Insurrection – Peter Rollins

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 2.01.53 AMRollins, Peter, Insurrection (Howard Books, 2011)

“Rollins writes and thinks like a new Bonhoeffer, crucifying the trappings of religion in order to lay bare a radical, religionless, and insurrectional Christianity. A brilliant new voice — an activist, a storyteller and a theologian all in one — and not a moment too soon.”  — John D. Caputo  [from the Back Cover]

The difference between a revolutionary and an insurrectionist is that a revolutionary works for the violent overthrow of the powers that be, in order that his/her side may take the reins of power into their own hands. Insurrection, on the other hand, is a movement from within — leaven in the loaf. Insurrection plants seed and nurtures them so that the system might change from the inside out. Rollins calls it pyro-theology — casting our cherished practices and doctrines into the fire so that we might focus al our energies on working to transform the world, rather than interpreting it or escaping it. Interested in learning more about Peter Rollins?

Insurrection us divided into two sections: Crucifixion and Resurrection.  A few selected quotes:

To participate in the Crucifixion is to experience the breaking apart of the various mythologies we use to construct and make sense of the world. The Crucifixion experience is nothing less than the taking place of the Real. It is the incoming of that which cannot be contained by our various mythologies [or theologies], that which ruptures them and calls them into question. (page 23)

In the sacrifice for religion, Christ loses everything for God, while in the sacrifice of religion Christ loses everything including God. (page 27)

 Radical doubt, suffering, and the sake of divine forsakenness are central aspects of Christ’s experience and thus a central part of what it means to participate in  Christ’s death. … It is the time we stand side by side with Christ …[but] undergo that death in our own lives. (page 29)

It is only as we are cut loose from religion at the very depth of our being — experiencing an existential loss of God, rather than some mere intellectual rejection — that we are free to discover a properly Christian expression of faith. (page 62)

[I]n the image of Christ, we bear witness to the divine sharing fully in our existence (Incarnation) and offering a way of gaining victory amidst it (Resurrection) through the loss of all that would claim to protect us (Crucifixion). (page 113)

The Incarnation tell us that if we want to be like God, then we must be courageous enough to fully and unreservedly embrace our humanity. … [W]e must read the Resurrection in its full radicality: as the state of being in which one is able to embrace the cold embrace of the Cross. If the Crucifixion marks the moment of darkness, then the Resurrection is the very act of living fully into this darkness and saying “Yes” to it. (page 112)

[I]n the Resurrection, we discover that God remains, dwelling in our very midst in the embrace of life. … Resurrection is not something one argues for, but it is the name we give to a mode of living. (pages 160 & 161)

dIf you are not familiar with Rollins, check out the YouTube interview of Rollins by Rob Bell.

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