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Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith Paperback – July 9, 2006
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'God doesn't change, but times do, and Rob Bell, founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, believes new times call for us to remain open and flexible, living with passion and conviction....An advocate of a postmodern approach to faith, Bell is vulnerable about his own struggles with doubt and understanding Scripture. Joy, awe, raw honesty, and an appreciation for the mystery of faith permeate the pages.' -- Christianity Today <br><br> (Christianity Today)
'Rob Bell is able to draw more depth out of the New Testament than I thought possible....I would have finished this book in record time if I didn't have to put it down so often just so I could sit back and process what I was learning. Buy two copies, one for you and one to pass around.' -- YouthWorker Journal <br><br> (YouthWorker Journal)
From the Back Cover
We know there's something more. We sense it, we feel it, and we want it. But how do we find it--a spirituality that stands up to the questions of an honest, searching mind?
This book is for those who need a fresh take on Jesus and what it means for us to live the kind of life he teaches us to live, writes Rob Bell. This pursuit of Jesus is leading us backward as much as forward â¦ I am learning that what seems brand new is often just the discovery of something that has been there all along-- it just got lost somewhere and it needs to be picked up, dusted off, and reclaimed. Now in softcover, Velvet Elvis offers original and refreshingly personal perspectives on what Christianity is really about.
We have to test everything, writes Bell. 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?
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I've heard OF Rob Bell, but had not to this point read any of his work. I think he's been described as one of those "Emerging Church" pastors.
For the most part, I enjoyed this book. It still falls under my hesitation to read books by pastors, because they tend to ramble and not get to the point. Pastor Bell somewhat suffers from this and it got a little tedious at parts.
Rob Bell does have a good understanding of doubt and questions and how they fit into the Christian life. I also enjoyed his discussion on understanding the words of Jesus in the context of the culture in which they were originally written and recorded. Many of us 21st century American Evangelical Christians often speak of the Bible in terms of our culture and time context. I appreciate Rob Bell's attempt to discuss them in the proper context.
I also appreciated his discussion on sin, particularly one he committed as a mega-church pastor. I always wondered how those guys did it. He discussed how he came to the conclusion that he had to be a superpastor and why it was bad, but didn't really get into what he did to change things. Did he add more staff to the church? Cut down on commitments? I'm not sure.
Velvet Elvis is a decent discussion on the church and how interpretation of instructions can change through time. It's a short read. I should have been able to finish within 2 hours if not for being on vacation with my wife, stepson, and my own children. Took more like 24.
He addresses questions I've had ever since I was an adolescent. And he does so in a way that has never seemed patronizing or preachy—he's simply presenting his ideas.
I'm putting my name in this book and passing it around to friends and family. It will definitely be one that I read multiple times.
This book brought stories about Jesus into a completely new context for me. As someone who grew up learning the stories of the Gospels, it was refreshing to see a new light cast on these stories and how they can inform the way we live today.
Bell also has a chapter about being yoked to Jesus and His teaching. We cannot simply "make a decision" for Christ. We have to yoke ourselves to Him and submit to Him as ourrabbi and also as our true emperor.
Bell also says we can be true to God by doing whatever we do in life to His glory.
He also has a chapter about the founding of his church and how he got burned out and how he was burning out because he trying too hard to be successful rather than doing his ministry out of adoration for God. He found out during this time he had a soul that needed to be reignited.
Bell does a good job of bringing confusing biblical concepts down to earth,and that is the biggest reason why I like this book.