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How (Not) to Speak of God [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Peter Rollins
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Kurzbeschreibung

19. Mai 2006
"Church Times" article on Greenbelt 2005 described Peter Rollins as 'holding a seminar spellbound', and Ikon's 'gentle, symbolic, and creative multimedia act of worship' as 'weird but wondrous'. The emerging church is still an embryonic movement, yet it currently faces a serious challenge. How it responds will reveal whether it is little more than the latest re-imagining of the evangelical tradition, designed to address the decline in church attendance, or a radical re-envisaging of faith. Having been born out of a post-modern sensitivity, Peter Rollins believes the emerging church is in a unique place to acknowledge the long forgotten insight that revelation embraces concealment; that our various interpretations of revelation will always be provisional, fragile and fragmentary; that we speak always with wounded words about a wounded Christ. The emerging church thus has the potential to leave aside the security blanket of certainty and recognize that what is important is that we embrace the beloved rather than somehow agree about how we understand this beloved, acknowledging that the God we follow touches us in deeply personal ways that are singular and which cannot be dissected via some universal understanding. "How (not) to Speak of God's" sustained exploration of the theory and praxis of emerging church is firmly anchored in an analysis of twelve Ikon services, on topics such as: 'The Prodigal Father', 'Risk' and 'Advent'.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch
  • Verlag: Spck (19. Mai 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0281057982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281057986
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,6 x 12,8 x 1,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 270.810 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"'This book brings together Christian mysticism, postmodern philosophy, and the practices and liturgies of an alternative worship community trying to make sense of Christianity in a postmodern environment. The results are stunning - original, provocative, and creative.' Jonny Baker 'In this calm, quiet, well-reasoned book, Peter Rollins bursts the silence and grinds the 'posts' into the nothing they have become. 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"

Synopsis

"Church Times" article on Greenbelt 2005 described Peter Rollins as 'holding a seminar spellbound', and Ikon's 'gentle, symbolic, and creative multimedia act of worship' as 'weird but wondrous'. The emerging church is still an embryonic movement, yet it currently faces a serious challenge. How it responds will reveal whether it is little more than the latest re-imagining of the evangelical tradition, designed to address the decline in church attendance, or a radical re-envisaging of faith. Having been born out of a post-modern sensitivity, Peter Rollins believes the emerging church is in a unique place to acknowledge the long forgotten insight that revelation embraces concealment; that our various interpretations of revelation will always be provisional, fragile and fragmentary; that we speak always with wounded words about a wounded Christ.

The emerging church thus has the potential to leave aside the security blanket of certainty and recognize that what is important is that we embrace the beloved rather than somehow agree about how we understand this beloved, acknowledging that the God we follow touches us in deeply personal ways that are singular and which cannot be dissected via some universal understanding. "How (not) to Speak of God's" sustained exploration of the theory and praxis of emerging church is firmly anchored in an analysis of twelve Ikon services, on topics such as: 'The Prodigal Father', 'Risk' and 'Advent'.


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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein bahnbrechendes Werk 24. Januar 2009
Von M. Abend
Format:Taschenbuch
"How (not) to speak of God" ist das erste und bislang auch fast einzige mir bekannte Buch, das im Geist der Emerging Church ernst macht mit einem Zusammendenken der Postmoderne / Dekonstruktion und dem Christentum. In diesem Denkraum ist noch sehr viel Platz für andere Ansätze und ich hoffe, dass dies nur eine Testbohrung für weitere Bücher ist, die sich mit ähnlichen Ansätzen bschäftigen. Für die Lektüre ist es allerdings ratsam, über einen gewissen background in postmoderne Theorie zu besitzen, ansonsten könnten einige Gedanken schwer nachvollziehbar sein.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  38 Rezensionen
48 von 53 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Insightful ideas are worth the effort 10. September 2006
Von Kevin Holtsberry - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
One of the problems with a book like this is that you wonder if it will ever be read by anyone outside the community it describes. Rollins is attempting to describe the philosophical underpinnings of the "emerging church" or the conversation that is taking place around the world about how to approach the Christian faith in a post-modern era.

