Scott Hodge


Velvet Elvis and Brickianity

Aug 16, 2005

Elvis4_2I read Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis last week and must say that I really enjoyed it.  Not only does Rob do an excellent job bringing Jewish traditions and rabbinical customs into his writing, but he also writes with a bit of humor and satire. 

Apparently, his book has caused quite a stir at Amazon, but from my initial read, I have to say that I don’t see anything written that is contrary to the scriptures (or in Rob’s words – my interpretation of scripture…)  But the controversy has to be good for something!  #484 on!  Nice Rob…

One of the great points that Rob makes in his book is how many people follow doctrine more than we follow Jesus.  He says (describing someone who is all about defending his doctrine):

Each of the core doctrines for him is like an individual brick that stacks on top of the others.  If you pull one out, the whole wall starts to crumble.  It appears quite strong and rigid, but if you begin to rethink or discuss even one brick, the whole thing is in danger.

God is bigger than any wall.  God is bigger than any religion.  God is bigger than any worldview.  God is bigger than the Christian faith.

…one of the thigns that happens in a brickworld: you spend a lot of time talking about how right you are.  Which of course leads to how wrong everybody else is.  Which then leads to defending the wall. 

You rarely defend the things you love.  You enjoy them and tell others about them and invite others to enjoy them with you.

The problem with brickianity is that walls inevitably keep people out.  Often it appears as though you have to agree with all of the bricks exactly as theya re or you can’t join.

Brickianity.  You’ve got to love that.

3 Responses to “Velvet Elvis and Brickianity”

  1. ted says:

    rob, once again, does a fabulous job communicating a timeless message in a priceless form.
    his edgy book cover and brilliant discussions are great…but the knoweldge and truth that is threaded through his teachings about christ are original and inspiring.
    as rob says about the rabbi’s of jesus day, that they looked at the scriptures as a gem…something that can be turned and seen in other brilliant ways! that the moment you think you have something figured out in the text, suddenly, you turn the gem (scriptures) and see god differently.
    i love his style and candidness in the book. thanks rob!

  2. brad says:

    i am going to say i understand some of the controversy. rob takes a risk, he explores the idea that the scriptures are more flexible in some ways than we perceive, than our denominational boxed in minds limit us in our journey with God. he enters us into the idea that there is this discussion that has been going on for centuries and we get to be in the middle of it. like we keep thinking we have God totally figured out with 3 songs, a message and altar call. i like his opening illustration of the trampoline, and his thoughts on christians being able to affirm truth and not have to see it as “the truth”. the book is taken directly from 8 sermons by rob and would encourage anyone to listen directly to those messages as well.

  3. Yeah, We (the Christian community) can be too “in your face” with our presentation of truth – as if heaven and Christ were some exclusive country club. I have to take exception with Rob’s analogy, however. The wall he refers to was defined (read “built”) by God, not by man. It was built to protect his children not to exclude others from a relationship with Him.

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