Thursday, January 25, 2007

Velvet Elvis - Bricks and Trampolines

This past summer I saw a video from a series called Nooma. I really enjoyed it and I began to search for more stuff from Rob Bell. I then heard that he had some strange theological views and I was very worried about showing the Nooma videos to others. So I started listening to Mr. Bell. He is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids Michigan. He presents things with a fresh perspective. I always learn something when I hear him, (and I always seem to disagree with something too) So I have finally broken down and have started reading his book "Velvet Elvis".

I'll try to save most of my criticisms until I finish the book. I have to say that after just reading the first chapter, I am already hooked. His writing is fresh and even the way that the sentences are laid out are appealing to me.

The main contrast in the first chapter was between bricks and trampolines. We build with bricks. We start with the foundation and work our way upwards. If one brick is removed, it can cause the entire wall to fall. We defend our brick walls, to make sure they have no holes in them. Sometimes this is what we do with truth. You have to believe everything I believe and if you are missing one of the bricks, then your whole wall will come crashing down. If you don't have "perfect" understanding, then you must not be "right" with God.

On the other hand you have the trampoline. You don't usually defend the trampoline. You invite others to come and jump with you. You want to share your joy. Sometimes I have done this with my faith. I have been so worried about defending, and holding to the right position - that I missed the opportunity to invite someone to come and share in my joy.

Mr. Bell (though I am tempted to just call him Rob - anyone who's ever been to Donelson will get this) has a very thought provoking quote:
"Perhaps a better question than who's right, is who's living
rightly?"

Can you live right and not be right? Don't shoot me just yet, but what I am asking is this... Can a person be mistaken in some of their beliefs and still live a life pleasing to God? Is living rightly more important than thinking rightly? Or vice versa?

I'll leave you to think on that note.

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