Matt's blog

The story of me, an American in Edinburgh, Scotland finding my place as a musician, a husband, a father and a Christian.

How (Not) to Speak of God pt. 2

The Emergent movement is not at its heart about changing what we believe, but is about changing the manner in which we believe. Rollins describes the Emergent movement as a revolution in which "nothing changes and yet the shift is so radical that absolutely nothing will be left unchanged." As one would expect from this introduction, Rollins writes in such a way as to challenge the conventional mainline evangelical point of view. He calls his readers to doubt their beliefs, to dispose of their theology and even to atheism. I think he wants to call his readers out, to encourage them to disagree with him and then to engage in the ideas he presents. So how do I respond?

I agree with Rollins’ book for the most part. While I did come across particular wordings that made me feel uncomfortable until I was able to follow him to his conclusion, I did not find anything in his book that I would flat out disagree with. However, I would not chose this book to communicate my position on these issues, mainly because his communication style is not my own. In fact, I found myself asking time and again as I was reading who this book was written for. It would certainly not be well received by the fundamentalists whose way of thought he would like to change. I think a much more subtle approach is needed to speak to those entrenched in the idea that their conception of God is accurate and exhaustive. I doubt that this book would be persuasive to anyone who comes in with ideas opposed to Rollins’. That leads me to believe that this book was most likely written for those already a part of the Emergent conversation or for those like myself who would not self-identify with that label, but who hold similar ideas.
Well, I wrote that last part before going out to dinner with Jeni's grandparents thinking that I'd finish up on this line of thought after getting back, but it turns out that it's far too late and I'm far too tired once again (you see a theme going on here?) to finish up tonight. Coming up in the next post I'll start discussing my take on the various sample services described in the second half of the book.

1 Responses to “How (Not) to Speak of God pt. 2”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    who this book was written for! excellent question. I was part of a reading group last summer and we spent some time on emergent stuff and that was the question we came down to and really, never could answer very well.  

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