While the mega church preacher, Rob Bell, is little known compared to icon, Billy Graham, Bell is more important. He is someone who understands the shifting society and finds his own faith in tune with it.
Let’s start with imagery. Both the outside and inside of a church are designed to create some emotional response to the viewer. The ceremonies are designed for the same end.
To young people today, these mean little. They react and identify, instead, with what they see on this screen. Rob Bell appears here with many different kinds of presentations. He understands well the tensions of the new generation and how to address them on a screen instead of in a church.
The older generation who love the church steeples and looking at the cross inside the church and like talking of sin and avoiding hell. The new generation is concerned about being good people. This means accepting the diversity that makes up the family of human beings.
To address the anxieties of contemporary thinking, Bell doesn’t use cross or talk of hell much. He understands the sociology of today’s society makes these concepts not relevant.
The abstract concept of spirituality is meaningful. That someone temporarily died for arbitrary definitions of sin is not.
The artistry of church architecture and ceremony is being replaced by a digital artistry. This change is picked up by some, like Bell, but missed by others, the hierarchy of much of protestantism and nearly all of Catholicism.