If you’re younger–maybe in your 20s or 30s, you might know who Rob Bell is or have seen the Nooma series. I recently started watching the Nooma series by Rob Bell and have started using it in a small group, though, on an experimental level. Rob Bell portrays himself as a speaker who is “with it” and I can see how his image appeals to post-modern young adults. He wears the trendy thick black rim glasses, has a cool haircut, and wears his shirts the right way with the top button open. On the image side of the picture, everything seems great. He looks like a pretty cool dude and his image fits real nicely with the young adults crowd. The production of the Nooma series is very good quality too. There is definitely a post-modern look to it—it’s very chic.
I have tried to assess the theology and theological depth of emerging leaders like Rob Bell as objectively as I could. I don’t even know if Bell considers himself to be emerging but that is just my perception of him. Also according to my perception, there seems to be very little bible knowledge taught from the Nooma series. I have noticed that the theology is not very deep either. Maybe I’m too uptight and should just take it easy. I may be totally wrong but if I am wrong, I am open to being corrected. On a personal level ,I have absolutely nothing against Rob Bell. I feel that his intentions are great and he desires to reach out to the post-modern generation. I really don’t like to be overly critical but I had to think about this long and hard about this before I decided to post this. I cannot say whether I am either for or against Nooma at this point because I see some of the positive aspects in the Nooma series. Bell does ask some thought provoking questions that causes one to look deep inside oneself. However, I have come to the conclusion that if I was a new Christian who was seeking to grow in the Christian faith, I probably would not be able to receive enough biblical instruction from Nooma. I cannot see it sufficiently feeding a newborn Christian. Nooma is like milk and I can’t see anyone going beyond the “milk stage” if they were to continue on nourishing only on Nooma. You might also compare this to eating at McDonald’s or Burger King every meal and expecting to be able to grow healthy and strong. It might taste real good, smell good, and look good too, but can we get a balanced diet from junk food?
I have also wondered if this could potentially be benignly detrimental to the younger generations of young adults who already have little or no knowledge of the bible. When I was growing up as a young person in an evangelical church, I think I received quite a high level of bible knowledge. Where will today’s emerging followers of Christ get solid biblical instruction if they cannot get it from emerging churches? Young people and young adults need stronger bible and theological teaching and if they cannot get it in the emerging movement, they will have to get it from somewhere else. Perhaps the evangelical churches? It is my hope and prayer that God will raise up more spiritual leaders who will teach and nurture our younger generations so that they can gain a deeper theological and biblical knowledge and come to know God more in a greater way.