Rob Bell fights every impulse in our culture to domesticate Jesus, reminding readers that Christians do not believe in Christianity; they believe in the Christ who wants to "draw all people" to himself.
When the great theologian Karl Barth was charged with being a universalist, he reportedly denied it, but then quoted 1 John: "Christ died for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
Imagine you are a young mother living paycheck to paycheck, with no health insurance. Where would you go for a pregnancy test? For treatment of a sexually transmitted disease? To obtain contraceptives? In each case, the answer for millions of Americans is Planned Parenthood.
Our service ended with a Eucharist, celebrated at an imposing altar. I learned to make my gestures big, to open my arms wide, to lift the cup above my head. What I never quite got the hang of was the chanting.
Fiji has long been known to Westerners mainly as an exotic tourist destination. In recent years, though, the country has acquired a troubling reputation for religious and ethnic confrontations.
The most hopeful message in Greenhouses of Hope is implicit: your church doesn't have to be large, suburban, white or wealthy--or even to have an established youth program--in order for ministry with young people to flourish.