I could go on for hours about this book, but I won't.
I'm deeply thankful that if I ever have kids, they'll be growing up in a world where people like Rob Bell, Mark Batterson, and Donald Miller have chosen to put legalism aside and entertain the idea that maybe God isn't some horrible dictator who is obsessed with religion and legalism.
Bell's comment about trying to raise his kids so they have to un-learn as few things as possible really made me chuckle.
I think about stuff like that all the time (even though I don't have the slightest interest in having kids any time soon- if ever). I think about stuff I picked up from going to a Christian school for 4 years...and looking back I can see that they had the best of intentions, but at the time, there was a HUGE disconnect, because they focused on teaching us the facts of religion...but it's like they never took the time to explain the value of what they were teaching.
Maybe it's idealistic but it would have been so cool to have had some open conversations about the stories we were reading or the verses we had to memorize and how it all applies to our lives, and what God is really trying to say and WHY He was saying it. I recognize I was in 4-7 grade, it wasn't like high-school or college where the emphasis is more on opening a dialogue...but it should have been, or they shouldn't have been teaching it. If you're talking about God to grade-school kids, you need to allow it to be whatever it needs to be- wherever those kids want/need to take it. Otherwise, what you end up with, is total blind religion that either causes you to decide God is irrelevant or horrible, or you become a judgmental legalist.
And that's a LOT to unlearn, whichever side you fall on. (much like the prodigal son reference Bell used towards the end of the book. To prodigal son had to choose God's version of the story...but so did the judgmental older brother)
I'm still trying to erase the preconceived ideas that were passed down to me in various forms.
In a way, we probably all are. But it's refreshing to read something like this to remind you that you don't have to always get it right- you just have to accept God's love & try your best in return.