love wins

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UPDATE #3 – (2/26/2011)

The internet is buzzing today about Rob Bell’s new book, called Love Wins.  Some prominent folks in the Reformed/Calvinist camp watched the promo video he put out, and have decided that it clearly means that Rob Bell is a universalist.  Well… why don’t we all just wait and read the book first. 🙂  But in the meantime, since this post is getting so many hits today, I figured I’d at least point people towards the video in question:

And now, back to my original post.  Thanks for stopping by!  And let’s remember that as followers of Jesus, if we don’t have LOVE, then we don’t have anything.

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Again, let me preface this post by saying that I may be sounding like a broken record again, but I think it’s with good reason because Rob Bell is the only person saying the things that NEED TO BE SAID AND HEARD. At least, the only person that can be heard by a large audience anyways, since I have no way of hearing about this stuff from “Joe Schmoe” the Senior Pastor at “Grace Bible Fellowship Community Chapel” even though he may be TOTALLY spot on with this stuff… OK, that’s enough of a preface. I’ll get on with it now:

LOVE WINS

Has anyone seen this on a bumper sticker or t-shirt before?  I haven’t, but I’ve heard about it. And this is the message that, as best I can tell, started it. Rob Bell spoke about the Cross and Jesus and what it means to the world as a whole, beyond the purely personal answer of “getting my butt out of hell” that we’ve been so fond of making the top priority.

You really should give this a listen if you’ve got a few free minutes… Maybe throw it on your mp3 player or burn it to CD and listen to it while you drive somewhere (that’s usually what I do). But the main point is this:

The cross is God’s way of saying, “Love Wins.”

I think his point is that the way that the entire universe works RADICALLY CHANGED through Jesus’s life and death on a Roman cross. He lived a life, filled with all the same opportunities for evil and injustice that we experienced, and yet NOT ONCE did he sin by responding in any way other than with love, forgiveness, etc. And then to top it off, he was defeated and killed by the “powers-that-be” of the day (Rome) and yet somehow turned that loss into a win for the Kingdom of God by not staying dead… 🙂

So how did all that RADICALLY CHANGE the universe? By making it so that the people that appear to be the winners, are actually losing… and the people that appear to be losing, are actually winning… And that in all situations, with all people, and in all ways, LOVE WINS. Revenge will no longer gain you any ground in this world (even though on the surface it may appear to) and instead, we should Love (even though on the surface it seems foolish).

I feel like all of this stuff, for the most part, isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) news to anyone who calls themself a Christian or a follower of Jesus, but if we stop for a second and ask ourselves “Do I respond with Love in every situation and circumstance that comes up during my day?”…

On most days, can we honestly say that we even TRIED to do this? I know that until recently, it didn’t cross my mind at all…

What would it look like if we even just made an ATTEMPT to do this everyday… How many people around you would be FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED if you started doing this… And thus, how many systems and institutions that we’re all a part of would start to change if the people in them started to change… How much of what Heaven is about would start to happen right here, right now…

I know that ultimately this life will always be filled with problems and evil because Sin exists in the world, but doesn’t this start to make you think that maybe… just maybe… this is what Jesus was talking about when he taught His disciples how to pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

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UPDATE #1  ( 8/9/08 ): I get so many hits on this post from people searching for “love wins bumper sticker”, so I decided that I would point people to a site that I found that actually sells the stickers, in case anyone is interested in getting one.  http://www.lovewins2.com (I’m not affiliated or connected with this site at all, FYI)

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UPDATE #2  ( 8/8/09 ): Mars Hill itself is apparently now selling the “Love Wins” stickers, for only a buck a piece!  You can order them here. Thanks to commenter grandrapidion for providing the link!

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13 thoughts on “love wins

  1. Curtis my brother:

    I’m on a Rob Bell kick after catching his latest speaking tour and I came across “love wins” sermons on your site. Sweet. I am only a recent “convert” (but addict) to the message of Jesus through the words of Rob Bell so I had only HEARD of these sermons and not been able to find them.

    That being said, I was wondering if you could let me know where I can find the audio files for them or if you could send them to me. They’d be a paramount inclusion to the IPOD.

    Blessings,
    Matt

  2. Curtis!

    Apologies for all of the (stalker-like) posts but I was wondering if you could let me know where to find the remaining “love wins” sermons or post them/send them to me if you have them.

    Thanks.

  3. Matty-

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m glad that you’re finding Rob Bell’s sermons helpful, I know they have been immensely for me…

    You can subscribe to the Mars Hill Church podcast through iTunes or from their website, marshill.org

    I HIGHLY recommend the series called “Jesus wants to save christians”… REALLY good stuff.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the rest of the “Love Wins” series, just that one that I’ve posted on here. If you find more of it somewhere else though, drop me a line here because I’d love to hear them as well!!!

    Again, thanks for stopping by!

  4. It’s important to keep in mind that the goal of the video was to create interest in (and sell) Rob’s new book. Rob is provocative, he always has been. But he raises some interesting questions. And I agree with Dr. McKnight, Piper’s comment was not worthy of someone of his stature. An important step in clarifying your beliefs is to talk about and even defend them. So the fact that the publicity campaign for Rob Bell’s book has provided an impetus for Christians to actually do theology (to figure out what they think about God) is a positive thing. Even if you disagree with Bell, it’s important for Christians to wrestle with what they believe. Another great resource on heaven, what it’s like and who will be there is “Heaven Revealed” by Dr. Paul Enns, released this month by Moody Publishers. I recommend it. Here’s the amazon page: http://dld.bz/P8sz

  5. +1

    for Rob’s take on heaven/hell

    hell has been such a stumbling block for me on the character of god…. this message inspires me and I want back in, a god this good is one I can trust….

    i actually feel inspired to tell people about god again, something I havent done for at least half a decade,

    j

  6. James- Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I’m so glad to hear that you are inspired to tell people about God again.

    I think that if Rob’s message is driving you back to God, and is driving you towards witnessing to others about His great love for us, then I think his book has served its purpose.

  7. I read the book and absolutely love it!! So excited that someone had the guts to write it! And bring so much depth and Scriptural truth to it. It really challenged my thinking and God is EVEN BIGGER now to me than I had previously recognized. God is awesome! So glad Rob Bell wrote his book. Thanks for the tips on his sermon and explaining the bumper sticker!!

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