Rob Bell + Carlton Cuse (Exec Producer of “Lost”) = New ABC Spiritual Drama “Stronger”
Now we know one of the reasons why Rob Bell felt called to resign from pastoring Mars Hill and is moving to Los Angeles. Bell and Cuse met at the 2011 Time Gala and really hit it off. They were both present at the gala because Bell was a 2011 honoree and Cuse was part of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2010. And so now according to TV Guide, ABC has closed a deal for Cuse and Bell to write and produce the series “Stronger”, which is a spiritual drama loosely based upon the life of Rob Bell.
Rob Bell became well known with Nooma series of short films that explore our world from a perspective of Jesus. Nooma is an invitation to search, question, and join the discussion about spiritual realities. Rob was further pushed into the public spotlight when his controversial book Love Wins was catapulted to the New York Best Selling List, with the help of John Piper’s famous tweet “Farewell Rob Bell”, linking to Justin Taylor’s blog article insinuating Bell was a Universalist and heretic. One of my most well read blog posts this past year talked how we need to slow down in our judgment of each other, and read books before making judgments.
Most have read the book now, and my well received six-part assessment of the book entitled Divided by Hell? not only gives an overview of the book, but the series seeks to understand heresy and orthodoxy and answer the questions: Is Rob Bell a Universalist? and Does God’s love and mercy extend beyond the grave?
So what will the ABC’s Stronger be like? According to Nellie Andreeva at award winning blog Deadline Hollywood, it will be a drama with spiritual overtones. The show “revolves around Tom Stronger, a musician and teacher, and his spiritual journey as he becomes a benefactor and guide to others. Music is expected to be a big part of the show, which features autobiographical elements as Bell is a former musician and played with rock/gospel bands in the 1990’s.”
AceShowbiz says, “Although being spiritual, ‘Stronger’ won’t be straight and square like previous spiritual series, including ‘Touched by an Angel’ and ‘7th Heavan’.” A healthy dose of humor will be injected into the show, and if I know Bell, the show will cause people to ask deep questions.
So now the speculation is over. We know one of the reasons Rob Bell is moving to Hollywood. The letter announcing Bell’s resignation at Mars Hill said, that Rob was “feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities… [in order] to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience” I think Rob Bell has a great future in Hollywood. With his knack at understanding culture, his creative abilities, and his understanding of the message of Jesus, I think we can expect some profound things from him. Rob doesn’t seek to copy culture, but he is involved in culture making. Let’s pray for Rob in his new calling, for prayer is always better than throwing stones.