Monday, April 28, 2008

Thoughts on being a 'missionary'

"Missions is less about the transportation of God from one place to another and more about the identification of a God who is already there. It is almost as if being a good missionary means having really good eyesight. Or maybe it means teaching people to use their eyes to see things that have always been there; they just didn't realize it yet. You see God where others don't. Then you point Him out. Perhaps we ought to replace the word missionary with tour guide because we can't show people something we have not seen."
- Rob Bell, from: 'Velvet Elvis'


  1. I own this book, yet I still have not found the time to read it. I have herd it is pretty good though and am looking forward to it this summer. Has anyone else read it?

  2. Mike,

    I've read most of it (skimmed through it in about 4 hours) and found that while Bell has some good things to say he brings up questions that need answers but doesn't answer them leaving them open to be answered however one feels they should be.

    He also says some things that I don't think line up with what the bible teaches - such as God having faith in our ability to do the things He asks of us, that there are doctrinal things like the virgin birth that can be taken out of Christianity and it can remain Christianity.

    I wouldn't recommend it as something that would be helpful for building up someone's faith, but I would recommend it to be read so that one can understand what this guy is saying and where he is coming from. You can't write off a guy without hearing what he has to say even if what he has to say doesn't line up with the bible.

    In regards to the quote on this post - it has always struck me as something good and something bad at the same time. The good in is that it is true that God is everywhere and we are called to be light that illuminates the truth of who He is so that all may see Him. You could say that we point God out to people so they can see Him.

    On the other hand Bell's tone in this is that we should not use the word missionary because it has a bad implication. I disagree (not just because I am a missionary) because of what the word missionary means. The reason Bell gives as to why we shouldn't use the word missionary is because we have to first "see" God then show Him to others - why does that change the term "missionary"?

    I guess that is what I don't like about Bell - he wants to change things that he feels don't have loving implications (like the term missionary) but not for any solid reason that can be backed up by God's word.