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 12 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2007

    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.'

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2005

    Outside the box: a different view of Jesus

    The book is very thought provoking and challenging especially for those of us brought up within the traditional, rigid, religiosity-ridden, church (choose your denomination!), and that's a good thing! I think we all need to follow Jacob's example and wrestle with our views of who (and/or what) we think God is. He's big enough to take us on. All truth is God's truth, and so long as our true motive is seeking the Truth (as opposed to proving one another wrong) He'll guide us there.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2005

    The Velvet Elvis Controversey

    If for nothing else, this book is worth the read simply for the controversey it is stirring up in evangelical circles. What? Jesus the best possible way? Jesus the way to ultimate reality? I find this book to be exciting, intriguing, and regenerating. Whether you have claimed to be a follower of Jesus, or don't buy into it at all.....you will enjoy this book. Rob's sense of humor,heart, compassion, and drive for people to live in tune with ultimate reality is the best gospel yet! (Gospel: Good News )

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    Velvet Elvis: A Pleasant Suprise!

    Velvet Elvis was the first book I read on the Nook. A random download, based only on the title, this book provided a fresh perspective on the many questions my faith and personality continuously raise.
    Nothing in life is chance. This is a book anyone will enjoy reading!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2008

    I'm not alone!

    What a relief that Christianity doesn't have to be dead. Too often we get stuck in a system bent on brainwashing for salvation. Rob brings the gospel out of the dark ages and reveals it as the fresh cup of water that it is. He writes as if the gospel were a living, breathing message of hope open to a living, breathing world. It will change your life.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    Amazing!

    Rob Bell provides an intriguing and thoughtful look at the Christian faith that some might find difficult to read. I thought it was amazing, and felt God peeling away years of innuendo and tradition, and leaving behind revelation that was true and sweet, and scary. I recommend this for anyone with the courage to examine years of tradition, and who wants to dig deeper into the whys - and hows - of a believer's faith in Jesus Christ.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008

    Inspiring

    I have honestly never read something that had so much depth. It helped me understand the whole of God a little better. Questioning God is what God wants because it draws us. It helped me understand the reason why college students fall away. and forgiveness... I had heard what had been written before, but he shines an entirely new light on... EVERYTHING...

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2006

    CHANGED MY LIFE

    This book is absolutely inspired. Rob Bell gives us a refreshingly honest and raw perspective on what it means to be a Christian. There is no pretense and no rote answers in this book. It is a book for people seeking God--the living, active and powerfully vibrant God.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2005

    must read for everyone

    An amazing book. Well written. Humorous. Does not attempt to give answers but allows the reader to ask the questions that are already pressing on their minds. Simply awesome. Sure to rock the world of many!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2005

    Rob Gets it Right

    I won't bore you with a long, drawn out commentary...I will simply say that, whether you are a life-long Christian or someone who doubts the existence of God altogether, you will enjoy this book. If nothing else, Rob will challenge you to think about Jesus and this whole Christianity thing in a way that you may not have thought before, and you may be surprised. Having experienced Rob's church, and his messages, I can tell you that he is as real and as honest as you will find. If you've got questions, doubts, or a stale faith, grab yourself a copy of Velvet Elvis and sit down somewhere quiet. You will be happy you did.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2014

    Prepare to see Jesus for the first time. Get ready to hear the g

    Prepare to see Jesus for the first time. Get ready to hear the gospel and not what you think all that means, to
    discover something wonderful without a lot of baggage and preconceptions weighing it down. Following Bell 
    through these chapters is like wiping a heavy coat of dust off a painting, revealing colors and content you had 
    not seen before. Velvet Elvis is like a revelation in that it takes the modern reader to place where he can see 
    Jesus. Really. As he is. Right now. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A lot to think about

    Rob Bell manages to guide the way through the traditional Christian faith and asks you to take his words, that are challenging the traditions, and pick at them to try to find your own way through Christianity. Fantastic book. Even if you don't like it, it will lead to very interesting discussion. However, as a side note, he writes how he speaks not in perfect paragraph order. Just be aware, however I find that to be powerful in itself because it allows him to emphasize his key points.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Holy Bazzoly

    fresh look

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    Believe or Not - awesome read

    Amazing in the way it stirs and shakes you as you read. As a believer, it caused me to re-think how "open-minded" I am about what I believe, how I believe it and how hard I am on myself for not knowing sometimes. It reminds me of so many conversations and comments I've had w/others and why they find it so difficult to believe - a trampoline is muchmore fun and fluid than a brick wall. Reminds me to be patient with myself and be honest with God - truly a blessing!!

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredible.

    Rob Bell provides inspiring truth and amazing revelation, in an easy to read, entertaining format. Velvet Elvis will inspire and challenge you to think deeper.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Read

    Velvet Elvis is filled with insightful thoughts and makes you bring into question many of your long standing beliefs. Personally, I enjoyed being challenged and revisiting some of the reasons I hold certain beliefs. If you're looking for a book that will aid you in strengthening our faith and forcing you to answer some tough questions, I would highly recommend this offering from Rob Bell.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell..don't be scared off by the title

    An inspiring and challenging look at Chrisianity and many of it's basic beliefs. We used this in an adult (30-70 year old) Sunday School. A must read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Coming up with my own painting...

    "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell is the kind of book I want all of my friends to read. The stories, the history, the context, and above all, the wisdom is too good and too relevant to not pass on. This book will forever be in my library - though I might have to re-buy it a number of times for lending it out so much.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis is truly a great book. He offers a fresh perspective. Although it has been well over a year since I read Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell's message remains in the forefront of my mind.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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