Count me among those who have not yet read the most-talked about book of 2011, Love Wins by Rob Bell. While I have not read the book, I have certainly followed the controversy surrounding its publication with interest. Numerous pixels and bandwidth has been spent both in defending and correcting Bell's latest work. Among them comes a book by Mark Galli titled God Wins.
Galli begins by very charitably stating his purpose is not to critique Bell personally but to scrutinize the position he states through the lens of Scripture. He then takes a careful and considerate look at the major points of Bell's thesis and holds each point up to the truthful light of God's Word. The results are then left to the reader to decide.
The over-arching picture that emerges is one of simplicity. Galli very often is forced to point out that while Bell has not stated anything that of itself is heretical, he has also not given a full scriptural answer to the questions he raises and seeks to answer. In fact, Bell has reduced the message of salvation from a message of the good news that God has displayed His glory by accomplishing what mankind could never accomplish to a message that places God at man's disposal. By reducing the message of the gospel, Bell reduces the display of God's glory, minimizes the work of the Holy Spirit, and elevates man's role in salvation. In several short chapters -- I read the book in two sittings -- Galli presents a brief yet thorough synopsis of salvation that is every bit as compelling and easy to understand as many of Bell's essays and lectures. It is not the subject matter that is difficult to grasp, it is Bell's coverage of it that is insufficient.
Galli is as quick to point out where Bell is spot-on correct as he is to highlight errors or oversights. The book comes with a discussion guide that would prove beneficial to small groups studying the matter together. The appendix on charitable discussion is a great summary of what Galli has done in his book. The book is a great real-life application of those brief paragraphs.
The final conclusion, according to Galli, is that the winner is a Who (God), not a what (love). It is God who wins. I could not agree more. I commend this book to anyone interested in the subject of salvation, anyone who has already read Bell's Love Wins, as well as others who -- like me -- have not read Bell's book. Galli does a wonderful job bringing the Bible to bear on a subject that is of vital importance now to all believers. – Charles Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins, has generated a national conversation about ultimate issues, such as the nature of hell, heaven, and the ultimate destiny of humankind. Yet, the book has also created unnecessary confusion. God Wins is a response to the provocative questions Love Wins has raised. In God Wins, Mark Galli explores the important questions that are left unasked and the issues left uncharted. Mark shows how Love Wins is not enough—and that there is even better news for our world. Includes a group-discussion guide with relevant Scripture passages.