June 17, 2009
Peter Rollins of Ikon (See entry for June 1, 2009) has written a number of books. In How (Not) To Speak of God (Paraclete, 2006) he argues for theology and spirituality that has more in common with the Christian Mystics than much of the debate argument today. He is seeking to articulate a post-modern Christianity and then suggest ways in which that thinking might affect the design of worship. While his descriptions of worship (or Ikon events) don’t do much for me personally, I like what he is trying to accomplish. If I was to translate his thinking about such things as ‘a/theology as icon’ and ‘inhabiting the god-shaped hole’ into my own language it would come out sounding as though relationship is much more important than doctrine or even institutional forms of the faith. He says such things as “being a Christian always involves becoming a Christian” (p.6) He is going deep into what is known as the ‘apophatic’ tradition and wants to say that this theology transcends conservative/liberal approaches and includes and incorporates clear belief alongside doubt and disbelief in a journey of faith. I am not convinced that he would not be labeled a ‘liberal’ buy conservatives in spite of his protestations because he is not subscribing to control, right doctrine, either/or thinking, a sure and certain sense of salvation over against condemnation and the like. He is more interested in right believing than right belief.
I find what he has to say very congenial and think that he is expressing most of what I believe the faith to be about, albeit in a fresh way for me. I will read more of what he has written.