Peter Rollins believes the Christian faith has meaning only if it affects the way that followers of Jesus live their lives. For many who are not Christians, a "faith" otherwise would appears all-too commonplace and no different than anything else. In the The Orthodox Heretic Rollins has crafted a series of parables that shatter these commonplace realities and demonstrate how genuine faith is radical-and has never been concerned with escaping the world we inhabit, but rather, engaging it more fully. A genuine Christian faith has never capitulated to injustice but to the contrary has fought against it at every turn. In opposition to those who would claim that Christianity embraces God at the expense of a suffering world, Rollins shows how the true believer only embraces God inasmuch as he fully embraces our needy world.
'This book should be banned! It's DANGEROUS!' * * So might any Christian say for whom faith functions like a comfortable chair and a lot of good will. If you are comfy and satisfied, then what you have might not be faith after all, explains Peter Rollins. Christian faith only has meaning if it affects the ways that people live their lives. For many who are not Christians, critiquing Christianity from the outside, this sort of 'faith' appears all-too common and is an easy target. Perhaps Christians are simply those possessed of an ideology that keeps them passive, childlike, and ineffectual, they seem to think. Rollins has crafted a series of parables that shatter these realities and popular perceptions. Parables that demonstrate how genuine faith is radical---and has never been concerned with escaping the world we inhabit, but rather, with engaging in it more fully. That genuine Christian faith has never capitulated to injustice but rather fought against it at every turn. In opposition to those who would claim that Christian faith embraces God at the expense of the suffering world, Peter shows how the true believer embraces God only inasmuch as he fully embraces a needy world. 'I remember driving around Belfast with Pete, sitting in the front seat listening to him tell these parables that he'd written---thinking, 'Everybody needs to hear these.' And now you can.' ---Rob Bell, author of Jesus Wants to Save Christians
Don't be fooled by the slender spine of this unusual book. Rollins, the Irish philosopher/po-mo theologian who has previously published How (Not) to Speak of God and The Fidelity of Betrayal, upends some of Christians' most cherished platitudes about God in his newest outing. He cautions readers that the book is not to be read quickly, for acquiring information, but to be savored slowly for possible transformation. Mostly, the book lives up to this billing. Rollins recasts some of the most familiar parables of and stories about Jesus, sometimes subversivelyas when he proposes a version of feeding the 5,000 that shows Jesus and his disciples pigging out on meager resources while the multitudes look on, starving. His point? That Christians are the body of Christ, and when we oppress the poor and hoard scarce resources, we are saying that represents the kind of God we serve. Although not all of the parables work equally wellsome could use further illuminationRollins is a tremendously talented writer and thinker whose challenges to Christianity-as-usual should be well-received by the emergent church crowd, if not beyond. (Apr. 1) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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