I am gearing up to teach on the Emerging Church at the Calvary Chapel Worldview Conference in southern California on March 8th (You're welcome to join us if you're able! Click here for info). One of the many books that I have read recently, in preparation for this topic, is Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis. Whoa. I heard there was some questionable stuff in it, but I am absolutely blown away at how many times Bell maligns God's word. Over and over again Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Michigan, says things that are Scripturally aberrant and even heretical (e.g., belittling the virgin birth of Christ on p.26). I am astonished so many people who claim to be Christians have enjoyed this book! Do they have no discernment? Have they studied the Bible? Do they take seriously Scripture's charge to "test all things" (1 Thess. 5:21) or the Bereans example of searching the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) to see if the things the apostle Paul taught them were in harmony with the Word of God?
If you want an indepth critique of Velvet Elvis, Mark Edward Sohmer has written a careful review of the book (click here to open the PDF file). We owe a large thank you to Mark for his insightful analysis of Bell's book. Sohmer's review also includes a critique of Rob Bell's "Nooma" video: "Bullhorn" (see Appendix B, p. 50).