Getting Real About Reality in Real Time, Really (Rob Bell's Latest Meditation on Realism)


by Aaron Alford

An exclusive excerpt (including footnotes!) from Rob Bell's groundbreaking new book Oingo Boingo: Rediscovering Realness In Authentic Realitude:

I was counseling a man and woman the other day. He was very angry. And upset. And she was too.




I looked at the man. He was so upset because he was quite displeased with the whole situation. And that reminded me of Jesus. “Jesus” is this man, who is also God, who is talked about in the Christian holy writings called “The Bible.” In this “Bible,” there are many “stories” about Jesus in things called “gospels.” Anyhoo, one day “Jesus” became “upset.”

So upset that he turned over tables.

Tables people changed money at.

Tables where people had times at.

Tables. Times.

Often we do math. Using times tables. The word “times tables” appears approximately 37 times in the Bible. In the Greek, it is made up of two words. “Blek” meaning “times” and “plethunos” meaning “tables.” Times Tables.




How often do we unnecessarily multiply our anger? Our upsettness? Our flustration?

“He is making me angry.”

“She's being dumb.”

“See Dick jump.”

And so on.

You may be becomening upset right now. Upset that I make up words. Upset that some of my sentences are incomplete thoughts, containing no verbs whatsoever. What. Soever. Upset that I start too many sentences with “and.” And upset that I start too many sentences with “but.”

But there's something else. Something deeper. Going on here.

I told the man and the woman, who were still mad, this stuff about times tables and anger and other things and whatnot. They blankly stared at me. And do you know what? Their angerness was gone.

It was replaced with something else. Something blanker.

Because this is really about that.

Moby Dick is really about a whale.

Green Eggs and Ham is really about the Cat in the Hat.[1]

And Scatman Crothers[2] was the black dude in The Shining.

But we're all shining, aren't we?

Shining with realitude.[3]

[1]These are books by an incredible author named Dr. Seuss. Go buy everything he's ever written and read them right now.

[2]The Shining is this movie where this writer dude totally goes crazy and says “here's Johnny” and stuff. Have you seen it? Why do you think I referenced it here? How does that make you feel?

[3]You probably thought you were finished reading. Well you're not! I can keep these footnotes going just as long as I want, baby! And people will read them! Yeah! In your face, Miller! Who's emergent now??? WOOO!!!!


Kate | 04:29 am on 11/14/2009

Some of the Nooma videos have really inspired me and gotten me out of bad situations. If you don't like his style of writing, then don't read his books. No one's forcing you too. And if you're not used to a pastor speaking more theoretically than scripture after scripture after scripture, then Bell probably just isn't for you. He doesn't have to cater to everyones' needs but at least he's reaching a lot of us.
This parody is pretty funny, especially since he really has a strange writing style. But I love how he writes the way he talks. It gives me the ability to picture him talking in my mind while I read. I love it.

Hinopio | 04:49 pm on 6/03/2010

I laughed out loud at: What. Soever.

Hilarious. I love it.

Scott Smith | 06:50 pm on 6/03/2010

Very funny.

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Prash | 03:33 am on 7/11/2010

I think the real things do come from within and not from outside,i have seen many priest who are almost fake.

Jack | 05:39 pm on 7/25/2010

Hi, I'm having trouble viewing your site in the Safari browser (I can barely read the words). I've tried raising the font size in the browser display options but that didn't do the trick. Any tips on what I can do? (Oh, and if it helps, I'm on Windows 7) - how to lose weight forever

Loz | 04:51 am on 8/25/2010

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