Monday, April 25, 2011

A Public Letter to Rob Bell

Dear Rob Bell,

I hope you're having a great day. I like great days. When I was a young child I used to count out how many good days I had. Today was a good day, I used part of it to read your book. I'm so sorry about it. I bet you feel awful about that terrible mistake you made. I know it is hard to admit mistakes. It happens to me all the time, but I think it's really important you tell people about this. A lot of people respect you and listen closely to what you say. I think if you announce it like you did with your latest book, that trippy video, things will be fine. I like those glasses by the way. Mine are just like them, kind of but not really. I have really bad eye sight.

In the video, start out with how your day went and how excited you were about writing out all the notes for your new book in one afternoon People would be excited to hear the story of how your book was written. You could explain how much time you spent that afternoon writing out all those notes and were exited about how big your book was going to be. Then you transition into how you decided to email your notes to someone. I don't know who you were trying to email them to. You should probably say who. Also, figure out a really neat transition, perhaps take off your glasses in one epic shot. Those are sweet glasses. Taking them off will only add attention to them. Once that's all through, tell us what really happened when you sent that email. You accidentally sent your notes to the publisher who thought it was the final book and then published it! That's why everyone is so confused and frustrated.

I realized this when I got about halfway through the book. Giving just one line to "beautiful" or "this age" didn't seem to flow well. I hope you can come clean though. With your glasses, everyone thinks you're cool, and I think people are starting to think I'm cool since I have glasses kind of like yours.

For your actual book, could you please cut out a couple of your jokes. They're not funny. Also, in the section where you allude to you going to an Eminem concert, I would take that out. People might be shocked that you went to one of his concerts. And if you want to leave in all your jokes you can. Please just be careful. Your flippancy might get you in stuck in a theological morass, but theology isn't really the issue in your book at all. Your readers might get side-tracked by your jokes, and that's terrible! I spent about 2 seconds trying to figure out the Kincaid-Dante joke. I could have gotten through a couple more lines in that amount of time. (I'm not sure if I still get it.)

Lastly, I am worried that your actual book might be too long. I think as you expand on these notes, perhaps you should leave out discussing some of these topics, narrow it a bit. I had a philosophy professor suggest to me about writing papers that it is important to "narrow, narrow, narrow your topic. After you think it is narrow enough, narrow it even more." Also, there is no such thing as a stupid question, but there are bad questions. Comb through your notes and think to yourself, "does this question progress my thesis?" I hope this was a good letter, and you enjoyed it. Good luck with your actual book. I'm looking forward to it.

David Pulliam

p.s. Is it okay if I suggest to your future readers not to read your notes and go read "The Weight of Glory" instead? It's free, short and much more uplifting. I mean, all we have right now are your notes.

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