Now maybe in my speed reading I missed something vital but it doesn't seem particularly heretic to me. In fact what he says is what I've believed for years, namely that at some point in their dying people who've spent a lifetime denying God's existence or follow another religion are given another chance by God. (I think that's the crux of what he says and what the fuss is about.) It seems to me to be borne out by Christ's words to the thief on the cross and the parable he told about the workers who didn't start working until late afternoon yet got the same pay as those who began early morning. It still involves having free will and making a choice. From my understanding Rob Bell wasn't saying you go to heaven because you lived a good life nor was he saying that everyone goes to heaven.
I think I held out against reading it because it was 'the' book to read, and he is the 'in' preacher in some circles. And I'd assumed that he must be making light of the role Jesus played and that I wouldn't agree with him. But then it was recommended by someone I know doesn't follow fashion but is prepared to get his hands dirty for Jesus for people.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the book keeps the focus very much on Jesus and working towards bringing God's kingdom to earth now, that faith in God isn't only - or even particularly - about what happens to you when you die, but about the here and now, and about the difference knowing you have someone who loves you unconditionally, who would give everything for you, can make to damaged lives. I'd rather people, especially those I love, discover that earlier than later but better late than never.