(Photo: Harpo Inc.)
In an upcoming broadcast of the OWN network's "Super Soul Sunday," bestselling and controversial author Rob Bell talks with Oprah Winfrey about his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, and why "it may be the most rational move" to acknowledge that there is a God.
Bell, founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Mich., tells Winfrey in a preview clip of the Nov. 3 airing of "Super Soul Sunday" that it is okay to be open. Apparently speaking directly to "all the really smart, studied people who've been to the T.E.D. Conference and have iPhones," Bell said, "It's not crazy to actually acknowledge that there's a God."
Watch the minute-long video excerpt of Bell's talk with Winfrey, in which the influential Christian minister briefly touches on the positive and negative aspects of the Enlightenment era's emphasis on skepticism and rationalism.
According to a press release shared with The Christian Post, Bell will also discuss "why more and more people are identifying with spirituality over religion."
Bell, whose What We Talk About When We Talk About God was the premiere pick for Winfrey's "Oprah's Super Soulful Book of the Month" club, reaches out to those who may feel a spiritual pull in the world around them. His emphasis is not on dogma or doctrines.
Bells says he wrote the book because "there's a growing sense that when it comes to God, we're at the end of one era and the start of another, an entire mode of understanding and talking about God is dying as something new is being birthed."
The former megachurch pastor, whose 2011 title, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, was a New York Times Bestseller, has continued to distance himself from mainstream evangelical Christianity.
Bell came out over the summer during a promotional tour for What We Talk About When We Talk About God in favor of same-sex marriage and has previously expressed his belief that "God [is] pulling us ahead into greater and greater affirmation and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters and pastors and friends and neighbors and coworkers."
When asked by Publishers Weekly in March if he would call himself an evangelical Christian today, Bell questioned if "evangelical" means "good news."
"An evangelical is somebody who, when they leave the room, you feel better because you heard the good news [from them], then yes," he said. "If it means people enslaved to rigid oppressive doctrines and dogma that suck the life out of them and oppress them, then no."
Bell's discussion with Winfrey goes live Sunday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. ET via television broadcast, online at Oprah.com, Facebook.com/owntv, and Facebook.com/supersoulsunday. Other Christian figures featured on Oprah Winfrey's OWN programs include "limbless evangelist" Nick Vujicic, Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen, and The Potter's House's Bishop T.D. Jakes.
OWN has also released a shorter video spot teasing Bell's appearance on "Super Soul Sunday," which can be viewed below: