John on November 9, 2005 at 12:57 pm
Last night Rob Bell was at Rock Harbor in Costa Mesa previewing two of his newest Nooma videos. The first was called “Matthew” and the second was called “Rich.” I havent’ seen all the Noomas but these two new ones were as good as the ones I have seen. Matthew is about the death of someone you love and was very emotionally affecting. Rich was about the mandate for giving and generosity in the Bible.
After the presentation of the two shorts, which were introduced by the director, Rob Bell got up and spoke for about 20 minutes. I have to confess I”ve become something of a Rob Bell fan over the last ten months. I saw Rob at a Creative Pastors Conference held at Ed Young’s Fellowship Church in Texas. From there I started downloading his sermons off the web. He really is an amazing communicator.
There were probably 400 people in attendence, but I was right up front because I really went to see Rob more than the noomas. He’s really a surprising individual. If you were to pass him on the street, you’d think he was a college student. He looks like he’s probably in a band of some kind. You’d certainly never peg him as a pastor. But then what other pastor do you know who will spontaneously reference Beavis and Butthead during a sermon?
Maybe that doesn’t sound like a plus to you and if not that’s okay. All I can say is that, for me, it’s really refreshing to find that someone who is completely committed — and not just commited…excited! — about living a God centered life, but who still seem to be part of the real world. It’s something Jesus was very good at as well. Of course in Rob’s case, you can see that he works at it. He’s intentionally trying to be a certain way, but that’s okay with me. If we could be like Jesus without trying, the world would be a different place.
After his brief talk, Rob answered a few questions. At the end someone asked him his view of the war. It was pretty clear from the murmur that there were a lot of 20 somethings in the room who wanted him to slam the President. It was equally clear that Rob probably leans that way himself. And yet, he didn’t do the obvious. He didn’t go for the cheers. It seemed to me that, in that moment, he decided to go the other way. If the crowd wanted Bush crucified, he was going to talk about the reality of war for people who have family overseas. If they wanted red meat, he was going to warn them about the danger of getting swept up in what’s theoretically right instead of doing right by those who live the situation as a reality. Do I sound impressed? I was.
I realize the whole ‘emergent church’ thing is controversial. There are people on both sides of the issue whom I admire. But, based on what I saw last night, Rob Bell continues to impress me as being on to something substantial. For me at least, the emergent idea rises or falls with him.
Category: Religion & Faith |