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How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins

How (Not) to Speak of God

by Peter Rollins

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The key idea of How (Not) to Speak of God is that many Christians in the “Emergent Church” movement embrace paradox. The first few chapters unpack the implicit idea in the title: that the moment we speak of God, we deny who God is. All attempts to define or describe the Christian God are doomed.

This is, of course, not a new idea, but it is unusual for evangelical Christians to push the point as hard as Rollins does. Essentially, Christians are atheists, because our God is beyond human category. At best, we can glimpse God in icons which often appear to point away from the reality of God, but which express metaphors that are self-consciously metaphors and not definitions.

Christians are defined not so much by what they believe as by how they believe; and this dynamic faith will manifest in works of mercy and restorative justice in the real world.

The second part of this encouraging book is a series of liturgies designed by the house church in the Menagerie Bar, the pub that Rollins calls his spiritual home. The themes range from Judas to Corpus Christi to Eloi Eloi Lama Sabachthani. The description of each liturgy is preceded by a reflection introducing the theme. The liturgies emphasise imagination and emotion and are described in practical detail, so that readers could use them as they are, or adapt them for their own setting.

If this is the coming, emerging church, then I would not mind belonging. ( )
  twitham | Aug 6, 2012 |
A philosophical contemplation of what it means to speak of God, thereby speaking for God. Rollins asks us if this is a good thing (it isn't), why we we have continually done it as Christians and some thoughts on how to speak of God in a more honest way.
  elena.shek | Apr 19, 2010 |
Peter Rollins will be a much discussed author. His first book is timely for the emerging church stream. ( )
1 vote drdanebert | Nov 12, 2006 |
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"With a sensitivity to the Christian tradition and a rich understanding of postmodern thought, Peter Rollins argues that the movement known as 'emerging church' offers a singular, unprecedented message of transformation that has the potential to revolutionize the theological and moral architecture of the Western church." "Keeping this in mind, How (Not) to Speak of God sets out to investigate the theory and praxis of this contemporary expression of faith via an exploration that is firmly anchored in the liturgical practice of the widely acclaimed post-secular project ikon. In so doing, Peter Rollins not only offers a clear analysis of this embryonic movement, but also provides key resources for those actively involved in developing these communities around the world."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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