It is on this trampoline that God has started to make more sense to me… When we jump, we begin to see the need for springs. The springs [in this metaphor that a life of faith is like jumping on a trampoline] help make sense of these deeper realities that drive how we live every day. The springs aren’t God. The springs aren’t Jesus. The springs are statements and beliefs about our faith that help give words to the depth that we are experiencing in our jumping. I would call these the doctrines of the Christian faith.
[But] they aren’t the point.
They help us understand the point, but they are a means and not an end. We take them seriously, and at the same time we keep them in proper perspective.
It [doctrine] is a spring, and people jumped for thousands of years without it. It was added later. We can take it out and examine it. Discuss it, probe it, question it. It flexes, and it stretches.
It hit me…that for [some], faith isn’t a trampoline; it’s a wall of bricks. Each of the core doctrines is like an individual brick that stacks on top of the others. If you pull one out, the whole wall starts to crumble. It appears quite strong and rigid, but if you begin to rethink or discuss even one brick, the whole thing is in danger.
[But] what if that one spring were [removed]?
Could a person keep jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian?
If the whole faith falls apart when we reexamine and rethink one spring, then it wasn’t that strong in the first place, was it?
I am far more interested in jumping than I am in arguing about whose trampoline is better. You rarely defend the things you love. You enjoy them and tell others about them and invite others to enjoy them with you.
Rob Bell - Velvet Elvis, 1st edition. Pages 18-27