Rob Bell, Richard Rohr & the benevolent universe

Much to my husband’s delight, I have finally jumped on the podcast train. Late the the party, as always, but whatever, I’m riding the rails now. I listened to 3 yesterday.  Two on what it would look like to read Harry Potter as a sacred text while I worked on a project and one on seasons by Rob Bell while I made dinner.

Here’s the problem, though: I’m a note-taker.  I find myself in an endless loop of pausing the podcast so that I can jot something down that I’d like to ponder in more depth later or stopping it altogether so that I can think about it more on the spot.  It’s a pain when I’m trying to clean the bathroom or go for a jog while ruminating with the guys from RadioLab about Hurricane Katrina.

I try to be selective and only write things down that are really important but every now and then there’s a podcast where you have to write down all the things.  What’s a gal to do?

That’s what happened when I listened to this one with Rob Bell and Richard Rohr talking about an alternative orthodoxy.  I started it while I was on a run last week but I had to pause twice to stop crying* gather myself and I only made it 19 minutes!  Out of 86.  I regrouped and finished it a couple days ago while making some meals for an upcoming camping trip but again, I had to stop so many times and hit the 15-second-rewind button so many times so that I could scribble furiously on what had been my grocery list.


Here are the things/concepts/quotes that stood out to me as I listened.  Richard Rohr talks about God in a way that resonates so deeply with me that I hardly know where to start.  If you’ve listened to this or heard him elsewhere or read any of his books, talk to me!

  • It’s hard to heal the human soul when the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket.  This is to have missed the story of Easter.  We are telling individual people to be hopeful while simultaneously damning everything to hell.  Instead, we ought to show people how the whole thing is being healed.  Wouldn’t you like to be part of that?
  • The trinity as a dance.  Actually, everything about the trinity.  Especially the part about undoing the trinity when we exploded the atom.  And also the aspect of duality leading to death.  We need the three.  We must have the 3rd element or else life is oppositional.
  • Culture always wins over ideology.
  • There is one God so there is one reality.  There is no line between natural and supernatural, sacred and profane.
  • It is original blessing, not original sin, that we actually see in Genesis.
  • “Everything belongs.  No one needs to be scapegoated or excluded.  Evil and allusion only need to be named and exposed truthfully and they die in exposure to the light.”
  • The concept of the benevolent universe.

*It’s really not tear-inducing but it spoke to me.  And sometimes that means that the tears come.  That, or I just hate running so much. Tough to say!