I'm not a Rob Bell groupie. I've only read a portion of one of his books. I know a lot of Christians have sharp opinions about Rob, his beliefs, or how he shares them. I do not.
Maybe that's why I'm enjoying the series of blog posts Rob Bell has been writing about the Bible. I find his thoughts fresh and enlightening. I found myself nodding, saying "that's right" or "that makes so much sense."
Rob Bell is 29 posts into an unknown number in this series--so I'm not suggesting I'm going to agree with his conclusions or that I embrace 100% of what he's written (I've only read about 30% of them so far). But I am suggesting it is worth reading, and it will awaken your mind and heart perhaps in new ways.
Here are some of my favorite quotes so far...
The Bible is "a funky, ancient, poetic, revolting, provocative, mysterious, revelatory, scandalous and inspired collection of books called The Bible that tell a story..."
The writers of the books in the Bible "were real people living in real places at real times. And their purposes and intents and agendas were shaped by their times and places and contexts and economies and politics and religion and technology and countless other factors."
"The Bible is first, before anything else, a library of books written by humans. I say this because there is a stilted literalism that many have encountered in regards to the Bible that makes great claims about its divinity and inspiration and perfection but then doesn’t know what to do with its humanity."
"If you let go of the divine nature of the Bible on the front end and immerse yourself in the humanity of it, you find the divine in unexpected ways, ways that can actually transform your heart."
Regarding the Flood: "To dismiss this story as ancient and primitive is to miss that at the time this story was first told it was a mind blowing new conception of a better, kinder, more peaceful God who’s greatest intention for humanity is not violence but love."
"If we reject all miraculous elements of all stories because we have made up our mind ahead of time that such things simply aren’t possible, we run the risk of shrinking the world down to what we can comprehend."
"The story (of Jonah and the whale) is extremely subversive because it insists that your enemy may be more open to God’s redeeming love than you are."
"When you force the scriptures into categories that the scriptures themselves don’t abide by you will suck the life right out of them."