Wrapping Up “Velvet Elvis”

By PaulT / September 7, 2017

I mentioned before that I had broken in a copy of Rob Bell’s “Velvet Elvis.” I can proudly claim that it’s been properly read through. I’m now gradually making my way through the five-part sermon series that sorta laid the groundwork for the book. Actually, I’m pretty certain that I stumbled onto it by coincidence. Just a great foundational series to soak up. I can’t recommend it enough.

And believe it or not, I spent a fair portion of time last night trying to find some snippet of “Velvet Elvis” to quote at length. Seems that I remember more than a few points along the way jabbing me that “this might be a great clip for the blog.” But my lasting sentiment from the book is that you have to read it as much for the style and flow that only Rob Bell can provide. Listen to him a few times (or catch enough NOOMA videos to get the drift) before reading and it helps the read even more.

There’s one point in the sermon series – I think the final part – where Bell mentions how we’ve gotten off track in expressing God’s work here as if the Bible starts at Genesis 3 (The Fall of Man) instead of Genesis 1 (the part where God says things are … good!). I think I’ve successfully mastered my new MP3 player’s rewind mechanics in order to take that point in a bit more.

Great stuff, I have to say. So just read the whole thing … or listen to about 4 hours of Rob yakking. Your call.

Now, Rob’s second book is “Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality And Spirituality.” I read the first chapter and flipped through the book on a lazy day. Fear not – not a great deal there that’d make anyone blush. But, for me, it’s not necessarily a topic that I’m ready to go drop a lot of my allowance on at the drop of a hat. Still, it’s kinda tempting now since “Velvet Elvis” was such a great read. The sermons actually touched a bit on this topic as well. Again … your call. I’m probably on podcast overload (not to mention work!) for a while as it is. Maybe I’ll remember to do some audio snippets.

Greg Boyd does a convincing job of piquing my interest on Jacques Ellul, who’s written up a storm back in the 70s and 80s … and on topics that I’m sure I could comfortably dive right into the deep end with. Alas, I’ve already gotten my hands full with my Taylor Branch trilogy that I’m painfully making my way through. Seriously … what started off as my December plan has now morphed into coinciding with Black History Month. And here we are on MLK’s birthday, no less! Maybe I should go ahead and try cracking into Chapter 6 before turning in for the night. One passage that I was struck by on the ride into work this morning, though:

page 203:

Make of it what you will, but in reading Boyd’s summation of Ellul’s “Anarchy and Christianity”:

From the early snapshot of King and the Civil Rights movement, those two items really seem to gel wonderfully.

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