Item description for How (Not) to Speak of God - Marks of the Emerging Church by Peter Rollins...
Overview With sensitivity to the Christian tradition and a rich understanding of postmodern thought, Peter Rollins argues that the movement known as the "emerging church" offers a singular, unprecedented message of transformation that has the potential to revolutionize the theological and moral architecture of Western Christianity. How (Not) to Speak of God sets out to explore the theory and praxis of this contemporary expression of faith. Rollins offers a clear exploration of this embryonic movement and provides key resources for those involved in communities that are conversant with, and seeking to minister effectively to, the needs of a postmodern world.
Publishers Description With sensitivity to the Christian tradition and a rich understanding of postmodern thought, Peter Rollins argues that the movement known as the "emerging church" offers a singular, unprecedented message of transformation that has the potential to revolutionize the theological and moral architecture of Western Christianity. "How (not) to Speak of God" sets out to explore the theory and praxis of this contemporary expression of faith. Rollins offers a clear exploration of this embryonic movement and provides key resources for those involved in communities that are conversant with, and seeking to minister effectively to, the needs of a postmodern world. "Here in pregnant bud is the rose, the emerging new configuration, of a Christianity that is neither Roman nor Protestant, neither Eastern nor monastic; but rather is the re-formation of all of them. Here, in pregnant bud, is third-millennium Christendom." --Phyllis Tickle "I am a raving fan of the book you are holding. I loved reading it. I have already begun widely recommending it. Reading it did good for my mind and for my soul. It helped me understand my own spiritual journey more clearly, and it gave me a sense of context for the work I'm involved in. In fact, I would say this is one of the two or three most rewarding books of theology I have read in ten years." --Brian McLaren, from the Foreword
Citations And Professional Reviews How (Not) to Speak of God - Marks of the Emerging Church by Peter Rollins has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 05/15/2006 page 67
Library Journal - 07/01/2006 page 86
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Studio: Paraclete Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.9" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2006
Publisher Paraclete Press
ISBN 1557255059 ISBN13 9781557255051
Availability 0 units.
More About Peter Rollins
Peter Rollins has a B.A. in Scholastic philosophy, an M.A. in political theory and criticism, and a Ph.D. in postmodern theory. He is the founder of the Ikon community in Northern Ireland (a group which describes itself as iconic, apocalyptic, heretical, emerging and failing) and a working philosopher who has come to believe that the emerging church presents a singular, unprecedented opportunity to transform the theological and moral architecture of the Christian community.
Reviews - What do customers think about How (Not) to Speak of God - Marks of the Emerging Church?
Laborious, but worth it Jul 9, 2008
"How (Not) to Speak of God" is a difficult, difficult read. It is dense, packed with theological terms old and new and intensely circuitous. But the points it makes are supremely important, ushering in a new era in thinking about Christianity. Peter Rollins, the author, effectively bridges the divide between Christianity and postmodern thought. His thesis, in essence, is that the two ways of thinking do not cancel each other out. Just because Christianity isn't universally true and can't be proved, doesn't mean it doesn't contain some level of truth and important meaning. In short, if we know we can know nothing conclusively about God, then even what we reject may in fact be true. What's important is that we not force, by authority or obligation, either the affirmation or denial of God. In fact, we do God injustice if we try to prove his reality or define him completely. What emerges out of this is Rollins' requirement that Christianity, or really any type of religion, be organic, uncertain and aware of doubt. But this Christianity is alive, fluid and authentic, in contrast to many forms of Christianity found today. It's an extremely complex and subtle argument, which I'm probably not doing nearly enough justice to here. But trust me: it's eye-opening and extremely significant. The services in the second half of the book are not as essential nor as impressive as the philosophy presented in the first half, but it is interesting to see how the ideas are played out in practice.
creative, insightful, prophetic May 27, 2008
i don't say this lightly: this is one of the best books i've read on the emerging church (and i've read my share). i was blown away by pete's ability to explain things in both ways both articulate and not sounding like a ticked-off child of evangelicalism, yearning for a break from his past. i admit, a good chunk of what has been written in the emerging church world has that ring to it -- and this doesn't. some of that, i'm guessing, is pete's non-american-ness. and some of it, i'm guessing, is his credible academic chops. when another emerging church writer wrote we're heretics, it comes across like a emerging church version of a "god hates fags" poster -- confrontational and positioning. but when pete articulates it, the words are hopeful and honest.
