Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell (Book Review)

I was really excited when I recieved Rob Bell's new book Drops Like Stars: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering in the mail. I have a great deal of respect for Bell, and I've enjoyed his other books. I was a bit surprised by the sheer size of the book. I don't mean that it's particularly thick (its not). However, the book's dimensions are similar to a coffee table book. Additionally, the book is very artistic/conceptual, making use of photography and strategic placement of text.

Honestly, for the first few pages, I found the weird text placement sort of irritating and cheesy. Some pages include merely a word, a phrase, or no text at all. Normal black text would abruptly transition to much larger red text. In the beginning, it felt sort of contrived.

However...something happened several pages in. Something clicked, and it began to strike me as quite beautiful. Bell offers an innovative take on the intersection between creativity and suffering by way of an intersection between art and the written word. The text is vintage Bell and, if you've heard him speak, it is written exactly like he talks. After reading the entire book, I think this format may frankly be more Bell's style than traditional print books. I regard the reading of this book as beautiful and enlightening experience. I highly recommend it.


Tony Foreman said...

Pretty good review. I agree with you 100%. For me, I now have a lot of teaching avenues as I work with family and children. I read it with my two boys (10 and 12). They loved it too.

Dan Jones said...

Sounds like something ony Rob Bell can do. I can't wait to read it!

Dave Brumley said...

Too bad Rob Bell teaches a false gospel. Let's just hope his book is listed in the self-help section and not the Christianity section.

M. Aaron Smith said...

Dave, would you please back up your attack with some evidence? I've read/listened to Bell extensively and, while I don't agree with him on every point, I would certainly not accuse him of teaching "a false gospel." That's a heavy charge, to say the least.

Unknown said...

So can I win the book? Or does Dave win by default?

thredd said...

i liked it[the book] because i related to every single story: and the stream of concious? / but not uhhh dis-sheveled-ness? / and i cried in bookstore. however: i cant read it again: and again. but maybe if i bought it i am supposed to give it to someone else? this is where i become a jerk: critic however:/ more because i went to design school/ and it reminds me of "stuff done b4" which honestly there is nothing new under the sun/son" so it doesn.t really matter!!!! ha! and the fotos are great: but if one is going to sell a book for that price: the fotos do have to match / as in there needs to be more fotos : or the fotos need to bear the weight of the intensity of the true stories / both real life and commentaries on what is happening / questions/focus about Jesus/ etc.
[if book is BIG and marketed for coffe table book and sold as such [40 some dollars US]
also: as far as atttacks:
we are in the New Covenant.
Teachers are allowed to grapple with God and what God is teaching them directly: whoever that was. it used to be / if we were jewish/ and under a rabbi/ we could not say a word/ and well, i wont even get into the torah.
i have said things/ as a "girl"
from the platform of a stage: only as a musician: i knew i was supposed to say them: they went directly against what i had been "taught" : and many people yelled at me later: but i was really trying to expand an idea . no i wasn.t. i was trying to talk about the ABsolute Unconditional Love of Jesus Christ FOrever. even Bill Bright of Campus Crusade back in day was called a "heretic" for the way he fashioned the "Four Spiritual Laws" : becasue he said :
what is the FIRST thing a person should read in case they found this little book: and then JUST in case something awful happened [God forbid] ///God Loves you and has a wonderful {His Loving} plan for your life.[this then turned to like like EVERYBODY SHOULD BE HAPPY and or/ ez believism: UGH many "church institutions were enraged: becasue they thought " NO , they need to read ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD." now was Bill Bright a false teacher???
everythings relative relative.
and i should submit we ave not yet seen the day: when the false teachers have arrived.
those are my 2 cents. not worth much.
also: there are parts in scripture:
which should cease all arguments: and really clear things up:
1. it is up to theperson submitting themselves to "teaching" to go or stay/ listen or not [for they are mature enuff to know
2.teachers: be wise if you do teach: there is a little bit extra accountablitiy there..[may ther be few amoung you who decide this]
so if anybody is worried about false teachers: God can deal with this
3. let no man argue with another man's servant.
but i am really sort of a sickly preson and i dont know my Bible very well. i am argumentative, and i talk out of turn: and have no friends! i am also conservative!!!!
sometimes. xo.eternal it.s been great talking to myself!

thredd said...

i meant the book was NOT dis-sheveled. i do not explain myself very well. sorry.