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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

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peTer

I just listened to the audioversion, here is my quick response:

Why all this noise about a book (the rumours started even before the book was out) that does not, in anyway, tell us something new?

Bell is a master in raising questions without clearly answering them. it is a good thing that he raises some questions (or: recalls questions that others raised before) on some orthodox notions about heaven, hell, redemption and stuff like that.
What he does not do is fall into the usual pitfall of suggesting a universalist alternative. He just puts different opinions in juxtaposition and then says: it's ok if you believe that, you can still be a christian.

He does so in a beautiful way when he asks the question `does god get what he wants', concerning whether or not all people are to be saved. He persists asking this question for almost one chapter and then finally turns everything upside down by refraiming the question: if i would ask `do we get what we want?' the answer will surely be YES!
That is brilliant and proves the great rhetoric gift of the author. But it's not revolutionary, far from that...
There is no heresy in this book, at least i didn't find it.

Hans

Bell positions a statement: "Can it be correct that God will throw all millions upon millions into Hell." Subsequently, he positions another statement: This is what the Church believes. Lastly, he states: This is not Good News. He uses the techniques of the demagogue. He may or may not be a heretic - that depends of course on your own starting point - but he is certainly someone whose words need to be meticulously weighed on their merits. For his art is one of presenting an attractive proposition which may or may not be true.

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