This book challenges the way we talk about God, but more importantly, the way we experience God - which is difficult to explain within the limits of language. It's trademark Rob Bell – intellectual, down-to-earth, challenging, engaging, honest – and it’s his best work yet!
Rob begins with a problem, explains it with a metaphor and then embarks on a scientific/philosophical/theological conversation about metaphysics, the Higgs Boson particle, language, water-skiing, ancient words, Jesus and the dance of paradox. All this science and philosophy and theology is totally mind-boggling, but none the less fascinating.
Coupled with this academic knowledge is an expert communicator and the heart of a pastor. Rob has a gift for guiding the reader through a blend of stories, questions, metaphors and thoughts that lead you into a deeper awareness of God. I can understand why many criticise his message as he’s swimming against the evangelical tide. But everything he says is rooted in a love for people and love for God.
From the beginning, Rob makes it clear who this book is aimed at – people who are spiritually minded but find Christianity hard to swallow. Personally I wouldn’t hesitate to give this to a curious friend. But the inevitable controversy will come when Christians read this as a comprehensive discussion of God and question where the ‘gospel message’ is to be found. It simply won’t withstand that onslaught; because it’s a discussion starter, not a theological thesis.
Bottom line: I enjoyed his previous books, making me a Rob Bell sympathiser. Of course I’m going to give this book 5 stars! I’ll be giving this book to my sister next time I see her, and I encourage you to read it yourself and decide whether anyone you know might benefit from a dose of Bell.
April 16th, 2013 - Posted & Written by James Warwood