Transforming Apologetics: A Critical Apologetic Appraisal of Rob Bell’s Love Wins
An MA dissertation on the controversial book 'Love Wins' by Rob Bell, suggesting that the most appropriate way to read the book is as an apologetic work in the postmodern context. More
An MA dissertation on the controversial book 'Love Wins' by Rob Bell, suggesting that the most appropriate way to read the book is as an apologetic work in the postmodern context. Using a triangulation from Kevin Vanhoozer of Scripture, Church and World as a grid to examine the book, we look to see how effective 'Love Wins' is as an apologetic.
First, this paper sets the scene, telling the story of how Love Wins came to notoriety, then we expand on how best to read the book and why it matters.
Using Vanhoozer, we then examine Bell’s use of scripture in Love Wins, assessing the impact his approach makes to the apologetic value of the book.
Then we look at how Bell relates to the church in Love Wins; the authors he draws upon, the wider church conversations he takes part in, the criticisms he has for the church and how he wants the church to respond. For each of these, we look at the effect on the apologetic value of the book.
Finally, we look at how Bell has engaged with the world, exploring the postmodern context and how well Bell fits into it.
In conclusion, we are able to assess Bell’s contribution to postmodern apologetics and make some suggestions for how future postmodern apologetic work might be done. Love Wins makes a significant contribution to transforming postmodern apologetics, but a stronger apologetic would prefer scripture over experience more strongly and be more careful in its interaction with the church.