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Publisher's Summary

Whether listeners are devout believers or distant seekers, The Idolatry of God shows that we must lay down our certainties and honestly admit our doubts to identify with Jesus. Rollins purposely upsets fundamentalist certainty in order to open listeners up to a more loving, active manifestation of Christ’s love. In contrast to the usual understanding of the "Good News" as a message offering satisfaction and certainty, Rollins argues for a radical and shattering alternative. He explores how the Good News actually involves embracing the idea that we can’t be whole, that life is difficult, and that we are in the dark.

Showing how God has traditionally been approached as a product that will render us complete, remove our suffering, and reveal the answers, he introduces an incendiary approach to faith that invites us to joyfully embrace our brokenness, resolutely face our unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties of existence. Only then, he argues, can we truly rob death of its sting and enter into the fullness of life.

©2013 Peter Rollins (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Caveat emptor. Let the [listener], the Christian, the skeptic beware, for with The Idolatry of God, Peter Rollins has taken his theological programme of turning everything we believe upside down to the next level. Not content to simply subvert how we believe, Rollins now turns his attention to what we believe. If you don’t want your faith challenged, do read this book." (Tony Jones, theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch and the author of A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin)

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  • Evert
  • Burtonsville, MD, United States
  • 08-06-13

A Lot to Think About

What a breath of fresh air! To say "I know," in the context of theology, is a form of idolatry. Understandably this is not an idea that will fit well with conservative and evangelical Christians. After all, the basis for various denominations is "we have insight into 'truth' that you don't." We "know!"

Rollins destroys this assumption brilliantly. That been said, it is not necessary to agree with everything he says to appreciate this book. I purchased this book based solely on the subtitle "Breaking our addiction to certainty." During the first chapter I started to wonder. Rollings makes a big issue of a sense of loss that we all feel, is at the core of our being, and has something to do with the birth experience. Well, maybe, and as my teenager would say "Whatever!"

Once past that, however, I became captivated. I would urge all believers to read/listen to this book. Yes, it will make you uncomfortable but it will make you think.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Finally.

Finally an honest theology on God and Christ that I can understand both logically and that resonates with my soul.
Rollins discusses faith, religion, doubt, and Christian concepts. He does so in a way that makes sense and sits well with not only the scriptures but with doubt and ones deepest fears and hopes. He tackles the hard stuff. He tackles the "simple truths", the simple truths that may not be true at all. He investigates why we often don't question and why we should question.

Again, all I can say is finally. Finally someone that has had the same struggles and thoughts. Finally someone that has worked through this and shared it in a way I can follow. Finally I have a clearer path of what my faith and doubt are good for. How they are interwoven- to make a beautiful new view of life, faith, and finding truth and God. But not in the way I previously thought. In a way that is more real, more tactile and philosophical all at the same time. Finally.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • ND4SP33D
  • ANAHEIM, CA, United States
  • 08-19-16

kick in the throat

a much needed kick for an ex-christian to figure out how to start loving people.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Powerful and challenging

Fascinating! Probably one of the most powerful books I have read this year. Rollins calls into question some of our most committed assumptions and summons us to a next step in the growth process of wrestling with the very idea of God and what it means to pursue understanding

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Dip your toe into the unraveling...

This book brings together the best of Pete Rollins material from his podcasts and talks in a robust form. Highly recommend it. The content and depth of study in this book break open concepts and ideas I have tasted, recognized, yet knew not how to pursue for a fuller understanding. He reminds us that the struggles of life bring satisfaction, that the mysteries of G-d bring beauty, richness and truth beyond any objectification of G-d. He calls out the underbelly of beliefs we might not recognize we have until viewed through another. I really enjoyed having Pete read the book, and slow down his ideas that sometimes fly by in interviews or talks. His voice added to his voice haha. My mind is still melting - or raveling- but the love for this work is overflowing.

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Christianity from an Oblique Angle

Would you consider the audio edition of The Idolatry of God to be better than the print version?

Maybe not. It would be easier to underline good passages on a print version, but I like his reading and emphasis in certain parts of the book.

What did you like best about this story?

Peter Rollins has a way of asking us to question our personal relationship with God to help to analyze what is important in our faith and what isn't.

What does Peter Rollins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His Irish accent is used in full effect when he tells some allegories/tales to underline his points. It has a lilt that I don't hear in American accents.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. It isn't really long. Great for a road trip. You can talk with someone about it after you listen to it.

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Eye opening

This is a really good book that at first I was thinking was over dramatic, but then I was able to see how true it is.

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  • ruth
  • United States
  • 11-27-17

Beautiful book

This book changed my life. I loved every minute of it. I want to listen and read everything Pete Rollins writes now

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Remarkable, astute perception.

What a remarkable, astute perception of God, religion, and scriptures! Truly groundbreaking.....and ceiling shattering. I’ll need to sit and absorb this for awhile. Wow.

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How to start a fire

I started this book while I'm the Philippines with my husband. Completely outside my comfort zone, in obvious culture shock and feeling very dependent on the help of others to live daily life. Talk about unpleasant yet perfect timing to dive into this content. As I listened, processed and often re-listened (had to rewind and pause A LOT) I was struck deeply. I think if you're willing to move through the fear, this book will give you the tools to start the kind of fire the burns fervently. It's not an answer, a quick and easy solution or a rebuttal. However, it's immensely powerful stuff, at least it was to me. As a person who can (now) admit that I often choose the safety and comfort of a god of certainty, starting a fire is so deeply needed and valued. If you read the book this next portion will probably make more sense. I have never felt so alien to myself. I have never felt so odds. I have also never felt this thoroughly honest and authentic.