For me the heart of this conversation is expressed by Rob Bell: “The word ‘evangelical’ means ‘good news’ right? Yea, so we’re all about good news, right? So whatever else that word means, I would hope that we are all people of good news. So, if that word refers to a tribal group deeply aligned with an industrial military complex and the furthering of an empire that has on occasion stormed through the world a little more briskly than we would like, tied into a political party that has an agenda often run by multi-national corporations, I’m not interested. But if its referring to an open tomb and hope for everybody, I’m in. “
“So, you either walk away from the word, and say I don’t want anything to do with that, or the word ‘radical’ has its root in the word radix which is a Latin word that means root. The radical is the person who goes back to the roots. So, you either walk away from it or you grab it and say, ‘No, this is what it means.’ And you just hold on tightly. Secondly, I’m interested in anybody who has fresh word about Jesus: Lutherans or Methodists or Anglicans or Evangelicals, or Catholics, or Jedi. If you have fresh insight into Jesus, that’s what I’m interested in. So, when people say that doesn’t line up with Lutheran doctrine, I couldn’t care less. Is that a fresh word about Jesus?”
“I actually think that what you are realizing right now is that some of these tribal systems are falling apart because all of a sudden I’m having fish tacos with Richard Rohr and Peter Rollins shows up and its just an absolute potluck of Jesusness. I think what’s tipping now is people are going, ‘You’re interested in following Jesus and I’m interested in follow Jesus and that trumps whatever institution we get our pay-cheque from.”
Video recorded in April 2013 at the Seattle School of Theology. The interviewer lacks depth, but if you fast forward to the Q & A (28min mark) the students questions provide Bell with an opportunity to delve a little deeper.