The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty

The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty


    The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty the Good News actually involves embracing the idea that we can t be whole, that life is difficult, and that we are in the dark Showing how God has traditionally been approached as a product that will render us complete, remove our suffering, and reveal the answers, he introduces an incendiary approach to faith that invites us to joyfully embrace our brokenness, resolutely face our unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties of existence Only then, he argues, can we truly rob death of its sting and enter into the fullness of life."/>
  • Paperback
  • 208 pages
  • The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction
  • Peter Rollins
  • English
  • 17 July 2017
  • 1451609027

10 thoughts on “The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction

  1. David Steele David Steele says:

    Peter Rollins writes, My desire is that this work would help to agitate and disturb the reader in a positive way The author certainly accomplishes his objective with this reader, yet there is nothing positive about the proposals set forth in the book, The Idolatry of God.Rollins essentially argues that most churches peddle a God which is an impotent idol Such a God is treated as nothingthan a product, a product that promises certainty and satisfaction while delivering nothing but dece Peter Rollins writes, My desire is that this work would help to agitate and disturb the reader in a positive way The author certainly accomplishes his objective with this reader, yet there is nothing positive about the proposals set forth in the book, The Idolatry of God.Rollins essentially argues that most churches peddle a God which is an impotent idol Such a God is treated as nothingthan a product, a product that promises certainty and satisfaction while delivering nothing but deception and dissatisfaction Admittedly, if Rollins proposal is accurate, he would have a case to make But to accuse most churches of propagating a idol idle God is an overreach at best and sheer nonsense at worst.The author stands with other postmodern and emergent thinkers who cast doubt on epistemological certainty But Rollins takes his view one step further He sets his sights on anyone who yearns for satisfaction Hence, the subtitle is an accurate reflection of the message that Rollins seeks to set forth, namely breaking our addiction to certainty and satisfaction What I find emerging in these pages is an anti church treatise that downplays doctrinal propositions, creeds, and orthodoxy I am always fascinated by writers in the postmodern stream who resist absolute statements of truth which is a subtle way of rejecting the correspondence theory of truth Yet all the while, these authors are quick to promote their own views, metaphysical presuppositions, and epistemological claims There are many original thoughts here Unfortunately, these thoughts are not in step with Scripture and prove unhelpful


  2. Selena Selena says:

    I was hoping to have my beliefs shattered and crushed under the heel of this book, but, alas, it did not happen I think hanging out with Quakers for the last decade a group that has already discarded many of their idols has already put me through the process that this book may provide for others I distinctly remember the discomfort experienced in my first year or so in Meeting.My two star review is based, then, mainly on my own personal disappointment There were some interesting ideas tha I was hoping to have my beliefs shattered and crushed under the heel of this book, but, alas, it did not happen I think hanging out with Quakers for the last decade a group that has already discarded many of their idols has already put me through the process that this book may provide for others I distinctly remember the discomfort experienced in my first year or so in Meeting.My two star review is based, then, mainly on my own personal disappointment There were some interesting ideas that Rollins presents, however I was especially interested in the juxtaposition of Lacan s mirror stage and Original Sin as the origin of the yearning and dissatisfaction that we all experience as human beings Rollins gives readers many such tidbits to mull over, which I think makes this book a worth while read whether you come out a broken or fixed being or not I am editing this review to add that upon rereading I ve realized that one might infer that I was disappointed in the book because I d set the contents and their desired effect up as an idol of spiritual development or self improvement, therefore it was inevitable that I was disappointed Well played, Rollins, well played


