New York's Vulture site reports that the show will be loosely based on Bell's life story as a musician and eventual founder of his church, Mars Hill Bible Church. The show will feature a musician named Tom Stronger who ends up becoming a benefactor and spiritual guide, the site reports. Josef Adalian writes:
While based on biblical principles, Bell's brand of spirituality is not about hard-core evangelical, fire-and-brimstone teachings. Instead, his goal is to service folks' spiritual needs without the overlay of religious dogma (see also: Oprah). Stronger is similarly expected to explore spiritual themes but without being as on-the-nose as other recent series that have tackled these issues, such as 7th Heaven and Touched by an Angel. There's also expected to be a narrative twist to the project that will make it a bit unconventional, but for now, that detail is being kept secret (this show is from a Lost-ie after all).
According to the magazine's sources Bell and Cuse met at one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people dinners. Deadline's similar report indicates that the duo will co-write and executive produce. "While spiritual, Stronger won't be supernatural. It will touch on the spiritual side of people's lives much like the final season of Lost did," the Deadline report says.
The author of controversial Love Wins announced last week that he would leave his church to move to Los Angeles and launch a tour. Shane Hipps will take over preaching at Mars Hill Bible Church in the spring after Bell leaves.
"There are two kinds of grief. One is the grief you feel when someone dies or you ﬁnd out you have cancer. The other is kind of grief you feel when your child goes off to college," Hipps said in a statement to Christianity Today. "The second grief is mingled with joy, and hope, and gratitude. Our grief is clearly the second kind. Rob is graduating, and we send him with sadness and joy into a big world."
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