Rob Bell is a bestselling author and international teacher and speaker. He is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His books include Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Love Wins. He was profiled in TIME Magazine as one of 2011's hundred most influential people. Visit Rob Bell at www.robbell.com.
In this spunky little book filled with photographs by Jay Irwin and an accessible design by creative director Mark Baas, Bell looks at the suffering, pain, and loss that often knock the wind out of us and threaten to destroy our hope for the future.
Whereas many traditional Christians ask the question "why this?" when tragedy hits them, this believer is more interested in "what now?"
Bell wants us to think creatively about ways to cope with unexpected suffering and loss. These setbacks often turn us around and lead us in new directions. This process also takes place in art. Bell outlines six "art forms" that follow in the path of suffering.
The first is "the art of disruption" as our old habits and intellectual dogmas are shattered. We begin to reimagine new possibilities.
We are forced out of the prison of ignorance and self-deception by "the art of honesty" and set on a fresh course in "the art of the ache" where we are alerted to the need to repair the world.
Through the arts of solidarity, elimination, and failure, we are able to become all we are meant to be as God's sons and daughters, making choices that will determine our destinies.
Bell eschews the shibboleth of suffering as part of the divine plan for us. He also salutes the true humanity of Jesus who suffered mightily and allowed himself to be a creative matrix for a transformed humanity.