RISKING HERESY: LESSONS FROM PUBLISHING ROB BELL'S LOVE WINS
Sixteen months ago, we published Rob Bell’s Love Wins to a strange and overwhelming mixture of praise and condemnation that combined to create a perfect media storm (and a New York Times bestseller). With the release of the paperback this month, I thought it a good time to reflect on the phenomenon. While there is much to celebrate—the book’s success, the notes from people who say it restored/healed/even saved their faith, etc.—I thought I might focus on lessons learned.
First, we cannot create Zeitgeist events. Contrary to much blogosphere speculation, we at HarperOne did not manufacture the initial Twitter-driven frenzy—if we had, we would have timed it better than four weeks before the original on-sale date! Yes, we did create a wonderful and provocative book trailer that raised questions more than gave answers, but the goal was to point people to the book, not generate controversy.
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A Live Online Event with Rob Bell
In observance of the launch of Love Wins in paperback and the new paperback editions of all of his previous books, Rob Bell will be broadcast live from the Viper Room tomorrow, July 24, at 7:00 PM PDT.
To participate in the event online, go to www.livestream.com/robbell and click the “Check in & Chat" button.
Still Painting is a night of storytelling with Rob Bell. Many people have asked him, “What’s next?” Rob will answer this question with stories: He may talk about the time he dressed up like a sheriff and it backfired. Or maybe the time he had a brain infection. Or an anecdote from writing Velvet Elvis. Or, possibly, he’ll share how sitting next to a stranger at dinner changed the direction of his life. He loves to tell these stories because they’re humiliating and painful and funny. These are the moments when it appeared that everything had fallen apart. The moments when he thought he’d lost all control.
What he learned is that these moments not only belong in our lives, but they’re absolutely necessary for us to become who we truly are. And so we hunt and explore and discover. It’s all just part of it. We have to keep painting…
Go to the event page >>
Download a free copy of The Rob Bell Reader!
The Rob Bell Reader features selections from Love Wins, Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Drops Like Stars, and Jesus Wants to Save Christians.
"How I Constructed The American Bible"
CNN Belief Blog: Author and religion professor Stephen Prothero discusses how he chose the selections for his latest book.
Take the Challenge in The American Bible
ReadtheSpirit.com: David Crumm interviews Prothero about refocusing the national debate in a healthy direction.
"There is something religious about the way we conduct our public life."
The Leonard Lopate Show: Prothero talks to Leonard Lopate about the intersection of religion and politics and the ideas central to the American spirit.
"Above all, the honesty comes through."
ESPN.com: Skateboarding legend Christian Hosoi shares how he found "ultimate freedom" in the Bible.
"My heart was like a bucket full of holes."
FoxNews.com Spirited Debate: Hosoi talks about how he found his way back through faith.
“If I could get a few people to live healthier, it would be worth all the medical risk.”
The 700 Club: Drew Manning talks to Pat Robertson about gaining and losing 75 pounds.
Looking for Your Group's Next Book?
THE ROB BELL COLLECTION
In conjunction with the release of The Rob Bell Reader, we have made free discussion guides available for all of Rob Bell's books! Check them out at the links below.
Original and refreshingly personal perspectives on what Christianity is really about. "This book is for those who need a fresh take on Jesus and what it means for us to live the kind of life he teaches us to live," writes Bell.
With unusual beauty and insight, Bell addresses sexuality and spirituality to help us better understand that we can't talk about ourselves as sexual beings without asking who made us that way.
Jesus Wants to Save Christians
Bell calls the church to break from its cultural captivity—to question and challenge the assumptions and norms of the American Empire.
Drops Like Stars
An exploration of the complex relationship between suffering and creativity, driven by the belief that there is art in the agony.
Bell asks, "What if the story of how Christians go to heaven and everyone else goes to hell was never taught by Jesus—or the Bible?"
SPECIAL GROUP OFFER: Buy 25 or more paperback copies of any of these titles and get a 55% discount! To redeem this special offer, call (212) 207-7528 or e-mail email@example.com and mention D90711.
CHRONIC OR CRISIS?
By Robert D. Lupton, author of Toxic Charity
A crisis requires emergency intervention;
A chronic problem requires development.
Address a crisis need with a crisis intervention,
And lives are saved.
Address a chronic need with a crisis intervention,
And people are harmed.
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LIVING THE QUESTIONS
By David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy
It was early in the fall, and the group settled in for its first session of the Bible study. In introducing the Genesis material for discussion, the facilitator referred to Adam and Eve as metaphors and not historic individuals. The participants’ reactions were swift—and representative of what might occur in many churches. There was anger: “How dare you question the Bible? I just knew you were one of those damned liberals who dismantle everything to suit your political agenda!” There was panic: “Why are you trying to destroy my faith? What else do I believe that isn’t true?” There was confusion: “You mean there are two Creation stories in Genesis? How come I’ve never seen this before? What else have I missed?” And there were tears.
But there was also relief...
Read more from Living the Questions >>