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What We Talk About When We Talk About God | [Rob Bell]

What We Talk About When We Talk About God

How God is described today strikes many as mean, primitive, backwards, illogical, tribal, and at odds with the frontiers of science. At the same time, many intuitively feel a sense of reverence and awe in the world. Can we find a new way to talk about God? Pastor and New York Times best-selling author Rob Bell shows how traditional ideas have grown stale and dysfunctional and reveals a new path for how to return vitality and vibrancy to how we understand God.
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Publisher's Summary

"I've written this 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." - from What We Talk About When We Talk About God

How God is described today strikes many as mean, primitive, backwards, illogical, tribal, and at odds with the frontiers of science. At the same time, many intuitively feel a sense of reverence and awe in the world. Can we find a new way to talk about God? Pastor and New York Times best-selling author Rob Bell shows how traditional ideas have grown stale and dysfunctional and reveals a new path for how to return vitality and vibrancy to how we understand God. Bell reveals how we got stuck, why culture resists certain ways of talking about God, and how we can reconnect with the God who is with us, for us, and ahead of us, pulling us forward into a better future - and ready to help us live life to the fullest.

©2013 WORB, Inc. (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (148 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ralph Reading, PA, United States 03-13-13
    Ralph Reading, PA, United States 03-13-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "God is leading us ahead"
    What made the experience of listening to What We Talk About When We Talk About God the most enjoyable?

    Rob's style is very conversational. I feel he is sitting right there next to me explaining all this to me, personally. He doesn't speak down to me, but he does talk about some very complex things in a way that I get it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love how filled with hope his message is. How he explains that God is bigger than anything we imagined. He focuses on what is essential, but doesn't shy away from the things that have been obstacles. Rob talks from his heart, but it is filled with knowledge and reason, too. What he says really makes sense. I get it. I understand it.


    What about Rob Bell’s performance did you like?

    His conversational style. Understandable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I almost made it.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book for everyone that is willing to be open to the possibility that God really is bigger, more loving, more forgiving than any of us every imagined.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. A. Engle Los Angeles, CA USA 03-22-13
    T. A. Engle Los Angeles, CA USA 03-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Good Rob Bell book, but not a Love Wins"
    Any additional comments?

    I liked the book, but it isn't at all a Love Wins book. Rob seems a little uninterested during his reading of the book at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Escher St Louis MO 12-12-14
    C. Escher St Louis MO 12-12-14 Member Since 2012

    cris

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    "It's great"

    Such a good read. Filled with encouragement in a life which seems flat and uninteresting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    taylor storey California/China 03-19-14
    taylor storey California/China 03-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved it"
    What did you love best about What We Talk About When We Talk About God?

    I think it reframes the discussion about God in such a good way. We are all aware of this God, whether we call it a force or nature or whatever...This seems like an honest, christian-came-out-of-the-bubble to relate with others kind of a view.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The part that sticks out at this moment is when he talks about speaking at a conference promoting religious peace alongside others such as Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama (If I remember correctly) and there were protesters outside. He did a double take on that, and asked about them, they were christians. He couldn't believe people would take time out of their day to protest a conference promoting world peace.


    What does Rob Bell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Being the author, it's so good. He knows where to put the emphasis, when to slow down, speed up... and he's a gifted speaker. I also recently listened to Obama's self-narrated memoir, both of these guys would be excellent narrators, and when they narrate their excellent books, it is perfect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I actually did it in 2. But yes, it's so good and pretty short. It's possible.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Watson Sapulpa, OK 01-05-14
    Bob Watson Sapulpa, OK 01-05-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Another Rob Bell classic"

    If you like Rob Bell you will love thus book. Rob Bell is a master of asking questions!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Reading, PA, United States 10-25-13
    Brian Reading, PA, United States 10-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Thought Provoking"
    What did you love best about What We Talk About When We Talk About God?

    Rob Bell's reading make this book more enjoyable


    What other book might you compare What We Talk About When We Talk About God to and why?

