Friday Night With Rob Bell

I

 had front row seats to see Rob Bell’s Drop like Stars  on Friday night at Indianpolis’ Murat Theatre.  The website describes the evening: 

The Drops Like Stars tour is a two
Hour exploration of the endlessly complex
Relationship between suffering and creativity—

The place was packed and the crowd fired up to see the guy who made the Nooma videos and who wrote Velvet Elvis.  I saw him a few years ago during his excellent The God’s Aren’t Angry tour.  

For those who don’t know, Bell’s day job is founder and pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapid’s Michigan.   It might be the only postmodern/emergent megachurch in the country.  For progressive Christians, he is the real deal.

For those who love preaching, he preached it Friday night for two straight hours without missing a beat or the audience getting bored.   

For those who weren’t there, don’t fret.  It will be out on DVD soon and the Indy show was film specifically for the DVD.  Plus, the tour is very similar to the book.

What I love about Rob Bell is that he deeply understands that the bible is a conversation with its historical setting and at its best a challenge to the dominant culture of that particular era.  In essence, the bible–from Genesis to Revelation– is a creative and powerful response to suffering.  In the same spirit, our churches are at our best when they act as a creative and powerful response to suffering.  

The scriptures are not easy to understand and to misunderstand them is to destroy them.  Rob is not saying anything new but he says it loud and clear.  He takes important theological work which almost every church ignores for the Hallmark card  and cheap version of Christianity and proves that you don’t have to dumb things down just for the sake of having a large church.

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