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A Song Which Rob Bell Cannot Sing Along To

The lyric « I did not make it, oh it is making me » is completely opposite to what Rob Bell proposes in Velvet Elvis. Rob Bell would have to write « I made it, oh, I am making it… » According to Rob Bell, Christianity is, after all, more like like a painting of Elvis, which must be re-made by every generation. He makes it clear that he is not talking about powerpoints and music, but about doctrine, how we read the Bible, etc – the very core of the faith. He thinks that anybody can make the Bible say anything they want, and that doctrine are like springs in a trampoline which are not really « true » but only « useful » in that they help to inspire good/religious thoughts/actions in people. Thus, he feels that it is not doctrine which forms him, but he who forms doctrine.

What do you think – is this difference inconsequential or essential?

5 Comments »

  1. That is just too modern/post-modern for me. I have not read Bell.

    There is a sense that Chritianity changes with each generation, the challenges can be very different from 100 years ago or during the Civil War. But I do not see the core changing.

    • The question was « does doctrine/thought proceed life, or does life precede doctrine/thought »? This has come into the forefront with Emergent, but it’s the same old question Liberals and fundamentalists have been debating for a century and a half.

  2. My take is that relationship with God is what comes first. The Bible is meant to lead us to that relationship and is also to change us to become more like God.

    • I am able to have a relationship with you because I know certain things about you. An intimate relationship of trust takes more knowledge, known more surely. To place all of our trust in this life and the next in an unseen deity, we must certainly believe some concrete things about the nature of this God, and the certainty that He can come through on His promises.

      If we agree with Rob Bell that every generation is allowed to re-make their own personal conceptions of who God is to them, we will be admitting that God is not a real entity, but only a figament of human imaginations. Such a God is « useful » to an extent (so is santa-clause) but certainly not « true » in the same way that you, Don, are true. If He is not really existent, how is a relationship with Him possible? Or, if it were possible, how could it be differentiated from the « relationship » my slightly off-the-wall friend once had with his imaginary friend « Sam »?

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