Went to see Rob Bell at Liverpool Cathedral last night. Rob is a celebrity pastor from the states (easiest way of putting it) but he is quite unlike the usual perception of the preacher evangelist types who love the sound of their own voice on the God Channel.
He is young and full of questions. He is not afraid to answer questions too.
A man recently nabbed me in a cafe and gave me a bashing from his bible for ten minutes. It was in one ear and out the other. When it was over – mercy from above – I had no idea about the personality behind this makeshift sermon. He could have been Dan the Dagger man from Dagenham. The point is that too many people spout the bible like robots without offering any of their own opinions to substantiate it. And then there are those with testimonies that are difficult to grasp because they are 100% certain of some miracle or other which doesn't even qualify as a miracle to you.
Rob Bell knows the bible backward, but he writes his own books too. He’s got his own mind. It’s not a bad one. He was raising similar doubts to the ones I have. He suggested that if a 17 year old does not accept Jesus (or indeed never heard of him, or lived before Jesus’ time) then is he still being eternally punished 17,000 years later? He shed some light on the concept of eternity in as much as it is relative, like a weekend of bowls with nothing to drink compared to a weekend sampling Paris restaurants with Winona Ryder. FOREVER could be a mere 3 days, if you are buried alive.
Which got me thinking about TIME and SPACE, and my recent understanding that they are BEYOND our understanding.
He touched upon his future works involving QUANTUM PHYSICS. I have bookmarked that area myself and wonder if the quantum level is the next logical rung on the ladder for anyone searching for answers in general. There is only so much to measure in the top veneer of the world we have already mapped so well, and things behave so differently beneath the surface that defining the miraculous becomes that much easier.
So he’s a clever dude with faith, although at one point it was uncertain whose side he was on! But what gets me is his following. The turnout was great. They say the church is big business. This guy signed 500 books at the end in a blink. The queue stretched away like only a handful of authors can dream of. Hmm.
The cathedral is astoundingly magnificent inside; a shrine for a giant with no budget spared. Bit chilly though.
And Christians are NICE people. Everyone was smiling. Everyone looked trustworthy. If we all had been naked except for rucksacks full of liquor, soft drugs, and refrigerated Galaxy Caramels, it might have been Heaven right there and then.
THINGS LEARNED ABOUT LIFE LATELY: There is no D in refrigerated. Peas and Beans taste nice together. God hates me. And oh yeah...
You're gunna burn in Hell!
You're gunna burn in Hell!