[PhilThreeten] Book Review: Velvet Elvis

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Apr 13, 2006, 1:27:11 PM4/13/06
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What can I say about Velvet Elvis? I love Rob Bell. I think his preaching is Spirit-inspired, relevant and applicable. I think the Nooma series will prove to be one of the most powerful tools for the church to use in the 21st century. In short, I think that Rob Bell is one of the people that God has been and will continue to use in powerful ways within His body over the next 10-20 years.

Perhaps it is this effusiveness of respect that caused me to be under-impressed with Velvet Elvis.

There’s not much that I would disagree with Bell in this book. In fact, his insight into some of the Jewish understanding of Jesus’ teachings is critically enlightening. His point of the church constantly seeking new ways to communicate an unchanging Gospel lest we become Velvet Elvis’ is poignant. I agree with him that doctrine is not the point Jesus was primarily trying to make but rather a relationship with Him. He is right on when he says that Jesus didn’t just say words so that we could interpret their meaning but because He wanted us to wrestle with how to live like Him today. It is refreshing to hear him write about how we find Jesus in everything because everything was made to point to Him. But because everything is now broken, it needs to be brought back into harmony with Him. Amazingly Jesus has faith in us to do it. Not because individually we could do it but because Jesus sees us also as the church, united together into something that not even Hell can overcome.

It is a great message; it is a message that is desperately needed today; it is a message that will no doubt be found by some to be inspiring. And yet, I didn’t find the book to be much more than mediocre.

But it’s also not a book that you shouldn’t read. But perhaps better than reading this book, it would be helpful for you to go and download some of Rob’s sermons. Better yet, go buy or borrow his Nooma series. Velvet Elvis is OK, but not in comparison to these items.

So I recommend it only if you promise to download or purchase the other items. Otherwise, there are probably better written books out there that would communicate the same message.

Categories: Readings

Posted by PhilThreeten to PhilThreeten at 4/13/2006 01:24:00 PM
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