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Book Thoughts

How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins

Sent to me by my friend Bob Carlton and a huge hit in the emergent community. The point is basically this: we cannot truly speak about God and we must speak about God. God is huger, more complex, more loving and encompassing than we can imagine. The ancient Hebrews put their collective finger on it in handing down God's name (YHWH) which is an amalgamation of letters which are unpronouncable because (1) it has no vowels and (2) it is just too holy. When you come across the Name, you read Adonai instead of what it says. But we experience God in our lives, here and now, intimately. We who worship God do not do so because it makes sense intellectually--it doesn't--but because we have felt the presence of the holy in our daily lives. Thus, God is indescribable and completely describable. How to navigate these waters?

Rollins repeats himself quite a bit, reading like he was given a book contract based on a short paper. That said, it's very readable and well-thought out. Plus it has a second section documenting ten emergent services focused on this ambiguity and creating space for complex interpretations of both God and our experience of her. These services took place (continue to take place) in a bar in Ireland in an inclusive and blurry-boundaried community called Ikon. They are a/theists. They are, in a lot of ways, the future of the church.