Seminary has finally come to an end for me, which means that I am now able to read whatever I want. But with great power, comes great responsibility to read through the book list I’ve compiled. So I decided to take a dive into the books of the popular and controversial Rob Bell (who now lives in Orange County!).
In his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Bell takes up a pastoral perspective to the faith. Being in seminary for the past couple of years, I have tried to maintain the balance between cultivating both a personal and scholarly touch to my faith. I was always fearful of being that guy in that one class who goes on this long monologue about the importance of some theoretical point to a hypothetical question that has no roots in our daily lives. Bell’s book confronts this in a lot of helpful ways.
He wanted to address the questions that he often received as a former pastor, those doubts that would stop someone from putting their hope in God. In his easy to read, conversational manner, Bell tried to ease the minds of his readers that God does not have to be left behind in a modern world, like an Oldsmobile. He is not a relic from another era. God is not anti-science, as some rabid fundamentalists and Atheists might portray him to be. As humans though, we have the space to doubt and believe, holding BOTH of those two in tension.
After laying down the case for being open to God and then giving permission to doubt, Bell moves into the main points of his book on faith:
I’ve written on each of those topics previously, but the main point of this is to move you into action. To move you into a community, where you have permission to doubt. Where you have permission to wrestle with God. I recommend this particular book to those who might be questioning God, it really is an excellent, quick read. Let me know what you think!
(I have not read his other popular/controversial book Love Wins. That will be the topic later on this blog)