The book ‘Love Wins’, by Pastor Rob Bell, is continuing its climb up the New York Times Bestseller List.

Bell, author and founder of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, has expressed his surprise at the criticism and condemnation he has received in the religious community. In several statements, he shared that he had no way of knowing his book would become as controversial as it has.

The reason religious organizations and leaders are upset by the book revolves around Bell’s theory of heaven, hell and what it entails. In the book Bell shares a belief that maybe things do not work exactly as they are being taught in many churches.

Many religious leaders say the book espouses universalism, a view that teachers that anyone can be saved regardless of their religious beliefs. Bell has denied the accusation. However, the views expressed are not in line with those shared by many Christian organizations and this has led to many of them condemning the book and Bell. The author has said this fact has left him shocked.

Bell admitted in recent weeks that the entire experience has been painful, but that he has used it to learn and grow. He shared that he only wanted to show that God is love and that people’s focus should be on showing this through their lives and actions while here on earth.

If the controversy has affected book sales it has only been for the positive. Love Wins is currently sitting in the number two spot on the NY Times Bestseller List for Hardcover Advice and Misc books. If it continues to gain momentum, it could be taking over the number one spot whether in spite of, or because of, the controversy surrounding it.