2011-10-10

Friend or Frenemy? A Review of Peter Rollins' "Insurrection"



This is an off-the-top-of-my-head review of Peter Rollins newest book "Insurrection", which I read this weekend. The book was incredibly good, in that I deeply enjoyed reading it, and it gave me a great deal to ponder and wrestle with. At the end of the day, I value Rollins' ideas about how to existentially live out our faith in Christ on a daily basis. However, I have serious concerns over Rollins' re-visioning and re-definition of key elements of the Christian tradition. As such, Rollins is a sort of "frenemy" who, on one hand is a very helpful friend in elucidating certain aspects of what it means to follow Jesus in our culture. On the other hand, he is an enemy of certain historic Christian affirmations about God and Christ.

As a "frenemy" of Christ, Rollins maintains a place for God, at the cost of flattening God into just a Name for the structure of human psychological experience. As such, his thought is helpful as a bridge to Christ, in the same way that pantheism, panentheism, psychoanalysis and even Marxism can be bridges to Christ, all of which offer various points of commonality and intersection with Christ while also displaying broad areas of discordance. Here are some of the theological moves that Rollins makes in the book:
This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.