A review(ish) of Rob Bell’s newest book. Drops Like Stars is Bell’s best book yet. I was able to get a pre-release copy of the book from the Poets, Prophets, and Preachers conference held in Michigan. The book is now available (release date was August 1). Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
I have had some delay in my video review of Rob Bell’s newest book, Drops Like Stars. Some problems with my external hard drive have prevented finalizing the video. It will be posted as soon as I am able resolve that problem (I really hope I haven’t dropped all my stored data). Additionally, the series On Church will begin shortly after the review.
The pages on subversiveREFORMATION.com have been updated. Check out the menu bar and click HYPOTYPOSIS, INTERACTION, and RESOURCES. I am particularly interested in suggestions to the RESOURCES page. If you have ideas for local (MV, OH), art, and web resources please add your recommendation in a comment to this post.
[Be sure to check out the questions at the end of this post.]
I just read a blog post by Prodigal John (Jon Acuff) at Stuff Christians Like. I realized as I read his confession that I, too, am a Christian Culture Snob (though I think I already knew that I was). I would suggest that the proper language to use would be “Christian SUBculture Snob” since the Christian subculture is not a dominant presence within a broader culture to which many Christians conform, the dominant culture of the American empire. Nonetheless, I am a Christian Culture Snob according to Jon:
A Christian culture snob is a Christian that makes fun of people and things that are deemed “Christian.” I believe am cooler than you and able to edit “Love your neighbors” to actually say, “Love your neighbors unless you deem them cheesy and then instead feel free to kick them like a hacky sack woven of burlap and sarcasm.” Basically, I am prone to turn my nose up at some of the things you do.
Although I’ve reduced my degree of Christian culture snobbery in the last few years, during high school it was at an all time high, which is when I ran into you Carmen. I think you were doing that Champion song with the devil cameo and maybe the whole God’s Army thing with the dog tags at the time. And Christian radio, you were just so bright and chipper all the time. I had a field day with both of you. But looking back on it, and fearing that I’ll fall prey to Christian culture snobs when my book comes out, I realize that I was wrong and really unloving. And even though I wish I could eradicate Christian culture snobbery, I am but a meager blogger, one man who wears a retainer at night, a unibrowed writer with only a small voice. But the least I can do is to help other people know if they’ve fallen into the same trap as me. The least I can do is create the …
Christian Culture Snob Scorecard. Here are my results:
1. +0 points. I equally crucify cheesy Christian programming and The Bachelorette.
2. +3 points. Not “Jesus Junk” but I do have some other phrases to describe the knick knackery that Christian bookstores often sell at the front.
3. +2 points. Chris Tomlin, no. I met him and he was cool. Casting Crowns, absolutely!
4. +1 point. I don’t get the goosebumps from “I Can Only Imagine” but Shane and Shane might get me a little.
5. +5 points. But… you can usually tell.
6. +10 points. This is my worst offense!
7. +3 points. Ha! Ha!
8. +2 points. Only mildly embellished jeans.
9. +5 points. That’s me.
10. +0 points. Nope. I’m fully aware.
11. +3 points. Indeed. It’s true.
12. +3 points. Not Man on Fire but… yes… many other films.
13. +1 points. Maybe even 18-19%.
14. +1 points. Ditto “The Fray.”
15. -2 points. I’m proud that I went to a Michael W. Smith concert because I brag about the fact that I fell asleep.
16. +2 points. You have an abnormal amount of disdain for the movies “Facing the Giants” or “Fireproof.”
17. +8 points. Once again… I fell asleep after 5 minutes of “FtG” and refuse to watch “Fireproof.”
18. +2 points.
19. -2 points. I regularly criticize the cheesy nature of Christian culture but do all that I can to change it.
20. +3 points. He is intense. Saw Stephen Baldwin at Ichthus and the crowd started chanting, “Bio Dome.”
21. +10 points. I just say that there is no such thing as Christian music.
22. +2 points. Kirk is right up there with pleated khakis and the Republican haircut.
23. +3 points. I’m not a middle-aged female.
24. +0 points. I checked out the site because I was hoping it would be satire.
25. +16 points. Indeed.
26. +4 points. Complete lack of wisdom.
27. +0 points. Not really.
28. +3 points. Oh, Thomas.
29. + 4 points. Forget the strong, godly man with the mysterious past. I just make fun of Christian romance novels in general.
I scored 93. Off the charts. Once again, I have to agree completely with Jon:
How did you score? To be honest, I fluctuate a little but on most days, I am on off the charts. But what this site is teaching me is that mocking doesn’t really do awesome things for Christianity. I’ve definitely blown that sometimes with what I write and am probably the guiltiest of all of us, but I realized something the other day. I’ve never once had a non-Christian say to me, “You know, this faith you’re making fun, this Christian culture you’re mocking sounds really intriguing. I think I do want to start an everlasting personal relationship with Jesus. Thank you for being so willing to make fun of Carmen for me.”
I must ask a question. OK… a couple of questions. Is it good that there is a Christian subculture? Is the current, popular Christian subculture even really “Christian?” What does a real, healthy, and good Christian culture look like?