Find the Big Jesus: An Interview with Rob Bell

'It's a giant thing that God is doing-and not just the forgiveness of individuals. It is the reconciliation of all things.'

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For many people the message of Jesus was presented as an individual message of salvation for their own individual sin: "Jesus died for you." I affirm that wholeheartedly, but in the scriptures, its scope goes in the opposite direction. It begins with the Jesus who dies on the cross and rises from the dead. But as the New Testament progresses, you have writers saying that "by his shed blood he is reconciling everything in heaven and on earth." Peter says in Acts, "He will return to restore everything."



So it is a giant thing that God is doing here and not just the forgiveness of individuals. It is the reconciliation of all things. It is the putting back together of the whole universe how God originally intended it to be. One way to look at it is that the message is an invitation into God's giant, global universal purposes that "I" actually get to be a part of.



I'm trying to get the focus where the first Christians seem to have had the focus. It is easy for it to become a very selfish thing-"look what I've got"-as opposed to "by the grace of God look at this amazing thing that he's been inviting people into for thousands of years." And that is quite an awe-inspiring, amazing thing.



What is at the heart of what you do?

Hope. There is the perspective of the person who pretends that everything is fine-the shiny, happy people perspective, "this it the day God has made," but doesn't seem to acknowledge how bloody and difficult the world is.



Then there is the deconstructionist voice of despair that says, I see how rough it is and how horrible and hard life is-all they have is commiserating with you.


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Then there is this third category of voices of people who acknowledge how things really are and still have hope. And those are always the people who inspire me so much.



How fast can you become a mystic?
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