  3. Lee Harmon Lee Harmon says:

    Have we turned God into an idol In this thought provoking book, you ll learn to think about God, life, and love differently The idea of God as the fulfillment of our desires is so all pervasive today that most of us take it for granted But is this not the very definition of an idol That which we focus on as the solution to our unfulfillment, in hopes of attaining happiness Next time you attend church, listen closely to the worship hymns Each one promises to provide something which will fil Have we turned God into an idol In this thought provoking book, you ll learn to think about God, life, and love differently The idea of God as the fulfillment of our desires is so all pervasive today that most of us take it for granted But is this not the very definition of an idol That which we focus on as the solution to our unfulfillment, in hopes of attaining happiness Next time you attend church, listen closely to the worship hymns Each one promises to provide something which will fill the emptiness we feel by nature a nature that began with birth, and our severing from the universe to create a separate being In this way, the church takes it place beside every other industry that is in the business of selling satisfaction Religious hymns become littlethan advertising jingles, and the clergy come to resemble slick salespeople presenting their god product to the potential consumer If idolatry is the artificial search for ultimate satisfaction, then the church today does not offer an alternative to the idolatry that weighs us down, but instead blesses it and gives it divine justification What can we do about it Rollins encourages us to be part of the problem, not the solution, and he closes the book with several intriguing group exercises to help us think outside the box, recognizing and embracing life for its uncertainty and unattainable satisfaction Remember when Jesus died, and the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom The Holy of Holies lay exposed, and the separation between man and God finally came down So what did temple visitors find there, beyond the curtain of separation That s right nothing There was nothing behind the curtain That is not to say that Christianity is a lie, or that the scriptures are wrong The reality isinteresting than this Like every other idol, God proves to be meaningful only while unattainable Once obtained once lived the meaning dies, but is reborn, as it shifts from idolatry to experience An experience which cannot be ours until we lay down our certainties and our doomed quest for ultimate understanding and satisfaction


  4. Kelsey Gould Kelsey Gould says:

    9 10 Over the past couple of years, the framework through which I approached my faith became increasingly troublesome It s been so helpful to read stories of people who have experienced similar things, but there was still so much confusion and anxiety around the subject This book has helped so so much As the title suggests, the point of it was not to contribute to any certainty, but to freedom And it did It has given words to many of my wonderings and suspicions and unease, and it has g 9 10 Over the past couple of years, the framework through which I approached my faith became increasingly troublesome It s been so helpful to read stories of people who have experienced similar things, but there was still so much confusion and anxiety around the subject This book has helped so so much As the title suggests, the point of it was not to contribute to any certainty, but to freedom And it did It has given words to many of my wonderings and suspicions and unease, and it has given me hope for experiencing a substantial faith in a different way I can think of a few people for whom this would also be a freeing read, and manywho would be well served by the philosophical and theological challenges Peter Rollins has to offer Highly recommend to groups desiring aforementioned outcomes


  5. David David says:

    I like Peter Rollins work because he challenges my assumptions What most struck me in this book, and dovetailed nicely or uncomfortably with what I ve been thinking about a lot lately, is how we tend to fit Jesus into our preconceived schemes Basically, if all humans want to be on the winning team, we Christians say joining Jesus is the winning team So our selfish desire to win is still there, it is just baptized Rollins uses different analogies, but gets to the same point what if Jesus I like Peter Rollins work because he challenges my assumptions What most struck me in this book, and dovetailed nicely or uncomfortably with what I ve been thinking about a lot lately, is how we tend to fit Jesus into our preconceived schemes Basically, if all humans want to be on the winning team, we Christians say joining Jesus is the winning team So our selfish desire to win is still there, it is just baptized Rollins uses different analogies, but gets to the same point what if Jesus does not satisfy us the way we have been told, or simply sanctify our selfishness, but instead frees us from the desire to win in the first place Overall this is a thoughtful book that does echo mystics from the church s past, but unlike those books, is one people today may actually read The third part tells stories from Rollins community on how they have sought to illustrate these ideas and while those stories are interesting, they seemed sort of tacked on At one point near the end, I thought Rollins was getting a bit arrogant, as if to say everyone or nearly every Christian today and in history got it wrong but finally he has come along to get it right That said, it is a great read


  6. Mehrsa Mehrsa says:

    I thought the book could have beenorganized, but I really love Rollins perspective on faith I learned about him on a podcast where he talked about being comfortable with the lack in our lives I thought it was a super insightful conversation and I wantedso I read the book It gave me a lot to think about.


