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Drops Like Stars

January 3, 2010

I have to admit, I have been frustrated with Rob Bell lately. Like most people, I was introduced to his ministry through the Nooma videos. I’ve heard several of his lessons that I really appreciated.

So here is the main source of my recent frustration – I heard him speak at an event recently, and he threw out an abbreviation of an expletive (kind of a way of saying it without really saying it). Then he joked about anyone who was offended by that being a hypocrite. That seems to be a trendy thing to do, toss in profanity here and there. I guess the attempt is to be “real,” but it seems like just playing to the crowd or trying to seem cool. I also wish he included more of his sources when he writes. For instance, in “Velvet Elvis,” he brings up some really interesting facts about Hebrew culture but doesn’t cite all his sources.

Ok, with all that being said,I really enjoyed “Drops Like Stars” for 2 big reasons –

1. The format. A friend once told me that Christian artists often get left out in congregations because they have trouble finding ways to use their talents. Speaking as someone who is not artistic, I agree with him. That’s one of the reasons I liked Drops Like Stars; it seemed to be a marriage of message and imagery, using some incredible photos and layouts. He really succeeds in getting a message across through words and images.  It is a coffee-table size book, and the large pictures at first suggest that it is a coffee-table kind of book. But there is much more to it than that. Which brings me to my second reason.

2.   The content. First of all, there is probably no element more challenging to the life of a Christian than suffering. It hits all of us right where we live. He brings up some of life’s biggest questions about suffering but refuses to give a pat answer as to why it exists. Rather, he focuses on how we react to it. Several good quotes and illustrations, and he manages to get to the heart of difficult topics in a minimum of words (the sign of a good writer). Of course, there are a couple of moments where he throws in a comment about having a beer (again, seems to be an effort to be “real” or “cool,” but it isn’t needed. And it bugs me. I think I mentioned that already). He’s best served sticking with the topic, where he has some insightful comments to offer. You can get caught up in the photos and art and be almost finished reading before you know it. What is interesting is that I found myself wanting to re-read it to pick up on some things I missed. I think I will probably come back to it several times this year, not just to mine good quotes but because I enjoyed it. Definitely worth reading.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 3, 2010 11:48 pm

    Have been wanting to pick this one up. S0unds weird, but suffering has a special place in my heart. The writers (Writer) of Scripture liked it waaay to much for us to ignore its potential.

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