Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the first of the Chaplain’s lecture series. I found out about it initially when I got lost in Sarratt looking for a specific room to submit a scholarship application. I remember walking by several doors, glancing at the posters plastered on them, and then doing a double-take.
I had been interested in Rob Bell since I saw his Nooma videos at summer camp when I was in middle school. Since that time, he has grown in popularity and his books have even reached the New York Times best seller’s list. Bell was the perfect first choice for the Chaplain’s newly-instated discussion series because his views have radically changed how some people approach Christianity. Additionally, he has just recently released his newest book, What we talk about when we talk about God. The lecture he gave yesterday (if you can really even call it a lecture) was about this newest book. Bell spoke about how he feels God living in all of us—that God isn’t far away, but rather that He is in the innate feeling of “life” we experience. Not the biological physiological existence, but the life we feel within ourselves; the soul that is our individual essence. Bell drew from his personal experiences, biblical passages, and scientific fact to present a clear message: we all have access to God. It was a beautiful exhortation, and a great way to begin the Chaplain’s interfaith lectureship.
I also had the privilege of performing before the gathering with Victory A cappella. We sang two of our new songs: God so Loved the World and Non Nobis Domine. It was a terrifying yet rewarding experience. Additionally, I loved listening to the discussion that ensued after Bell’s talk. It was insightful, and expanded further upon his views and experiences as a pastor. At the book signing, I was even able to talk with Bell personally. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I cannot wait to attend more of the lectureship. They will be bringing in notable speakers from all religious backgrounds, which I think is a testament to the diversity and cooperativeness you find here at Vanderbilt.
Since I do not feel that my synopsis does Bell justice, here is a full recording of the event so you can experience it yourselves:
…Until next time!