Review of Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die by Bobby Conway

3 out of 5 stars
we live in a time when the Bible is constantly coming under scrutiny and overwhelmingly misconstrued to fit personal agendas and ideals. The most recent doctrine to come under attack has been the long-held view among Christians regarding the issue of Hell. Prompted mainly by the recent release of Rob Bell’s newest title, Love Wins, this issue has become a hot topic and source of grief to orthodox Christianity. As this book rose to the bestseller’s list, it became more and more evident that a future generation could be led astray by the popular influence of Rob Bell and his recent views presented in a carelessly researched and unscriptural fashion.
Bobby Conway, a Christian apologist, takes Rob Bell’s views, along with the scriptures Bell twisted to derive those views, and shows readers not only a strong defense for the orthodox view of Hell, but the fatal way Rob Bell easily manipulates in his book, Love Wins. Divided into three sections, Bobby Conway engages readers in three main issues: Hell, Rob Bell, and what happens when people die. Thus we have his release of Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die.
When I picked up this book, I didn’t know what to expect. While Rob Bell’s recent views upset me, I decided ahead of time I would not purchase Bell's book. I did, however, keep a close eye on the reviews and buzz discussed in Love Wins. Lucky for me, Bobby Conway presents his material in such a way that one does not have to have read Bell’s book to follow along with Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die. In addition, the arguments and thoroughly researched scriptures Bobby Conway presents are strong and convincing to defend orthodox Christianity. 
The second part of the book is more or less a giant review on Rob Bell’s book. While the author's review may seem overly critical, this part of the book is much needed as Conway points out the flaws in Bell’s arguments, leaving behind a trail of Scripture that leaves no room for doubt in reader’s minds that Bell has not only left Orthodox Christianity behind, but that there is no room in Orthodox Christianity (or Christianity at all, for that matter) to embrace Bell’s views.
When Love Wins first released, I followed many bloggers who reviewed the book. Most of them took Conway’s position and showed the flaws in Bell’s arguments. Many of the arguments those reviewers presented are the same ones Bobby Conway presents. For that very reason, I didn’t find this book particularly helpful. However, if you didn’t follow in-depth reviews that presented arguments against Bell’s theology, then this book is definitely for you. He also provides resources to additional information on certain topics, as well--which I did find very helpful. 
As a book, I can’t recommend one higher than this one to counter Bell’s views. This book is great for churches and small bible study groups. I believe it’s important for every Christian to study this issue so we can be prepared to counter the theology Bell has presented to our generation. Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die will be able to help you present evidence to the new ideas floating around.
I received a complimentary copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
Trailer for 
Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die
About the Author
Blog:The One Minute Apologist
Bobby Conway is the lead pastor of Life Fellowship Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the founder and host of the web-ministry the “One Minute Apologist” ( Bobby’s advanced degrees in theology and apologetics (ThM, Dallas Seminary and DMin, Southern Evangelical Seminary) equip him to provide insightful answers on issues of biblical faith.  Bobby and his wife, Heather, are the parents of two children, Dawson and Haley.

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Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die by Bobby Conway (C...

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Comment by Rebecca Dann on October 15, 2011 at 5:31pm

Hey Holly, thanks for responding. I am retired so have more time than you do. I did read Bell's book. Actually our church book group read it. I blogged about it here at Literati reflections. Your responses are typical of what I hear from many of my fundamentalist friends. We are an Evangelical Lutheran Church. Our pastor is fluent in Greek (and maybe you are too but I am not) and knowledgeable in Hebrew so of course we wanted to address what you said about what is perceived as Bell "twisting" the language. It won't do you and I any good to go onto theological differences so just know that I appreciated your response and you standing up for what you believe. I really do find it odd though that a learned person would read a work to refute another work which you haven't even read. The only thing I would say is when Jesus made that statement "I am the way..." he did not tell you or anyone in specific detail how that might be in every circumstance, so making up rules is something man has done and one should leave the door open as to how and when he does that. Nowhere in the scriptures are we told to start judging who "is in" and who is not. that is for the Lord to decide. I would suggest if you haven't read C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce that you might do so. I found a lot of similarities to things Bell suggests in that book. Anyway, I digress. It isn't whether I agree with Bell or not. I simply see no problem with reading about it and questioning. I do however object to others trying to keep me from reading it. Did I mention I am a librarian? Maybe why I am so sensitive. We feel, in our church, that people pointing fingers at very devout religious people who are good and do good things and to say they burn in hell forever because they do not ascribe to narrow, supposedly Christian prescriptive rules is not appropriate.

Anyway, best of luck to you.


Comment by Holly Renee on October 15, 2011 at 4:20pm

Hi Rebecca! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply. My job has taken a lot of time away from me being able to respond as promptly. I've had to work much later. I apologize for getting back to you so late.

The reason Love Wins is so  upsetting is because Rob Bell constantly twists the scripture to promote his own agenda. As one who has studied Greek, he literally twists the Greek in the Scriptures that he uses. Another upsetting fact is that he claims anyone can get to heaven without belief in Jesus, even though Jesus clearly said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to father except through me." He also said that, "The one who has not believed [in Him] is already condemned." The idea that Ghandi could  be in heaven when he openly proclaimed he didn't believe in Jesus as the only way to heaven, is against every Scripture in the Bible. Unless Ghandi chose to believe in Jesus during his last dying breath, the Bible is clear on the issue. While God is the ultimate Judge, and only He knows what Ghandi chose to believe in his last breath, the Bible is clear that those who don't believe will perish in eternal torment--which is why the church needs to take our responsibility seriously. If Ghandi held onto the belief that Jesus can't save, then we know he's not in heaven. But again, I can't judge anyone. I'll just have to wait until heaven to know what really happened. 

Bell also states that Jesus is manifesting himself as Muhammad or whatever way people choose to believe--as long as they have a religion. This can't even be true, because when other religions institute teachings that are are directly contrary to our holy God, then obviously Jesus has not manifested Himself in this way. Is it reasonable to believe that Jesus would manifest Himself as Muhammad, who claims that men may have multiple wives, when Jesus himself said that "From the beginning this is not so . . ." ? If this were true, that would automatically diminish the power of Jesus through contradiction, thus setting His entire person into question, leaving even Bell's theory that Jesus's love can save everyone, in direct contradiction simply Jesus would be less God at that point.

I definitely recommend you check out the book Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die. I know that you said are leery of books written specifically to attack someone else's thinking. . . but in all honesty that's kind of what Love Wins does. It attacks the way our thinking in the Biblical belief of Jesus and Hell. Maybe not in an "in your face" way, and not in an ugly way, but it does attack it. It setting itself up as an enemy to scripture. Paul warned us about these teachings. I look at Hell, Rob Bell, and What Happens When People Die a defense our traditional way of thinking. 


I hope this answered some of your questions. Let me know if it didn't. If you read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it :)


Comment by Rebecca Dann on October 2, 2011 at 5:38pm
Just curious but... I am a life-long Lutheran from a family of multi-generational Lutherans. Our church book discussion group just started Love Wins. I'm only on page 30 but it is a short book. We will be discussing this Tuesday. I was wondering what is so upsetting that one needs to study how to "counter" this person's ideas. I may get the Conway book reviewed just to see what the hullabaloo is all about but I am leery of books written specifically to attack someone else's thinking.

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