The twitter megarow over the new book by megachurch pastor, Rob Bell, is a peculiarly American affair. Called Love Wins, it’s attractively presented/cleverly marketed by the publishers, provoking a top ten twitter trend a week or so back.
The nature of the row? Universalism. Is everyone saved by Jesus or not? Very American. (Sorry: Bell tends to write in staccato sentences, and like everything to do with this undoubtedly excellent communicator, it’s a little infectious.)
I’m penning a piece for the Guardian, so more anon. But for now – and in the spirit of quoting chapter and verse, which Bell can do against the best of them – the key text from the book, it seems to me, is this:
Will everybody be saved,
or will some perish apart from God forever because of their choices?
Those are questions, or more accurately, those are tensions we are free to leave fully intact. We don’t need to resolve them or answer them because we can’t, and so we simply respect them, creating space for the freedom that love requires.
Do I detect something of the agnostic spirit? Bell wisely cannot say how, but the mystery is that love wins.