  7. Ali M. Ali M. says:

    Whether you agree with the ultimate conclusions Peter Rollins comes to or not, the guy is brilliant at breaking down how the human being functions psychologically, for better or worse and he s especially good at exposing the false constructs that religious people build for themselves to stay comfortable While I didn t find this book as convincing and cutting as Insurrection, it s still well worth the read and contains plenty of ideas that should be confronted by every Christian One of the po Whether you agree with the ultimate conclusions Peter Rollins comes to or not, the guy is brilliant at breaking down how the human being functions psychologically, for better or worse and he s especially good at exposing the false constructs that religious people build for themselves to stay comfortable While I didn t find this book as convincing and cutting as Insurrection, it s still well worth the read and contains plenty of ideas that should be confronted by every Christian One of the points Rollins makes later in the book one that should fall under the well, duh category is that Christian communities desperately need to cultivate space where they are faced with diametrically opposed ideas and worldviews on a regular basis Without this healthy dialogue and constant self reflection, we are in danger of seeing God as nothingthan an idol something to chase after for our own fulfillment and of making the Church universal into nothingthan a shrine, instead of a force meant to be used for love and good in the world This book argues that the common Christian view of God as a being who will bring us ultimate satisfaction is not actually a Biblical view at all, but fits the scriptural definition of an idol, and should be avoided Rollins discusses how our first moments of self awareness as children always come with a sense of loss, since we perceive I for the first time as separate from the world around us But this sense of separation and alienation is actually an illusion, he insists, since we did not in fact lose anything we simply began to perceive the world and ourselves differently He builds on this idea by framing the Crucifixion as the moment where Christ, who never experienced this human sense of alienation, feels it for the first time when he cries out My God, my God why have you forsaken me He frames the Law as part of this system of idolatry that is so central to our nature, and suggests that new creation occurs the moment God breaks our hold on our tribal identities, and we cease our desperate search for meaning in idols even Him instead, we see Him infuse the world around us with meaning Rollins summarizes what this looks like in practice The Idol is experienced as that which is utterly beautiful, that which is so radiant everything else pales into insignificance But when we read that God is love, we are reminded that love cannot be directly approached as beautiful and sublime but as that humble reality that renders the world beautiful and sublime Love does not say, Look at me, but invites us to look at another Unlike the Idol that tries to capture our gaze, the God testified to in love avoids our direct gaze and invites us to be taken up by the beauty that surrounds us. and I agree completely When we re focused on others on the divine image inherent in the people and world around us we do not feel that primal sense of separation as keenly because we are not focused on ourselves It s Altruism 101, but always bears repeating And this is also an interesting argument for the absence of God testified so often in Scripture, because God wants our line of sight to be horizontal looking to the needs of others , not vertical looking to fulfill our own needs Where I think the Rollins brand of pyrotheology breaks down is in the details of individual experience I think everyone has a unique way of perceiving, understanding, and relating to God that is not quite the same as the person next to them, just as no two personalties are wholly alike Christian a theism, in the end, just doesn t seem comprehensive enough to account for this wide variety of experiences, many of which may not line up with the ideas Rollins presents in the end of the book There may be many ways to break apart the false idols of God we have unwittingly created In fact, I think the shattering of these constructs is an inevitable part of human life, not even something we have to fight to do although I do agree it would help to beconscious and deliberate about it Anyway, great food for thought, as always I ll continue to read anything Rollins puts out because Christian a theism is just SO INTERESTING And because he used Equilibrium, WALL E, and The Walking Dead as illustrative examples Ha 100 points, Pete


