|This month’s Car Talk is a book review by Marshall Anderson, youth pastor at Bethel Mennonite in Inman, Kansas, and student at Hesston College. Marshall reviewed Velvet Elvis, Repainting the Christian Church by Rob Bell. Rob Bell is the pastor of Mars Hill Community Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America. Pastor Bell was 28 when he planted Mars Hill five years ago.
Velvet Elvis, Repainting the Christian Faith
by Rob Bell
Zondervan, copyright 2005
reviewed by Marshall Anderson
Chapter one begins with an introduction and explanation of the title. Bell was sorting through stuff in his basement and came across his Velvet Elvis painting. The part he draws attention to is the artist’s signature in the bottom corner, “R.” Bell hits upon the sudden realization that the “masters” don’t even have to sign their whole name. But, Bell reflects, what would people have said if “R” told all other artists to stop painting because he had created the ultimate work and there was simply no need for them to continue painting? Bell makes this statement to draw a comparison to Christian and how we must continue to rethink and rework our faith and how we express it, even though every generation has its spiritual “R’s.”
Bell does an excellent job throughout this book of using history, both biblical and secular, to support his theories. He makes a compelling case for his argument and sums it up well with the statement, “The tradition then is painting, not making copies of the same painting over and over. The challenge is to take what was great about the old paintings and incorporate it into new paintings.”
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