Rob Bell Wants To Save Christianity

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.

  • Frank

    The only people who should be afraid are those that take Rob Bell seriously.

    • Mark

      Wow what a well thought out and amazinggly insightful comment, Thank You

      • Frank

        The truth often falls on deaf ears.

        • Dean Chang

          People sometimes tune out babble also. Just sayin’.

          • Frank

            Yes Rob Bell is the king of babble and you’d be better off tuning out.

    • Mark

      Wow what a well thought out and amazingly insightful comment, Thank You

  • jbhomr

    watching the live cast, you & your son may also like Everything Is Spiritual [video/DVD]. he discusses life closely to this discussion. much like how frank is closely like a southern baptist.

    • http://about.me/iamrobdavis Rob Davis

      Sweet! We’ll check it out.

  • Trevor

    Rob’s new book is truly enlightening. I’m sure it will piss many off, but I, nor Rob, nor any non-evangelical cares.

    Oh, Everything is Spiritual is fantastic. Rob dives deep into the Theory of Fine Tuning and how God is directly tied into science. Great stuff.

  • http://www.randybuist.com randy buist

    I hope the book is good. This past weekend Rob returned to Mars Hill like a rock star. Jumped onto the stage, and with a big intro to his new book and t.v. show, the word ‘superstar’ was one word flashed across the big screen. While I grew up protestant, I’ll give the nod towards Pope Francis leading us forward over and against a middle-age white guy from Hollywood. Maybe the book is good. The image sucks.

  • Michael D. Bobo

    @Randy I agree that the Rock Star pastor / Religious celebrity model of megachurches and now former pastors turned authors lacks any semblance of the example and teachings of Jesus.

    • http://about.me/iamrobdavis Rob Davis

      Michael, so are you saying that to be a “rock star” or “celebrity” in any sense “lacks any semblance of the example and teachings of Jesus”? Or, only if it’s a “pastor” or someone who is in some sense “religious”? I don’t really understand the leap being made here. I think there is a “way” of doing these things that either resembles Jesus or doesn’t. But, I don’t think it’s by definition “anti-Christ.” To make this as pointed as possible, Rob Bell and Brian McLaren would both fit into that category. So, are you meaning to imply that neither of them resemble Jesus in any way?

  • http://dancingpastthedark.com Nan Bush

    Suggest ignoring the spectacle, reading the book. What Bell says about the importance of quantum mechanics to our understanding of God is absolutely essential. Frank will not understand, but do not squander time debating. Read the book.

    • Frank

      The problem is I understand all too well. Poor Rob Bell. So lost.


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