Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rob Bell and Know it Alls

"There will always be Pharisees...God is on the lookout for disciples."

I love Rob Bell. I believe that God is using him in a powerful and prophetic way. The quote above is from Rob in his sermon given on Sunday, September 11. At the end of his sermon he's addresses some of the stuff that has been brought to his attention- the controversy surrounding his book Velvet Elvis. My guess is that it has to do with the "reader reviews" at Amazon.com and perhaps some bloggers who don't like the book.

He addresses it well, I'd say, and encourages his defenders, essentially, to put down their swords and use their energy in better ways.

This gets back to my blog a couple of days ago about Brian McLaren. What is so dangerous about Brian, Emergent, Rob Bell and the like? I think it has something to do with faith and control. Let's face it- genuine faith, by definition, relinquishes control in some way. Yet there are many Christians- good, honest people, to be sure, whose faith seems less like faith and more like control. The "This is the way it is- here are the answers" types, without realizing it perhaps, lack faith. They want to define exactly what truth and salvation is. A person who asks questions that might lead to a bigger picture or understanding than they've imagined or believed, is immediately dangerous because suddenly there an element of uncertainty is introduced to the mix- suddenly some faith is required and that is scary, no question.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Book Review: “Velvet Elvis– Repainting the Christian Faith” by Rob Bell
Anyone who has the ability to talk their editors into entitling their first book “Velvet Elvis” deserves to have their book read. The author, Rob Bell, is among a growing number of “emergent” pastors who have been courted by the book publishing industry to try their hand at writing (see also books by Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, Chris Seay). In this case, the author doesn’t seem to be constrained by some of the rules of traditional publishing. With single sentence paragraphs throughout the book, orange pages interspersed with black and white print, and a rambling style, the reader gets the sense that they are sitting with the author over coffee listening to him tell tall tales about God, life, and faith.

Using the metaphor of a velvet painting of Elvis as the jumping off point for this compilation of stories, Bell weaves a thoughtful, at times humorous, and sometimes self-effacing narrative about his accidental success in planting a church. To illustrate his unconventional approach to church planting, his first sermon series was based on the book of Leviticus. While he doesn’t say as much, it didn’t hurt that when he began his congregation he had the resources of one of the largest churches in Grand Rapids behind him.

Bell is at his best when he reflects on the biblical narrative through the lens of the Hebrew Midrashic tradition. His description of the meaning behind the healing of the woman who touched Jesus’ garment based in the ancient significance of the tassels on the prayer shawl Jesus was likely wearing is moving. Bell is part of a growing cadre of young pastors who are not interested in doing church as usual and not afraid to tell the truth as they understand it in the process. I for one am hopeful for the future of the Christian Church if pastors like Bell and others continue to probe and prod us to view our faith and life from a different perspective.

from nakedreligion.com

what up b.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Jimbo..you rock and so does Brad.

9:44 PM  

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