Thursday, July 21

God Wins by Mark Galli

God Wins by Mark Galli
*please note that I have read Love Wins, though I have not reviewed it at this time.

As soon as Rob Bell's Love Wins was first announced, a huge fury of criticism rose against him.  Many acted as if they knew exactly what Rob was going to say based purely on the title, subtitle, and a short teaser trailer.  The book's release served to fuel the criticism of some, but it also caused people to think and engage with new ideas.  Not everyone who read the book agreed with Rob Bell, but not everyone who disagreed with him harshly criticized him.  In the wake of Love Wins, it seems publishers decided to hit on a potential goldmine by releasing books responded to Love Wins.  God Wins, by Mark Galli, is one such book.

Subtitled, "Heaven, Hell, and Why the Good News is Better than Love Wins," Mark seeks to provide a discussion concerning ideas brought up in Love Wins, and he does so with love.  Unlike some of Rob Bell's more vocal opponents, Mark is gracious and instead of trying to judge Rob, he breaks down Love Wins to examine the ideas closely.  This was an instant plus for me, especially considering that every time I turn on the news I hear politicians bickering with each other over whose fault a problem is and how to fix it.  Bickering, fighting, and aggressive disagreement is unfortunately too common today.  Mark not only seemed like someone who I would enjoy having lunch with, but he seemed like the kind of guy who could have lunch with Rob Bell and get along perfectly well.

Mark admits that he likes much of what Rob has to offer.  Many descriptions in Love Wins of God are often beautiful and thought provoking.  Throughout his book, Mark isn't afraid to mention when he agrees with Rob on a point, or when he at least understands Rob's thoughts and, to a degree, likes them.  But there are many times where Mark doesn't think that Rob's description is completely accurate or doesn't go far enough (most of this comes when Mark is critiquing Rob's presentation that "God is love").

Chapters range from heaven to hell, to the person of God, and to problems that Mark sees with Universalism.  Through it all, Mark is civil, polite, and above all, writes in Christian love.  He quotes extensively from Love Wins, and also provides numerous scriptural references to support his views.

This is how I wish more disagreements were handled.  I cannot recall a single time where Mark made a personal attack on Rob Bell.  I cannot think of a single time where he condemned Rob, where he spoke angrily, or where he completely dismissed Love Wins as foolishness or as heretical.  He disagrees with many of Rob's conclusions, but he doesn't attempt to paint Rob as heretical or foolish.

If you have read Love Wins, and are still unsure of it, or are unsure on how to respond, this is an excellent book to read.  It provides compelling ideas and constructive critiques of Love Wins and may be able to help you in understanding Love Wins.  If you liked Love Wins I would still recommend this book, because I think it's good to understand the feelings of those who disagree with you.  If the only criticisms of Love Wins you have heard were hateful, give this a try.  You may not agree with everything.  That's okay.  Sometimes it's how you disagree that reveals the most about you.

My one gripe (which I will not hold against the book) is that I received a digital edition of the book from the publisher for the review and it is only accessible for two months and after that I will not be able to re-read it.

4.5/5 Stars

I received this book free from Tyndale through Net Galley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the review! I work in PR for Tyndale and am happy to send you the finished copy of God Wins for your library or to share with others. Please email me at with your mailing address.