Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rob Bell

Went to hear Rob Bell, he of Nooma, Velvet Elvis and Sex God fame. He was speaking in Ashton at the Hippodrome Theatre - not your normal Christian presentation venue, but then it wasn't a normal presentation.

I was expecting some technology or special effects. He did everything with just a stool and 6 plastic chairs as his props. He spoke for nearly 90 minutes, or should I say performed, or should I say presented? It's very hard to describe - there wasn't anything 'showy' about what he did, like some evangelists, yet it was completely compelling. He changed style several times - from storytelling to more like preaching, to more personal, plus a session with two volunteers from the audience.

His theme was peacemaking - with a special emphasis on the non-violent resistance in the teaching of Jesus, and that true peace (shalom) is about harmony, which must mean justice. I can't easily summarise, but he integrated a call to action with a challenging presentation of Jesus that anyone could understand.

I was fascinated, and it was the first time I had felt really inspired by someone for a very long time. Just figuring out what it all means, now.

3 comments:

liz said...

Mike,
Interesting. I'm hoping to hear Rob when he comes to Glasgow at the end of this month. Will share impressions. thanks

St said...

I've just finished his book 'Sex God' (wear dog collar and read on train) and listened to all his recorded stuff from last year's youth ministry conference.

Glad you find him hard to categorise. I think he's a conversation starter - deliberately. He doesn't give you answers; he makes you think about them.

It is for this reason that the hisbollah boys tend to be suspicious about him -not clear enough brother, not clear enough.

Mike Peatman said...

Just reading Sex God myself. I like the way his stories aren't all resolved, aren't all happy endings. All too many Christian books are about everything getting sorted in the end, but he leaves lots of loose ends untied.

I like the term hisbollah boys, btw.