Throughout the book, he comments on that fact that religion has come to a place that focuses too much on experts who impart information. (The focus of his book is Judaism, but I am translating that thinking to my own Christian faith.) Unfortunately, in today’s culture, people no longer trust experts as too many have been turned in to pitchmen. We are far more likely to trust the experiences of those we consider our peers, and are interested in learning from them. His argument is that we must rediscover the conversation and gain input from everyone to redefine the next iteration of what faith will look like. (It is this very principle that motivated me to join in the conversation by means of this blog.) One must wonder what the role of the preacher/teacher in the Christian community looks like in light of this.
However, he goes on to state that in his conclusions that we must get back to the original understanding of the text in it’s original context. Here’s where the expertise of the teacher comes in. As a teacher of the Scriptures, is my primary goal to tell the people what it means, or to tell them what it meant, and open up the conversation for them to discover where it will take them today? This is something Rob Bell has captured, and I think it is why I groove with his teaching so well. As I try to incorporate this into my teaching, I need constant reminders to be the raiser of questions rather than the dispenser of answers.