What Does “Love Wins” Really Mean?

Apparently a good way to piss off a good number of Christians is to start asking questions.

If you really pay attention, that’s pretty much all Rob Bell does in his newest video and has caught all kinds of hell because of it. His newest book, “Love Wins”, isn’t slated to be released until the end of March, but it’s already causing an uproar. When Bell starts to ask questions about what kind of loving God would send people to an eternity of torment, people get all kinds of pissed.

A lot of conservative Christians with Twitter accounts felt the need to completely lambast Bell on charges of universalism. But if you pay attention to it, that’s not what he’s saying at all. Before we go any further… Take a look at the video in question.

It’s a pretty compelling piece. The music swells at just the right time and the thick-rimmed glasses are never out of place. But behind that is a pretty intense message. And, really, is this not the message we preach every Easter? Don’t we preach that “love wins”? That through Christ’s conquering of Hell we are reconciled back into relationship with God?

To that point, I think it’s important to get to the bottom of what “universalism” really means. Universalism has tended to be [warning: broad generalization ahead] a passive, anything-goes, whatever-path-up-the-mountain sort of mentality. Universalists emphasize the universal principles in any/all religions. Usually a belief in one common truth is an important tenet to what Universalists believe.

But this isn’t what the phrase “Love Wins” is talking about. It’s not saying any way that we choose will get us to Heaven. It’s saying that the cross and resurrection is a once-and-for-all, saving act of God for us. I forget which theologian said this, but at some point, someone said “God’s yes is stronger than your no”. We can resist. We can fight. But God’s yes on the cross is stronger than any resistance we can muster.

Do you see the difference? It’s not because anything goes. It’s because Christ has already gone. He’s gone before you into into the depths of Hell to bring you back to where you belong. Back into community with God.

I have no idea whether this will actually be in the book. But this is what “Love Wins” means to me.



  1. *high five.

  2. Love it!


  1. […] 5. What Does “Love Wins” Really Mean? […]

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