Saturday, March 24, 2007

must read--Pete Rollins

just started reading How (Not) To Speak of God by Pete Rollins. After only one chapter it is already having major impact. Rollins is able to articulate perfectly a lot of thoughts I've wrestled with but haven't been able to put into words. I'm going to comment on the book as I read; but obviously I will quote bits and pieces. I strongly urge you to read the book yourself!

Part 1 Intro:

The argument is made that naming God is never really naming God but only naming our understanding of God. To take our ideas of the divine and hold them as if they correspond to the reality of God is thus to construct a conceptual idol built from the materials of our mind.

Wow. Much of the criticism of emergent has been that we don't hold firm enough to certain, absolute, infallible beliefs. The above quote tells me that holding our interpretations too tightly is a form of idolatry. I do believe in the Bible; but my beliefs, anyone's beliefs, are never exactly what the Bible says, but our understandings and interpretations of what the Bible says. That doesn't mean we can't learn from or follow the Bible, but it does mean we ought to be careful about arrogantly thinking that we have the one and only right reading...

Rollins goes on to contrast the Greek-influenced idea of orthodoxy as right belief with the "more Hebraic and mystical notion of the orthodox Christian as one who believes in the right way--that is , believing in a loving, sacrificial and Christlike manner."

That sure makes sense to me.

1 comment:

Stephen Gray said...


It's interesting that both you and Josh are blogging as you read Rollins' book. I look forward to seeing how you two are touched by the book in similar and different ways. I have the book, but have not yet started to read it. However, I am looking forward to the read!

Take care,