I read the book. This is my consequent attempt at the shortest book review ever.

06 Apr


Last week during my trip to Boston I finally read it.

I have five things to say about it.

That’s it.


* Don’t say another word about the book, or its author, until you’ve read it.  Don’t watch another interview or another vlog.  People have seriously misrepresented the agenda and content of this book, and thus having others read it for you will seriously skew your opinions. 

*Those who have commented on the book, specifically those who critique it for its lack of scholarship or incomplete references, are not the ones for whom the book was written.   It is a pastoral book.  It is first and foremost written for someone who has left the faith or struggles with faith.  Not for those who have the answers (although he challenges us Christians as well). 

*The book profoundly ministered to me.  It also deeply convicted me

*I do wish he wrestled more with what “judgment” is (and why it’s good) and with free will (and why it is not absolute, and why we at times do not do what we want).   He does reference, but doesn’t always show his work (although you can figure it out yourself if you do your own homework). But it honestly doesn’t bother me that much… It seems fairly clear that he wanted to streamline his arguments and to disencumber the reader as much as possible, and that doesn’t bother me, given his intended audience.  

* Again— READ THE BOOK YOURSELVES.   If you’re concerned about paying money for a potentially-heretical book, then sneak over to Barnes & Noble and read it there— seriously, you can read it in three hours if you want.  I’ll even lend you my copy, if you want.  But don’t read another one of the 87 million reviews/articles about this book.  Read it yourself—and even if you read it with a closed heart, at least you’ll have to wrestle directly with his words in order to disprove him. 


Stop reading this right now. 

Go to Amazon and get your own copy.

(And no, no one’s giving me money to endorse him. )


Posted by on April 6, 2011 in love


Tags: , , ,

7 responses to “I read the book. This is my consequent attempt at the shortest book review ever.

  1. Tim Ehrhardt

    April 6, 2011 at 6:27 am

    I read the book last week in just a couple of sittings. Just about everything Rob Bell writes or preaches is for two related groups of people: 1) the unchurched who have had a bad experience with church and/or Christians; and, 2) those who have grown up in legalistically bent churches and chucked the faith. I lived in Grand Rapids for 15 years, and know many people at Mars Hill for whom the ministry is a breath of fresh air to what they have endured in the past. Sure, I would have liked more exegesis and historiography to flesh out some of the ideas, but it wasn’t really written for me. I think a lot of people appreciate asking all the questions they have without giving standard black and white answers and being a know-it-all. I agree that the book is profoundly pastoral – and this is where we need to engage it.

  2. J.Yo

    April 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    You know what my main problem was? How the !@#% are you gonna charge me $22.99 for a book that has less than 100 pgs. of content?!? Particularly when you’ve got whole pages

    That are

    C’mon Rob, give me at LEAST5 more pages if you’re gonna charge me that much. Boo, HarperOne. Boo.

    Other than that, it was fine.

    • jlundewhitler

      April 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

      You paid 23 bucks???

      Did Rob Bell sign it?

      With a gold pen?

  3. J.Yo

    April 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

    That’s the cover price.

  4. J.Yo

    April 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

    we paid 12 for the NOOK version.

  5. J.Yo

    April 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

    …in hindsight, we got a pretty good deal.

    • jlundewhitler

      April 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm


      The list price on virtually any book is a joke. A ploy that allows book sellers to then appear as if they are slashing prices by 50%, which psychologically tricks the consumer into thinking they got a great deal on a book that was worth about the price they ended up paying for it.

      But yeah, 12 bucks for an e-copy is more reasonable.


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