The Antidote to Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”
Mark Galli is uniquely qualified as a journalist, historian, pastor, and leadership expert to write this cogent reply to “Love Wins” by Rob Bell. In this short book that covers the same territory as “Love Wins,” I couldn’t help but think that God was so pleased with Galli’s treatment of the same material. It was charitable, exegetically sound, and God glorifying. I found myself thinking about how great our God is as I turned each page. As a matter of fact – the song “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin kept popping up in my mind as I was reading this book.
The Way Mark Galli Breaks this Book Down is as Following:
Chapter 1: The Really Important Question – In this chapter he discusses the importance of asking good questions and addresses some of the most important questions and answers that we need to be asking in the 21st century. His key point is that until we comprehend the nature and character of God that all of our questions are a “chasing after the wind.”
Chapter 2: Who Is This God? – A Brief Biblical Theology of the character and nature of God. He includes an excellent discussion of how to have our joy and satisfaction in God.
Chapter 3: Becoming One Again – An exceptional discussion of how the atonement of Christ is the perfect solution to seven deadly realities that all humans face before a Holy and Perfect God.
Chapter 4: The Wonder of Faith – What God has done for us in Christ and what our response should be toward His provision for us.
Chapter 5: The Point of Heaven – A very good summary of a God focused (not activities focused or man-centered) Heaven as detailed in the Scriptures.
Chapter 6: Hell and Judgment – Excellent exegetical discussion of these two topics.
Chapter 7: The Bad News: Universalism – Very good historical and biblical discussion of the issues related to those inside and outside of a relationship with Christ.
Chapter 8: The Victory of a Personal God – Brings the whole book together and concludes: “The God of Scripture is fuller, richer, deeper, and more real than the picture painted in “Love Wins,” and that God invites us to know him as he truly is.”
Appendix 1: Discussion Guide – Well done guide: it includes a key verse for each chapter; some key ideas and questions based on the key ideas from the chapter; and some key Scripture passages to read and discuss to bring clarity to each topic of discussion.
Appendix 2: Further Reading – Galli recommends a few books in the following categories: on the Atonement; Faith; Grace; Heaven; and Life in God.
Appendix 3: Charitable Engagement – Great advice here on how to engage with people that hold different opinions than you do – worth repeating here:
1) Try to listen carefully, and read and reread their arguments.
2) Listen in particular for the motive.
3) Aim to use the Bible as a guide to discern the truth of the person’s argument – and of your own argument.
4) Disagree with ideas, not with the person.
5) Be teachable.
6) Try to apply the truths of Scripture not merely as you understand them but as the historic church has held them.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I will be using it in a small group setting and I hope that this book receives a wide reading to reflect on the incredibly important topics of eternal significance that have been brought to the forefront of thinking biblically in order to impact culture for God’s glory and the supremacy of Christ.