Jeff Myers, from Passing the Baton and Summit Ministries, has written a helpful review of Love Wins the controversial book on heaven, hell and judgment by Rob Bell. Here's an excerpt:
C.S. Lewis was once reading a periodical in which the author claimed that "the fundamental thing is how we think of God.' Lewis replied indignantly, "By God Himself, it is not! How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important."(1)
"How do you shape God?" is the kind of question postmoderns ask one another. The assumption is, "You define your own reality, so whatever you feel is what matters." In his new book, Love Wins, Pastor Rob Bell embraces this perspective enthusiastically. He repeatedly says, almost mantra like, "You shape God. And then God shapes you."
According to Bell, the main thing that keeps people away from Christianity is that they don't feel good about a God whose "shape" is such that He would condemn the unrepentant to hell. To help people feel better, he argues, we need to reshape God and tell folks that God's love will eventually woo everyone. Furthermore, since God's love doesn't seem to be wooing everyone here on earth, we need to tell people that God has some kind of plan for saving people after they die.
So What Is The Real Problem Here?
If it were true that the doctrine of hell is what really bothers non-believers, one would expect to find them flocking to liberal churches that deny that hell even exists. That's not happening. People are staying away from liberal churches in droves.
With very few exceptions, the churches winning converts are the ones that teach orthodox doctrines of God, heaven, hell, the Bible and so forth.