Customer Reviews for

Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Church Leaders Perspective

This was probably the best book I have read on christianity, not a list of do's and don'ts, but a genuine questioning of God's reality, expectations, & presence. The best way to describe the book, 'Raw.'

posted by Anonymous on July 30, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

"Test it. Probe it. Do that to this book." Seriously.

It's no secret that this book has been the topic of much controversy. I no longer wanted to defend or criticize someone's book without having read it, so I picked this up. (Quick background: I thought I shared this guy's views on the church and Christianity, but reading...
It's no secret that this book has been the topic of much controversy. I no longer wanted to defend or criticize someone's book without having read it, so I picked this up. (Quick background: I thought I shared this guy's views on the church and Christianity, but reading this book was like looking into a mirror and not liking what I saw. I now know I need to take my beleifs and faith more seriously.)

After careful reading and note taking, I have generated many thoughts and have taken a stand amongst the argument circulating around this book. There is the side that Rob Bell is a heritic and then there's the side that claims he is right on target. I choose neither side. Simply put: I beleive he is a true believer in Christ, however he is speaking prematurly and unkowingly leading others astray. Let me explain:

Let's address the big issue first. It's been said that Rob Bell claims that the virgin birth didn't take place. This rumor is not accurate. There is a bigger picture that is more dangerous. His argument is that Christian theology/doctrine can be removed, stretched, manipulated and interpreted in any way you would like for it to be and Christianity would still exist as unfaultering and solid. Basically he does not beleive that sound doctrine is essential to Christian growth.

He then goes on to say that Scripture is not inspired by God. Instead it is just a bunch of random writings from a bunch of random people who happened to live in certain points of time.

I could write about this book nitpicking almost every other statement he makes in this book. There are stark contradictions at every turn, and unless you are hopelessly gullable, you will see them jump right out. It would be funny if it weren't so sad that many people are buying into this guy's theology. He might deny that he has a theology.

Anything factual and not soley his opinions on the world are complete plagerism from Ray Vander Laan (and possibly others). An entire chapter in fact is basically copied word for word from the very words of Mr. Vander Laan himself. The only credit he gives is found in the endnotes which I'm sure Rob Bell assumes no one would think to look there, so they'll assume these great revelations are from him.

He preaches a works-based faith. He discourages people from taking Jesus' words literally. He condemns preaching from the Bible. The list goes on and on and on (beleive me, I have one). I will not tell you not to read it. That is your choice. But read it with discernment and be on guard. Hold on tight to what you know to be true. I will say that Rob Bell did get one thing right and I will leave you with his very words: "Something can be labeled 'Christian' and not be true or good."

posted by bookin-it on January 23, 2010

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    Posted January 3, 2010

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