Thursday, September 15, 2011

The fidelity of betrayal

The Fidelity of Betrayal: The Ir/Religious Heart of ChristianityThe Fidelity of Betrayal: The Ir/Religious Heart of Christianity by Peter Rollins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this straight after 'How (Not) To Speak of God'. As in that book, Rollins delves deliberately into paradoxes here - not as someone who wants to engage in apologetics and 'explain' the difficulties of faith (in either the slightly embarrased or slightly bombastic manner of some apologists). Unashamedly postmodern, Rollins delights in paradox - he shouts paradox from the rooftops - he sets paradox on fire and waves it from the treetops.

Central to this book is the (yes, paradoxical) assertion that in order to be faithful to God, we will sometimes need to betray God. In fact, if I understand him right, Rollins is actually saying we need to betray our idolotrous human certainties about God in order to continually stay alive to the possibility of encountering God more authentically (which is a subtly different point though I think I understand why Rollins puts his case more provocatively).

The worst parts of this book were those where the opaque prose forced me to read a paragraph several times in vain for understanding (usually before giving up and moving on); conversely, the best parts were some of the stories and parables Rollins used to illumine my way through his arguments.

Stimulating read and it will go on affecting me. I will certainly be reading Rollins' next book 'Insurrection' due out in October.

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