Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell
I was really excited to read this book. I have seriously enjoyed the messages that I’ve heard from the author, Rob Bell, in his Nooma videos.
Writing Style: 9
Content – It started out really strong. Asked a lot of open ended questions. Changed the way I thought about Christianity as a whole. This is good.
The coolest thought I took from it was the idea of letting go of the term “Christian” as an adjective. “Christian music”, “Christian books”, etc. Just because someone terms a band or an album or a song as “Christian” doesn’t mean it will be any good. In fact, some are downright awful. And in the converse, there are many, many forms of music which are by their nature pure praise, and yet may not bear the title “Christian”. After reading this, I may well stop using the term as anything but a noun — meaning one who follows Christ.
Writing Style – Very easy to read. Conversational.
Re-readability – I am not as sure about this. I really did enjoy reading it. It got somewhat fuzzy and preachy at the end. I am fairly certain his point is that we’re to act as if NOW is all we have – we’re to bring heaven to earth, rather than expecting to be magically transported to the perfect heaven. At least one re-read is in order, just to see if it impacts me differently at a different place and time.
I do recommend this book if for no other reason than to get a really interesting perspective of Jesus as a Jew. His words take on a great deal more significance and deeper symbolism when seen against the Jewish backdrop.