New book offers insights into God’s promises
By Mark Ellis
Missionary evangelist and author Jason Frenn admits he comes from a crazy family background. He was three-years-old when his parents separated, nine when they divorced, and at 13, his mother re-married a man 32-years older. She was his sixth wife.
“My step-dad had been down the center aisle to say ‘I do’ so many times he had permanent rice marks on his forehead,” Frenn says. As his mother struggled with depression and a drinking problem, he visited church with a Hispanic family who lived nearby in Big Bear, California.
Amidst a power outage and a light snow falling outside, Frenn warmed to a powerful message delivered by the pastor about breaking generational “chains” and setting captives free.
By Athol Dickson
author & guest blogger, Athol Dickson
Rob Bell is at it again. He has never shied away from controversy, and apparently his new book, Love Wins, is no exception. With the book not yet even released, already such stalwart evangelicals as Albert Mohler and John Piper are calling it heretical. An executive with a Christian publishing company, Justin Taylor, was apparently an early voice in the outrage against what Rob Bell might have written. (Taylor says on his blog, “I have not read all of Bell’s book, though I have read some chapters that were sent to me. . . . I think that the publisher’s description combined with Bell’s video is sufficient evidence to suggest that he thinks hell is empty and that God’s love (which desires all to be saved) is always successful.”) Speaking as a novelist and non-fiction author, I’m surprised a man with Mr. Taylor’s background in publishing would assume Rob Bell had total control over his publisher’s advertising copy. It’s possible, of course, but I could tell several disaster stories to demonstrate it ain’t necessarily so, and I’ll bet Mr. Taylor could, too. Take the trailer for Love Wins as an example. Are we expected to believe that Rob deliberately set out to do an Uncle Fester imitation? Surely that sweater was some publicist’s decision. (Sorry Rob.)
Rather than basing a response on what the man’s publisher wrote, unlike Justin and Al and John I think I’ll wait until I read what Rob wrote before I pronounce judgment from on high.
That said, the trailer does make it seem like Rob’s upcoming book will take on some tough questions about salvation. What is it, exactly? How is it made possible? Bell’s video asks if Gandhi is in hell, and he asks if we have the right to say so. Again, since the book is not yet out, everything is speculation, but it seems like Rob intends to explore the ideas of heaven and hell, and how we get to one or the other, and he intends to look at it a bit more broadly than Drs. Mohler and Piper might prefer. So what’s the problem exactly?