Religion in the United States has seemingly never been more polarizing. Christians have gotten a bad rap and in some ways it is deserved.
There are some big personalities speaking for Christians in America. Joel Osteen. Rick Warren. Pat Robertson. Glenn Beck? It’s just like different versions of the same voice.
There’s one voice that I wish was speaking a little louder.
From the Mars Hill site:
Rob Bell is the Founding Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church. He graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
I was introduced to Rob Bell through his NOOMA videos and I’ve been listening to him since. Velvet Elvis is one of the best books on Christianity that I’ve read, not because it is cool, but because it is true.
He puts scripture into context (and man, is he ever versed in scripture), he uses wonderful analogies to make points and he challenges his audience to think critically about their faith. I like that.
This week, I listened to the audiobook Jesus Wants to Save Christians, the terrific book he wrote with his friend Don Golden. How can you go wrong with chapters named “Swollen Bellied Black Babies” and “There’s Blood on the Doorposts of the Universe”?
Bell is a voice of Christianity that is tolerant and aware, but also extremely well-versed. He uses scripture in a relevant way that puts it into the context of the age in which it was written to help us understand it and apply it today. Some of the voices I listed at the beginning of this post can be a bit extreme and some of the best intentions can get lost and they can drown out people like Rob, who really need to be heard.