Author Rob Bell has two major projects in the works currently, one of which includes a TV show.
Bell, who stepped down as pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan early this year to pursue other works, isn't giving out any details about the upcoming TV project. But he has dropped some hints. He told ReadtheSpirit.com this week that it definitely won't be "what passes for religion on Sunday-morning TV."
"You know this isn't 1-800-Big-Hair," he said.
The controversial author, whose books include Velvet Elvis and Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, is working with Carlton Cuse, executive producer of the popular TV series "Lost."
In a public discussion in West Hollywood last month, Bell said the project will be based on some of his sermons, books and films.
He also said they'll be entering "new ground that hasn't been explored" and that there will be ways for people to participate in it.
"We think there's a whole discussion that can take place and a whole new way to do it," he described.
More details will be divulged in the fall, he said.
Meanwhile, Bell is working on a new book titled What We Talk About When We Talk About God. It's set for a March release. He told ReadtheSpirit.com that his target audience for this book are those who have expressed the "I'm not religious but I'm spiritual" sentiment at one time or another.
Bell founded Mars Hill Bible Church in 1999. It grew to some 7,000 people. The 41-year-old sparked controversy with some of his works, most recently Love Wins where he questions whether God would send people to a literal and eternal hell.
The author faced claims of heresy and universalism and several evangelicals came out with their own books on hell in response to Bell.
As someone who has faced hecklers and criticisms throughout his life, Bell stated in the West Hollywood discussion last month that "we can't control how people respond to us." He then added, "You have to laugh often. If you take yourself too seriously, you're in trouble."
Bell and his family, including his three children, are currently living in Los Angeles where he's getting used to two-day weekends – something he didn't observe during his years as a pastor.
He said his goal with his upcoming works is the same as when he founded Mars Hill which is to engage people who aren't listening.
He admitted his move to Southern California and his upcoming projects are a risk. But it's one he wanted to take.
"Wow, we could fail miserably. This could really not work. But it also means that you're alive," he said. "You work out your faith with fear and trembling."