Rob Bell to Join Oprah Winfrey, Other Handpicked Thought Leaders for 'Life You Want' Tour [Excerpts]
Oprah Winfrey will be touring the U.S. this fall to help "lead people to an empathy space… a gratitude space" in an effort to find their calling and fulfill their greatest potential. Helping Winfrey in the tour hitting cities on both coasts will be influential and controversial Christian author Rob Bell, and other "handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons."
"All of my life I have wanted to lead people to an empathy space. To a gratitude space," said Winfrey in a press statement. "I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it."
Each stop on the national tour will run two days, with the first night featuring Winfrey "bringing her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate evening" and the following will have the media mogul and Bell, or another one of her handpicked guests, "lead a day-long gathering of thousands."
Bell appeared on Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday" program late last year to discuss his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God. Winfrey wrote of Bell's book, her premiere pick for the "Oprah's Super Soulful Book of the Month" club: "The ideas Rob sets forth in his books, Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, opened my heart and my mind. People like him are the reason I set out to build OWN in the first place: to be able to gather a global community of like-minded seekers."
Bell states in What We Talk About When We Talk About God that he wrote the book because "there's a growing sense that when it comes to God, we're at the end of one era and the start of another, an entire mode of understanding and talking about God is dying as something new is being birthed."
While Love Wins questioned traditional teachings on whether only Christians can go to heaven and if hell is a real, eternal place, What We Talk About When We Talk About God "explains why both culture and the church resist talking about God, and shows how we can reconnect with the God who is pulling us forward into a better future," according to the publisher.
In her praise of What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Winfrey said Bell was "shaking up the way we think about God and religion."
[TBC: It shouldn't be surprising that Bell's teachings are so complementary to Winfrey. Both deny the truth of Scripture. As a pastor noted concerning Bell, "A number of years ago, when some young people representing the sad and lost segment of the church told me how wonderful Rob Bell's videos were, I became curious. Even back then, I felt nauseous when I watched some of these videos. I saw just how troubled this young man Rob Bell is and how he, in his effort to create a name for himself, began to trouble weak believers -- causing so much harm to his soul and theirs.
"Asking questions for the sake of asking questions, not in a desire to find true answers, is indeed troubling. Even then, I felt that Bell's questions were quite similar to those of the serpent in the Garden of Eden: 'Did God really say that?' He was more anxious to share his own doubts than to arrive at the truth. I felt that Mr. Bell and his equally confusing mentor, Brian McLaren, are deeply entrenched in the school of Bishop Spong from the Episcopal Church -- but with one major exception: they call themselves evangelicals" (http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=1318164).]