Comments on Robb Bell’s ‘Love Wins’

Robb Bell’s latest book has raised a number of issues for me. The first is his way of communicating his views. Instead of stating what he believes, he asks a plethora of questions, many of which are essentially, ‘would a loving God condemn people to eternity in Hell?’ It is good to ask this sort of question, and asking questions is a valid communication and teaching method. However, at some point or other a responsible and influential author and teacher needs to state what he actually believes to be true, and why he believes it to be true. Unfortunately Robb Bell doesn’t really do this and as a result his readers are left to draw their own conclusions as to what he is saying.

This leads me to a second issue, which is the way many people have responded to ‘Love Wins’. I am surprised that so many critics have had the confidence, or temerity, to state boldly that Robb Bell is a universalist, a heretic, and even a hell-inspired false prophet without even entering into dialog with him and attempting to clarify his contentions. I even read early critiques that started with the words, ‘although I have not read the book I …’ This sort of attitude to a Christian leader is more than regrettable, it is just wrong.

A third issue for me is the apparent way in which Robb Bell seems to attempt to establish truth. I say ‘apparent’ and ‘seems’ because I, like others, can only deduce his theology from his flood of leading questions. The approach appears to be, God is loving and just; an eternal Hell is neither loving or fair; therefore Hell cannot be of God. The problem is that the second clause of this construct is simply Robb Bell’s personal opinion. Truth, as I see it, has its basis in the Word of God. The written Word of God is the Bible and the living Word of God, the Bible’s author and object, is the Lord Jesus Christ. So, truth is established by interpreting the Bible from a Jesus-centred perspective. And here is the rub; Jesus had quite a bit to say concerning Hell. Any valid contention that Hell does not exist must be responsibly Word-based or it fails to classify as an Evangelical Christian position.

Perhaps a better question to ask would be, ‘Why would a loving God consign people to eternal Hell?’ We would then attempt to answer this from a Christ-centred interpretation of what the scriptures have to say concerning sin, salvation, heaven, and hell.


Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler



1 thought on “Comments on Robb Bell’s ‘Love Wins’”

  1. Adding to what Christ said regarding hell, is just as bad, if not worse, considering the continual guilt and manipulation leverage it has given to and been used by church “leaders” to falsely bully people into salvation. Taking it further to put people under a system of works to keep their salvation, just in case God is in a bad mood one day, or he considers one of your sins too much to allow you in to heaven. Religion, will always be what it is, no matter what type, the real hell on earth.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.