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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Love Wins

Last night I finished Rob Bell's book Love Wins. I want to be honest with you all. It was a frustrating few days reading through that book. I'm still frustrated. I'm frustrated for a lot of reasons. Some I anticipated. Some I did not. Earlier today I sat down and started to write a review of the book. I stopped about a page in. I'm going to try something that I don't try very often. I'm going to keep my mouth shut. That doesn't mean I'm not going to talk about the book and what I think about it. I'm sure I will have many conversations in the days and weeks to come about it. But not here. Call me or email me if you'd like to talk about it. Really. Do that. I'd love to talk about it.

One thing I will do is offer up Kevin DeYoung's review to you:

At first I felt a little ashamed to offer up someone else's opinion on this topic instead of my own. But honestly (I'm working on that) mine would be filled with bias, emotion, and frustration. I don't think those are bad things (except bias), but they typically don't make for well articulated points. There is some sanctification that needs to happen there. I'm praying for that. Not to mention, DeYoung is much more qualified to write a proper book review than I am.

I would like to say something about the frustration that I feel though. Yes the frustration comes from someone disagreeing with me. I know I have a problem with that. But as I read through the pages, I realized this frustration and anger (let's call it what it is) was coming from a much deeper place. As he made points and claims, my friends faces would pop into my head. I would think, "I'll bet that resonated with him" or "I know that is an area that he struggles too." My anger came from the realization that my friends, people I care about could be led astray by these things. What I kept thinking the entire time, especially during the chapter The Good News Is Better Than That, was that exact thing. I kept thinking, 'The gospel is so much better than this!' I hurt for my friends. I hurt for people who were brought up with some of the terrible misconceptions about the gospel that you can tell have influenced Rob Bell. But I want to plead with them not to come up with something and go with it just because it makes them feel better. Because the gospel is so much better than that. It's so much richer and more joy-giving than we could ever imagine.

I know I ranted. I do that. If you're reading this, I love you. It may not seem like it all the time, but I do. I stay up praying for you guys often. I pray that you wouldn't be led astray to some false picture of the gospel. That is still my prayer. That you would be grounded in the Word. That God would protect you. That's all. Read Kevin DeYoung's review. It's twenty pages, but it is well worth your time. He is a smart man who loves the Lord. And like me, he cares about what people are being taught. And read your Bible. It is the Word of Life.

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