Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Velvet Elvis reflections

Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell

I’ve never really been able to identify with any criticisms against post-modernism until now. I just finished reading Rob Bell’s “Velvet Elvis”. Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found that the words of the book articulated many of my feelings and put words to many of my thoughts about Christianity for years. However, I feel that Bell makes some radical jumps to conclusions about his commentary on scripture. He is very critical of some who make awful conclusions about what certain passages mean. While I hope that the ‘Gospel according to Rob Bell’ is correct just about every time he writes it, I am not so fully convinced quite as easily and believe that we should continue to approach God “with fear and trembling”. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Bell’s work:

“The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. We are dealing with somebody we made up. And if we made him up, then we are in control. And so in passage after passage, we find God reminding people that he is beyond and bigger and more.” P25

I love the question that Bell thinks aloud on p29: “Either God is in control of everything and so all the crap we see today is part of his plan (which I don’t want to accept), or it’s all out of control (which sucks too). What’s up?”

“…It is impossible for a Christian to have a secular job. If you follow Jesus and you are doing what you do in his name, then it is no longer secular work; it’s sacred. You are there; God is there. The difference is our awareness.” P85

“There is Jesus’ death on our behalf once and for all, but there is the ongoing work of the cross in our hearts and minds and souls and lives. There is the ongoing need to return to the cross to be reminded of our brokenness and dependence on God. There is the healing we need from the cross every single day.” P108

“I have been told that I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that Jesus believes in me. I have been told that I need to have faith in God. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that God has faith in me.” P134

“As Christians, it is our duty to master the art of the long meal.” P171