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March 3, 2011

Video of the Week: Love Wins

Rob Bell's newest video can open the door to deep discussion.

You may have already seen the "preview video" for Rob Bell's upcoming book Love Wins. And if you have been on Facebook, Twitter, or the blogosphere this past week, you know that the marketing folks over at Harper One have done an excellent job at creating a stir in advance the book's launch.

I'm certainly not going to attack or defend Rob Bell's book here—not until I have a chance to read it, at least. But I do think the video below provides small-group leaders with an excellent opportunity for engaging their groups in a deep, personal, and potentially life-changing conversation.

posted by Sam O'Neal on March 3, 2011 11:19 PM

Related Tags: Heaven, Hell, Video


Sam, would you suggest that small group leaders guide the discussion toward one conclusion regarding universalism or leave it subjective and open-ended with the small group members?

I'm embarrassed to admit I just watched this for the first time (I'm a recovered blogger, OK?). But I have to say I'm disappointed by what I saw. Not because of the conclusions toward which I see him leaning, but because of the weakness of his reasoning. Two reactions I have: (1) He sets up a straw gospel to critique. The gospel is not simply that faith in Jesus will save you from hell; that's reductionistic, and I think evangelicalism is "over" that kind of gospel preaching. (2) He simplistically pits God against Himself, as if theologians at all times in history have not wrestled (often quite successfully!) with the tension between the love and holiness of God. What the video does for me is not "provoke" me to buy the book, but give me the impression that it's going to be intellectually and biblically thin. Bummer.

I used to enjoy his (Rob Bell) perspectives however his implication toward universalism saddens me to see him veer off the path of truth. There is a vast differance in wanting universalism and believing universalism.... I believe in this video he has forgotten that we all "deserve" the full wrath of God for our sins, however in His love for us sent Jesus as a substitute. Grace is Gods willingness to give us something we dont deserve; Mercy is not giving us what we do deserve. Why wouldnt this be good news?! A savior came to take what we deserve - doesnt get much better. When we look at the cross we need to see both the love and wrath of God. We seem to think that God is not fair....which we should be greatful he is not. Otherwise, we all would be damned for eternity! He is not fair, but He is just - and thats the difference. God is just, and God is love. We need to focus on the truth, sorry Rob

Jeb -- to answer your question, I don't think small-group leaders should try to guide anyone toward their own personal beliefs. Better to have your church's doctrinal statement ready and say, "Here is what our church has affirmed on this subject..."

I think group leaders who show this video will be surprised by the diversity of opinion it reveals in their group members, so it's best to have something "outside" the group to use as a compare/contrast tool.

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