Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rob Bell... and games of Yahtzee

190310_ Rob Bell (and me) (078/365)

If you know me... you'll know I am a big fan of Rob Bell and consider his book Velvet Elvis to be a foundational text in the re-imagining of my faith. I've heard him speak twice and consider him to be a exemplary communicator.

Recently he's been getting a hard time from conservative commentators / preachers / bloggers for the content of his latest book... Love wins.

Now... I haven't read the book and will not comment on what some people say it says. I will be my own judge after I have read the book. I may even post my thoughts on the ol' nanolog. I will make up my own mind. I will not rely on anyone... even if I consider them to be "a trusted source".

The point I will say... however... is that the furore that has surrounded Bell's new book is downright shameful and embarrassing. Big "name" preachers willing to condemn him as a false teacher and heretic because they don't agree with his thinking... based on their judgements shaped by quotes and a promotional video made by Bell himself.

Surely there must be a better way to disagree... especially in public. Are we not meant to be know for our love?

Also, aren't we the people of the second chance? If so, why are we so willing to condemn others... so easily? Why can't we give people the benefit of the doubt and... you know... actually read their work for ourselves? Why are we so willing to act like a Pharisee and go for the speck in someone's eye instead of tackling the big plank in our own?

Most days I spend my lunch hour in Starbucks drinking coffee... chatting and playing Yahtzee with my dear friend @myopicaardvark. He is an agnostic (borderline atheist) and very critical of the institutional elements of church. He likes to think for himself and we can have some spirited conversations... where we chew over numerous ideas... including ideas of faith.

What I really dig about our friendship is that we can and do agree to disagree... and can continue to converse over the roll of virtual dice. He displays an openness and acceptance that is a continual inspiration to me.

I believe he judges me on who I am and the fruit I produce... and not who I claim to be or the ideas that are attributed to me. He has taken the time to get to know me... and I have benefitted from this.

I really wish some Christians could do the same... or at the very least they could take the time to study first hand before getting their metaphorical stones out to throw.

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