  8. Raoul G Raoul G says:

    For someone familiar with Peter Rollins work many of the ideas in this book will not be exactly new Still, here he manages to put them together in a understandable and coherent way As always, his use of examples e.g movie scenes, parables etc is helpful to make the various points he is making understandable As always the content is a mix of theology, philosophy and psychoanalysis In my opinion this book serves well as an introduction to Peter Rollins pyrotheology.Now a fewwords For someone familiar with Peter Rollins work many of the ideas in this book will not be exactly new Still, here he manages to put them together in a understandable and coherent way As always, his use of examples e.g movie scenes, parables etc is helpful to make the various points he is making understandable As always the content is a mix of theology, philosophy and psychoanalysis In my opinion this book serves well as an introduction to Peter Rollins pyrotheology.Now a fewwords regarding the content In the beginning of the book Rollins talks about an insight from lacanian psychoanalysis A sense of loss a lack a void in the center of our being marks our existence as human beingsIt is this sense of a gap that causes us to feel incomplete in some way As a result, one of our first impulses is to find ways of abolishing the void We attempt this by connecting our vague and abstract sense of separation to something concrete and then trying to gain it However, this strategy can never wholly work, as the disquieting sense of separation that makes its presence felt in our bodies has a hunger bigger than any object or objects could ever satisfy In Rollins opinion the way most people relate to this lack is problematic, indicated by the fact that there are whole industries grounded on the false promise that they can fulfill this lack Sadly, the church isn t doing much betterToday the Good News of Christianity is sold to us as that which can fulfill our desire rather than as that which evokes a transformation in the very way that we desire Like every other product that promises us fulfillment, Christ becomes yet another object in the world that is offered to us as a way of gaining insight and ultimate satisfaction This ultimate satisfaction that is promised to us can of course never be delivered and makes the object which promises it to us an idolWhat we see taking place in the church today is the reduction of God to an Idol, that is, to a thing that will satisfy us and fill the gap we feel in our hearts In thinking of God in this way, the church ends up mimicking every other industry by claiming that they can take away the sense of loss that marks our life He goes on to describe how these idols be they religious or secular enslave us and affect the way we relate to each other Of course this book does not present only problems, but also some solutions According to Rollins, what the Gospels offer is a radically new freedomnot the freedom to pursue what we believe will satisfy us, but the freedom from the pursuit of what we believe will satisfy us Further on he explores how this plays out theologically by taking a look at the crucifixion event and some biblical passages written by Paul and then connects themFor Paul it is this very loss of identity that identifies us with Christ As we experience the loss of the operative power of our identity, we thus touch upon that experience of utter loss expressed in the Crucifixion of ChristThis loss of identity hints at something called Religionless Christianity in pyrotheology The last chapter of the book looks at some concrete liturgical manifestations of this Religionless Christianity that Rollins organized in Ireland, and some contemplative practices which are helpful in destroying the idols of certainty and satisfaction One of the contemplative practices in which I participated this year and which I found very fruitful is Atheism for LentThe practice of Atheism for Lent exposes participants to some of the greatest, most perceptive criticisms and critiques of God, religion, and faith, the hope being that this difficult and challenging journey will result in the destruction of Idolatrous ways of thinking about faith If you re ready to be challenged in your beliefs and willing to leave the realm of false certainty for a authentic struggle for truth I recommend you start looking into Peter Rollins work, maybe even this very book


  9. Jacob Jacob says:

    This book will be Heresy to some and Life to others, but it will be thought provoking to all I first heard Peter Rollins on Rob Bell s podcast and loved listening to his thoughts and accent So I was thrilled to discover he wrote some books and even provided the narration for this one so I listened to this book over the course of three days and already want to listen again I found his perspective to be refreshing and encouraging This book bubbled over into all of my conversations these past f This book will be Heresy to some and Life to others, but it will be thought provoking to all I first heard Peter Rollins on Rob Bell s podcast and loved listening to his thoughts and accent So I was thrilled to discover he wrote some books and even provided the narration for this one so I listened to this book over the course of three days and already want to listen again I found his perspective to be refreshing and encouraging This book bubbled over into all of my conversations these past few days Really struck a true chord within me


  10. Robert Johnson Robert Johnson says:

    A book that came into my life at the right time giving me to the freedom and love to think freely on what I had been struggle with for years So grateful for the words and thoughts of Peter Rollins Highly recommend I imagine if you aren t in the right space for this, it will be a rough or nonsensical read, but if you are where I was, it will breath life into your soul.


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The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction[BOOKS] ✮ The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction ✸ Peter Rollins – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Theological firebrand Peter Rollins asserts that mainstream Christianity reduces God to an idol, made in our own image, for the purpose of providing certainty and satisfactionYou can t be satisfied Li Theological of God: Breaking Our eBook Î firebrand Peter Rollins asserts of God: PDF º that mainstream Christianity reduces God to an idol, made in our own image, for the purpose of providing certainty and satisfactionYou can t be satisfied Life is difficult You don t know the The Idolatry MOBI :Þ secret Whether readers are devout believers or distant seekers, The Idolatry of God shows that we must lay down our certainties and honestly admit our doubts to identify with Jesus Rollins purposely upsets fundamentalist certainty in order to open Idolatry of God: ePUB ✓ readers up to a loving, active manifestation of Christ s love In contrast to the usual understanding of the Good News as a message offering satisfaction and certainty, Rollins argues for a radical and shattering alternative He explores how the Good News actually involves embracing the idea that we can t be whole, that life is difficult, and that we are in the dark Showing how God has traditionally been approached as a product that will render us complete, remove our suffering, and reveal the answers, he introduces an incendiary approach to faith that invites us to joyfully embrace our brokenness, resolutely face our unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties of existence Only then, he argues, can we truly rob death of its sting and enter into the fullness of life.


