Velvet Elvis – Chapter-By-Chapter Review

With the release this past year of Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis in paperback, I’ve decided to do one of my Vanguard Church in-depth reviews. Why? Because:

1. Bell is becoming more and more influential since Velvet Jesus was first released in 2005. His nooma videos are being increasingly used in churches, youth groups, and college ministries (such as our CCO ministries). They resonate with the younger generation in a way few other resources do.

2. Which makes some people nervous – especially parents of kids attending these youth groups and pastors who are suspicious of those “emerging church types.” I recently attended a pastor’s seminar led by D.A. Carson that seriously called into question Rob Bell’s ministry. One of Carson’s colleagues at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Dale Van Dyke, has written a scathing review of the Bell's book. John McArthur’s latest book, The Truth War, attacks Bell as a false teacher. The criticism for Bell is mounting. What is this Rob Bell teaching? Is it heresy and false teaching? Should we stop his false teaching from entering into our churches, youth groups, and college ministries?

Since we have a case of an increasing divide in the church, one that pits the older, wiser generation against the younger, wilder generation, we had better hear what this young pastor is saying. We had better understand him, not presuming anything until we do so. We had better deal squarely with what he is saying.

That’s what we will try to do as I analyze Rob Bell’s book, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith.

Posts in this series:


Matt Robinson said...


I just finished his new book, "Sex God." Loved it!

Look forward to your review. I'd like to read this book as well. I find him very refreshing. "Sex God" connected some dots for me.


Doug Jones said...

Bob - I look forward to this... thanks for "taking it on." I am definitely more biased toward Bell and his way of thinking... but I know many who listen to the voices of MacArthur and co. -- so I am looking forward to your take on his "repainting."

joeldaniel said...

wondering why Velvet Elvis and not Sex God? either way, looking forward to getting your take...

Bob Robinson said...

Joel Daniel,

The reason for doing Velvet Elvis and not Sex God is that Velvet Elvis is his first, and most popular, book. It is now getting into the hands of many people due to its being out in paperback.
It is also the one that has been criticized by the evangelicals I've mentioned. And, lastly, I was disappointed to not find too many in-depth reviews of the book that were not simply from the negative angle.

Michael Krahn said...


It looks like we're working on this book at the same time. I've just posted the first of a multi-part series on Rob's book.

Join me in conversation at: