Sunday, June 10, 2007

Christianity For the Rest of Us

A friend of mine recently tipped me off to a new writer by the name of Rob Bell. To date he has only 2 books out; Velvet Elvis and Sex God. Both books are fabulous. I could go on and on and try to describe this man to you, but instead I'll let you make your own opinion by reading an interview by Rob Bell available at this link.

The thing I enjoyed about his man's writing is that finally he is saying there is no "right way" to view things...that life is completely subjective, INCLUDING the Bible, and that is how the Bible was intended to be interpreted in the first place.

A quote from the back of Velvet Elvis is as follows:

We have to test everything.

I thank God for anybody anywhere who is pointing people to the mysteries of God.

But those people would all tell you to think long and hard about what they are saying and doing and creating.

Test it. Probe it. Do that to this book.

Don’t swallow it uncritically. Think about it. Wrestle with it.

Just because I’m a Christian and I’m trying to articulate a Christian worldview doesn’t mean I’ve got it nailed. I’m contributing to the discussion.

God has spoken, and the rest is commentary, right?

This book can be purchased at Amazon at this link: Velvet Elvis

His other book, Sex God was reviewed as follows:

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bell raises the bar with this evocative follow-up to last year's bestseller Velvet Elvis. "Is sex a picture of heaven?" he wonders. It's all about God and sex and heaven, he says: "...they're connected. And they can't be separated. Where the one is you will always find the other." Bell's book isn't a sex manual, an exploration of the differences between men and women or a marriage how-to, though all of that is here. Instead, it's the story of God becoming human, of humans mirroring God and love made manifest in the chaos of our humanity. Sex God is about relationships revealed in a way that elevates the human condition and offers hope to those whose relationships are wounded. In Bell's spare, somewhat oblique style, he addresses lust, respect, denial, risk, acceptance and more. His love for God and the Bible is clear, as is his ability to ask probing questions and offer answers that make readers think deeply about their own lives. He does a fine job using the Bible and real life to show that our physical relationships are really about spiritual relationships. This book joyfully ties, and then tightens, the knot between God and humankind. (Mar.)

This book can be purchased at this link: Sex God

I've read a lot of books on this subject, and in an earlier blog post of mine I quoted a friend of mine who had told me that "Jesus had been hijacked" in the name of the last presidential election. With more people like Rob Bell spreading lessons that a larger part of us can relate to, well, I feel maybe we really can Take Jesus Back.

Anybody who likes to read and has felt a little disenchanted with the whole religion thing in general should give these books a try. I've been looking for more who were of "like mind" and I feel I've finally found him.