I joined my voice into the fray after I read Love Wins and jotted down some of my thoughts: Love Wins- A Critical Review . In that post, I stated that Rob brought great questions to the table...questions that, if we Christian leaders are honest have been asked but largely under-commented upon in the way in which Rob did. Questions and questioning are in fact good, and desperately needed but as I stated in my post on the book, Rob strayed from what the Bible states about Hell.
Francis Chan I think was ignited by this discussion on Hell, so much so he decided to join the conversation with his newest book Erasing Hell.
Francis is the person I feel should have done this. After reading his book, I realized that too many of us (myself included) have been too cavalier with the idea of Hell, treating it simply as a doctrine rather than a true destiny. Francis came at the subject with Holy Spirit led humility, refusing to bash Bell, or others who hold his view yet systematically dismantling the wrong theology Bell placed in his book.
Francis reminds us in this book that Hell is a serious deal and if we are "excited" to read a book about Hell, something is seriously wrong with us.
Francis does a remarkable job of bringing the severity and seriousness of Hell, but he also explains the Jewish view on Hell, Jesus view on Hell and the Christians view (who wrote about Hell in the New Testament). He takes us on the journey to see that if Jesus strayed from the view of Hell that his Jewish peers held, he would have had to seriously oppose it. Yet we see Jesus using similar language as those who held that Hell is a real, literal place of torment which will either be for eternity or annihilation, and doesn't leave room for one to leave once there.
Francis, I believe had the right attitude writing this book, an attitude that had I been writing wouldn't have been displayed. He says in the book that we become haughty and arrogant about our Biblical knowledge that we forget that real people, real souls are at stake. We must care for the lost and Francis shares openly in the book that he ignored talking about Hell because it embarrassed him. Yet after writing this book, he has a new passion and burden for the lost, because their lives on earth really do have sway in their eternal destiny.
I must say I was humbled by this book and taught much about Hell and why we Christians believe the way we do about it. Jesus desires all to know Him. We are the vessels to bring the Good News. Humbling, sobering thoughts indeed.
I encourage any one to read this book. It does go deeply into the doctrine of Hell and gets intense and very humbling. I am grateful to Francis for not only undertaking this effort, but humbly admitting that it is more serious than just fighting over doctrines...we're talking about live people's destinies...we can't afford to get this wrong.