In 1959 RCA releasedFifty Million Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong—Elvis’ Gold Records Vol. 2.1 Elvis Presley was an exceptionally popular entertainer who was also one of the most controversial public figures of the late 1950s. The title of his second greatest hits album indicates a popular sentiment: It must be right, because millions of people believe it. But this sentiment does not translate to theology. Though many church fathers and theologians throughout the ages may have believed in a particular doctrine, it’s correctness is not established by that fact alone.
Rob Bell is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is the author of such books as Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. Many evangelical Christians are familiar with his Nooma series of videos.2 Bell is influential in Emerging Church circles and is a popular speaker. Though his previous books have sold well, Love Wins is especially popular.
The twin premises of Love Wins are that God is a God of love and that the evangelical Christian view of God is too narrow. “Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell?”3 Bell asks. Love Wins challenges the traditional views concerning heaven, hell, and salvation. For the sake of brevity this review concentrates on Bell’s view of salvation.
“One of the world’s foremost scholars on hell says he agrees with Rob Bell, that a loving God cannot allow people to burn and writhe in pain forever after they die.”
The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.
Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow’s Chapel in Henderson.