Rob Bell Still Painting Notes and Thoughts Part 1

Rob Bell was on at the Viper Room last night to talk about a variety of topics, what he’s up to now, and what he will be doing in the future.  His latest book, “What We Talk About When We Talk About God,” will be coming out in March of 2013.  It’s available for pre-order on

He started off the talk by describing the famous rabbinic tale of Rabbi Akiva and a roman sentry.  This was the first parable I posted on this site.  Check out the parables section (“Akiva and Roman Sentry”) for further detail.  A short version of the story is that Akiva took a wrong turn on his way home and winds up in front of a roman fort where the sentry asks him, “Who Are you?  What are you doing here?”  Akiva tells the soldier he will pay him double his current rate to stand in front of Akiva’s home each morning and ask him the same questions.  Who are you?  What are you doing here?  Two fundamental questions one must constantly wrestle with in life.

Rob then told a story about his former band, “Ton Bundle,” and how his dreams involving the band were suddenly crushed as a result of a surgery.  The story is covered in great detail in the article, “My Faith, Suffering My Way To a New Tomorrow.”  The link is below:

My favorite quote from this article is “Suffering is traumatic and awful and we get angry and we shake our fists at the heavens and we vent and rage and weep. But in the process we discover a new tomorrow, one we never would have imagined otherwise.”

I will follow up with the rest of my notes from the talk later today or tomorrow.  He covered a variety of topics and then took questions from the audience.  The talk and Q&A was just under 2 hours.

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