Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Dropping like Stars" by Rob Bell book review

I pretty much read everything Rob Bell writes, so when I stumbled on his new book "Dropping like Stars" in Barnes and Noble, I did a double-take. For one I didn't know it was coming out and two it's an over-sized book, not your normal book shelf-type or size. So I grabbed it up found a comfy chair in the corner and thought I'd check it out. We'll about 30-45 minutes later it was finished. Not sure if I owe Mr. Bell or Barnes and Noble or Zondervan some money or not?

Here are a few things I took away from the book and a few things that stick out
  • Whenever I read Bell I can hear him say certain lines, maybe from NOOMA videos, maybe listening to him on podcasts. Does any one else hear an author speak? (That last sentence really makes me look crazy,but I'm leaving it in.)
  • The book is about the topic of suffering, so right away Bell captures you, cause you have been there.
  • Opening illlustration of a hospital hallway...some hallways in a hospital are filled with joy, while others arer filled with tears and pain.
  • Suffering unities us. We hear a story of suffering similar to ours and we thinkon say,"I've been there."
  • Suffering eleminates the unesscessary and shows us what matters.
  • God wastes nothing.
I took home this that we need to look at suffering differently. Rain looks like dropping stars to a little boy, and Bell says he never saw it that way....much like suffering when we realize it unities, elemintes the unesscessary, and shows us what matters.

Overall it was a good stuff, a nooma video put into words and art, but too pricey at $34.95. B+, not for content, but for the price of the book.

1 comment:

Ben Terry said...

I would be careful reading Rob Bell.

One of the videos I saw of Bell preaching was about this topic of rabbis and disciples. After a very well articulated discussion of rabbinic practices, Bell came to the conclusion that the main point is that we must have faith in ourselves because Jesus believes in us. WHAT? Man is the object of God’s faith? Bell makes the same point in his book, discussing the incident of Jesus walking on the water and Peter starting to do the same. Here is Bell’s interpretation: “And Jesus says, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ Who does Peter lose faith in? Not Jesus; Jesus is doing fine. Peter loses faith in himself.”23 That is very bad exegesis. Furthermore, Peter did have faith in himself later on and it was a bad thing: “Peter said to Him, ‘Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You’” (Matthew 26:35a). We all know what happened.

Throughout the gospels, “great faith” or “little faith” had to do with people’s belief about Christ. For example, the centurion who did not consider himself “worthy” for Christ to come to him had a very high estimation of Jesus’ authority (Luke 7:2 – 10). He had “great faith” according to Jesus. His faith was in Christ, not himself.

According to Bell, what frustrates Jesus is “When his disciples lose faith in themselves.”24 Bell makes a serious error when he assumes that when an ordinary rabbi chooses disciples based in his perception of their own abilities and potential to be like the rabbi himself that, therefore, Jesus must have had faith in the abilities and capabilities of His disciples. But this is not the case. No one will ever be conformed to the image of Christ because of his own innate human abilities. Bell’s humanistic teachings disregard the Biblical doctrine of human sinfulness and inability.