About the Author: Peter Rollins

Peter of God: Breaking Our eBook Î Rollins is a Northern of God: PDF º Irish writer, public speaker, philosopher and theologian who is a prominent figure in Postmodern ChristianityDrawing largely from various strands of Continental Philosophy, Rollins early work operated broadly from within the tradition of Apophatic The Idolatry MOBI :Þ Theology, while hisrecent books have signaled a move toward the theory and practice of Radical Theology In these books Rollins develops a religionless interpretation of Christianity called Pyrotheology, an interpretation that views faith as a particular way of engaging Idolatry of God: ePUB ✓ with the world rather than a way of believing things about the worldIn contrast to the dominant reading of Christianity, thisexistential approach argues that faith has nothing to do with upholding a religious identity, affirming a particular set of beliefs or gaining wholeness through conversion Instead he has developed an approach that sees Christianity as a critique of these very things This anti religious reading stands against the actual existing church and lays the groundwork for an understanding of faith as a type of life in which one is able to celebrate doubt, ambiguity and complexity while deepening ones care and concern for the world As an outspoken critic of worldview Christianity he argues that the event which gave rise to the Christian tradition cannot itself be reduced to a tradition, but is rather a way of challenging traditions, rendering them fluid and opening them up to the new This event cannot then be understood as a religious, cultural or political system, but is a way of life that operates within such systemsIn order to explore and promote these themes Rollins has founded a number of experimental communities such as ikon and ikonNYC These groups describe themselves as iconic, apocalyptic, heretical, emerging and failing and engage in the performance of what they call transformance art and the creation of suspended space Because of their rejection of worldview Christianity and embrace of suspended space these groups purposelessly attempt to attract people with different political perspectives and opposing views concerning the existence of God and the nature of the worldAlthough Rollins does not directly identify with the emerging church movement,he has been a significant influence on the movement s development As a freelance speaker and popular writer, Rollins operates broadly outside the walls of an academic institution, and currently lives in Greenwich, Connecticut His most influential book to date is How Not To Speak Of God .


10 thoughts on “The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction

  1. David Steele David Steele says:

    Peter Rollins writes, My desire is that this work would help to agitate and disturb the reader in a positive way The author certainly accomplishes his objective with this reader, yet there is nothing positive about the proposals set forth in the book, The Idolatry of God.Rollins essentially argues that most churches peddle a God which is an impotent idol Such a God is treated as nothingthan a product, a product that promises certainty and satisfaction while delivering nothing but dece Peter Rollins writes, My desire is that this work would help to agitate and disturb the reader in a positive way The author certainly accomplishes his objective with this reader, yet there is nothing positive about the proposals set forth in the book, The Idolatry of God.Rollins essentially argues that most churches peddle a God which is an impotent idol Such a God is treated as nothingthan a product, a product that promises certainty and satisfaction while delivering nothing but deception and dissatisfaction Admittedly, if Rollins proposal is accurate, he would have a case to make But to accuse most churches of propagating a idol idle God is an overreach at best and sheer nonsense at worst.The author stands with other postmodern and emergent thinkers who cast doubt on epistemological certainty But Rollins takes his view one step further He sets his sights on anyone who yearns for satisfaction Hence, the subtitle is an accurate reflection of the message that Rollins seeks to set forth, namely breaking our addiction to certainty and satisfaction What I find emerging in these pages is an anti church treatise that downplays doctrinal propositions, creeds, and orthodoxy I am always fascinated by writers in the postmodern stream who resist absolute statements of truth which is a subtle way of rejecting the correspondence theory of truth Yet all the while, these authors are quick to promote their own views, metaphysical presuppositions, and epistemological claims There are many original thoughts here Unfortunately, these thoughts are not in step with Scripture and prove unhelpful

  2. Selena Selena says:

    I was hoping to have my beliefs shattered and crushed under the heel of this book, but, alas, it did not happen I think hanging out with Quakers for the last decade a group that has already discarded many of their idols has already put me through the process that this book may provide for others I distinctly remember the discomfort experienced in my first year or so in Meeting.My two star review is based, then, mainly on my own personal disappointment There were some interesting ideas tha I was hoping to have my beliefs shattered and crushed under the heel of this book, but, alas, it did not happen I think hanging out with Quakers for the last decade a group that has already discarded many of their idols has already put me through the process that this book may provide for others I distinctly remember the discomfort experienced in my first year or so in Meeting.My two star review is based, then, mainly on my own personal disappointment There were some interesting ideas that Rollins presents, however I was especially interested in the juxtaposition of Lacan s mirror stage and Original Sin as the origin of the yearning and dissatisfaction that we all experience as human beings Rollins gives readers many such tidbits to mull over, which I think makes this book a worth while read whether you come out a broken or fixed being or not I am editing this review to add that upon rereading I ve realized that one might infer that I was disappointed in the book because I d set the contents and their desired effect up as an idol of spiritual development or self improvement, therefore it was inevitable that I was disappointed Well played, Rollins, well played

