I finished Love Wins over Thanksgiving Break, and honestly, I gave thanks for that. Not because it’s a difficult or laborious read, but because I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I finish a book.
So what did the book say? Or rather, what did the author, Rob, say?
Rob essentially said that love wins, which is the same thing (in his argument) as saying God wins. God desires that all people be saved. And Rob says God’s desire will be fulfilled. Whether you experience salvation in this life, or in the next, or somewhere in between, you will at some point, be won over by the love of God. Eventually, you will see it, understand it, accept it, and come into relationship with Him. You see, in the end, God gets what He wants. But He never does so through coercion, as Rob is careful to point out. The big idea of the book is summed up by Paul in 1 Corinthians, love never fails. Which means it/He always wins. Love wins.
That’s the basic argument, supplemented by plenty of Scriptures, set in their proper context. It is also supplemented by the notion that there are hells on earth and heavens on earth. And don’t forget, the argument also hinges quite a bit on the Greek word for “eternity” or “forever,” which is “aeon.”
So what do I think about all of this? I think there are hells on earth and heavens on earth. I think we can experience eternal life now if we begin to follow the ways of Jesus. And I think “aeon” is a tricky word to translate, especially in situations where Jesus is speaking in parables or using hyperbole.
I also think a strong understanding of context is crucial in interpretation. I think God wants us all to experience life eternal. I think heaven will be full of surprises. I think it’s hard to know exactly what happens when we die and how time and space and all of that will work once we are no longer in physical bodies. And last, but not least, I think God is love.
(Love Wins Part 3 will be coming soon.)
2 thoughts on “Love Wins (2)”
I read the book recently too. “Rob essentially said that love wins, which is the same thing (in his argument) as saying God wins,” is an accurate summary. I initially read it as part of a paper I wrote for a theology class that I just handed in yesterday on the various views of hell. I’d love to share it with you. In the meantime, though, Rich Day and I decided that I should turn the paper into a Saturday seminar for CCBCi on Jan 7. Info for that is on their website. Not to be self-promoting, but you and even the general public are invited, of course. After that you can have a copy of my paper if you are interested plus anything I put together for that Sat event – whether or not you come. But it would be kind of cool if you did come!
Dave–I obviously missed the seminar. We moved back to Crawfordsville at the turn of the year. I would, however, be interested in getting the paper and any additional resources from you. I am halfway thru Francis Chan’s response book, “Erasing Hell,” and if you haven’t read it, I would recommend it.