*I originally wrote this post for my school's Experience.MHGS blog. I bring it here to let you know of my incredible excited about Rob Bell coming to teach this fall.
Bell is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of four books, including the widely popular Velvet Elvis. He was also the face of the first segment of short films in the Nooma series. His love for the biblical text, awareness of 1st century and contemporary culture, and unparalleled communication style make him one of the leading voices in the church today. Time Magazine has even gone as far as calling Bell ‘the next Billy Graham.’
For many MHGS students, Bell has been a voice of hope in the midst of personal doubt, questioning of faith, and uncertainty about the future of Christianity. Many of us came to this school out of disillusionment with the church, having been burned by the trappings of religion. We love the church but still desire more for her, and Bell has been a guiding light, helping lead us down paths of reclaiming and restoring her for the good. For me and my wife, at various times of difficulty in our life, Rob has served as my pastor in more ways than any local pastor with which I was in relationship, speaking truth into our lives through weekly podcasted sermons and periodical pilgrimages to his faith community in Michigan.
Bell will be a teaching a class this fall on homiletics, the ‘art of the sermon.’ He hosted a conference in Grand Rapids this past summer called ‘Poets, Prophets, and Preachers,’ where he explored the lost art of preaching for three days with thousands of pastors from across the country and around the globe. I was privileged to be there and will be forever grateful for the immense wisdom he shared with us. I cannot wait for Rob to grace MHGS with his presence and to be able to explore these profound ideas further with my fellow students. What a blessing this course will be.