  3. Lee Harmon Lee Harmon says:

    Have we turned God into an idol In this thought provoking book, you ll learn to think about God, life, and love differently The idea of God as the fulfillment of our desires is so all pervasive today that most of us take it for granted But is this not the very definition of an idol That which we focus on as the solution to our unfulfillment, in hopes of attaining happiness Next time you attend church, listen closely to the worship hymns Each one promises to provide something which will fil Have we turned God into an idol In this thought provoking book, you ll learn to think about God, life, and love differently The idea of God as the fulfillment of our desires is so all pervasive today that most of us take it for granted But is this not the very definition of an idol That which we focus on as the solution to our unfulfillment, in hopes of attaining happiness Next time you attend church, listen closely to the worship hymns Each one promises to provide something which will fill the emptiness we feel by nature a nature that began with birth, and our severing from the universe to create a separate being In this way, the church takes it place beside every other industry that is in the business of selling satisfaction Religious hymns become littlethan advertising jingles, and the clergy come to resemble slick salespeople presenting their god product to the potential consumer If idolatry is the artificial search for ultimate satisfaction, then the church today does not offer an alternative to the idolatry that weighs us down, but instead blesses it and gives it divine justification What can we do about it Rollins encourages us to be part of the problem, not the solution, and he closes the book with several intriguing group exercises to help us think outside the box, recognizing and embracing life for its uncertainty and unattainable satisfaction Remember when Jesus died, and the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom The Holy of Holies lay exposed, and the separation between man and God finally came down So what did temple visitors find there, beyond the curtain of separation That s right nothing There was nothing behind the curtain That is not to say that Christianity is a lie, or that the scriptures are wrong The reality isinteresting than this Like every other idol, God proves to be meaningful only while unattainable Once obtained once lived the meaning dies, but is reborn, as it shifts from idolatry to experience An experience which cannot be ours until we lay down our certainties and our doomed quest for ultimate understanding and satisfaction

  4. Kelsey Gould Kelsey Gould says:

    9 10 Over the past couple of years, the framework through which I approached my faith became increasingly troublesome It s been so helpful to read stories of people who have experienced similar things, but there was still so much confusion and anxiety around the subject This book has helped so so much As the title suggests, the point of it was not to contribute to any certainty, but to freedom And it did It has given words to many of my wonderings and suspicions and unease, and it has g 9 10 Over the past couple of years, the framework through which I approached my faith became increasingly troublesome It s been so helpful to read stories of people who have experienced similar things, but there was still so much confusion and anxiety around the subject This book has helped so so much As the title suggests, the point of it was not to contribute to any certainty, but to freedom And it did It has given words to many of my wonderings and suspicions and unease, and it has given me hope for experiencing a substantial faith in a different way I can think of a few people for whom this would also be a freeing read, and manywho would be well served by the philosophical and theological challenges Peter Rollins has to offer Highly recommend to groups desiring aforementioned outcomes

  5. David David says:

    I like Peter Rollins work because he challenges my assumptions What most struck me in this book, and dovetailed nicely or uncomfortably with what I ve been thinking about a lot lately, is how we tend to fit Jesus into our preconceived schemes Basically, if all humans want to be on the winning team, we Christians say joining Jesus is the winning team So our selfish desire to win is still there, it is just baptized Rollins uses different analogies, but gets to the same point what if Jesus I like Peter Rollins work because he challenges my assumptions What most struck me in this book, and dovetailed nicely or uncomfortably with what I ve been thinking about a lot lately, is how we tend to fit Jesus into our preconceived schemes Basically, if all humans want to be on the winning team, we Christians say joining Jesus is the winning team So our selfish desire to win is still there, it is just baptized Rollins uses different analogies, but gets to the same point what if Jesus does not satisfy us the way we have been told, or simply sanctify our selfishness, but instead frees us from the desire to win in the first place Overall this is a thoughtful book that does echo mystics from the church s past, but unlike those books, is one people today may actually read The third part tells stories from Rollins community on how they have sought to illustrate these ideas and while those stories are interesting, they seemed sort of tacked on At one point near the end, I thought Rollins was getting a bit arrogant, as if to say everyone or nearly every Christian today and in history got it wrong but finally he has come along to get it right That said, it is a great read

