My Dissertation – Love Wins

The big ‘Christian’ story of 2011 so far has been the release of Love Wins, Rob Bell’s new book. Twitter followers (@jonrogersuk) will have seen my tweets from each chapter, which are all below. No doubt there’ll be loads more things for me to blog about the book and my responses to it since my MA dissertation is based on the book. As I’m collecting responses to the book and the ideas in it, I’ve been tagging pages on delicious with things like “rob-bell“, so you can see the sort of things I’ve read online. I’ll obviously read offline too, and I hope to talk to some people ‘in real life’ to gain some depth to put in my 20k words.

Have you read Love Wins yet? What did you think? What parts of the book did you enjoy/find challenging/have a problem with?

I sit down in Esquires with Rob Bell’s book, a good coffee and Oasis start playing “let there be love”…
2:37 AM Mar 30th via TwimGo 2

Chapter 1: 19 pages, 94 question marks. Plus one in the chapter title. “But this isn’t just a book of questions.” #lovewins
3:04 AM Mar 30th via TwimGo 2

Chapter 2: Jesus is “interested in our hearts being transformed, so that we can actually handle heaven.” #lovewins
3:41 AM Mar 30th via TwimGo 2

“Failure… isn’t final, judgement has a point, and consequences are for correction.” Chapter 3 #lovewins
7:58 AM Mar 30th via Ubuntu

If we want hell, If we want heaven, They are ours. That’s how love works. Chapter 4 #lovewins
1:20 AM Mar 31st via TwimGo 2

A gospel that leaves out its cosmic scope will always fell small. Chapter 5 #lovewins
1:40 AM Mar 31st via TwimGo 2

Jesus is both near and intimate and personal, and big and wide and transendent. Chapter 6 #lovewins
2:00 AM Mar 31st via TwimGo 2

We do not need to be rescued from God. God is the one who rescues us from death, sin and destruction. God is the rescuer. Chapter7 #lovewins
4:30 AM Mar 31st via Ubuntu

Whatever you’ve been told about the end … Jesus passionately urges us to live like the end is here, now, today. Chapter 8#lovewins
4:45 AM Mar 31st via Ubuntu

My Title: A Critical Apologetic Appraisal of Rob Bell’s Love Wins

Rob Bell’s fifth book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived ignited a huge internet controversy before it was even available in the shops. The ‘teaser video’ and some preview chapters led to commentators labelling Bell’s theology as ‘Universalism’. In interviews and in the book, Bell claims to not to be saying anything new in his book, but reclaiming an orthodox view of Christianity. He is also clear in interviews not to be ‘a theologian’, so this dissertation will engage with Love Wins as a text explaining his postmodern apologetic. I will explore what it means to do apologetics in the postmodern era and try to see how Bell fits with others attempting to do the same things.

The responses to Bell’s apologetic will depend on his interaction with three different areas: the scriptures, the wider church and the world. In creating an apologetic, the apologist must read all three – the Bible, the traditions of the Church and the contemporary culture s/he is found in. The apologetic will be received and responded to in different ways by the church and the world.