So, I started reading "Erasing Hell" by Francis Chan last night. You shouldn't always just read stuff you expect to agree with, right? A report.
He starts off by saying that no matter how many "filters we sollicited to purify the words of this book, it's still fallible". So far, so good. But then continues: "Because of this, we have included many direct quotes from the Scripture. Read the Scriptures we've quoted as truth directly from the mouth of God".
Wait a minute. "Read the Scriptures WE've quoted as truth directly from the mouth of God". No sir. We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, no selection will do. Only all of Scripture together will do, and then we must realize we are still interpreting, as are you, Mr. Chan.
Then he continues and shares how he freaked out when his grandmother died, because, "according to what I knew of the Bible, she was headed for a life of never ending suffering". Well, I appreciate honesty, it's good to share where you are coming from when you approach a subject. Good! He also explains how through time, he changed his view on issues, because he understood the Bible better, later on. His point is, "we should not hang on to the idea of hell simply because it is what my tradition tells me to believe. And neither should you." Good!
He then proceeds telling us that "God has the right to do WHATEVER He pleases". Yes, and? That has never given us the right to make up interpretations that contradict whe He revealed about Himself. Sounds very Calvinistic to me. Bad.
He quotes Isaiah 55:9, God's ways are higher etc. So we must submit to them. Conveniently forgets that His ways are higher, because He forgives and we do not. Ever heard of context, Mr. Chan? Bad.
Chapter 1, Does Everyone Go To Heaven? First question he wants to settle, "Do you want to believe in a God who shows his power by punishing non-Christians and who magnifies his mercy by blessing Christians forever?". Of course not, he rightly answers. But then he asks, "Could you"? Reason: he wants us to believe what the Bible says (good idea, unless it means, what HE thinks the Bible says).
Then he starts of with a brief survey of universalism. Quotes Rob Bell as finding this view "compelling" and setting forth a "similar position". He then quotes from "Love Wins" and says that "Bell suggests that every single person will embrace Jesus". The quote is from page 107 where Bell also does a survey of views. So it would be equally honest for me to say that Chan supports universalism, and quote from his book where he describes it, as Chan stating that Bell does so.
At this point, I got sick and laid down the book. Not sure if I can continue. If you quote the Scriptures out of context, quote an author out of context, and all of that in the first couple of pages of your book, you might want to try again.
Think I'll stick with The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment