A lot has changed recent years with Rob Bell with the “evolution” of his theology. With so much talk, I thought it was time to revive this old post I made back in 2008.


I have to admit, I am not a fan of Rob Bell’s Nooma Videos or his writings.  I know some folks have theological concerns about Bell.  Personally, I have never been able to stay awake long enough to form a meaningful conclusion.  Anyway, I ran across the following links at Raffi Shahinian’s blog and was in the mood for a good laugh.

I know this is just a matter of taste, but for me the videos are painfully slow moving and always about 8 minutes too long (the last one I saw was a 10 minute video). I just don’t get it.

If you’ve never seen one of Rob Bell’s Nooma videos, here is an entertaining example of what you are not missing.  If you are a fan, then you will recognize this is just a funny parody from Rudi Gesch and friends.

Bell’s books are a lot like his videos; rambling, disconnected, and full of random thoughts. If you have never read any of Bell’s books, this sneak peek at his next book posted at the Wittenburg Door says it all.  If you dig Bell’s writing, you know this is satirical, but you’ll still be moved to deeper levels of spiritual vitality simply because it reminds you of Rob Bell.

Getting Real About Reality in Real Time, Really (Rob Bell’s Latest Meditation on Realism)
by Aaron Alford

I was counseling a man and woman the other day. He was very angry. And upset. And she was too.




I looked at the man. He was so upset because he was quite displeased with the whole situation. And that reminded me of Jesus. “Jesus” is this man, who is also God, who is talked about in the Christian holy writings called “The Bible.” In this “Bible,” there are many “stories” about Jesus in things called “gospels.” Anyhoo, one day “Jesus” became “upset.”

So upset that he turned over tables.

Tables people changed money at.

Tables where people had times at.

Tables. Times.

Often we do math. Using times tables. The word “times tables” appears approximately 37 times in the Bible. In the Greek, it is made up of two words. “Blek” meaning “times” and “plethunos” meaning “tables.” Times Tables.




How often do we unnecessarily multiply our anger? Our upsettness? Our flustration?

“He is making me angry.”

“She’s being dumb.”

“See Dick jump.”

And so on.

You may be becomening upset right now. Upset that I make up words. Upset that some of my sentences are incomplete thoughts, containing no verbs whatsoever. What. Soever. Upset that I start too many sentences with “and.” And upset that I start too many sentences with “but.”

But there’s something else. Something deeper. Going on here.

I told the man and the woman, who were still mad, this stuff about times tables and anger and other things and whatnot. They blankly stared at me. And do you know what? Their angerness was gone.

It was replaced with something else. Something blanker.

Because this is really about that.

Moby Dick is really about a whale.

Green Eggs and Ham is really about the Cat in the Hat.[1]

And Scatman Crothers[2] was the black dude in The Shining.

But we’re all shining, aren’t we?

Shining with realitude.[3]



[1]These are books by an incredible author named Dr. Seuss. Go buy everything he’s ever written and read them right now.

[2]The Shining is this movie where this writer dude totally goes crazy and says “here’s Johnny” and stuff. Have you seen it? Why do you think I referenced it here? How does that make you feel?

[3]You probably thought you were finished reading. Well you’re not! I can keep these footnotes going just as long as I want, baby! And people will read them! Yeah! In your face, Miller! Who’s emergent now??? WOOO!!!!



Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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