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Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith

By Rob Bell (Author) & Rob Bell (Read by)
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Item Number 23584  
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Item description for Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell...

In this work, Bell frees listeners to consider God beyond the picture someone else has painted in order to find an authentic understanding of the Christian faith--that faith doesn't have to be limited to what someone else has said. Unabridged. 4 CDs.

Publishers Description
We have to test everything.I thank God for anybody anywhere who is pointing people to the mysteries of God. But those people would all tell you to think long and hard about what they are saying and doing and creating.Test it. Probe it.Do that to this book.Don't swallow it uncritically. Think about it. Wrestle with it.Just because I'm a Christian and I'm trying to articulate a Christian worldview doesn't mean I've got it nailed. I'm contributing to the discussion. God has spoken, and the rest is commentary, right?

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Item Specifications...

Format: Audiobook,   Unabridged
Studio: Zondervan
Running Time: 240.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.18" Width: 5.11" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   0.24 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Aug 1, 2005
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Edition  Unabridged  
ISBN  0310266637  
ISBN13  9780310266631  
UPC  025986266639  

Availability  0 units.

More About Rob Bell

Rob Bell

Rob Bell lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he's the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church. Rob is the author of Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. He also appeared in a pioneering series of twenty-four short films called NOOMA, as well as in longer version DVDs-- The Art of the Sermon, Everything is Spiritual, The Gods Aren't Angry, and Drops Like Stars. Visit the author online at

Rob Bell was born in 1970.

Rob Bell has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Nooma

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > Children's Fiction > Religion
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Bktrax-Disc-Velvet Elvis (4 CD)?

Jesus the Rabbi  Mar 18, 2007
This is an interesting little book written by the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in MI. In general, it seems to be a collection of this pastor's deepest thoughts on a few subjects that he's wrestled with. In his wrestling, he has done some great research on some of the topics he writes about and he shares what he's learned in this book.

My favorite is where he writes about what it means for Jesus to be a rabbi during that time in history. I never quite understood why Peter & the other guy just left their fishing nets to follow Jesus. I wondered if they even knew Jesus as He came walking by. Bell clears that all up in this book and it's so interesting! It has led me to look more into the culture & history during the time that Jesus walked the earth.

I don't care much for Bell's style of writing, but when he gets right down into a topic, there's some good stuff there. I'm going to recommend reading it because it is short and contains some good information.
This book is awesome!  Mar 12, 2007
I have been blessed (or, at times, cursed) with rare insight myself, and am not easily impressed by others who claim to have it. Rob Bell, however, truly has a gift; and he is using it to call people back to their relationship with God. Rob uses simple analogies to show us how easy it is to connect with God, and he tells us it is okay to explore, test, and probe (think out of this culture's "norm"). Rob just gets you thinking, and he reminds us that God wants us to think about Him, and relate to Him. Practice makes perfect.

If we are ever to be able to discern God's unique message for each of us, it remains our responsibility, as individual's, to search for and connect with God's Holy Spirit that IS in each of us. Don't get hung up on the believing the "this and thats" of various, religious doctrines; get into the "believing IN" God, period; because God is love, and He loves us. Rob shows us the baby steps, toward the knowing and loving of God, that God has made available to us through the simple things in life. Okay, now I'm getting preachy.

The book is so good, and Rob does such a great job, that I must admit some skepticism. I almost wait for the other "shoe to drop" (isn't that terrible of me?). I am hoping the relatively young Rob doesn't "screw" his gifts up by reading too much into his abilities, and eventually going off the deep end with the "holier than thou", I know THE Truth, type of evangelism we are all too familiar with (and have been hurt by).

I, myself, get a "high" from reading books that, though they challenge my comprehension and suck my energy, talk in depth about concepts regarding philosophy and Christology. However, this book, while not long, philosophical, preachy, or textual, has definite impact and is invigorating! WELL worth the money! Thank you, Rob! Please, keep up the good work!
helped change my perspective  Mar 8, 2007
really enjoyed the book and have since passed it along to several other friends. some of bell's observations helped articulate concepts i had for some time. other's challenged me to re-evaluate Christ's reason for coming. . .beyond forgiveness and eternal life, but to show me how to live. highly recommend it.
Read something else instead...  Mar 8, 2007
I've heard that so many people love this book by Rob Bell - he's the pastor at a new church called Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, MI and part of the emerging church movement that is seeking to reenergize Christianity with passion and authenticity. I had a few issues with the book, but for the most part my response is that Bell (and apparently others in this movement) really feels like he's discovered authentic Christianity for the first time since the early church and that not only shocks me, but saddens me at the same time. I'm glad there are Rob Bells out there right now - seeking to live in a manner worthy of their calling by serving the needs of others and I know that his book is helping to shake the cobwebs off of many younger followers of Christ. But overall, the book is really underwhelming and his thoughts and ideas are nothing new. There are hundreds of outstanding churches, many that I personally have been associated with over the years, which teach solid doctrine and minister to the needs of those outside the church walls at the same time. I would agree with Bell that there needs to be more done in the name of Christ to better our communities and I hope that this aspect of his message is received with open arms from all.

