I'm only a bit more than halfway through right now, and so far, I think the book is excellent. I strongly recommend reading it. Please, please do not just making judgements on what you hear others say about it, or put it down when it seems untrue. Do not skim, but read the entire book. Do I believe every word he writes? I'm not sure yet, as it does go against some of what I was raised up to believe as truth. I am reading it with the book in one hand, and my bible in the other...as well as many, many open discussions with those around me who I trust. But, Bell is an excellent theologian and has a gift for exploring topics.
What I love about this book are the discussions it opens up. I also love that it truly get's us to think about what we believe. Why are we so threatened by a book?
I think the biggest thing about this book for me is that you cannot read it and not be changed by it. When we argue and discus the controversies surrounding the book, we are MISSING the point of the book completely. Completely. Bell is challenging the church to get out of our self centered, simple mindset and look at the world as Jesus saw it. He wants us to almost forget about the "Heaven & Hell" debates, and bring the kingdom of God to this earth. There is hope today, not just someday, somewhere down the road. If we live our lives not showing other people the hope that is in Christ for today, we are missing it.
or this one...