Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I just finished reading Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell. Interesting stuff. He sits down with the idea not that he's going to tear everything down, but rather that he wants to pull our faith away from the wall and examine the structures behind it, to see how we're living and why we are doing so. Excited about your faith? Great. If not, Rob has some thoughts about why that might be and how the church, and Christians, need to live if we are going to convey a sense of conviction and passion for God.
The biggest impression I get from this book is that Rob Bell loves the Bible. He spent ten years studying it, so clearly there are strong feelings there, but it comes across in the way he writes. It's not a rub-your-face-in-it type knowledge, but the book is sprinkled with information that one can only receive from a close study of the text that help inform the reading of it. Bell seeks to help us hear the text the same way first century hearers would have heard it, and it's amazingly helpful. To know how important the location of Caesaera Phillippi is helps tremendously.
The other big impression I get is how important this is to Bell. He wants us to read it and feel the same way he does about the Bible. He wants us to be in love with the God who stands behind, throughout and before the Bible. He wants our lives to be shaped by our love for God. Bell is in love with Christ and wants the church to be a place where that love is communicated with passion and energy, not a place where people turn away from the Gospel or preach an empty Gospel.
Jesus Christ is the single most transformative reality we will ever be near. How does it change us, make us feel alive, make us servants of the Living God? That is the question that sits with me at the end of this book. It's a fun read.