Velvet Elvis pgs. 138-147, intro & “Who We Are Now”

The intro section makes a great point.  I think that for many people, converting to Christianity can be a bit of a letdown initially, as they recognize all that is expected of them.  They may have this joyous, wondrous experience of revelation and come to Christ in joy, and then get hit upside the head by all of the lifers telling them what they have to do and not do now.  It can be a quick buzz-kill.  Whether or not these things need to be done or avoided is not the issue.  The issue is timing, and the matter of how people are introduced to the new set of values that is Christianity. 

The next section is very good as well, and much of what he says here points back to comments I made on earlier sections, about how it isn’t us that is so great in and of ourselves, but rather Christ in us that makes us great and enables us to be more than we could on our own.  I think this is what Bell really believes, but at times, he seems to drift in terminology (in earlier sections – not here) into more modern anthropologies of man. 

I *LOVE* the paragraph on 144 where he talks about the fact that if more people accepted and believed who they are (declared to be in Christ), then people wouldn’t have to be pushed and prodded and told what to do – they’d do it naturally.  He’s dead on.  It isn’t sin management.  It is totally about learning who we really are, whose we really are, and then living that way. 

On the other hand, by the end of the section, on page 147, he’s moving into an area that I’m less comfortable with – and that is the idea of us ushering in the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of hell.  He elaborates on this in the next sections, and it makes me uncomfortable.  More on that later, though.

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