Honestly, I haven’t read
any much of Rob Bell’s stuff – just the soundbytes. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I have this weird thing where I don’t like to read too much stuff that’s written by people that are still alive. Is that bizarre or what? So, I can devour C.S. Lewis, Augustine, Nouwen, St. Teresa of Avila, Martin Luther King Jr., Lesslie Newbigin, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Bosch, etc. but I have a hard time enjoying contemporary authors that are loved by others: Piper, Bell, Marva Dawn, McLaren, Lauren Winner, McManus, D. Miller, and others. N.T. Wright, Eugene Peterson, and Scot McKnight may be the few exceptions.
But with lots of christian leaders and pastors scolding each other in sermons and at conferences and calling one another heretics, maybe I should read some of the stuff that’s out there to see what the pointing is all about. Sadly, Rob Bell is an example of someone that is being unfairly labeled as a heretic.
I know many that enjoy Rob Bell. While I can’t speak in depth of his books or podcasts, I have heard a little about his holistic theology and read bits and pieces here and there — and they resonate with me. For a guy that’s hit “rock star” status, I also appreciate his sense of humility. I don’t know Rob personally but I like knowing that Rob will never ever get on the hypothethical reality show: Pastors Gone Wild. Ultimately [through his ministry], people are being drawn to Christ and that’s a beautiful thing. I think I would enjoy his stuff…someday. But, I do hope he lives a long long long life. Anyway, for those that are interested, a good article about Bell in the recent edition of Time Magazine:
Bell, 37, is guilty of none of the negatives. He is largely apolitical, thinks that only those with gay friends are positioned to judge homosexuality–and he tinkers marvelously. At 28, he founded a megachurch that threw out the conventional sermon-and-worship service and instantly drew thousands of attendees. He has sold hundreds of thousands of books with titles like Velvet Elvis and Sex God that find the sacred in the profane. [Read full article here]