Friday, May 13, 2011

Love Wins; The Prequel


I should probably start this out with some understandings about this post.

First, I have not read Love Wins. I titled my post in a cheap attempt to drum up traffic to my blog.

Second, I have read many other blogger's responses to Love Wins by Rob Bell.

Lastly, reading what other bloggers said about a book does not even remotely make me an expert. But it would seem as if all the ruckus is about Bell's beliefs, specifically regarding Heaven and Hell.

So I listened to Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. While I am normally behind the times, I am not (usually) this far behind. I had a 5-hour drive and the audio version comes in at 4 hours in length, making it a good choice.

It seems to em that people having a problem with Rob Bell's theories now from Love Wins should have spoken up about 10 years ago. The same ideas are all right there. They may not be spelled out as distinctly, but isn't that part of the problem. In Velvet Elvis, Rob seems pretty comfortable at throwing what have been viewed as fundamental beliefs outside. Mind you, he doesn't throw them in the trash. Rather, he seems to want to take them out and play with them, similar to when you visited your grandma's house and got stuck playing with your parent's 30-year old toys.

Early in the book he uses a trampoline as a picture of God. He says the mat is God, but the springs around the mat are our ideas about God. He said it better than this and I realize I am likely over-simplifying this. He says that although we must be careful not to replace truth with current fancy, we have to at least be able to talk about our ideas about God.

He spend the next several movements (chapters) describing how Christians have been changing beliefs about God since the beginning of Christendom. Again, we're not changing God or the truth about God, just our understanding of who God is and how He operates.

There were things I agreed with and things I did not. I'm fairly certain that, at one point, Bell affirms the essentials that we should all agree on. But in that way that has made Bell famous, he continued to push the envelope, asking questions, and often leaving the reader wondering what

he

thought

about

anything!

Perhaps the best thing I got from the book was Rob's focus on how we see ourselves. He differentiated seeing Sin as an act versus Sinner as an identity. God calls us saints. God refers to us as holy. But we say we're just sinners saved by grace, as if that flatters God by acknowledging His grace. He knows He offers grace. Us saying it won't help matters. But finally admitting we are God's children and nothing less could do amazing things as we live. A fat man does not live an athletic lifestyle unless he believes he is becoming an athlete.

We are not done creating. We are not done asking questions. Will Rob Bell ever be done asking questions? I doubt it, but I think that's his point. The only question left for this review is whether or not you'd be interested in reading the book and considering these possibilities. Well?

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