David C. Cook
Hell is Real (But I Hate to Admit it) by Pastor Brian Jones is a wake-up call to Christians and non-Christians about the very real Hell that many will have to face. Pastor Jones is the senior pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley, a church he started. For a long time, Jones did not believe in Hell. When his world was changed, he radically altered his teaching and goals. Hell is Real is Pastor Jones’ forceful outreach.
Right away, Jones sets an effective tone. He is both strong and up front in his message, but also personal and friendly. His style never comes across as superior, and he adds comedy along with deep theology. His voice isn’t alone in this. Jones uses numerous references from the Bible, as well as a number of other sources from researchers and theologians like himself. The most impacting part of his book, however, comes from the countless stories of his own life. Pastor Jones offers numerous anecdotes from his personal history, not all of them flattering. His real life experiences provide context to the ideas he presents.
Jones does run into a few problems in his work. His chapters are manageable, but can seem to drag on. Ideas aren’t always consistent in each part of the same chapter. On a more theological note, not everything that Pastor Jones says seems to be traditional thinking. He mentions a couple of times how a Bible verse had different meaning in the past from what it has now. Whereas he always defends his points well, some still feel a little off. He is in no way discrediting the Bible, but the interpretations he asserts may seem “different” to conservative readers.
Hell is Real (But I Hate to Admit it) is a strong message to Christians. It not only covers the topic of Hell, but evangelizing and being a stronger believer as well. The personal story of Pastor Brian Jones makes him all the more qualified to write this book. I would recommend it to those who are looking for a spiritual challenge, as well as those who doubtful about the existence of Hell. – Todd Naevestad, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Jones believes that the reason most Christians don't tell their friends about Jesus has nothing to do with not knowing how-it's because they don't think they need to. As Jones writes, the first four years he was a pastor, he didn't believe in hell himself. Today, he shares his story of discovering the truth that hell exists-and why many Christians are afraid to believe in it.
Hell Is Real motivates Christians who have grown complacent in their view of hell. Drawing on the teachings of Jesus, Jones leads readers into a head-on collision with apocalyptic urgency-the all-consuming, inspiring conviction that will overcome readers when they realize that hell is real and they can help save people from going there.