How (Not) To Speak of God

I just finished a book that will have me thinking for many months (years?) to come. It's called How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins. I picked it up because both Brian McLaren and Tony Jones recommended it. They are kind of the poster children for the Emergent Movement. McLaren and Jones both just raved about it and said that Rollins really pegged what the Emergent thing is all about.

Rollins' book is a combination of philosophy and theology and is a bit of a deep read. Like many books that deal with Emergent theology, I connect with a good portion of it and feel like they are really hitting on something that resonates within me. But then there are always a handful of statements that send up red flags, too. I think I tend to connect with Emergent practices (redifining HOW we do church), but not so much with Emergent theology (I don't think it's necessary to redefine our beliefs). However, the one point I do agree with Rollins on is that several hundred years of theology (man's attempt to define God) has probably left us with somewhat of a cold and inadaquate view of the Almighty and what it means to be Christian. Not that theology is completely fruitless, but for many it becomes the box in which we place God. By trying to define Him, we limit that which has no limits. We try to comprehend that which can never be fully comprehended. Our theology has a tendency to shrink God.

My biggest beef with this book is Rollins' tendency to make everyone's beliefs fit into the realm of a faith journey. If you are rejecting God, you're somehow on the same journey as the disciple. I understand why he believes that, but I also believe there needs to be a distinction between the Christ-follower and the world. There's also a tendency to allow people to interpret Scripture to fit their own lives, rather that interpreting their lives in light of the Scripture.

I would highly recommend this book. It will challenge you and inform you of how many people (though certainly not all, and probably not even most) in the Emergent Movement are viewing God and faith.

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