So Doug connected me to a post by Ben Witherington, New Testament scholar at Asbury Seminary. In this post, Dr. Witherington, a generous and in-touch scholar, recognizes the positive influence Rob Bell, pastor at Mars Hill in Michigan, is having on our world today. But he also provides a good critique of Rob's understanding of the Jewish world in Jesus' day. To sum it up, he suggests that Rob's understanding of the Jewish context is taken from a time a few years after Jesus was around.
My friend Brad directed me to a quality conversation about Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis on John Smulo's blog. Good follow up stuff.