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Why I Don’t Need to Read Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”

There has been enough media hoopla (especially in the Christian subculture) around Rob Bell’s latest book, “Love Wins” to fill hours of coverage.

When the pre-release banter began, I quickly jumped in the “don’t judge it until you’ve read it” camp.

I will always be quicker to jump into this camp – I think we Christians do a lot of pre-judging of things that we don’t know enough about.

That said, I wouldn’t ever take my “don’t judge it until you’ve read it” stance to the extreme that some have and do and say that we can’t judge anything without first ‘trying it’.

If you and I had to read everything ‘for ourselves’ before we could make a sound judgement on it, wouldn’t we be stuck reading for all of eternity? If I had to read every quasi-Christian article/book/newsletter that was available simply to make an educated-judgement on it, I would never do anything else.

The issue here is that we’re dealing with Rob Bell. He’s one of our “church superstars”. And so we feel even more apt to give him the benefit of the doubt and therefore jump into the “don’t judge it until you read it” bandwagon much quicker.

Case in point: if Charlie Sheen had written a book with the same title, sub-title, back cover description, and promotional video, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

I’ve been challenged by Rob Bell in the past. I’ve been moved by some Nooma videos. I’ve been challenged by his sermons on the Mars Hill podcast.

This blog post was originally titled, “Why I WON’T read Rob Bell’s LOVE WINS”. I changed it to “don’t need to” because I still might, eventually. But for now, there are some trusted voices in the Christian world that are reading it and the reviews are still coming in and sadly, I’m not liking where things are going.

I don’t want to raise children to think that they have to “try it before they make a decision”, and there’s a difference between “judging a book by its cover” and “making educated responses to the facts”. Based on what reviews I’ve already read and as the reviews of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” continue to pour in, I’m saddened to think as Bible-believing Evangelicals we’re going to continue to find increasing difficulty with its theological stance.

I would love for you to disagree or agree with me in this post’s comments.

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stevansheets@churchleaders.com'
Stevan is proud to admit that he's a Christ-following husband, father, son, brother, pastor, and friend. He blogs about a lot of things, but mostly about the things that revolve around those 7 descriptions. He is the pastor of the Shippensburg First Wesleyan Church in Western PA.