(this post is indicative of Bell's writing style, take a look next time you're in Borders)
Bell, regardless of whether or not you agree with him on every detail or viewpoint, is a great provocateur in his sphere.
The general message and the interpretive tools he used are not all that cutting edge for academia and Christendom in general.
But they are
in the West,
in the 21st century,
as part of a potential empire (who doesn't in every circumstance consider itself an empire except for when it is beneficial or convenient).
And as conservative (yes, he is still rather conservative as far as academia goes) and a Zondervan author;
I applaud him. For his guts, soundness, creativity.
I also applaud Zondervan for publishing titles like his, Shane Claiborne's, and a few others that push the envelope for their target audience.
Professor Ben Witherington III says about Bell, "Rob has a considerable gift of being able to speak clearly and directly even about complex theological and ethical concepts, and he understands the need to tease the mind into active thought."
I recommend this book. It makes you think. It points out some things you may have never considered in Scripture, in our culture and abroad. Read discerningly and respond accordingly.