Morning Joe | March 12, 2013
>>> news tomorrow, or maybe not. here with us, best-selling author and founding pastor of the mars hill bible megachurch, pastor rob bell . he is out with his latest book, what we talk about when we talk about god.
>> you know, mining, i know you were our resident, you and meachum, resident theologian.
>> that's correct.
>> and i know that i can ask you this question, the answer will be zero. how many -- how many books about god begin with a quote from tom wa waits?
>> like all great things in the world, women and religion and the sky, you wonder about it and you don't stop wondering about it. son there you go. rob, thank you so much for being with us. you say that you talk about how god doesn't come up much in culture, but when it do does, a lot of times, the precon accept, the religion, not only gets in the way but does harm.
>> think what you have now, this unique time and culture, off lot of people who have a sense there's more going on here. so your kid is born or you're out in nature around you see something overwhelmingly beautiful or you have a meal with your friends and you have a sense this can't be all there is and very popular voices that say this is it. you are a random collection of neurons, atoms and synapses that doesn't work for a loft people. leave them, talking about in the book, cold, bored and uninspired. you go looking for ex-explanations, jayne fonda, always quote jane fonda when talking about religion.
>> i'm drawn in now.
>> asked why did you become a person of faith? because i could sense reverence humming in me. so they give a lot of people who have the sense of reverence humming in them, the denial this is just a random collection of biology, then you go looking for an explanation and you get the god who is like oldsmobile, that was nice back then but come on, we have science, we have technology, we have iphones n this book, i'm trying to address are there ray weighs to talk about this referen reverence.
>> a branding makeover.
>> you know if god need my help in that sort of thing, positioning.
>> crass to be rebranding or what -- why did you flinch?
>> actually language we use now. people --
>> it's a good thing.
>> people have been doing this for house to sands of years. this is one of our jobs as human also, we ask big questions . that's what we do. any faith that's worth anything should have lots of room for doubt and struggle and questions and even saying we used to think that way, now we don't.
>> you've used the word, at least four or five times now in the space of a minute and a half. define reverence, what is this rev vers ar s are en reverence that jane fonda referred to?
>> it is what it is but it is beyond itself a great meal with friends and you say to the host, that was transcendent.
>> i have never said that.
>> ha ha .
>> better dinner party .
>> may have talked about your soul story. you may have talked about how that thing took you higher. we have -- it's very sort of metaphor cal, mythical language, essentially, we have the sense that there is this thing in front of us, this experience, yet it seems to take us higher.
>> i want to talk about this branding thing, i'm actually talking about it in the republican party a bit. i gave a talk to republicans and i got the nastiest, you and -- going after me because i tried to discourage republicans from openly antagonizing voters. whether we are talking about a party or god or selling french fries , right? you -- it doesn't matter if mcdonald's makes the best french fries , if somebody screams at me every time i order french fries from mcdonald's, i'm going to go to burger king . you actually, with your last book, "love wins", a separation from some people, traditionalists, but you said, hey, we got to put a smile on our face. we have to give a more congenial view of god and religion, not telling people to fudge on the big issues but just to say we need to figure out a way to approach this for most percentage i say the break really came in the late '80s, early '90s, all the televangelists blowing up and there was a hardening ande ining of what p eople believed in faith, the teachings of jesus christ , so much of it just got crowded out.
>> think about your own life and how you grow and change and become a better person. is it because somebody scared the hell out of you, shame you had or condemned you or because somebody gave you a better vision for a better way to live. a friend talked about it a desire for a better way to live you don't didn't know how to hunger for. who here wouldn't want to learn to have less worry, be more generous. and that, to me, a better kind of life.
>> you actually -- there were some people who didn't appreciate your message in "love wins."
>> people who haven't appreciated my message from way back. i come from the christian tradition , jesus was put on the cross by very religious people because he is threaten an entire system coming into question.
>> do you believe in heaven and hell and an afterlife?
>> i do. i do and i begin with a belief that right now the choices we make have serious implications. we are creating hells on earth right now, 800 million people don't have access to clean drinking water. we have across the spectrum as humans, i begin with jesus called how you live now creates acertain sort of heaven and earth right here. i don't even have to look past death for that sort of thing.
>> yeah, i was -- my pastor a couple weeks ago said something that -- along those lines said don't wait for judgment day because, guess what -- it's already here.
>> millions and millions of people, judgment day happens every day, what are you doing to help people in their struggles?
>> well said.
>> the book is "what we talk about when we talk about god." i think we tried to figure that out right here. rob bell , thank you.
>> thank you, rob.
>> great to be with you.
>> we appreciate it. my son, andrew is a huge fan.
>> a huge fan.
>> tell him i said hi
>> andrew will be very happy to hear that.
>> coming up, best of late night , including mayor michael bloomberg paying a visit to david letterman on the late show .