What My Husband Has Been Reading: The Idolatry of God (A Book Review)

I've mentioned before that one of the things that has always drawn me to my husband is a shared love for reading. So, I wanted to take a moment and let my husband share his thoughts on a book he recently read, The Idolatry of God by Peter Rollins: The author writes about how Christians have come to idolize God. What he means is that essentially, we’ve been addicted to certainty and satisfaction. Humans order their lives around that which might bring certainty and satisfaction. To those of us who have this addiction, Rollins says, “Stop it.” Rollins argues that when I became a Christian, I did not stop trusting in money, sex, or food for certainty and satisfaction, to then trust in Jesus for certainty and satisfaction. Rollins maintains that Jesus invites us to follow him in spite of the uncertainty and dissatisfaction we face in our daily lives. We are given new tasks, no longer seeking to appease the certainty-satisfaction craving in our lives.
I've mentioned before that one of the things that has always drawn me to my husband is a shared love for reading. (Between the two of us, we have four bookshelves filled with tomes, and that's after I've tried to pare down our collection!) 

While we both share that affinity, the shape it takes looks a bit different: I love reading things like memoirs and Christian living titles, while he gravitates toward the more meaty and academic ones. It's a good balance for us, and I imagine will make for well-rounded conversations once our daughter is older and asking some of life's deep questions!

So, I wanted to take a moment and let my husband share his thoughts on a book he recently read, The Idolatry of God by Peter Rollins, which he received from Howard Books to review. Here are his thoughts:

In his 205-page book, The Idolatry of God, author Peter Rollins writes about how Christians have come to idolize God. From the outset, I was a bit confused, wondering how we could make an idol out of God. However, Rollins quickly makes his case.

Essentially, we’ve been addicted to certainty and satisfaction. Humans order their lives around that which might bring certainty and satisfaction. To those of us who have this addiction, Rollins says, “Stop it.”

Rollins argues that when I became a Christian, I did not stop trusting in money, sex, or food for certainty and satisfaction, to then trust in Jesus for certainty and satisfaction. Rollins maintains that Jesus invites us to follow him in spite of the uncertainty and dissatisfaction we face in our daily lives. We are given new tasks, no longer seeking to appease the certainty-satisfaction craving in our lives.

As Rollins writes, “[this book is] about the theme of salvation—not the type of salvation that is preached today from the pulpit, the false salvation that promises us freedom from our unknowing and dissatisfaction, but a salvation that takes place within our unknowing and dissatisfaction (page 5).”

True to Rollins’ form, this book displays his philosophical background and can at times be a bit dense/confusing. Those sections require a re-reading to comprehend the points and logic Rollins is driving at.

The first section looks at “the problem,” the second section looks at “the solution,” and in the third section “the new collective”, Rollins puts forth concrete ways that the church can learn to exist and be faithful within our unknowing and dissatisfaction by what he calls “contemplative practice.”

While more traditional “evangelical” and “reformed” Christians may differ with Rollins on some points because of Rollins' tie to the postmodern movement, The Idolatry of God is still a worthwhile read and addition to any Christian’s library.

Find The Idolatry of God on Amazon.

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2 comments:

  1. I love reading too!! :) Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't read The Idolatry of God, but if I understand your review, readers looking for something a bit more accessible might like Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God. The authors pick up similar themes about reforming the way we think about God and his role in our lives.

    Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete

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