ending suffering – hell? What possible reason is there to give non-believers that will lead them to accept Christ and live in the Way offered in Christ if there is no hell (Eric’s question)?  And, how can it be justice for God to send weak and helpless human beings to eternal torture in return for merely temporal sins of omission or commission (Brooke’s question)?  After raising questions that real believers and many non-believers struggle with, Sharon Baker examines scripture, church and cultural history, a deep understanding of the Hebrew text, and a reconciling treatment of Jesus that is in line with her new interpretation of Hell in the Old and New Testaments.

Continue Reading…