For whom the Bell tolls...
I've been asked by some about my link at the right to teachings by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I think Rob is one of - if not the - best speaker of our generation. His knowledge of scripture and it's historical context, creativity in presentation and complete willingness to let the awkwardness speak for itself at times is off the charts. All that being said, I wouldn't issue a blanket endorsement of his theology or methodology, not because I've seen things I don't like, but only because I haven't seen much other than his Sunday morning stuff. But I do like his heart and admire his gifting, and I'm too busy to witch hunt beyond that.
Anyway, Rob's been taking some heat this summer. He wrote a book - that I have not read - and it immediately became fodder for internet flames. The Amazon reviews went completely ballistic. He was called everything but Anton Levey. I got to the point where I was cheering for Rob without ever having read the book - the criticisms were just that rediculous.
Rob hasn't preached much this summer - not sure if it was vacation or book tour or what - but he returned to the pulpit in the most recent sermon available for free download. He prefaces his remarks with some good teaching, and at the 30 minute mark he aims square for those who have taken him out of context and lambasted the church he obviously loves with his whole heart. Even in defending against rediculous claims, he maintains his witty edge, referring to 'blogs and rumors of blogs'. The whole thing is worth a listen...just as he is every week.
Rob, you don't know me, but if you find your way to Kansas City some time, I'll buy the coffee.