C. S. Lewis

Love Wins, My Take on Rob Bell’s New Book

I chose not to make any comments on Rob Bell’s new book, “Love Wins” until after I had read it myself. So after reading it, let me state from the outset that Rob Bell is not a universalist; at least, not in the popular conception of what universalism entails: the salvation of all human beings everywhere regardless of whether they were an Adolf Hitler or a Mahatma Gandhi. Most people’s concept of universalism means that eventually everyone ends up in heaven. That’s not Rob Bell’s view.

Having said that, I don’t think this is Bell’s finest book. “Velvet Elvis” was a much better book. I think every Christian living in the 21st century should read that one! This book is more polemical, written to combat an extreme fundamentalist view of the afterlife. You know, you’ve seen those people carrying signs on the street corners proclaiming hell and eternal damnation. Frankly, they do more harm than good.

The book began when Bell’s Church had an art show regarding what it meant to be a peacemaker. Someone had included a Gandhi quote in her art piece to which someone else attached a piece of paper: “Reality check: He’s in Hell.” (more…)

Death Be Not Proud

The past few years I have been to several funerals. Most of them were for older persons who had passed away after having lived a comparatively long life. Just a few weeks ago, however, was the first time I attended a funeral for someone younger than me. We had grown up together in Brazil and I have nothing but the most cherished memories of a good childhood friend.

Though the occasion was sad, there was a sense of celebration because she was such a deeply committed Christian. Of course we cried and felt a profound sense of loss because for a little while we have been separated from her. Jesus cried too at the loss of his dear friend Lazarus (John 11:35). And so, even if by faith we know we shall see her again, there is still much sorrow at the loss of a loved one. (more…)