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Questions (courtesy of Rob Bell) – Part 1

March 26, 2008

I finished reading Rob Bell’s book, Velvet Elvis a while back. It came highly recommended and I will have to say I was disappointed. While some of his points were good, I disagreed with a lot in the book as some of it I thought was dangerous theology and borderline heretical. What it did do was cause me to look and question a lot about my faith and Christianity in general. This quote is from the back cover.

We have to test everything. I thank God for anybody anywhere who is pointing people to the mysteries of God. But those people would all tell you to think long and hard about what they are saying and doing and creating. Test it. Probe it. Do that to this book. Don’t swallow it uncritically. Think about it. Wrestle with it.

Maybe after that description he accomplished his goal! As I stated, the book brought about a lot of questions, some of which I would like to discuss with you over the next few posts.

He writes on pg. 85:

Paul put it like this, “For everything God created is good.” (1 Tim. 4:4) This is why Jesus wouldn’t have blessed the food before he ate. He blessed God for providing the earth, which provides the food. The food is already blessed, because it comes from the earth, and “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (Psalms 24:1)”

The question is do you pray and bless the food before every meal? If so, why? Is it tradition, do you want to truly thank him for the food, or do you think it is even necessary? If you do it at any meal, why not all of them?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2008 10:32 am

    First off, I appreciate you struggling with questions from Bell’s work without discounting him completely because you disagree with him on certain points. Trust me, when it comes to Bell discussions on the web, this sort of thing stands out.

    I think, more often than now, the responses to your question would be tradition. Many probably don’t question whether or not they should ask God to bless their food. This is interesting, because aside from tradition we probably wouldn’t have the desire, wouldn’t discover the desire, to have our food blessed aside from these traditions.

    It is something we should question. And, maybe, it’s something that a change of mindset would show is something we don’t _need_ to be asking for. This doesn’t mean prayer at meals shouldn’t happen, but it should drastically change the stance of one’s prayer at meals.

    Thanks for the question.

  2. March 27, 2008 9:25 pm

    I read this early this morning and thought about it several times today. Our mealtime prayers are really never about the food (despite the obligatory, “bless our food” words we throw in). We pray during that time more often out of habit because it’s the one time we are all in the same room sitting still. Very interesting point about the blessing of our food. My grandpa would always pray “bless this food to nourish our bodies.” I supposed that is more of my heart when we pray together at meals…not to “sanctify” the food, but to ask the Father to take that which he has provided and “make it do what it’s supposed to do.”

    Scripture does say Jesus blessed the food…Matt 26:26 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.” same thing? Was Jesus asking his Father to take his body and make it do what it was supposed to do? Maybe it wasn’t about the literal bread.

    Good question. I don’t know the answer but I do know my mind was thinking about it at dinner tonight.

  3. Mike High permalink*
    March 28, 2008 8:25 am

    aspiringindie…I really like the other teachings I have heard Rob Bell teach which is why I don’t totally discount this book. I just think it is potentially dangerous for unbelievers or new believers to misinterpret the book for what I think its purpose and conclusion is.

    kim…I think the point of the post is to evaluate why we are praying at the meal. I think it is important to do and there are many good reasons why to do it. Mine primarily is thankfulness for his provision. I think for many Christians it has become ritualized, and we need to step back and realize why we are doing it and do it with a purpose.

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