Week #30: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Now I think I understand what all of the fuss is about. I’ll start with the positive.

Much of this book resonated with me. One of the most powerful statements in the book (for me) had to do with the way we use the word “Christian”. Bell reminds us that it makes a great noun and a lousy adjective. Well put.

I was also challenged by the concept of recognizing God… though I know that this is an easy thought for people to abuse. It can quickly become a my truth/your truth kind of thing.

The difficulties I have with the book are representative of my struggles with Rob Bell at a deeper level. I do NOT doubt his sincerity. I only question (at times) his philosophy and approach to ministry.

1.) I do not agree that the way of Jesus = reality is an accurate way to talk about the saving/transforming power of Christ. It is easier, but not quite accurate. Bell doesn’t seem to be one to talk about sin and its effects and the damnation that it (unfortunately) brings apart from Christ… that’s reality.

2.) His thoughts on biblical interpretation are nothing short of dangerous. The implication is that none of us can interpret the Scripture without bringing our own bias to the table. Therefore the conclusion would be that one’s view of Scripture is merely that… one’s view. This is HUGE. I think it is the heart of what he thinks needs to be “repainted”.

I’m not saying Bell is a bad guy. I don’t know him. In the same breath I must evaluate his words and not simply accept without discernment everything he (or anyone else) has to say.

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