Thursday, July 14, 2011

review: God Wins by Mark Galli

There’s been a lot of hype about Love Wins by Rob Bell, some of it arguably well deserved, but some of it seemed like a knee jerk reaction, especially when you find out that some of the loudest noise was coming from people who hadn’t actually read the book. The teasers that publishers put out are meant to get your attention, and it certainly worked in this case.
Having said that, it’s time to move on to God Wins. Mark Galli presents a defense of the gospel teachings about God, Heaven and Hell at the expense of Bell’s book.
God Wins is a well thought out response; Galli addresses the questions that Bell raises, and reminds us that none of the questions raised by Bell are actually new. As human beings we try to justify ourselves, through our actions, our words, and even our questions, and as Galli points out, “our questions are largely driven by a desire to justify ourselves, to put God in the dock, and to don those judicial robes.”
Galli points out that in the books of Habakkuk and Job, we can see that people have been asking God those hard questions since a very early time in our history. And God's answers aren’t what we expect. God’ view of what’s important differs from ours. His answer may be ‘loving silence’.
Throughout the book Galli is careful to use scripture to back up his arguments and rebuttals, careful to use Jesus’ teachings in context, and careful to not attack Bell as so many others seem to have done. He takes a logical approach to the subject matter, and address Bell’s points one by one, offering an alternative view. He points out where he and Bell agree, and where he thinks that Bell should have gone a little further.
Overall I felt that this was a fair analysis of Bell’s book, sound reasoning, backed by scripture, and the study questions at the end of the book are helpful and thought-provoking. Not necessarily an easy read, but given the culture in which we find ourselves, definitely a book that needed to be written.

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