Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

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Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby maz » July 23rd, 2008, 6:57 pm

Velvet Elvis

http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US ... =Zondervan

Synopsis:
God never changes, nor do the central truths of Christianity. But our understanding of those truths is in constant flux. Christians will always be exploring and discovering what it means to live in harmony with God and each other. Now in softcover, Velvet Elvis offers original and refreshingly personal perspectives on what Christianity is really about.

I read this book a couple of weeks ago and there are some great parts in it...

some quotes:

page 147
We are living in the flow of how we are going to live forever. This is the life of heaven, here and now…Heaven comes to earth.

A way of living out of sync with how God created us to live. The word for this is hell: a way, a place, a realm absent of how God desires things to be. We can bring this heaven to earth; we can bring hell to earth.

For Jesus, heaven and hell were present realities. Ways of living we can enter into here and now. He talked very little of the life beyond this one because he understood that the life beyond this one is a continuation of the kinds of choices we make here and now.

148
Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth.

As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth.

Jesus measures eternal standings in terms of not what they said or believed but how they lived.

149
The entire movement of the Bible is of a God who wants to be here, with his people…And how does the Bible end? With God “coming down” and taking up residence here on earth

167
If the gospel isn’t good news for everybody, then it isn’t good news for anybody.

The church must stop thinking about everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or nonbeliever…We are all created in the image of God, and we are all sacred valuable creations of God.

171
One of the most tragic things ever to happen to the gospel was the emergence of the message that Jesus takes us somewhere else if we believe in him

176
I am like you. I have seen plenty done in the name of God that I’m sure God doesn’t want anything to do with. I have lots of reasons for bailing on the whole thing.

177
I am also like you because I have a choice. To become bitter, cynical, jaded, and hard. Anybody can do that. A lot have. Hatred is a powerful, unifying force. And there is a lot to be repulsed by.

Or, like you, I can choose to reclaim my innocence. We can choose to reclaim our innocence together. We can insist that hope is real and that a group of people who love God and others can really change the world…We can commit all the more to being the kinds of people who are learning how to do what Jesus teaches.
I don’t want to be known for the things I’m against, but for the things I am for... but....A person who loves flowers will hate weeds
http://gracewalkministries.blogspot.com ... trong.html
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby Tom » August 17th, 2008, 3:31 pm

Oh, we were discussing this book today at church (along with his other book, Sex God). Rather good books, imo.
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"My faith is grounded on just about everything Christ taught and did, and yet, there again, I have never found a modern form of Christianity that subscribes absolutely to his teachings." - Bev :p
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby techi » April 16th, 2009, 1:07 pm

I read this book also, and did find large parts of it helpful. It is a good read. But (you knew there was a 'but' coming didn't you?), I found parts of it unbelievable. Maybe it is down to a lack of faith on my part, or maybe I am more skeptical than most, but certain parts just came across as either boastful or... how can I put it... 'unbelievable' is perhaps the best word I can think of.

For example this bit, when he talks about when he first started his church:

'... I never read a book on church planting or church growth or been to a seminar on how to start a church. I remember being told that a sign had been rented with the church name on it to go in front of the building where were meeting. I was mortified and had them get rid of it. You can't put a sign out front, I argued; people have to want to find us. And so there were no advertisements, no flyers, no promotions, and no signs.

'...And the strangest thing happened: People came on the first Sunday. A few people came to get me five minutes before the first service and said I had to look out the front windows. I was not prepared for what I saw. Cars and people everywhere. They proceeded to tell me there were traffic jams in every direction; they had run out of chairs; and people were giving up trying to get through the traffic and just pulling over on the side of the road, parking...

'Now I am going to give you some numbers. And I hestitate to do this because few things are more difficult to take than spiritual leaders who are always talking about how big their thing is. But it happened and it's true and it's part of my story. There were well over 1,000 people there the first Sunday.

