Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Idolatry of God- Book Review

The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and SatisfactionThe Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction by Peter Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you have been silently suffering through the Dark Night of the Soul, wondering what is wrong with you why your "faith" isn't stronger, why others seem to have the certainty you can't seem to find you should read this book. The idea that God is a being out there, something or someone to be "known" was what i was taught and when I couldn't find "Him" or know "Him", I felt like something was wrong with me. When I discovered panentheism, it was not in a Christian context, but it made sense to me.

I was raised as a Christian from the time I could talk. I was taught that the right relationship with God would solve all of my problems. I was in a constant search for that peace I was supposed to have to reach that state where there was no uncertainty, no doubt, no fear. I was always looking forward to the day when I found that Idol that was going to give me the satisfaction I thought I was supposed to have. I never got there. It wasn't until I began to let go of the search for certainty that I started to experience some peace. For me, I had to turn to Buddhism and meditation to find it. The type of Christianity that Peter Rollins teaches was completely foreign to me at the time. It's nice to see some Christian authors writing about embracing our humanity fully.

Peter defines Original Sin as the lack that we all feel that longing to attain something that we feel we once had and are now missing. The Idol is the thing that we think will bring that to us. The Idol can be "success" or money or yes, even "god" in the sense that if we can just get right with god, all will be well with the world. It's strange to hear God called an idol, but when you read it in the context of the book and you begin to understand that God is not a person "out there", it will make sense to you.

I like the idea that this book not only gives me permission to feel the uncertainty that is inevitable, but to embrace it. It presents a different view of Christianity from anything I have heard before and it's one that makes a lot of sense to me.

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3 comments:

Don said...

Accepting uncertainty has help me reach that peace I have so long sought. I'm not perfect. My belief (or lack thereof) isn't perfect. but
I'm ok with that

KC Bob said...

Last month posted The Idol of Uncertainty where I quoted Greg Boyd's book, Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty -

"If I am anxiously striving to make myself feel certain that all my beliefs are true, fearfully avoiding anything that might cause me to doubt them, and fearfully suppressing any doubts that I may already be experiencing, doesn’t this indicate that I am not getting my core need for love, worth, and security from the God who is revealed on the cross"

In my view faith is a wrestling process not a quest for nirvana.

Alice said...

you begin to understand that God is not a person "out there"

I like that.