April 28, 2011

My Only Criticism of Mike Wittmer's Book

I have one main criticism of Mike Wittmer's new book Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell's Love Wins.  Tragically, this book breaks Wittmer's streak of books with titles shared with 80's rock songs.  His previous books were Heaven is a Place on Earth and Don't Stop Believing.  Unfortunately, this book missed the chance to continue the streak using the 80's title: You Give Love a Bad Name. That would have been perfect.

Another option could have been Love Hurts, but that song is from the mid-seventies so it doesn't work. Plus, a derogatory title would have been a terrible idea. One of the strengths of this book is that it avoids attacking Rob Bell as a person even while explaining deep concerns with his theology. It doesn't fight straw men with straw men but instead deals with the deep issues with a combination of respect, insight, and conviction. Christ Alone is an ideal book for people thinking through the eternal issues raised in Love Wins. Wittmer helps us to see that the Bible's message is not embarrassing but a compelling story that fits the reality of God's holiness and the darkness of the human heart.

There are several excerpts from Christ Alone at the book's website http://www.christalonebook.com/.
This books reminds us that any message we give people is only loving if it is true. I've heard a lot of people say that no one should pass judgment on Rob Bell's book without reading it. I hope that these same people have the same openness to Mike Wittmer's reply. If you are someone who has read Love Wins and found it persuasive, I plead with you to read this book as well. Please don't say, "I don't need to read that book. I already know what it says." And if you do say that, please remember that when someone gives you the same reply about not reading Love Wins.

I highly recommend this book, even though I'm still depressed that it breaks Mike Wittmer's streak of titles that happen to be 80's rock songs. Therefore I vow that if I ever invent a time machine and go back to the 80's one of my main priorities will be to join a hair band and record a one hit wonder titled Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell's Love Wins. 

Related: Sentimentality Wins: A Short Summary of Rob Bell's Love Wins

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