Having read
examined
and digested
this pamphlet in book’s clothing on my Kindle ...

Where the publisher gouged me for more than the usual amount proving in publishing love may not always win, but Harper-Collins does.

I wondered if the older brother “getting it all” in the Father’s will made the prodigal son feel bad.

Would Bell have rebuked the Father for those words and told a better story?

And I realized that sin having forever consequences did not fit Bell’s message and so it was forgotten.

And I actually laughed out loud
LOL
Partied
Enjoyed
seeing Origen cited, that old neo-Platonist heretic,
who would be shocked to discover this world, sex affirming fellow giving him credit when normally Origen’s influence is derided by these same folk.

Origen would view Bell’s earthy and eternal heaven as hell.

Bell failed to note his views on hell are rejected by Orthodoxy, Rome, and every historic Protestant creed. Someone always had his view, but that someone was always rejected in the end by the folks and most of their shepherds.

I had one starting thought: Couldn’t all Bell’s arguments in favor of “leaving hell” also apply to heaven?”

If we can always join the party then can we always leave? Can’t his linguistic work be applied to Heaven?

Evidently Love “always winning” allows for historical evils which can never be changed... and that eternal fact is compatible with God winning, but not a human nature that cannot change after death. Evidently God can live with the eternal memory of the Fall and wounds on His hands, but not Hell or Love would lose.

Love always gets it’s way evidently... except right now when we can see what Love is doing.

My favorite part of the book is the use of anecdotes that shows the evil disagreeing with Bell has brought the folks... with strong language then used on those who used strong language.

I know a woman stalked by a lover who will not take “no” as “no” who will hear Bell and recoil in horror.

I once sat with a student escaping a church where the pastor sat on the edge of the stage and asked leading questions and loved Art and could swear and mocked his grandmother’s taste. That student wept to discover books with paragraphs
And exegesis
And arguments
And orthodoxy.

They would find a pastor like a Benedict, Bartholomew, or Billy Graham unafraid of questions but also giving clear answers.

But don’t take from this that I did not like Bell’s book. I just pose questions and wonder if he is repeating the mistakes of so many mainline groups that left them up to date and forever dated. Is his love more like Victorian cloying smothering than the ancient robust love that can say “no”and mean it?

Or not?

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Articles by John Mark Reynolds

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