Top 10 Things I WON’T Say To Rob Bell During Our Lunch Today

Later today I’ll be having lunch with former mega-church founder and leader, best-selling author and soon-to-be huge television star Rob Bell.

While of course security concerns prohibit me from revealing the location of what Rob has called our “epic lunch,” two words should be enough for you to grasp the magnitude of this groundbreaking summit: Taco. Place.

Never one to go into a power-confab without first honing my conversational strategies, I thought I’d share with you these ten things that, despite myself, I’ve decided not to say to Rob:

1. “You’re paying for this, right?”

2. “Can I be on your TV show? I’d make a fantastic next-door-neighbor who’s always popping by to be cute and whimsical until he begins to border on annoying and you finally have to ask him to leave.”

3. “Can I put and Rob Bell after the author byline on all my books?”

4. “Can you get me two free lifetime passes to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park? Why not?”

5. “When your show wins about ten of them, can I go with you to the Emmy awards?”

6. “When I go with you to the Emmy Awards, do you have a tuxedo I could borrow if you used to be fatter?”

7. “I have with me  a screenplay I wrote for a sci-fi movie about a mega-church you run in the future that’s actually on Mars. It’s called All Mars, No Hills. Do you want to buy it right now?”

8. “For years now Angelia Jolie has not responded to one of my emails, instant messages, phone calls, letters, cards, e-invites, billboards, or messages written with an airplane in the sky above her house. Do you know her? Can you find out why she hates me?”

9. “Your certain-smash TV show is about a charismatic musician and spiritual leader named Tom Stronger. I have an idea for a spin-off show, starring me, as your long-lost cousin who runs a casino in Las Vegas and is always getting into raucous misadventures with any one of the classy and beautiful women who work at his casino. It’s called Even Stronger. When can we schedule a pitch to Carlton Cuse?

10. “Are you gonna finish that taco?”

Well, I think that should do it! (Rob: If you’re reading this, don’t be nervous about meeting me. I put on my pants just like you do: in front of an open window when the neighbors are working in their yard.)

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.crowther1 Jan Crowther via Facebook

    wish i could be a fly on the table to listen to this lunch conversation!

    • gretchen

      I think you and I should conspire Jan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/burnkarma Clayton Gibson via Facebook

    Does Rob have an official pro-LGBT position, or is he limiting himself to pissing off conservative Christians one issue at a time?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.crowther1 Jan Crowther via Facebook

    when/where is rob bells tv show? we are starting a book club tonight on “love wins”…can’t wait.

  • nickole huffman

    oh my word. I just laughed OUTloud. I’m sure Rob would just look at you with his infamous look and crack up!

    You are HYSTERICAL.

    [let us know how it goes]

  • http://www.worthingtonpost.wordpress.com Aliza Worthington

    I don’t know, John, I would keep #8 in there…

  • http://www.JanetOberholtzer.com Janet Oberholtzer

    Be you and you’ll have a great lunch!

  • Robert Hartline via Facebook

    Have fun!:)

  • Anke

    “All Mars, no hills” , Great :-)

  • Alexis Smith via Facebook

    the headline clearly says Rob Bell, but for a second I though “OMG John Shore is having lunch with Elvis Costello?!?” Because apparently my brain works this way: black glasses + black shirt = ELVIS COSTELLO EVERY TIME.

  • http://supercrayons64.blogspot.com Blake

    Can Even Stronger be animated? I really only watch cartoons.

    Tell Rob he still owes me 100 bucks.

  • Leslie

    Rob Bell, if you’re reading this…don’t believe a word he says. He doesn’t put his pants on one leg at a time. He jumps into them with both feet. The open window on the other hand…. Let’s just say, his neighbors have called me. Some of them are angry, but most of them just laugh hysterically.

    • Leslie

      John, if you’re reading this, please tell your neighbors to quit calling me. It’s getting creepy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Twiga.Riq Richard W. Fitch via Facebook

    I’ve just started reading “Love Wins”. I think I like this man. ;-)

  • Elsa

    I can’t wait to read about it!

  • http://soiledwings.com Sherry

    nice. so let us know how that turns out.

    ps: TacoBell – good choice (some Bell for Bell) plus if you have to foot the bill it won’t be too much of a hardship.

  • Eugene Ko via Facebook

    #11: “By the way, Eugene says hi. You know, that guy who’s read several of your books.”

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

    Other things not to say:

    “Is that you? I smell something!”

    “Can I have that napkin you used? I thought it might be worth something on eBay.”

    “Want a copy of ‘The Watchtower’? I’ve converted.”

    “So, did you see ‘The 700 Club’ last night? Pat was especially awesome.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/TallTallJohn John Gill via Facebook

    The pastor of my church gets to go to this event as well… I’m now jealous of both of you. You’ll have to drop a post later to let us know what he’s said!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      John: You’re thinking of something different; Rob and I are just meeting for lunch. It’s not … an “event” or anything. Just us at lunch. (Unless Rob HAS sold tickets to our lunch. Cool!)

