By now, everyone has heard of the controversy surrounding Rob Bell’s latest book Love Wins. Since I haven’t read the book, I can’t do a book review. What I can rightly judge is the promotional video here:
Rob objects to someone putting a note on an art piece by Gandhi saying “Reality check. He’s in hell.” Just so we’re clear, Rob did not address the propriety of using an art show to make a theological point, nor the abruptness of the message as being unloving – rather he took offense at the notion of Gandhi being in hell.
Since my current bible reading is taking me through the book of Romans, I find myself almost every day crying out “Rob, have you read the bible?” The answers to your questions are right there in black and white. Paul addressed all your concerns about the righteousness of God and the “rightness” of His judgments.
Romans 2:2-8 ESV
2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Please Rob, please read the first three chapters of Romans carefully. Paul answers your questions in depth and with amazing clarity. God is love – yes – but He is also a righteous judge that will not be ignored or discussed into oblivion. His love is revealed in the redemption He provided for us through His Son Jesus.
We love because he first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19