“Hell” is the title of Bell's third chapter, and there he acknowledges that “God gives us what we want, and if that’s hell, we can have it” (p. 72). This is due to “the freedom that love requires” (p. 111). (One of my seminary professors used to say that hell is “Love’s rejection of the rejection of love.”)
But the lack of love creates hells for others now. And Bell observes, “Often the people most concerned about others going to hell when they die seem less concerned with the hells on earth right now, while the people most concerned with the hells on earth right now seem the least concerned about hell after death” (pp. 78-79). Bell prefers the latter position.
Not surprisingly, some conservative/fundamentalist Christians have staunchly criticized Bell’s views on hell and related matters. And a Methodist pastor in North Carolina has even been dismissed from his pastorate because of his positive statements about Bell’s book. (You can read about the pastor and church here.)
As for me, I was favorably impressed with Bell’s book. At the very least, it gives us a lot that we need to think about seriously and to discuss. I wondered, though, why he did not deal with the position known as annihiliationism. I write about that idea and other matters related to hell in my The Limits of Liberalism (pp. 225-7), ending that section by saying that my position ”does not embrace the harshness of the traditional view, but still takes sin and its consequences much more seriously than the position held by most Christian liberals.”