How (Not) to Speak of God

Pete Rollins, who was with me last week in Switzerland, has released his first book – the most challenging emerging church book I have read for a long time. “How (Not) To Speak of God” is a thoughtful and original book, delivering some heavy-duty thinking from Marion and Derrida in a manner that is accessible and profound, and offering a fresh perspective on the Scriptures that moves the emerging conversation out of binary oppositions and into the love of God. Heres an excerpt:

How Not To Speak Mini1“In this way the emerging conversation is demonstrating an ability to stand up and engage in a powerless, space-creating dis-course that opens up thinking and offers hints rather than orders. In short, the emerging community must endevour to be a question rather than an answer and an aroma rather than food. It must seek to offer an approach that enables the people of God to become the parable, aroma, and salt of God in the world, helping to form a space where God can give of God. For too long the church has been seen as an oasis in the desert – offering water to those who are thirsty. In contrast, the emerging community appears more as a desert in the oasis of life, offering silence, space and desolation amidst the sickly nourishment of Western capitalism. It is in this desert, as we wander together as nomads, that God is to be found. For it is here that we are nourished by our hunger.”

Pete Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God, pg 42-43.

Who else is reading it?

Existential Punk, Jonny Baker, Scot McKnight

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Thanks, Andrew, for the shout out! Nice of you to visit and post on my blog. I feel honored! Funny, you know many people i know – Pete, Roy, etc. The web is a small world after all! Pax, Adele

  • Brandon says:

    How do us across the sea get our hands on a copy??? I’ve seen three reviews in the past couple of days and am dieing to read it 🙂

  • Brandon, Get it now from Amazon UK or pre-order from Amazon USA. My blog that Andrew references in this post tells you this. Check it out!

  • Pete Rollins says:

    Thanks for your words! You are a beautiful man.

  • Andrew says:

    i was beginning to think we were all done with the French philosophers.
    great book|!

  • Dana Ames says:

    Anyone who can help us Christians get beyond binary oppositions and into the love of God is going to get my contribution to his royalty checque. I have been helped so much by Pete’s blog posts. God bless him. It’s on my wish list 🙂

  • tim keel says:

    Hey Andrew – I was sent an advance copy and haven’t gotten around to posting about it…but I am captivated. I love this book. Congratulate Pete for me. I am going to do a brief review in a week or two about it.

  • I devoured Peter’s little text. The book helps shape a space where constructive conversation for humanity is more likely to occur. It is not only important for emergent but for all who walk in the way of Christ seeking to be in relationship anyone who might be perceived as ‘other.’ It might be described as an “emerging relational ethic.”

  • Timothy Wright says:

    I have read this book and not impressed at all except by Petes generous heart. But as we all know sincerity is not a benchmark of something of value. As far as content and coherency, I think I am using a different dictionary than Pete. I need to reread this and see if I see it differently. I am not so great typing out my thoughts so I need to find someone around me who has read it and ask questions about the book.
    I am quite content in my certainty about Jesus and how I understand him. I have questions but nothing that shakes my foundation and maybe this book is not meant for someone like me.

  • theopraxis says:

    How (Not) to Speak of God

    How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins I have a few more posts on the subject of community in the image of God – surprisingly, I haven’t quite run that one into the ground yet. 😉 I…

  • ThirstyJon says:

    Wow. Sounds like a secret code. I’m trying to figure out what this book is actually about because a friend recommended it. Everyone says it is challenging, etc., but what is it ABOUT?

  • Randy says:

    Is it true that Rollins states that he is not sure if Christianity is true on page 44? This book, from the reviews I’ve seen, basically says that we can’t really know anything about God for sure. I know I’m just a schmuck, but this sort of thing bothers me. Maybe I’m just not ’emergent’ enough.

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