I never was a fanboy of Rob Bell. I read Velvet Elvis a long time ago, but the only thing I remember was that many evangelicals were mad at him back then. I’ve only seen a few of the Nooma videos. Beyond that, I didn’t really know much about him.
Until Love Wins.
I really liked that book, despite not really agreeing with much of it at the time. I guess I felt like Bell was moving the Christian conversation in a more positive direction, even if I didn’t think he was pushing things far enough. But, as it turns out, Bell was, to some degree, bound by his ecclesiastical commitments. He couldn’t really just come out and say what he really thought.
It seems that things have changed. Now we, thankfully, get Rob Bell Unfiltered. And, I might become a fanboy.
I watched the live thing last night (with my 13-year-old son who self-identifies as an atheist, but who really enjoyed it), and I started reading his new book yesterday. I haven’t got far, but already I can tell that he is touching on what I feel like I’ve been saying for three years. And what so many of my friends are experiencing.
I’m sure I won’t agree with everywhere he goes in this book. And, maybe it’s all a marketing ploy. If you’re really hitting the nerve of a culture, and you’re smart, you should be able to get a pretty big hearing. And, what do you know? Day 2 and the book is already #34 on Amazon – not in religion, but out of all books.
Despite all of that, I think Rob Bell may be a huge part of what I have been calling a Sustainable Christianity. No, I don’t think one person (especially a middle aged white dude) is going to “save” Christianity. But, we are sheep. We latch onto charismatic figures. This is only a problem if that figure is wrong. But, I suspect that Bell is more right than many of the other popular voices claiming to speak for Christianity today.
Haters gonna hate. Because, they, too, know, deep down, that Bell is onto something beautiful. And they’re afraid.
This is a repost from my personal blog.