To do this he brings the work of deconstructionist theory, and the history of Christian mysticism, to theology and faith. In doing so he tries to avoid the dichotomy of fundamentalist faith on the one had and relativistic nihilism on the other. He wants to challenge and re-imagine the Christian faith without abandoning its core meaning.

This is not an easy task. I have a feeling that a great many more traditional Christians will be turned off by 1) what they will perceive as a threat to orthodoxy; and 2) by its language rooted in post-modern criticism and theory.

But I would recommend that this book be read in the spirit in which is written. Instead of viewing it as a threat to orthodox Christianity, view it as a challenge and a source of potential insight. Rollins certainly challenges traditional ways of thinking about theology and faith.

His deconstructionist approach to knowledge and truth will feel awkward and potentially heretical to most Christians, and it isn't always easy to sift through the language, but there are a number of keen insights for those who put in the effort.
40 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen What did McLaren see in this? 15. Dezember 2011
Von James Walley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I purchased this book solely because of the enthusiasm of noted pastor and author Brian McLaren, who described it as "one of the two or three most rewarding books of theology I have read in ten years." I wish I could echo McLaren's plaudits, but cannot. Indeed, after having read several of McLaren's own books and found them quite meaningful, I'm hard-pressed to see how he could have found so much of value in this one.

Peter Rollins, a young theologian and member of the Ikon Community from Northern Ireland, seeks here to view God through the lens of postmodernism and its skepticism about being able to reach neutral, logical judgments untainted by cultural or subconscious influences. Initially, Rollins has much to say about how the very existence of differing voices and perspectives in Scripture itself support a postmodern approach, about how "ideology" (the construction of logical descriptions of God) can become another form of "idolatry" (the construction of falsifying physical images of God), and about how one may unable to perceive God due, paradoxically, to God's overwhelming presence, much as one is blinded by staring straight into the sun. But, as the book goes on, Rollins seems so insistent on dwelling on God's unknowability, otherness, and "hypernomous" absence, one begins to get the sense that God is slipping out of focus and out of reach, as a dark, unsearchable void that we are expected to believe merely seems a void because of God's hyper-presence. So much time is spent on rejecting our notions of God, we are left with little but the gaping hole where those notions used to be. And Rollins's insistence that desire for God must be purely untainted by even the slightest traces of self-gain lead to ludicrous statements such as that a true gift must be one in which a) the recipient is not aware of having received a gift at all, b) the giver is not aware of having given a gift at all, and c) no actual gift was given or received at all. (In the words of Noah, "Riiiiiiiiight....")

Similarly, although there is nothing to suggest Rollins rejects the Easter experience, he claims that the only "pure" faith in Jesus would come from a "Holy Saturday" perspective wherein one would elect to follow Christ while thinking him dead, buried, and rotten, his mission a failure. Once you bring the Resurrection into it, Rollins claims, you are merely aligning yourself with Christ because of wanting to be "on the winning side," or of selfishly wanting to "get to heaven." But, one might well reply, is wishing to be in the presence of God (whether one considers it in "heaven," the "Kingdom" or "New Jerusalem," or merely some form of non-corporeal, non-sensible spiritual intimacy) necessarily tainted by having an element of self-interest? If, say, God loves us and wants us to be with God for eternity, is wanting the very same thing somehow unworthy? My sense of much of the book is that Rollins would say "yes" -- that, for him, the only real faith is that of following quixotically, knowing defeat and death will be your only reward. With all due respect to Rollins, one might well wonder if this approach might contain the seeds of spiritual pride; the notion that "my faith is so pure, I'll follow you without expecting anything in return" seems, to me, to be placing oneself on a level of equality to and independence from God. Is that the faith Christ calls for?

