Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Men Who Stare At Goats

Jon Ronson's book The Men Who Stare at Goats, and the associated Clooney caper of a film are great fun. It's about the US army's elite soldiers who can kill a goat by staring at it, amongst other world war winning powers.


Matt Hosier recommends listening to Rob Bell preaching 'The Goat has left the building'.

Me too.

I think it's a little kooky in places - an apocryphal red cord is asked to carry quite a lot of weight, and I could have lived with slightly fewer quotes from rabbinic sources that just make him sound clever. But,...

Connecting the day of atonement to Pilate and the crowds in John 19 is brilliant. The sermon is brilliant. I have serious questions about his books. And this is an old sermon - reckoned to be one of his best... and the trajectory seems different, but this is good.

It's Leviticus 16 and it'll make you laugh, and weep and sing and clap.
(Mike Reeves preached four times from Leviticus recently, not including ch16 - also brilliant.)

This one is what people mean when they say Bell is a great communicator.

One vivid big idea, that gets under your skin.

It's what Dick Lucas and Tim Keller have been teaching for years.

Bell says Westerners love propositions while Easterners love pictures. And people tell Ravi Zacharias that Easterns don't believe in absolutes because you can have both this and it's contradictory opposite. Forget either/or and embrace both/and. Except when you cross the road in India - it wont be both me and the truck. Pictures are good in all ages and all cultures. Paul painted the gospel with his words (Gal 3:1). And God gave us both pictures (think countless Old Testament models), and a person.

The goat has left the building is a great image.

Sin is gone. God's picture language.

So why do we spend our time staring at goats?