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Tyler

Rob Bell: What We Talk About When We Talk About God

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Link to our Love Wins thread.

I'm really not sure what he's talking about. Watching him wander around his house felt kind of like watching the trailer for This is Not A Film, except I know what Panahi was doing there.

From the book's website:

New York Times bestselling author Rob Bell, whom the The New Yorker describes as “one of the most influential Christian leaders in the county,” does for the concept of God what he did for heaven and hell in his book Love Wins: He shows how traditional ideas have grown stale and dysfunctional and how to return vitality and vibrancy to lives of faith today.

Pastor Rob Bell explains why both culture and the church resist talking about God, and shows how we can reconnect with the God who is pulling us forward into a better future. Bell uses his characteristic evocative storytelling to challenge everything you think you know about God. What We Talk About When We Talk About God tackles the misconceptions about God and reveals how God is with us, for us, ahead of us, and how understanding this could change the entire course of our lives.

If a book with this title doesn't reference "Cathedral" in some way, I'll be mighty upset.

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I’m planning to read this. To me, Bell’s unassuming manner in that video is appealing, as if he hadn’t written several successful books already.

Another sample--

Couldn’t help thinking the catch-phrase “God is not an Oldsmobile” invites some humorous responses—so, God is what… a Lincoln? Infiniti? Dodge Spirit? Chrysler Pacifica? Ford Explorer? Maybe that last one, since Bell is emphasizing thatGod is pulling us forward into a better future.”

Edited by phlox

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Rob Bell: Out of the Process (Tillichian) Closet?

In which Deacon Toy Adams discusses the new book and comments about how he believes Bell takes a very Tillichian road to understanding God, and might very well be Tillichian.

If so, I'm disappointed.

Why? The quotes adduced as evidence of Bell's Tillichian leanings seem pretty innocuous to me (even orthodox--the whole thing about only talking about God through symbols? Yeah, it's Tillich, but it's also--to my understanding--most other theologians in the history of the church. I'm pretty certain that no one--or at least, almost no one--ever believed in the Old Man with a Beard that New Atheists are so fond of mocking).

FWIW, I love the title of this book. I don't know that I'll read it--I found the hell book surprisingly tame considering all the furor whipped up around it--but that title makes my brain click in all sorts of ways that I find interesting.

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“There is a movement forward, toward greater and greater awareness and consciousness and connectivity, that has been unfolding across the history of the universe, an ever-expanding enlightening that transcends any one of us, all cultures, and humanity as a whole. A massive and epic holism that continues to increase in complexity and depth and dimension to this very day.”

That is not Tillichian.

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“There is a movement forward, toward greater and greater awareness and consciousness and connectivity, that has been unfolding across the history of the universe, an ever-expanding enlightening that transcends any one of us, all cultures, and humanity as a whole. A massive and epic holism that continues to increase in complexity and depth and dimension to this very day.”

That is not Tillichian.

Yeah, that was the other thing that struck me: conflating Tillich and Process theology--while possibly fruitful in terms of the sort of thing it lets you do--is less helpful when you're trying to categorize an author. Based on my reading, I somehow doubt the above is something Tillich would say [No, based on The Courage to Be, I'd say it's definitely not something he would say].

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