Trampolines verse Walls

I just read a post at ( that was critical of Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis book (great book – if you haven’t read it, go buy it).  The author of this post was critical of Bell’s analogy that doctrine is more like springs on a trampoline than bricks in a wall.  Bricks in a wall are rigid and cannot be removed or replaced without damaging the wall, but springs can be stretched, review, replace if needed, without damaging the trampoline.  The goes on to say – its more fun on a trampoline too.

Jason at Godfidence said that if you remove *all* the springs then you just have a tarp and that doctrine cannot be removed or changed.  I disagree with him (and commented as much on his post).  If you remove *all* of the bricks from a wall all you have left is mortar – Bell wasn’t suggesting you remove any doctrine, only that you are open to examine them, put them under the microscope, and test them.  If they are true, they will hold up – if they are not, then they weren’t Doctrine to begin with, but instead a misunderstanding of scripture that can be corrected.

Bell goes on to say ‘all truth is God’s truth’.  If I thought the Earth was 6000 years old based on my interpretation of the Bible, and you proved through science that it was 4trillion years old – My understanding of the Bible changes – not my faith. And I believe that is the point of Bell’s approach.

Have you read the book?  When you get a chance, go read Jason’s post… I’d love to hear your thoughts?

2 replies on “Trampolines verse Walls”

In my defense I am stating that I believe there are certain “doctrines” (dogmas is more accurate) that can not be removed without destroying Christianity. Bell chooses these as his examples. I don’t claim to know what he was thinking but it is a bad choice or words at best. I do agree that there are doctrines can and should be examined, that is a great deal of what my blog is about. But it if you replace everything you no longer have what you began with, God’s revealed truth.

Jason – thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your taking time to comment.

Maybe I don’t remember the book – I wish I could find my copy! – but I don’t remember him advocating that you can simply ‘remove’ any dogmas you choose and keep going. Only that ANY dogma can be examined and ONLY removed if we found it was untrue. I didn’t get from the book that he does not believe in the virgin birth – only that if it were NOT true, his faith could keep going. I agree with that approach.

Do you believe that there are dogmas that simply cannot be questioned? As I said in my post, if the dogma is true, then it will uphold against any scrutiny. I also don’t believe that removing the virgin birth would destroy Christianity… but that might be a different conversation…

BTW – Get a gravitar – its jacked up that I’m chatting with a pink monster…

Comments are closed.