  • Nancy

    This has to be one of your best posts yet, John! (Loved #6.)

  • MT Nester

    And … no matter how mad you may get, at NO point in time say, “Go to hell!”

  • Melody

    No. It’ll be worse. ;-)

  • Dawn Dusendang via Facebook

    He was our pastor. I still attend Mars Hill Bible Church. We miss him greatly. I would be VERY interested to read about your meeting with him. He really is an amazingly compassionate pastor that practices “Love Wins”.

  • Ric Booth

    Awesome. Have fun. You should get a job as a scriptwriter for Stonger. Ask him for an application. Also, say hi to Rob for me. I was the guy in seat 23P at one one his talks. I’m sure he’ll remember me, as I nodded approvingly several times. I may have even done the Christian-affirmation-grunt thing a couple of times.

    Another question not to ask:

    So you’re the pastor from Mars Hill? Can you sign my copy of Real Marriage?

    • KellyK

      Wait, wait, there are two “Mars Hill” churches? Thank you, I am now much less confused. (And yes, asking him to sign your copy of Real Marriage would be hilarious. John, I totally dare you to do that.)

    • Diana A.

      Not cool. Funny! But not cool.

  • Lisa Zahn via Facebook

    That makes you even cooler, right? Lunch with Rob Bell! My (Lutheran) church uses his videos in Confirmation classes and even Lent services and I love them. Also love his book, Love Wins, and recommend it to people all the time.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    I would have gone with “HERETIC!!!!!” as my #1 choice

  • Richard lubbers

    I wouldn’t have any reservations about #10. Especially since I’m the one who put Bell up to this. Not that he remembers, I’m sure. Man, I would love to be a fly in that taco meat!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jill-Joiner/100000809409370 Jill Joiner via Facebook

    I know thou shall not envy but I cant help it. I have read all of Rob Bells books. As has been said to me two ears and one mouth.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      You shouldn’t envy Rob too much. I’m pretty disgusting when I eat.

  • Chris Rutkowski

    11: “(Since a lot of fundamentalist Christians think you’re both going to Hell for a number of reasons) Are you bring the marshmallows and weenies for toasting, or should I?”

  • David

    I would add:

    “Rob, this is Francis Chan. Francis, this is Rob Bell.”

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    XD XD XD!

    I want to ask: Did you have one of those newfangled tacos with the Dortios’ shell? I’ve been meaning to try one of those (or would if I wasn’t having obnoxious stomach issues). Unless you went to another Taco Place… You’re out in California, right? That means you might have Taco Cabana (I remember them in Arizona) and they were actually pretty good, then of course, there all those cool Mom and Pop places run by actual Mexican-Americans you need to speak a little Spanish to order at – they’re awesome. You can get horchata at those places.

    “Taco Place” I think I want to use that if I ever get cracking on writing that stupid comic I was thinking about doing based on some weird inside-joking that goes on in my household. One of our “little stories” involves some GI distress on creatures you don’t want to have it.

  • http://earthbound-spirit.blogspot.com/ Earthbound Spirit

    A seminary classmate of mine attended services a few times at Rob Bell’s megachurch and was underwhelmed by the ‘welcome’ for LGBT folks. As a Unitarian Universalist, I was intrigued by the hype around _Love Wins_. Some of my colleagues were really excited about it – an evangelical talking about what sounded like universalism! Then I read the book. Meh.

    Now, if he really came out and said, “Yes. Love wins. God accepts everyone. Hell doesn’t exist, so don’t even play that card.” THAT would be exciting, but Rob doesn’t go that far. Give me Phillip Gulley or Forrest Church instead.

  • DR

    I have two words for the ideal outcome from this lunch. Two words. Those words are “matching tattoos”.

    • http://theaspirationalagnostic.wordpress.com Eva

      Matching tattoos!!! Gold! Let’s vote on the design….

  • http://www.facebook.com/TallTallJohn John Gill via Facebook

    Yep it’s different, he got invite to some weekend event, where it’s Invite only and 50 people and through out the time he is scheduling a meal/meeting with everyone. That’s why I got confused! :) Well enjoy sir, and try not to put your foot in your mouth to much… I hear he’s not as impressed by stupid human tricks as you’d think ;-) Have fun!

  • Richard lubbers

    Especially fish tacos!

    • Richard lubbers

      Oops. That was supposed to be a comment under John’s statement that he’s disgusting when he eats.

  • Ben

    Thanks for giving me a great chuckle.

  • Susan

    Okay, the list was funny- but it’s the “pants” quip that made me howl.

    (we had a portly, swarthy neighbor who liked to work in his front yard wearing only white (mercifully opaque!) speedos on Saturdays- somehow you brought those memories to mind!)

  • Sarah Kronkvist via Facebook

    since you brought this lunch meeting up, are you going to fill us in on how it went?

  • yessor

    2 apostates meeting for some antipasto


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X