Well I’ve done it again, I’ve read a book that will get me rejected, hated, or judged by “Christians.” I don’t know how to explain the level of irony that is involved in that statement. If you consider yourself a “Christian” and you don’t see irony in the previous statement, I’d encourage you to back up and reconsider what being a Christ follower means… Here’s a hint, instead of rejection, hate, and judgment… try acceptance, love, and grace.
Now on to the review.
I want to say things like I read Bell to see what he is thinking, but I don’t agree with everything he says.
this book makes some great points but Bell is a bit too out there for me.
See it seems that I’m tempted to do something to KRISIS (Greek word that means to separate) Bell from myself, because I’m afraid of being labeled or rejected like he is but instead… I’M MAKING AN INTENTIONAL DECISION TO DO JUST THE OPPOSITE!
LUMP ME IN WITH ANYONE YOU WANT.
I WANT TO BE UNIFIED WITH PEOPLE…
I BELIEVE THE MESSAGE OF JESUS CHRIST IS A MESSAGE OF UNITY.
ROB BELL AND I ARE ON THE SAME TEAM!
Heck, label me as a univeralist if that makes you feel safer. I’m not…
…but if labels make you more comfortable – label me!
That brings me to my first thought in this review. On page 154 – 155 Bell mentions being at a peace conference where the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu were speaking. I think Bell was sharing the stage with these guys. Back when that happened I wanted to talk to Bell and ask him, “Rob, why don’t you put a bit of seperation between yourself and these guys? Why don’t you say, these guys have the wrong message?” Today, I don’t ask that question and I’m trying not to be the guy who keeps revealing that KRISIS, that happens in my mind. I believe that the KRISIS is bad for me. I believe that a position of unity is right. I know you are about to stone me, but I have to trust my LORD Jesus Christ and do as I feel He leads. Of course I still believe He is the only way, but my belief can’t cause me to treat other human beings as less than myself. When Jesus said that He was the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father but through Him, I’m pretty sure He didn’t intend that to be a statement we used to judge, discount, and ignore others.
Anyway, on page 155 Bell mentions that the peace conference was being protested. He asked who was protesting, and of course it was a group of “Christians.” Christians protesting peace, that’s irony.
I can’t properly review this book; I believe it was good; I don’t even want to loan it out because I think I’ll be using it for reference points; Instead of a proper review, I’m going to bullet point my notes from the front inside cover and following 3 pages. Below is a pic to show you how I read a book. I read and jot notes and page numbers in the front of things I want to be able to quickly access again later. Hopefully my many notes will stimulate your thirst for this book… if it does, but a copy. If it doesn’t that’s ok too, I enjoyed it.
Way I take notes on a book
My front of book notes, kind of like my homemade table of contents:
- Weight of the nucleus of an atom – p. 33
- Space travel or Quantum leaps, reminds me of Phillip’s plain air ride after leaving the Ethiopian Eunuch p. 36
- The universe is small p. 43
- Matter and Spirit… one, same, similar, indistinguishable…? - p. 45
- Bell seems to indicate that he isn’t a Gen. 1-11 is literal guy… I’m comfortable with someone thinking that way, but I’m not sure p. 60
- GRENZBEGRIFFLICH – German word that describes that which is very real but beyond analysis and description p. 63
- I think therefore I am p. 67
- I’m planning to quote something from page 67 in the book I’m writing
- My thought…. wouldn’t there be more bones if older earth were true? p. 70 (maybe not, I’m still open to literal or mythological interpretations of Gen. 1-11)
- “Science does an excellent job of telling me why I don’t have a tail, but it can’t explain why I find that interesting.” p. 75
- Everything is spiritual p. 76
- Summary of Chapter two p. 77-78
- It’s all miraculous (even breathing is miraculous) my thought: When we pray for God’s presence to show up it is basically saying falsely that we believe our current actions like breathing, seeing, thinking, praying, are possible without His presence. I don’t pray for God to show up, He is here. Instead I pray that my eyes and ears will be more open and attuned to His current real presence…. p. 79
- Real Faith is Open Minded p. 80
- Women worked in the fields first? p. 88 (I went to the end notes hoping to find a reference for this and I found it… Ken Wiber’s History of Everything
- Faith & Doubt are good dance partners p. 92
- Conviction & humility are also good dance partners p. 93
- Just typing these notes is wearing me out… must be a pretty good book (I wonder if Bell would do an interview podcast with me… ?? he can only say no)
- Again more like above… we don’t pray for God’s presence we recognize it – it is already here p. 98-99
- Great illustration of us not seeing – Share this with Bill Carrier p. 100
- Something more p. 103
- RAUCH – Hebrew idea for breath, spirit
- KAVOD – explained on 113 – great illustration about guy with bald head (means that something is bigger and more meaningful than you can express in words) p.112
- ECHAD – “ONE” when the Hebrews said that the Lord is one, the word one meant “one made up of many parts” p. 117
- fragmentation p.118
- telos p. 121
- Bell begins to express the gospel p. 125-126 and 133
- AA meeting – I experienced the same thing when I went with my biological father to a NA meeting p. 138
- Water skiing illustration p. 132
- Admitting our need (sin) p. 138
- Prayer – why do people who don’t pray, pray when they are terrified? p. 139-140
- Album illustration goes along with my New Frequency illustration p. 149
- Enemy love p. 150
- Bell is against sin… imagine that! – p. 151
- Bell says eye 4 an eye was a step forward… p. 159 (I like this idea better than most, but I’d also argue that the eye for an eye idea was anthropological, meaning that it was more what they heard and understood than what God actually said)
- Quoting the bible for the opposite of its true message example p. 161 (Bell illustrates this, doen’t do it)
- Bell believes that we’ve still got a way to grow in the fair treatment of women… he mentions the restaurant Hooter’s in a negative way. I get it, he didn’t call for a boycott, but he spoke truth anyway. I like that. p. 164
- Abraham’s tribe was different p. 167
- Israel – the one who struggles with God p. 167
- USA’s weapon military problem (6% of world population 49% of world’s weapons – only people to ever use Nukes – those are facts whether you worship America or not… my words not Bell’s) p. 171
- Ground Holy all the time, Abraham just took his shoes off when he realized it. p. 182 – 183
- Shadow management – I think that is a great explanation of much of religious Christianity p. 194
- SPLAGCHONON – bowels / guts “I feel it in my SPLAGCHONON (guts). p. 196
- 6th sense… cellular level p. 198 (reference to first chapter stuff)
- Motor Neurons – p. 200
- Energy is liberated matter, and matter is locked-up energy – Einstein p. 202
Ok there are my notes… if anything there peeked your curiosity – go buy Rob Bell’s – WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT GOD.
PS… final thought – the book didn’t really discuss homosexuality at all. The promo video I’m sure caused people to be prepared for some sort of theological discussion about homosexuality. I expected that. That however isn’t in this book, and I think Bell was very wise to leave that subject alone… I will too.