    Love Wins


    Which character – as performed by Rob Bell – was your favorite?

    Rob Bell


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No laughing or crying, worshiping and rejoicing


    Any additional comments?

    God is a progressive, thankful for that line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joshua boyd Las Vegas, NV 09-25-13
    joshua boyd Las Vegas, NV 09-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "This book could be truly life changing for anyone!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of What We Talk About When We Talk About God to be better than the print version?

    Yes, personally, I really enjoy Rob Bell's books in audio form because he reads them and that makes it seem like you are listening to a really long message. He wrote it so he knows exactly where to pause, for how long and when to chuckle. I own a print copy of this book and read it before listening to it. It was a great read, but I will probably never read it again. However, I will most likely listen to it 10-20 times!


    What other book might you compare What We Talk About When We Talk About God to and why?

    A New Kind of Christianity


    Which character – as performed by Rob Bell – was your favorite?

    Rob Bell;)


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I laughed and cried... I yelled, muttered, scrawled down notes and made checklists!


    Any additional comments?

    Amazing book! I highly recommend it to anyone. I wish I could afford to get a copy for all my friends and family. It would be great for devout believers, atheists and everyone between!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg 09-10-13
    Greg 09-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "God Is Bigger Than We Are Often Led To Believe"

    And He's relevant today too. This book is very engaging, both from theological standpoint and a scientific standpoint. If you're an evangelical Christian I challenge you to listen to this book. It'll open your eyes to a Bigger, more loving God!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Phoenixville, PA, United States 07-01-13
    David Phoenixville, PA, United States 07-01-13 Member Since 2008
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    "One of Rob Bell's better offerings"

    Rob Bell is one of those folks that people either like or dislike, few fall into the middle. I seem to be one of those few (not sure if that is good or bad). In this book Rob offers a fairly clear and well thought our manner in ways people should talk about God and points out the good and bad of aspects of those people who tend to the extremes when talking about God.

    Rob properly points out that we CAN'T know everything about God and His creation (yes, I am a conservative Christian) and shows how folks tend to get carried away in claiming somethings are clearly true when they can't be absolutely verified. Conversely he also points out that there are things which can be verified and even for those things that can't be, they can still be clearly deduced from what we see in the world today. He also does this when talking about the things science claims are true and verifiable (there are many things which are claimed but not verifiable as well).

    One nice thing about this book is that Rob (as a departure from other books of his that I have read) tries to stay away from talking about theology and only wants to address how we should talk about God today.

    Regardless of your theological or religious position (and yes, everyone has one whether you believe in the God of Bible/Torah/Koran or not), this is a great book for folks to read and ponder. Rob makes some good points and asks some great questions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Chicago, IL USA 05-24-13
    Paul Chicago, IL USA 05-24-13 Listener Since 2009

    You can listen to a LOT of audible books while commuting on the I-90 tollway.

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    "Classic (challenging) Rob Bell"
    If you could sum up What We Talk About When We Talk About God in three words, what would they be?

    Learning. Being. Christ.


    What other book might you compare What We Talk About When We Talk About God to and why?

    Love Wins covers some of this material which gets elaborated here-in.


    Have you listened to any of Rob Bell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was classic Rob Bell. He's a natural orator and solid theological thinker which comes through in his work.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The very end. Bell's story about sitting in the open water on surfboards and understanding that "here is God" was powerful for me.


    Any additional comments?

    Great stuff. I hope Bell continues to provide challenges to theological thinkers who can presume too much about what it means to live out being the presence of Christ for others in the world. Christianity needs a variety of voices and diversity of thought, all of which can and should be centered on Christ.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Paul
    Walton-on-the-Naze, United Kingdom
    11/17/13
    Overall
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    "Typically thought provoking"
    Would you consider the audio edition of What We Talk About When We Talk About God to be better than the print version?

    We'll done Mr Bell. Back to your thought provoking best. I must admit I think quite a few folks will lose themselves in the first hour or two, but it really appealed to my science background.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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