This morning I finished reading the new book by Rob Bell titled "Jesus Wants To Save Christians". This books is based off of a sermon series that Bell did at Mars Hill a couple of years ago and decided to write a book that is somewhat tied to that series.
I find Rob Bell to be a great communicator, in his sermons as well as his writing.
I think this book has a lot of eye opening ideas that are curcial for the church today to answer. Some of the questions that are brought to the surface are, "do we use our power to help the powerless?", "do we use our money wisely to help others or do we use it unwisely and build multi-million dollar buildings to show off?"
I think these questions need to be asked in today's consumer driven Christianity.
Although I agree with several of Rob Bell's conclusions, I disagree with some of the ways that he gets there.
Some of you who have really looked into Bell's beliefs know that he has said that Jesus has already saved "all of creation" and "we all have the same destiny, but we can live in that reality now". This comes through in the book some, as well as a chapter that decsribes the book of Revelation as a coded message that John delivered to his former congregation to rebel against the establishment. He referes to paying taxes as the sign of the beast, and seems to be advocating some sort of righteous anarchy.
I found this interesting seeing as how Jesus himself said "Render on to Ceaser what is Ceaser's". Bell also seems to hint that violence and wrath are not in Jesus' persona, and it is true that he did not lash out violently (except in the temple with the money changers) during his ministry, scripture even says that he "did not defend himself". However, to say that this is not a part of Jesus message does not jive with the message of Revelation when Jesus shows up riding a horse, carrying a sword, and ready to kick some butt. Mark Driscoll describes this as "Ultimate Fighter Jesus", which might be a fairly accurate image...except for the whole played up dramatics and crappy play by play from the announcers.
All in all I would recommend this book, but I would also HIGHLY recommend that is be read with caution and discernment. It seems that in several ways Bell is drifiting the road of the emergent movement where McLaren and Sweet dance with pixies and wish truth away on the back of a unicorn. *I know this is a mean critique, but it is hard to claim the things they claim without doing away with the truth of who Jesus is, according to Jesus.*
Read it if you want, just be careful.
All in all I give this book 3 trendy pairs of glasses out of 5.