Having read Love Wins, I can confidently say that Rob Bell never takes a universalist stance. The reason I can say this with confidence is that Rob Bell does not take a confident stance on much of anything. I could say that "Rob Bell strongly hints at poetic imagery that probably suggests that universalism is probably a better story that really, really seems to probably be what Rob Bell thinks he might probably believe."
On the one hand, I appreciate that he seems somewhat open on the topic. On the other hand, if he wasn't going to say anything, he could have saved me $11 and not written the book in the first place.
In a recent interview Martin Bashir confronts Rob Bell with some hard questions, uncomfortable, unpopular questions about God and human suffering. (You can watch the video by clicking here.) Some have argued that Bashir was a little bit hostile in the interview. I'm not sure it matters. The world never guarantees us easy questions or comfortable settings. In fact the hard questions almost always come with a bite, because the questioner is hurting and needs an answer, a certain one. Rob Bell didn't have a certain answer for Martin Bashir.
My intention is not to attack Bell or to state all the things he should have said. The fact is, interviews are difficult. You usually finish thinking about all the things you wished you'd said. Don't judge him for not being quick with words under pressure. It's not easy to take on the biggest apologetic question in history on national television.
The point here is not Bell's mistake. The point is that a certain answer would have been a lot better than an uncertain one.
Bashir wanted an answer. The viewers wanted an answer. The world wants an answer. I think even Bell wanted an answer.
Certainty has its place. It is evidenced in our disappointment when we can't think of the right thing to say. It is evidenced in the poignant questions of reporters. It is evidenced when the bomb squad technician says "green wire."
We want answers. We need the truth.
God doesn't want us to be uncertain. He wants us to be humble. Humility, in the context of truth means putting God (not one's self) at the center of knowledge.
If you are interested in digging into this topic of revelation at an academic level, have a look at Has God Said? by John Douglas Morrison. Great book on the topic!