The Fidelity of Betrayal - Reflection 1

Damn I wish I was as cool as Hugh Jackman... anyone watch the Oscars? Or Australia? Sheesh. Seriously... but I digress. Sorry.

I finished reading Peter Rollins' The Fidelity of Betrayal a few weeks ago, and have been meaning to do a series of posts highlighting some of his most moving passages for me. I just can't say enough good things about it!

I was just conversing with a new reader here at www.EmergingChristian.com, 'Matthew' (hi Matt!), and observed that he's obviously a native to these sorts of emerging/pomo conversations. Some have said that of me, but it's not really personally true. It may be, of some Gen-X/30-somethings (like Rollins), but I had to radically (laboriously) work toward shifting my concrete worldview before I could begin speaking a different kind of fluid, deconstructionist, post-Evangelical language. Often, I still stutter.

What strikes me first in Fidelity is the same about Rollins: he weaves this deconstructionist, Post-Colonial treatise as a "native" postmodern.

Rollins' introduction is entitled: "What Would Judas Do?" (WWJD)

What would Jesus do when confronted with Christianity today? Would Jesus do what Judas did, and betray it? In saying this I am not hinting at the rather mundane insight that Jesus would betray the anemic, inauthentic, self-serving Churchianity that so often festers quietly under the banner of Christianity today. I am not asking whether Jesus would turn the tables on what passes as contemporary Christianity in favor of a more robust and radical version that may have once existed in an age long past. Rather, by asking whether Jesus would betray Christianity as Judas betrayed Christ, I am asking if Jesus would plot the downfall of Christianity in every form that it takes. Or rather, to be more precise, I am asking whether Christianity, in its most sublime and revolutionary state, always demands an act of betrayal from the Faithful. In short, is Christianity, at its most radical, always marked by a kiss, forever forsaking itself, eternally at war with its own manifestation?


Not just beautiful prose; dangerous, challenging words. I hope you'll buy the book, read along, comment as you're able, and help me engage this challenging, exciting text! Adele, I know you and Pete go way back - I look forward to hearing how this book has impacted you.

2 comments:

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

I know God will be faithful to His church. He can't not be because He promised He would. He might take them to babylon to be enslaved for awhile, but He'll be faithful. The fact that I'm amazed by ignorance in Christianity doesn't mean they're not part of the one's God's called righteous.

But a year or so ago we left a denomination we had been in for quite a long time for another church. We didn't exactly leave the denomination as much as we felt called to this particular congregation for specific reasons. Anyway, an individual from the church we left saw us the other day and said, "Oh I wish you wouldn't have left...you two made such good [enter denomination]-ers," as if we were in some exclusive club or something. Is their life really only as important as their denomination? Really?

Existential Punk said...

Peter,

i am still reading this beautiful book! We will have to discuss it when i am finished.

His new book, a collection of parables he has written and commentary on them, is coming out soon, in March.

Adele

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