  6. Mehrsa Mehrsa says:

    I thought the book could have beenorganized, but I really love Rollins perspective on faith I learned about him on a podcast where he talked about being comfortable with the lack in our lives I thought it was a super insightful conversation and I wantedso I read the book It gave me a lot to think about.

  7. Ali M. Ali M. says:

    Whether you agree with the ultimate conclusions Peter Rollins comes to or not, the guy is brilliant at breaking down how the human being functions psychologically, for better or worse and he s especially good at exposing the false constructs that religious people build for themselves to stay comfortable While I didn t find this book as convincing and cutting as Insurrection, it s still well worth the read and contains plenty of ideas that should be confronted by every Christian One of the po Whether you agree with the ultimate conclusions Peter Rollins comes to or not, the guy is brilliant at breaking down how the human being functions psychologically, for better or worse and he s especially good at exposing the false constructs that religious people build for themselves to stay comfortable While I didn t find this book as convincing and cutting as Insurrection, it s still well worth the read and contains plenty of ideas that should be confronted by every Christian One of the points Rollins makes later in the book one that should fall under the well, duh category is that Christian communities desperately need to cultivate space where they are faced with diametrically opposed ideas and worldviews on a regular basis Without this healthy dialogue and constant self reflection, we are in danger of seeing God as nothingthan an idol something to chase after for our own fulfillment and of making the Church universal into nothingthan a shrine, instead of a force meant to be used for love and good in the world This book argues that the common Christian view of God as a being who will bring us ultimate satisfaction is not actually a Biblical view at all, but fits the scriptural definition of an idol, and should be avoided Rollins discusses how our first moments of self awareness as children always come with a sense of loss, since we perceive I for the first time as separate from the world around us But this sense of separation and alienation is actually an illusion, he insists, since we did not in fact lose anything we simply began to perceive the world and ourselves differently He builds on this idea by framing the Crucifixion as the moment where Christ, who never experienced this human sense of alienation, feels it for the first time when he cries out My God, my God why have you forsaken me He frames the Law as part of this system of idolatry that is so central to our nature, and suggests that new creation occurs the moment God breaks our hold on our tribal identities, and we cease our desperate search for meaning in idols even Him instead, we see Him infuse the world around us with meaning Rollins summarizes what this looks like in practice The Idol is experienced as that which is utterly beautiful, that which is so radiant everything else pales into insignificance But when we read that God is love, we are reminded that love cannot be directly approached as beautiful and sublime but as that humble reality that renders the world beautiful and sublime Love does not say, Look at me, but invites us to look at another Unlike the Idol that tries to capture our gaze, the God testified to in love avoids our direct gaze and invites us to be taken up by the beauty that surrounds us. and I agree completely When we re focused on others on the divine image inherent in the people and world around us we do not feel that primal sense of separation as keenly because we are not focused on ourselves It s Altruism 101, but always bears repeating And this is also an interesting argument for the absence of God testified so often in Scripture, because God wants our line of sight to be horizontal looking to the needs of others , not vertical looking to fulfill our own needs Where I think the Rollins brand of pyrotheology breaks down is in the details of individual experience I think everyone has a unique way of perceiving, understanding, and relating to God that is not quite the same as the person next to them, just as no two personalties are wholly alike Christian a theism, in the end, just doesn t seem comprehensive enough to account for this wide variety of experiences, many of which may not line up with the ideas Rollins presents in the end of the book There may be many ways to break apart the false idols of God we have unwittingly created In fact, I think the shattering of these constructs is an inevitable part of human life, not even something we have to fight to do although I do agree it would help to beconscious and deliberate about it Anyway, great food for thought, as always I ll continue to read anything Rollins puts out because Christian a theism is just SO INTERESTING And because he used Equilibrium, WALL E, and The Walking Dead as illustrative examples Ha 100 points, Pete

