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Rob Bell – What We Talk About When We Talk About God

Posted by on Friday, March 1, 2013 in News.

Rob Bell, the Founding Pastor and Pastor Emeritus of Mars Hill Bible Church and author of “Love Wins”, “Velvet Elvis”, and “Sex God” came to Benton Chapel to speak for the first event of the new Chaplain’s Lecture Series. Mr. Belll spoke on his new book “What We Talk About When We Talk About God.” Rob Bell graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

Bell proved to be one of the most highly anticipated speakers in recent memory as call came in from as far as Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and elsewhere inquiring about the event. Bell would begin the day with meeting with local Nashville Clergy from Vanderbilt, Belmont, and the community for a lunch discussion entitled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Ministry.” Bell explored the difficult field of faith on college campuses, and in modern contexts. Over 120 faith leaders joined together at West End United Methodist Church for frittata and friendship.

The evening would bring an over-capacity crowd to Benton Chapel, filling the 440 seat pews with people spilling over into the isles for a standing room only performance. Over flow rooms in the Central Library and Sarratt Cinema showed the performance via livestream to hundreds more. With a warm welcome by University Chaplain Rev. Mark Forrester, the crowd was invited to the first event of the new Chaplain’s Lecture Series that will bring dynamic speakers once per semester to campus. Victory A Capella would begin the night with a pair of songs to fill the air of Benton Chapel with a sacred essence.

Bell would speak while walking in the midst of the crowd and discuss the topic of his new book What We Talk About When We Talk About God. Bell would delve into the realms of science, getting all the way down to what happens at sub-atomic levels, to stories of attending AA meetings to find people truly discussing God with complete honesty and openness. For Bell, he discusses a God who is with us, for us and ahead of us. Speaking for over an hour, the room was buzzing by the time the question and answer portion of the evening. With only a short time remaining, Bell took heartfelt questions that were filled with personal stories that made it clear that his work had touched the lives of many. Bell would then sign copies of his new book that were for sale at a reception in the Divinity School Reading Room.

With Vanderbilt being only the second stop, and one of only two eastern locations of his book tour, Bell will continue his travels in thew west coast and ending in the United Kingdom, where Bell joked that his last book Love Wins was only available behind the counter in a brown paper bag, which was a true story.

Read Rob Bell’s interview with The New Yorker entitled “The Hell-Raiser: A Megachurch’s pastor’s search for a more forgiving faith” after the publication of Love Wins. here.

See the video of the performance below.


The new Chaplain’s Lecture Series will bring speakers who can give insight and meaning into what religious life is on a university campus.

Benton Chapel

March 14th, 2013 at 7 pm.