The primary issue I had with Velvet Elvis is the picture that Bell paints regarding the interaction of Christianity and the culture. I get the idea that Bell envisions his winsome and inviting approach is far more effective (and Biblical) than a combative stance. However, there are times that Christians must (and have) stood firm in the face of opposition. The church is an active participant in the affairs of mankind; and while there have been numerous individuals that have carried the banner of Christ inappropriately, there are countless examples of Christians standing against the cultural crisis of their day to defend the defenseless and have fought for justice and liberty on the behalf of others. Whether it be Athanasius or Luther, Wilberforce or Machen, the list of godly men and women that have been used by God to defend the gospel is as long as the list of those who have enjoyed the freedoms to share the gospel in large part due to the work of others obtaining and protecting the freedom to do so.

Overall, I thought much of what Rob Bell had to say was fine - I like his focus on simplicity and authenticity. But, I wouldn't personally recommend the book to anyone - there are much better books to read that give this same message in a more powerful and profound manner - William Law's incredible book A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life comes to mind as one such example and even John Bunyan's classic Pilgrim's Progress would be a much better read to address these issues for a Christian today than Bell's Velvet Elvis.
10,000 can't be wrong, can they?  Feb 25, 2007
A violinist had prepared for his recital for many months. The day arrived and the concert hall was packed. At the end of the recital the audience rose to their feet and offered a lengthy ovation. Backstage a friend of the musician noticed his somber mood. He asked "why so down, didn't you hear and see? They loved you. You were wonderful". The violinist replied, "Yes, but there was one man who stayed in his seat and did not applaud". "You are sad because one man out of hundreds did not appreciate your efforts?" questioned the friend. "Yes" he said "for you see, that man is my violin teacher".
Just because something is "successful" in the eyes of man does not necessarily mean it is approved by God.
Rob Bell seems to be a gifted man. His NOOMA videos are brilliant and very effective. His methods and teaching style are edgy and scratching an itch with this generation.
Like a few of the others who have shared reviews of this book, I too found myself unclear as to what he really believes. Bell's call for "honesty" and "openess" about our faith, and the freedom to question -are ideas I can support. I found myself agreeing and "amen"ing several points he makes where the "church" is clearly missing her mission. But where he calls for a repainting of our faith - I see the problem with the application, not the principles. I happen to believe that the Bible teaches absolutes/truth. Bell seems to think that "If it works then it's true" while I would contend "It's true, therefore it works".
He is critical and fairly antagonistic of people/churches that have to have "absolutes" for their faith ("brickianity") to work. Bell then disguises his "bricks" (beliefs) as; a trampoline (which, by the way, like "inviting Jesus into your heart" or the word "trinity" is not found in the Bible), "binding and loosing", or the "way of Jesus". He expounds on his "beliefs" with statements like (in reference to Jesus addressing his followers) "What he is doing here is significant. He is giving his followers the authority to make new interpretations of the Bible" (pg 50). In response to a church leader who chooses to "takes the Bible for what it really says" Bell writes "this view of the Bible is warped and toxic" (pg 53). Sounds pretty absolute/"brickish" to me.
Bell gives lip-service to churches that don't ascribe to his teachings, by saying "there's nothing wrong with them" and he "thanks God for them" (pg 14). He then proceeds to blast their practices and beliefs in various places throughout the rest of the book. Likening the way they do things to an outdated poster that should be rolled up in the basement somewhere.
Here in "brickland" I'm all for selling out to Jesus. Being salt and light to a lost and dying world. Asking hard questions, being real and coming up with fresh ways to present God's ageless truths. I am not so arrogant, however, as to think I have a right to paint over God's masterpiece.
I read in one of the very thoughtful, positive reviews that those of us who have a problem with Velvet Elvis are missing the authors intent. That Bell is somehow being purposefully provocative to elicit dialogue. If I thought this book would ONLY result in people having great discussions about our faith (without misleading), I could endorse it. But I fear, as I have read a number of the reviews in favor of it and spoken to several young believers who have bought into it, that many will be drawn to it's "nowness" and add fuel to "their" doubts about the integrity of the scriptures.

I guess time will tell if the Great "Rabbi" will be standing and applauding Bell's efforts.
In the meantime I choose to build my faith on solid ground (bricks) not on a trampoline.

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