'... In the next month or two, over two thousand people were showing up on Sundays. And by September of that first year, we had to hold three services, pushing things to over 4,000 people in the first six months.... Two years into it, there were around 10,000 people coming...'


Now firstly, I do believe in miracles. But something just doesn't feel right about this and I don't know why. I would imagine there are a lot of witnesses to this if what he says is true so it would be very easy to prove me wrong - and I hope someone will. But with no adverts, no word of mouth, no promotion, and not even a sign at the front of the building saying it is a church - he got 1,000 on the first Sunday?

Secondly, is this encouraging or demoralising for the church leader sitting at home reading this who is struggling to get into double figures?

Thirdly, where did these thousands come from? He doesn't say in the book I don't think but were they all new to church-going (which makes his story even more remarkable) or did several local churches on that Sunday suddenly have an exodus from their congregations?

Maybe I should just rename myself Thomas (after the disciple, not Mr Bacon). ;)
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby Lyn » April 16th, 2009, 5:38 pm

Or you could call yourself "Eggs", then there would be no question of you being confused with Mr Bacon.

I know what you mean about your quote from the book, techster. I have read similar things from comparable books in the past. I have met a couple of writers of this particular type of book and they do use a fair bit of hyperbole, also are selective about what they record. You hear little about the failures.
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby techi » July 12th, 2009, 5:16 pm

Victoria Plum wrote:You hear little about the failures.


That's true Vix.

I've yet to read a book about a guy who thinks God is telling him to start a church, has a go, and then realises that wasn't his calling after all. Usually by the third chapter in most of these books they've already pulled a crowd numbering in the thousands. :D
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby different glory » April 1st, 2010, 5:31 am

Mulling through some old threads (no, no -- I don't mean I was refurbishign my wardrobe!) I came across this, about a book I haven't read. Still I went through the posts above, and came across this reference to:
the church leader sitting at home reading this who is struggling to get into double figures


Now -- that's exactly what my church is doing!
I'm living in a not-too-populated area, and what with that, and with the general decline in church-going, yes, we struggle to get into double-figures :( (we made it last Sunday, though! eleven!!)

I was wondering -- is there anybody else on this board in this position? I am used to thinking of the barely-double-figures church as a rural hinterland phenomonon, but the post I've quoted suggests that it is maybe also experienced in larger population centres, too. Is it? And if so, well, how's it going? How do you manage? (Or is there anybody else out there from a tiny rural town?)
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. - Psalm 26
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby different glory » April 5th, 2010, 10:47 pm

Nobody?
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. - Psalm 26
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby Pondero » April 5th, 2010, 11:12 pm

In our area it was standing room only for the 8:15 am Mass on Easter Sunday at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, and we stood for a while in the aisle with others. I got out my red lined envelope with our weekly donation in it and put it in my hand. My wife seized it and said that she wouldn't give. Why when we arrived early did we have to stand while people who attend Church only two or three times a year get a seat?. She was furious. Then we marched down the aisle and into the basement where there was a large cinema screen showing all that was going on upstairs and a few seats were vacant. We sat there and did not for the first time, in my memory, put anything in the collection plate.

Now, even if it hadn't been Easter Sunday, there are always fifty or more people for Mass during the weekdays at OLS and far more than that at All Saints. On Sundays OLS is nearly full, but not quite, at all Masses.
“ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action, and morals” (#407).
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby Bev » April 6th, 2010, 9:55 pm

Not here, either, DG.

I would imagine the problem has more to do with the rural setting and many miles being between neighbors than anything else.
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Re: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Postby different glory » April 6th, 2010, 10:06 pm

There's not all that many miles between neighbours, Bev -- but there's not many more than a hundred people in our community (town and farms). Mind you -- over a hundred of us got together for our big Good Friday ecumenical open-air service -- but then, that included people from four towns. (We call them towns -- I'm well aware that most of the world would call them villages, or even hamlets! :grin: )
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. - Psalm 26
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