(May 14, 2008)

Well, I’ve been doing bits of boring stuff: getting a bit of clutter organized, though I have a long way to go. For interesting stuff I’ve got the last bits of my book to the publisher and they say they will soon have a couple of sample covers ready for me to review. Exciting! To think I will soon have this writing I’ve poured so much of myself into in an actual book. Was I as excited when Riding the Roller Coaster came out? I don’t remember, but I must have been.

Another interesting thing I’ve started on is a wonderful book called Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, founding pastor of Mars Hill. The subtitle is “Repainting Christianity.” The product description reads: “God never changes, nor do the central truths of Christianity. But our understanding of those truths is in constan t flux. Christians will always be exploring and discovering what it means to live in harmony with God and each other.”

The book is full of questions. Such a refreshing thing. Too many Christians live as though they think they have all the answers. The truth is that understanding God leads us to a lot of mystery. We can believe and yet accept that we’ll never understand it all and that we need to keep asking questions.

Just a taste of what Bell has to say:
“…the Bible is open-ended” (it is alive) “It has to be interpreted. And if it isn’t interpreted, then it can’t be put into action. So if we are serious about following God, then we have to interpret the Bible. It is not possible to simply do what the Bible says. We must first make decisions about what it means at this time, in this place, for these people.”

In other words, no one can say that he takes the Bible literally. It was written at a time in history when things were different than they are today. We need to interpret what it means for us, living in 2008.

Somewhere else Bell says:
“Questions, no matter how shocking or blasphemous or arrogant or ignorant or raw, are rooted in humility. A humility that understands that I am not God. And there is more to know. Questions bring freedom. Freedom that I don’t have to be God and I don’t have to pretend that I have it all figured out. I can let God be God.”

I highly recommend this book, especially to those who want to believe in God but have had trouble believing everything the Bible says – those who need to understand that God is a fathomless mystery who we can embrace and believe in and love, in spite of it.