Velvet Elvis

One of the best religious books I have read in a while is Rob Bell's "Velvet Elvis." "Velvet Elvis" was written in order to challenge people to know why they believe what they believe. Christianity has become bogged down by people who don't know why they think the way they do and thus blindly accept what they are told by pastors and other religious leaders. On the "Ultra Conservative Christian Coalition Scale of Books to Read" 1 being "don't read because it might make you think about things we've said and come to the conclusion we might be wrong" and 10 being "this is what we've been saying all along," this book gets a -4.

Bell, the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who is not exactly the least controversial person in Christian leadership circles, raises some seriously stirring questions about why we believe what we believe and where those beliefs came from. He challenges convention and those who establish it as well as calling for Christ followers to study their Bibles and critically think about what they are taught and hear from the pulpit.

In my opinion, as a church leader, this doesn't bother me. Hold on to your seats people, but even I, on occasion, have been wrong. Other pastors have committed this sin of being wrong as well. The only people who would be threatened by this are people who preach things outside of the Bible or emphasize things that the Bible doesn't.

If you're going to read this book, you have to read the whole thing. If you stop in the middle of a chapter you may become angry with the author. He asks some questions that leave you thinking, "can he ask that?" Well, I don't think God gets upset when we ask tough questions as long as we come to Him for the answers. I hope you read this book and I hope it spurs you on to a new level of spriritual maturity.

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