  8. Raoul G Raoul G says:

    For someone familiar with Peter Rollins work many of the ideas in this book will not be exactly new Still, here he manages to put them together in a understandable and coherent way As always, his use of examples e.g movie scenes, parables etc is helpful to make the various points he is making understandable As always the content is a mix of theology, philosophy and psychoanalysis In my opinion this book serves well as an introduction to Peter Rollins pyrotheology.Now a fewwords For someone familiar with Peter Rollins work many of the ideas in this book will not be exactly new Still, here he manages to put them together in a understandable and coherent way As always, his use of examples e.g movie scenes, parables etc is helpful to make the various points he is making understandable As always the content is a mix of theology, philosophy and psychoanalysis In my opinion this book serves well as an introduction to Peter Rollins pyrotheology.Now a fewwords regarding the content In the beginning of the book Rollins talks about an insight from lacanian psychoanalysis A sense of loss a lack a void in the center of our being marks our existence as human beingsIt is this sense of a gap that causes us to feel incomplete in some way As a result, one of our first impulses is to find ways of abolishing the void We attempt this by connecting our vague and abstract sense of separation to something concrete and then trying to gain it However, this strategy can never wholly work, as the disquieting sense of separation that makes its presence felt in our bodies has a hunger bigger than any object or objects could ever satisfy In Rollins opinion the way most people relate to this lack is problematic, indicated by the fact that there are whole industries grounded on the false promise that they can fulfill this lack Sadly, the church isn t doing much betterToday the Good News of Christianity is sold to us as that which can fulfill our desire rather than as that which evokes a transformation in the very way that we desire Like every other product that promises us fulfillment, Christ becomes yet another object in the world that is offered to us as a way of gaining insight and ultimate satisfaction This ultimate satisfaction that is promised to us can of course never be delivered and makes the object which promises it to us an idolWhat we see taking place in the church today is the reduction of God to an Idol, that is, to a thing that will satisfy us and fill the gap we feel in our hearts In thinking of God in this way, the church ends up mimicking every other industry by claiming that they can take away the sense of loss that marks our life He goes on to describe how these idols be they religious or secular enslave us and affect the way we relate to each other Of course this book does not present only problems, but also some solutions According to Rollins, what the Gospels offer is a radically new freedomnot the freedom to pursue what we believe will satisfy us, but the freedom from the pursuit of what we believe will satisfy us Further on he explores how this plays out theologically by taking a look at the crucifixion event and some biblical passages written by Paul and then connects themFor Paul it is this very loss of identity that identifies us with Christ As we experience the loss of the operative power of our identity, we thus touch upon that experience of utter loss expressed in the Crucifixion of ChristThis loss of identity hints at something called Religionless Christianity in pyrotheology The last chapter of the book looks at some concrete liturgical manifestations of this Religionless Christianity that Rollins organized in Ireland, and some contemplative practices which are helpful in destroying the idols of certainty and satisfaction One of the contemplative practices in which I participated this year and which I found very fruitful is Atheism for LentThe practice of Atheism for Lent exposes participants to some of the greatest, most perceptive criticisms and critiques of God, religion, and faith, the hope being that this difficult and challenging journey will result in the destruction of Idolatrous ways of thinking about faith If you re ready to be challenged in your beliefs and willing to leave the realm of false certainty for a authentic struggle for truth I recommend you start looking into Peter Rollins work, maybe even this very book

  9. Jacob Jacob says:

    This book will be Heresy to some and Life to others, but it will be thought provoking to all I first heard Peter Rollins on Rob Bell s podcast and loved listening to his thoughts and accent So I was thrilled to discover he wrote some books and even provided the narration for this one so I listened to this book over the course of three days and already want to listen again I found his perspective to be refreshing and encouraging This book bubbled over into all of my conversations these past f This book will be Heresy to some and Life to others, but it will be thought provoking to all I first heard Peter Rollins on Rob Bell s podcast and loved listening to his thoughts and accent So I was thrilled to discover he wrote some books and even provided the narration for this one so I listened to this book over the course of three days and already want to listen again I found his perspective to be refreshing and encouraging This book bubbled over into all of my conversations these past few days Really struck a true chord within me

  10. Robert Johnson Robert Johnson says:

    A book that came into my life at the right time giving me to the freedom and love to think freely on what I had been struggle with for years So grateful for the words and thoughts of Peter Rollins Highly recommend I imagine if you aren t in the right space for this, it will be a rough or nonsensical read, but if you are where I was, it will breath life into your soul.

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