I’m reading a book about Rob Bell.
Those of you in West Michigan probably do not need an introduction to this fiery young prophet; his books and videos and sermons have raised the ire of Christians of all stripes in this area.
For those of you who may not have heard of him, Rob Bell is, depending on your point of view, either a heretic or someone who is birthing a type of Christian renaissance and whose core value is a passion for Jesus. His “original mission statement – tongue in cheek – repeated the following words for ten pages, ‘Disciples who make disciples, who make disciples’ (quoted by James K. Wellman in his fascinating book Rob Bell and a New American Christianity (p. 9). You can see why I am interested in him.
This post is not an apologetic either for or against Rob Bell. It is an enthusiastic endorsement of his understanding that in order to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ we must innovate and use every artistic and aesthetic sensibility available. This is a logical extension of the concept that there is no division between sacred and secular. All of life is the “with-God” life. All of life is sacramental. God in Christ is reconciling “all things” to God.
Since there are many pathways to God, we need to express and learn who God is in as many different ways as we can find – poetry, art, music, dance, Scripture, in relationships, by helping, confronting, reading, writing, in nature, in worship services, at retreats, through preaching and contemplation. Our world-view must be as encompassing as God’s world view, and the way I understand Genesis 1, God’s world-view is the entire created universe. Like Moses we must understand that God is in this place, in every place, and sometimes we don’t even know it.