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Velvet Elvis

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When the Jesus revolution exploded in the first century, its members were called People of The Way. The way of Jesus meant the way of love and peace and sharing your possessions and compassion and risk and forgiveness and harmony. Today, millions in our world continue to be fascinated with Jesus and his teachings, but are scared to death of his followers. If the Christian movement in Western culture does not rediscover its origins as a way of living and relating to the world, to God, and to our neighbours, it may likely die in the next few generations. This book is an exploration of what it looks like to actually try to live in The Way of Jesus again - in a world so dramatically different from the early years of Christianity. So what does the Christian faith look like in the new world we find ourselves in? Not theories, but stories. Not guesses about the direction it might take, but accounts about what directions it is taking. Even more, what does it look like for the ancient, orthodox message of Jesus to be communicated and lived in such a way that a highly wired and cynical culture might actually start listening again? This is a book for those who know there's a God. For those who know that truth, beauty, design, and love come from somewhere, but they cannot stomach the current versions of God they find in local churches. For Christians who want a life of risk and movement and revolution, but are not finding it in the places they are looking. For those who want to listen, but don't speak the languages they are hearing.
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About the Author

Rob Bell is the founding pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan. He is a breakthrough communicator in the Christian community and is featured in the first series of NOOMA, which are spiritually-based short films.


Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., offers an innovative and intriguing, if uneven, first book. This introduction to the Christian faith is definitely outside the usual evangelical box. Bell wants to offer "a fresh take on Jesus"-a riff that begins with the assertion that Jesus wanted to "call people to live in tune with reality" and that he "had no use for religion." Bell invites seekers into a Christianity that has room for doubts (his church recently hosted an evening where doubters were invited to ask their hardest, most challenging questions). He mocks literalists whose faith seems to depend on a six-day creation, and one of his favorite people is a woman who turned up repeatedly at his church, only to tell him that she totally disagreed with his teachings. He cites his church as a place of forgiveness, mystery, community and transformation. Bell is well-versed in Jewish teachings and draws from rabbinic wisdom and stories freely. His casual, hip tone can grate at times, and his footnotes, instructing readers to drop everything and read the books that have influenced him, grow old. Still, this is faithful, creative Christianity, and Gen-Xers especially will find Bell a welcome guide to the Christian faith. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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