Thinking Out Loud

November 9, 2010

Rob Bell — Drops Like Stars — The Video

It’s been over a year since I reviewed the over-sized coffee table book, Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell; a review of a book where the format left me somewhat puzzled and where I eventually retreated to quoting other bloggers‘ treatment rather than forge ahead with my own.

Fourteen months later, I am delighted to report that the video is a much more focused product and a much more satisfying experience.   We sat through a non-stop viewing of all 2 hours and 5 minutes of this electrifying lecturesermonperformancemessage, presentation.   Whatever you call what he does, this is Rob Bell at his best.

And did you note the length?   The video Everything is Spiritual was 70 minutes, while The Gods Aren’t Angry was 90 minutes; but this time around Bell pulls out all the stops and passes the two hour mark — sans notes — in a way that keeps the audience riveted to their seats.

The subject matter crystallizes here as well.    While everyone else is writing as to the “why” God allows suffering; Bell starts farther down the road and takes our crisis situations as a given, and then asks the question, “So what do we do next?”    He proposes five areas where there are “gifts” which may be imparted to us for that part of the journey.

I know there are people reading this who find the prospect of a two hour sermon rather daunting, but I would suggest you simply don’t know Rob Bell.   For those who find him somewhat controversial, I looked, and found this presentation more palatable to those kept awake by fears of doctrinal contamination.

I think that the video presentation also will connect strongly with people who have a bent for fine art or sculpture or literature or music; as the arts play heavily into Bell’s illustrations, analogies and quotations.

But the supreme connection here will be made with people who find themselves in crisis, or in a valley; or are slowly emerging from one.

The Drops Like Stars Tour Film is now available from Zondervan on DVD at $19.99 U.S.   The large coffee table book has now been released in paperback, also at $19.99 U.S.   His next book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and Every Person Who Has Ever Lived releases on April 1st, 2011.

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June 3, 2010

The Difference Between Religion and Christ

At least once a week, I have the opportunity to share a simple overview of the difference between religion and Christianity with someone.   I wrote about it in September, 2008, but the essence of it is:

Q. How do you spell religion?

A. D-O — Do this, do that, do the other thing. Your standing before God is/will be based on what you do.

Q. How do you spell Christianity?

A. D-O-N-E — It’s all been done for us. There is nothing we can do to earn it, it is the gift of God.

The response I’ve had to this over the years has always been positive — it shatters many false perceptions — and I’m grateful to the former YFC staff worker who introduced it to me over a decade ago.

Justin Buzzard, who blogs from California, has taken a look at Tim Keller‘s The Gospel in Life curriculum, and has extracted more detail on the contrast between religion and the Good News, and has put it in chart form on Buzzard Blog.  (Check out the whole blog!)   Here it is for your consideration:

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