since others have described the book in detail, i'll not do so here. just shortly: the first half is a philosophical/theological treatise proposing nothing short of a new christian worldview. it's not new liberalism (as some call the emerging church). how can a deep love of the divine jesus and the power of god's word in scripture be called new liberalism -- those (and other things) were the very things classical liberalism was working to debunk. then, the second half of the book walks through ten or so liturgies from the community pete helps lead in belfast (ikon). i'd known this was the layout prior to reading the book, and thought the second half might be a cop-out, filler, or just too weird. it's anything but. it's the practical outplay of the first half of the book, as rendered by one particular gathering of believers (albiet, a group that meets in a bar in belfast). the second half of the book puts flesh on the first half.
pete's writing is right at the threshold of my understanding at times -- his brain is clearly more trained and his bookshelves weightier than mine. but i could hold on, and i'm glad i did. i'll be recommending this book over and over and over again, i'm sure.
A hopeful vision of Christianity's future May 16, 2008
"How (Not) to Speak of God" is one of the most thought-provoking and hope-filled books I've ever read. I know I will read this book over and over. Ever since reading it, the content of this book has been transforming me in so many ways. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is the theoretical portion of the book and basically proposes a new way of believing. Speaking as a practitioner and philosopher within the "emerging church," Rollins proposes that this revolution occurring within the Church is not a revolution of WHAT we believe but instead HOW we believe. The second part of the book, which by itself would have been worth the price of the book, is a description of ten different services, Rollins calls them "theodramas," from Rollins' faith community in Belfast, which is called IKON. These ten services help to bring the first half of the book into the practical expression of a faith community.
In short, this book spurred my imagination to picture a Christianity for tomorrow's world. And the picture Rollins presents is one that brings me great hope.
I totally get it!!! May 3, 2008
I totally get it. I just disagree.
The whole of Rollin's book amounts to this: When it comes to understanding theology, "a/theology", (his term), truth (big or little "t"), giving, love, salvation, orthodoxy, praxis, etc, don't believe them, believe me. I because of my proper understanding of Derrida, Neitzche, Foucault and other deconstructionists can now uplift the rest of you poor modernists. God is so oblivious as to who we, part of His creation, are as humans and what our limitations may be that he is incapable of breaking into our world through revelation and transcending all our cultural baggage so that we may, even in part, come to know Him in any way that is either meaningful or language independent. Big claim, eh? As much as post-moderns/emergents cry foul when it comes to apologetics or truth claims, they have their very own apologetic, as is evidenced by this book, as it meticulously lays out why its view is (drum roll) meaningful. At one point in the book, Rollins states why his views reject relativism. That being, that as a statement, relativism devours itself because the proposition "relativism is true" would make it an absolute statement. But then he refuses to go the extra mile (or 2 or 3) and apply the same criteria to his own philosophy, post-modernism, to see how it also refutes itself. The book is full of contradictions, false dichotomies, and straw men but I still think one should read it and here's why. Is everything that post-modernism teaches, or everything coming out of the emerging (emergent) conversation without value? Absolutely not. (Sorry for the absolute statement you pomo's.) Rollins and other emerging authors have done the church-at-large a tremendous service by pointing out grave wrongheadedness and blind spots within the church. It also does, I think provide on some level and in some areas possibilities to engage one's faith more deeply. I also do like how the examples of emerging worship from Rollins own church wrestle with themes that most churches don't touch. Doubt for example (although as in many areas of postmodernism I think they take a good idea or theme and then go too far and extoll it as a virtue rather than just acknowledging it as a normal part of the human condition and then working through it). So it's for these reasons, and not simply for the purpose of refuting them that I suggest one should read this book. And besides, conversation is a great thing. Regarding all the authors of books out there in the emerging conversation and the philosophy espoused therein, I think Rollins' goes deeper, stays down longer, but ultimately comes up murkier.