Sunday, July 01, 2007
Rob Bell :: Calling All Peacemakers tour (post event)
Rob Bell was amazing. To get up in front of 500 people and speak for 90mins... and keep their attention... without digging out powerpoint or even some music... tremendous!
Audience participation was welcomed when Rob talked on non-violence - he focussed on the action Jesus spoke of in the beatitudes (Matthew). He spoke of the subversive, counter-revolutionary ideas Jesus had to help the downtrodden and humiliated.
Turning the other cheek, for example, forces the aggressor to admit they are about to hit an equal. Your right hand was considered clean... and was the one used for hitting people. In the story, the person will be slapped on the right cheek - slapping was a sign that the person slapping the other person considered themselves to be more important whereas punching someone admitted they were equal. By turning the other cheek you are creating a chaotic situation - get punched and be considered equal with the aggressor or watch as they lose face for not hitting you again. Either way they lose their credibility in an Israel obsessed with hierarchy. Absolute genius!
Rob then spoke of the third way as projected by Jesus. We can either do nothing (Pacifism) or we return aggression with a similar level of force.
The Third Way has two guiding principles that are founded in tremendous courage and creativity:
1) Do not co-operate with anything humiliating
2) Hold out any possibility that the aggressor may wish to change his/her mind.
It was great to catch up with Paul & Esther from Urban Expression afterwards. We had such a laugh in TGI Fridays after the event. Seemingly I am Paul's style guru... which is worrying. We talked about the wonders of the web2.0 connected world... about blogs and facebook being used to great effect for communication. About friends we have never met. Fab.
Esther was on form too... sharing her fear of dogs and her fondness for drinking petrol (not deliberately... I think?!) We all had a laugh when Paul suggested we pray for healing for Pippin (our cairn isn't feeling too well) and lay on hands. We then explored the theological and comedic value of such a ministry. Fantastic.
It was also a pleasure to hang with Jon & Lorna (hiding in her hoodie above) and Paul & Jen C... It was especially great to finally meeting Gordon aka Paddy and his fiancee Fiona.
All in... a fab evening. Catch Rob if you can... he is on fire!