Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Elvis and Sally

Read this book.

I'm only a third of the way through, and already I'm getting uncomfortable and thirsty for more of YHWH.

The way Rob is talking in this book, its like he's discovered something about discipleship that I've only ever dreamed of. Is it possible to live like that?

I hope so.

I'm also sure he's gone and unintentionally prophecised over the situation of the Sally Army:

'Here's what often happens: Somebody comes along who has a fresh perspective on the Christian faith. People are inspired. A movement starts. Faith that was stale and dying is now alive. But then the pioneer of the movement - the painter - dies and the followers stop exploring. They mistakenly assume that their leader's words were the last ones on the subject, and they freeze their leader's words. They forget that as that innovator was doign his or her part to move things along, that person was merely taking part in the discussion that will go on ofrever. And so in their commitment to what so-and-so said and did, they end up freezing the faith.

What gets lost is the truth that whoever painted that version was just like us, searching for God and experiencing God and trying to get a handle on what the Christian faith looks like. And then a new generation comes along living in a new day and a new world, and they have to keep the tradition going or the previous paintings are going to end up in the basement.

The tradition then is painting, not making copies of the same painting over and over. The challenge of the art is to take wha was great about the previous paintings and incorporate that into new paintings.

And in the process, make something beautiful - for today.' (Rob Bell)

Two things really.

1) I desperately want God to help me reflect his image more, to no longer be sub-Christian but be the person he called me to be. This doesn't just require me do simply 'do stuff', but being transformed which leads to the service and other stuff.

If you feel the same then join me in praying now.

2) Someone told me that The Salvation Army is a sinking ship. My response is, if you think it is, then jump off and save yourself.
If, rather, like me, you think it needs its crew to patch up the holes in the stern and ask the One in charge to help steer it through the icebergs, then lets refer to point 1), get on our knees in prayer and get on our feet and love.


Gem's Blog said...

Amen, Amen, Amen.

John said...

Velvet Elvis is an excellent read. Saw Rob Bell at last week - he spoke really well.


matthewjingram said...

Powerful stuff Craigy! Keep doing what you're doing!

Heather's place said...


I noticed that you’ve been debating Hell over at the Rubicon. Rob has a sermon on that - “Jesus wants to save Christians from Hell”. It’s part of a whole series on “Jesus wants to save Christians”.

Have you found him on line? All the sermons from his Church (He’s not the only preacher) are avaialbe here or via the podcasts on itunes.

There are only 12 weeks there but I have over a years worth on my laptop if you're interested.

It's interesting that you mention Rob and the Army. When I listen to these sermons I can't help but think that his Church (Mars Hill) is doing what the early Army did - that is living out their faith in a way that dramatically changes the lives of individuals and even whole communities.

There is a theme running through lots of the teaching - "this is what the Bible says, let's go and do it". And then the Church makes a way for the Church members to do it. One simple example - people were asked to bring spare coats to Church. They did and the Church gave thousands of winter coats to local people who needed them.

I found it very liberating and exciting to read "Elvis".

The passage that you have quoted reminds me of something Steve Chalk said at Roots this year. He spoke about “re-imagining” what it means to be Church in a different age. He says this is the only way to remain true to the historic principles of our faith - “We have to do it different to remain Biblical”.

An interesting aside - In the same talk Steve Chalk says we are not called to take “justice” and “compassion” (and a whole list of other things) to our communities - we are called to take Jesus. And if we take Jesus we will automatically take all those other things.

But I’ve heard Rob Bell stay is that if we serve others and show love by meeting their practical needs, we automatically show them Jesus. We don’t have to “preach”.

I think they are both saying the same thing although it sounds like they are saying exactly the opposite.

Anyway, interesting stuff you have here - keep on posting.