From Publishers Weekly
Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., offers an innovative and intriguing, if uneven, first book. This introduction to the Christian faith is definitely outside the usual evangelical box. Bell wants to offer "a fresh take on Jesus"—a riff that begins with the assertion that Jesus wanted to "call people to live in tune with reality" and that he "had no use for religion." Bell invites seekers into a Christianity that has room for doubts (his church recently hosted an evening where doubters were invited to ask their hardest, most challenging questions). He mocks literalists whose faith seems to depend on a six-day creation, and one of his favorite people is a woman who turned up repeatedly at his church, only to tell him that she totally disagreed with his teachings. He cites his church as a place of forgiveness, mystery, community and transformation. Bell is well-versed in Jewish teachings and draws from rabbinic wisdom and stories freely. His casual, hip tone can grate at times, and his footnotes, instructing readers to drop everything and read the books that have influenced him, grow old. Still, this is faithful, creative Christianity, and Gen-Xers especially will find Bell a welcome guide to the Christian faith. (Aug.)
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“Joy, awe, raw honesty, and an appreciation for the mystery of faith permeate the pages.” (Christianity Today)
“Bell is at the forefront of a rethinking of Christianity in America.” (Time magazine)
“One of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors.” (New York Times)
“This is faithful, creative Christianity, and Gen-Xers especially will find Bell a welcome guide to the Christian faith.” (Publishers Weekly)
“One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors.” (USA Today)
“Rob Bell is one of the hottest names in contemporary evangelical life.” (Boston Globe)
“Bell presents a fresh picture of Jesus for those who have trouble with the traditional portrait.” (Kansas City Star)
“A sensitive yet radical plea for simple Christian living.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)