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Christian Focus Across the Web - March 18, 2011

Gavin MacKenzie

Christian Focus Across the Web highlights important news and blog posts related to our books. This week’s highlight is below:

Over the past few weeks, there has been much discussion in both traditional and online media about Rob Bell's new book Love Wins (HarperOne, 2011), which touches on the topics of heaven, hell, and salvation.  Many pastors and Christian bloggers have encouraged readers to approach Bell's book with great caution. In his twenty page review on The Gospel Coalition web site, Kevin DeYoung notes some of the reasons readers should be wary:

"there are dozens of problems with Love Wins. The theology is heterodox. The history is inaccurate. The impact on souls is devastating. And the use of Scripture is indefensible. Worst of all, Love Wins demeans the cross and misrepresents God’s character."

In addition to the many thorough reviews and critiques of Bell's book from the likes of Tim Challies, Justin Taylor, and others, the discussion has spurred many blog posts and articles talking about orthodox views of heaven and hell and why what we believe about these topics really matters.  This past week on the reformation 21 blog, Christian Focus author Ligon Duncan posted an article titled Speaking Seriously and Sensitively about Hell to the Sons of this Age and the Next.

The intent of the article is to answer the question, "What Should the preacher do with hell and eternal punishment?" We were pleased to see that one of the resources he recommends in the article is Donald Macleod's A Faith to Live By (Christian Focus, 2010), which he  says offers a "powerful and sobering presentation" on hell. You can learn more about A Faith to Live By at the corresponding product page at  LINK.

Two additional books you should consider on this topic are Jonathan Edwards and Hell (Mentor, 2004) by Chrisotpher Morgan and The Other Side of the Good News (Christian Focus, 2003) by Larry Dixon. In our day and age, nobody seems to like the doctrine of hell so a far more comfortable option has been redeveloped and supported in recent years: Annhilationism, the idea that the lost are destroyed rather than suffer endless punishment in hell. Morgan's book summarises the strengths and weaknesses of the major protagonists on both sides and then points to the influential American Theologian, Jonathan Edwards, as an example of how best to answer the theory. Edwards presents a convincing response, one that we today would do well to study. You can learn more about Jonathan Edwards and Hell at the corresponding product page at LINK.

Dixon's book examines many of the current theories on hell and encourages the reader to take the Bible's teaching on Hell as seriously as Jesus Christ did in order to tell people the Good News that we know so that they won't spend eternity on The Other Side of the Good News. Dixon looks at three alternative views to the traditional doctrine of hell,

universalism, annihilationism and post-mortem conversion. In the last chapter he asks "Does it make any difference what view Christians hold about the Other Side?" and "Can there be alternative positions within the church?" You can learn more about The Other Side of the Good News at the corresponding product page at LINK.  Be sue to check out the sample chapter we have included below:

The Other Side of the Good News - Chapter 2

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