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Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
Zondervan / 2005 / Hardcover
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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 ... 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." Velvet Elvis offers original and refreshingly personal perspectives on what Christianity is really about.
Rob Bell lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he's the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church. Rob is the author of Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. He also appeared in a pioneering series of twenty-four short films called NOOMA, as well as in longer version DVDs-- The Art of the Sermon, Everything is Spiritual, The Gods Aren't Angry, and Drops Like Stars. Visit the author online at www.robbell.com. SPANISH BIO: Rob Bell es el pastor fundador de la Iglesia Biblica Mars Hill en Grandville, Michigan. Es graduado de la Universidad de Wheaton en Illinois y tiene una maestria en divinidad del Seminario Teologico Fuller en Pasadena, California. Rob es autor de Una obra de arte original, Sexo Dios y Jesus quiere salvar a los cristianos, entre otros. Tambien aparece en la primera serie de peliculas cortas a la que se ha denominado NOOMA. Rob y su esposa, Kristen, tienen tres hijos y residen en Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
David Crumm and ReadTheSpirit.com
It would be wrong to say: "This is the book that started it all for Rob Bell," because Rob started with a vision of a new kind of American Christian community and, first, he preached that vision from his makeshift pulpit at Mars Hill Bible Church near Grand Rapids, Michigan. And, then, he preached that vision into a series of revolutionary, short, direct-to-DVD movies called, "Nooma," that swept around the world.
Now, he serves one of the U.S.'s biggest churches -- amazing to visit because he seems to have almost no interest in the size of his church. Rob remains focused on the scope of his vision -- which is to knit together Christian community that reaches around the world.
It's true that nearly every element of his message is timeless. Themes in his preaching resonate from John Wesley to inclusive themes celebrated by the Iona Community. But Rob specializes in creatively unique expressions, like this best-selling book "Velvet Elvis." He has emerged as a one-of-a-kind modern prophet.
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