Tuesday, August 16, 2011

God Wins by Mark Galli

It seems like the Christians are responding with a ferocity to Rob Bell's Love Wins. How many response books do we need? What happens when there are ten or twenty books critiquing Love Wins yet each have slightly different arguments? Won't that confuse the issue even further?

On the other hand, it seems that this is how we have a national/global debate - via books.

Mark Galli has offered his views through God Wins. This book goes out of it's way to show how it is the bane of Love Wins. The title font is similar yet the cover is white while Love Wins is black. (See the subtle message? Love Wins, bad. God Wins, good.)

I appreciate how these authors are patient with Bell and others who believe as he does. I also appreciate how civil they seem to be. However, I was dismayed to read Galli state that he wasn't going to criticize Rob Bell but only the book; as if you could separate the two. I didn't understand that. How can you criticize the ideas in a book and bypass the author of those ideas? It seemed like a pretty sleazy way to appear "nice".

Galli provides the basic teachings of God, Jesus, the Bible and hell that many people are familiar with. This is why I think if you've read one response book, you've read them all.

Galli criticizes Bell's way of using the power of emotion to get his point across (As if emotion causes thinking to be skewed.) and then uses emotional illustrations to get his own points.

There are moments in this book where I thought them to be great reactions to some of the theology of Bell. There were other moments where I could almost hear Bell nod along and say, "That really doesn't touch on what I'm saying"

One final critique: Galli repeatedly agrees with a point Bell brings out but then argues that more needs to be said. This caused me to think Galli wanted Bell to write a longer book! "Come on Bell, if you're going to talk about hell you need to write a massive tome. Everyone knows that."

God Wins is a book that covers much more than just hell and the afterlife. It will please those who hate Rob Bell and frustrate those who agree with him.

God Wins: Heaven, Hell, and Why the Good News Is Better than Love Wins

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Tyndale Publishing

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