Chapter 7 brings in the story of the prodigal son in the context of the experience of heaven and hell. Bell points to how both brothers are living in the same narrative, but their experience of the story is completely different. They have different motivations, different emotions and finally, different results. Then Bell goes into a section about how some people see God as having to punish people in hell, like God is bound by His own self to do what he doesn’t want to. The problem with that kind of logic is that it is God binding His own self, so, in effect; He is doing what he does want to.
Bell seems to have a serious problem with a God of wrath, and with Christians who believe in a God of wrath. He seems to say that God isn’t good news. For me, holding the two extremes of God being love and God bringing wrath is do-able. For Bell, it doesn’t seem to be that easy.
The chapter’s content is pretty fluffy, but the stylistic writing is classic Rob Bell. You can almost see the nooma video playing out in your head as Bell narrates the story of the prodigal son. This chapter is stellar style.
Finally, the last chapter is a personal story from Bell, with a traditional blessing. And then there’s acknowledgements, some recommended further reading and some websites for charitable causes that Bell is associated with.
And no endnotes. None. Not even one.
While others may be disturbed by the theology or the hermeneutic of Love Wins, I am most disappointed that there are no endnotes. In Bell’s other books the endnotes are where the hidden gems are found.
Apparently there are no hidden gems when love wins.