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“I believe that the indestructible love of God is an unfolding, dynamic reality and that every single one of us is endlessly being invited to trust, accept, believe, embrace, and experience it.” –Love Wins, Rob Bell, p.194
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This is a short chapter by Bell, and so this will be a short review by me. He opens with his own story and offers that, despite his youth, his personal conversion is still impactful in his life. He protects the integrity of that experience well, rebutting against all the reasons a person would give for discounting their youthful experience and choice to enter into relationship with God. Often, we rationalize away youthful conversions (i.e. we were brainwashed, trying to please parents, etc…) And perhaps some of that is true, and thus we need to revisit why we “church.” But there are many people who experience God early on in their lives in a real, life-changing way. I appreciate Bell’s protecting of the idea that God could reveal himself meaningfully to even a child.
While for most of this journey I’ve been critical of Bell, I’ll give him credit in this chapter for his call to immediate response. The trap for the many theologies in this book is the feeling of indifference. In other words, if God will endlessly provide opportunity for salvation, then I’ll do what I want now, and deal with that later.
What we do here matters. What we do now, as Maximus put it in Gladiator “echoes in eternity.”
Here, Bell does his best to combat a lackadaisical approach to the expression of God’s love that is alive and well in Jesus the Christ. He urges the reader to make a decision now about who Jesus is and what He means to them. In doing so, Bell ends up offering the relationship I’ve been talking about throughout this review. A relationship God wants with us all. This is very good, despite the extremely rocky road leading us here.
So it all ends well. Sort of. This chapter is an altar call of sorts. A beckoning to recognize God’s love and to respond to it. I hope many chose to do so.
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Quick Thoughts on my favorite quotes:
I believe that the indestructible love of God is an unfolding, dynamic reality and that every single one of us is endlessly being invited to trust, accept, believe, embrace, and experience it. Whatever words you find helpful for describing this act of trust, Jesus invites us to say yes to this love of God, again and again and again. (Love Wins, p.194)
Indeed He is. Jesus is calling us continually to jump into a relationship with Him. The message here should be that if it is urgent to Christ, it should be urgent to us. Today is the day of salvation!
This invitation to trust asks for nothing more than this moment, and yet it is infinitely urgent. Jesus told a number of stories about this urgency in which things did not turn out well for the people involved. One man buries the treasure he’s been entrusted with instead of doing something with it and as a result he’s “thrown outside into the darkness.” Five foolish wedding attendants are unprepared for the late arrival of the groom and they end up turned away from the wedding with the chilling words “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.” Goats are sent “away” to a different place than the sheep, tenants of a vineyard have it taken from them, and weeds that grew alongside wheat are eventually harvested and “tied in bundles to be burned.(Love Wins, p.195)
I think this quote is interesting because so many of them could be used to prove a proper existence of Hell. Is it me or is Rob Bell employing the old debate tactic of introducng an adversarial or opposing viewpoint’s material in his own material, in hopes to rob them of using it. Kind of like hearing the lawyer say, “the opposition will tell you…” and all that. Maybe I’m tripping. Rob’s not picking fights… is he?
So what do you think of this really short chapter? Tell me below!
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