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February 16, 2006



Awesome post. You said in fewer words what I also felt when I heard the same teaching that Bell has repeated in Dust.

If you thought that teaching was good, check out where Bell learned it: http://www.followtherabbi.com



Also, I have posted an experience I had with the teacher who taught Bell about being covered in the dust of the Rabbi:


Staying Dusty,


I thought this concept was quite eye-opening as well. I wonder, however, if it's completely historically accurate. I've never heard of the practice outside of Bell's video. Have you done any research into it?

Tim, thanks for your comment. One of the earlier "commenters" mentioned a great website, followtherabbi.com. The primary researcher at that site is Ray Vanderlaan who has been researching he "Jewishness" of Jesus (and our faith) for many years. In my opinion, it is solid. In evangelical circles, we do not spend enough time considering the Jewish context of the Scriptures and that is our loss--we miss so much because of it (Jewish scholarship is a recent interest to most evangelicals). What Bell and others are doing is to bring that to the surface. I also recommend Kenneth Bailey's various books, the best being "The Poet and the Peasant." Bailey, a professor at a Christian seminary in the Middle East, writes beautifully of how knowing the Jewish cntext of our faith changes our appreciation of the Bible (he focuses on the Gospels). Again, thanks for raising the question. scott

I am shocked you haven't heard or listened to any of Ray VanderLaan's material. His web site is "follow the rabbi"
Mr. Bell obviously is borrowing the story directly from Mr. VanderLaan. I heard his lecture in the chicago land area, And bought his CD 2 years ago.Just think as Christian's we need to give credit where it is due. Too many kids pirating Christian music and all, sad to say even my own minister often quotes another book or video but never mentions where he got the lesson. Is this common in christian circles to borrow someone elses revelation or hard research with it sharing that information?


Thanks for your thoughts. Believe it or not, there are quite a few people out there who are familar with Van der Laan's material! It sounds like you love Van der Laan's work--no one wonder it is hard for you to believe many of us are in the dark concerning him! I had heard the name before and knew Israel was his specialty but didn't know Bell's stories reflect Van der Laan's work. After I submitted my story, someone else told me this is Van der Laan's angle and to check out the site, which I have now done (and I love it--now one of my favorites).

you raise a great question concerning plagiarism and when to cite nor not cite other works. I am not yet decided on the issue, whether Bell should cite Ray's work or not. I think in order to answer that question, you have to ask, "How common are Ray's teachings?" Now, in evangelical circles, I don't think it's common at all but that doesn't mean that it isn't common research.

You obviously are a big fan of Van Der Laan's work and I suspect it was his work where you first heard this story but can you be sure this information was not public knowledge privy to anyone looking for it? I don't personally know Bell but having read his book and heard other messages of his, the Hebrew scriptures and Jewish culture are a passion of his--is it possible that the things Bell brought up were found through his own work? I honestly don't know but I don't want to yet assume he borrowed this solely from Van Der Laan.

The other question is, "When doing research, when do you cite the author?" Clearly, we don't do it all the time. All of us, in public conversation, will say things like, "Did you know 80% of such and such kind of people do such and such?" Someone performed research (e.g, survey) and produced a paper but such work is considered "public domain" and we do not normally cite in public conversation.

All that to say, I don't know from my end this issue of stealing someone's work is as conclusive as you see it but I certainly would acknowledge it is possible. If this was "unique" work belonging solely to Van Der Laan, then I think good ethics and taste would suggest he should mention Van Der Laan.

As a pastor, whenever I suspect something is original and unique work, I generally cite.

Some of my thoughts. Great points you brought up--perhaps others will join the discussion on this.

When I saw the video it brought scripture home to me with a whole new perspective. It has me sharing my faith with other people in a different way. I think that is the point of the video, is the people that it reaches,and then what they do with what they where touched with. Whether they pass it on and touch someone elses life or not. Isn't that what Jesus meant by I will make you fisher of men.

I had RVL for a high school Bible teacher for two years and when I lived in Michigan, I attended Mars Hill, the church started by Rob Bell. Both of these Rabbis have helped me develop a passion for exploring the Jewish roots of Christianity in an attempt to become more dusty. I appretiate what you had to say about the topic. I feel the same passion for this subject of discipleship. Its great to come across a site like this.

Is there a specific book that can be referenced to support the dust of the rabbi teaching. I have gone to the website www.followtherabbi.com but I am looking for a book to credit as a source.

Please email spulis@ag.org


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