Insurrection, by Peter Rollins

Merely dusting around the edges of religion is pointless. True reformers turn things upside down and inside out or more. One doesn’t have to read very far in the gospels to imagine how Jesus’ words seemed to ”torch’ the very foundations of religion in his day. We need not fear finding ‘nothing’ behind the ripped veil if nothing was ever there to begin with. We ought to fear holding on to ‘nothing’ as if it were ‘something’. If ‘something’ is true, it can withstand the intensity of a ‘pyro-provocateur’ – such as Peter Rollins.

Rollins doesn’t disappoint. Between the covers of this book we are led into furnace made seven time hotter than ever before. Every diversion from loving grace is torched. But wait, as we exit the last chapter we discover not even one scorched hair or singed corner of our clothing. We look beside us and all that stands with us is one like the Son of Man – for God so ‘loved’ the world that he sent ‘love’ in human form. It turns out that Christianity was really all about Christ after all. Funny thing, that, eh?

Based on Pete’s earlier book, “How (not)”, I understand him to say ‘we can’t help but speak’, while in “Insurrection” Pete seems to move the conversation into the 2nd naivete – without dismissing the first – suggesting ‘we can’t help but love’. In the ‘aftermath of God’ we unabashedly ‘must’ interpret, yet eventually, frustrated with the inadequacy of words, we are compelled to find peace with the Ineffable through and by love.

Rollins reminds us that the intentional deconstruction of religion is not to destroy faith. Yet, after several millennia of religion it is nearly impossible to discern the heart of faith without a ‘fire’ sufficient to burn away all dross that has, through the centuries, unwittingly made ‘object’ more ‘sacred’ than the Subject. That which is most precious must die before it can produce the truly precious – love.

If this is your first encounter with Pete Rollins, you might consider beginning this delightful journey with his first book – ‘How (not) to Speak of God, followed by his second, ‘The Fidelity of Betrayal‘. Both of these books form a useful foundation for Insurrection, Peter’s latest book.


One Response to “Insurrection, by Peter Rollins”

  1. Excellent review – though I’ve read Pete’s others I’ve called behind on reading this one. Need to move it up on the ever-growing To-Read shelf 😉

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