I went to a Rob Bell book release for his new book VELVET ELVIS last night in a suburb of Denver. Basically the premise of the book is that we think we have a picture of Jesus or Elvis that has arrived and we have all the answers, but that authentic faith is always open to growth and new truth. In other words, our mental picture of Jesus or the Christian faith should have convictions, but never should "arrive" or "have everything figured out."
He showed the latest NOOMA production which talks about faith in Christ and following Christ is like "being in tune with the song." Pretty interesting.
Then he answered questions. I took some notes...some of which I would like to share here:
"Blessing is always instrumental. People are not blessed to show God's pleasure with them. They are blessed so that they can be a blessing to others with the blessing they have recieved."
"Many churches become about success and power, but the central metaphor for Christian leadership in the church is about sacrifice and service."
"The church is at its best when it gives itself away."
"We have mistaken Jesus to be speaking about religion when he is really speaking about life."
"Instititutions don't hurt people. It is the brokenness of individuals with institutions like the church that hurt people."
(on church transformation) "It is easier to give birth than to raise the dead."
It was a great evening. In particular I am excited about the undercurrent among Christian leaders to move away from pride and power toward humility and service within churches.