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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 October 14, 2011

    Holy Bazzoly

    fresh look

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    A Must Read

    Every Christian should read this. Rob Bell really knows how to make you think, ponder, apply and re- apply Gods Word to your ever changing life. He says whats never been said before and helps you realize the difference between church and doctrine. This is a liberating book and you'll want to read it over and over!

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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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  • Posted March 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    This book is incredible! I grew so much from reading it. Rob Bell is not part of the emerging church. He denies it in a interview and in no way should that be a determination of his character. This book sets you free from a dead church and feeds you with so much useful information that can prepare you for apologetics, polemics, and for any endeavor with the church. I recommend it to a lot of people. Rob Bell is a good man and i hate to see anyone attack his character. Who are you to judge a mans character. Let God look at his heart because he is helping the church move onward and out of the ill favor of the stereotypes we have placed on ourselves.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 27, 2011

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