The essential weakness I see in Rollins's book is that he is so wrapped up in the sense of God's otherness and incomprehensibility, he fails to give sufficient weight, at least in these pages, to the significance of the Incarnation, of Jesus as "God in human form," and, being in human form, making God (even if a tiny subset of God's immense being) comprehensible to humans in a way we can understand. While Rollins dismisses modernist, logical theology as "belonging more to Athens than Jerusalem," the sense I got was that Rollins's own thought in this book was closer to Tibet than either of them -- a view of God that might warm the heart of a Zen master, but that would puzzle Jews of Jesus's time no less than it would Christians of the Scholastic or Enlightenment eras. In short, while Christ offers us bread and wine as his body and blood, Rollins here offers slices of fog and a chalice-ful of mist -- hardly, for me, "food indeed" or "drink indeed."
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A hopeful vision of Christianity's future 16. Mai 2008
Von Adam Moore - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
"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.
10 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen A book with some illuminating shortcomings 10. September 2009
Von J. I. Fowler - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Peter Rollins has written an eminently readable, at times entertaining book on Christian spirituality (I'm not sure that he would be comfortable with the generic label of 'theology', for reasons that will become clear if you read How [Not] to Speak of God). The book is divided into two halves. The first lays out the theoretical framework of the emerging 'conversation' that Rollins and his fellow religious seekers are a part of. The second outlines ten worship services held by Rollins' Ikon group in Belfast. Before the description of each service is a 1 to 2 page synopsis of the theoretical background of the service's theme. These services are, in places, quite moving, and, despite all their irreverent dramatics (e.g., they are held in a bar, one involves the burning of religious pictures, etc.), I think they will appeal to a wide range of believers because they are, cosmetics aside, very traditional in their theological/religious message.

There are, however, some serious faults to be found in the theoretical chapters. The biggest, for me, is Rollins' reluctance to make exclusionary, normative statements. For instance, he argues that Scripture is properly approached through the interpretative lens of love. In the same vein, the details of what one believes are less important than the fact that one is able to hold those beliefs in a loving manner, which encourages one's love for God and the world. Rollins believes that by nominating love as the criterion of discernment of proper faith he has both headed off the charge of relativism and left his system open to a competition of beliefs and ideas that can guard against the idolatry of neat and inflexible dogma.

Rollins is right (and he is only one in a long line of thinkers who have made the point, as he acknowledges) that our representations of God are never adequate, and can become idolatrous when affirmed too confidently. And he may very well be right (though I won't be the one to make that call) that love is the way to go when interpreting Scripture or discerning true faith. But the book is seriously hampered by his failure to develop a robust phenomenology of love that addresses not only love's structure (which Rollins addresses to some extent through his consideration of thinkers like Derrida and Marion, and faith in the context of Good Saturday), but its content. Rollins only notes that the love he bases himself on cannot be confused with hate, but I cannot think of a description of or call to love which could not be construed by some group (who hold an antithetical, or at least competitive definition of love) as a description of or call to hate, violence, and oppression.

For instance, when a faith community moves to become more 'inclusive', by welcoming a previously disenfranchised group, there will be those within the group who feel that this move of 'love' ignores their beliefs and does violence to them. Love does not look like love to those who are discriminated against by it. Nor does the love of the newly disenfranchised for the group's previous instantiation look like love to those who were previously not welcome in the group.

The bottom line: I don't think Rollins does enough to define the love that is his criterion of discernment of what counts as 'believing in the right way'. The result is a relativism in which groups who experience each other's 'believing in and through love' as hate could simultaneously be understood as 'believing in the right way'. Defining love more fully would exclude some who couldn't sign on to the definition, but it would also make possible love's use as a delineating criterion opening up a field of real religious possibility in which diverse beliefs, concepts, and images coexist and work together to enrich and challenge believers.

If Rollins supplied love's missing content (and made a few other tweaks which I've omitted discussing here), I think this could be a very strong book that would simultaneously challenge believers to develop new and meaningful liturgical practices, and challenge the fundamentalism that Rollins finds so threatening (and which seems to be his motivation in writing).
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2.0 von 5 Sternen I totally get it!!! 3. Mai 2008
Von Crisjunfan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
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.
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