Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction Paperback – January 1, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Caveat emptor. Let the reader, the Christian, the skeptic beware, for with The Idolatry of God, Peter Rollins has taken his theological program 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, don’t read this book.” (Tony Jones, author of A Better Atonement)
More About the Author
Challenging the idea that faith concerns questions relating to belief Peter shows that an incendiary and irreligious reading of Christianity is possible: one that destroys the distinction between sacred and secular, blurs the lines between theism and atheism and sets aside questions regarding life after death to explore the possibility of a life before death.
This approach has been christened "pyrotheology," and aims at burning up the basic assumptions that both critics and advocates of religion hold concerning the life of faith.
Peter gained his higher education from Queens University, Belfast and has earned degrees (with distinction) in Scholastic Philosophy (BA Hons), Political Theory (MA) and Post-Structural thought (PhD). He is the author of numerous books, including Insurrection, The Idolatry of God and The Divine Magician. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, currently lives in LA and will die.
Top Customer Reviews
The breakdown from my perspective:
This book has a very promising beginning. From the start, Rollins does an excellent job of critiquing the external while simultaneously causing extensive internal reflection. His verbal punishments of modern religion as the ultimate source of happiness are liberating on their own, while his observations of the paradoxical and elusive nature of self-satisfaction provide a good ole fashioned gut-check.
In a nutshell, his premise is that satisfaction cannot be attained whilst being pursued through external means. He establishes this train of thought by personifying our innate sense of lack (Original Sin), our natural restrictions (Law), and that object which we seek to fulfill said lack (Idol). In this manner he is able to demonize Christianity as we know it (as well as any religion) by painting it as just another product which falsely promises to provide the certainty and satisfaction we long for.
Like I said, very promising beginning.
However, where I would have to part ways with Rollins is in his attempted resolution.Read more ›
The author has some radical things to say to capture the reader's attention and stimulate serious thought:
* Religious hymns become little more than advertising jingles, and the clergy come to resemble slick salespeople presenting their god-product to the potential consumer.
* Instead of God being that which fills the gap at the core of our being, the God testified to in Christianity exposes the gap for what it is, obliterates it, and invites us to participate in an utterly different form of life, one that brings us beyond slavery to the Idol.
* The Idol robs us of the type of pleasure that we could have if only we were able to free ourselves from the false promise that something would render us complete.
* The Good News of Christianity: You can't be fulfilled; you can't be made whole; you can't find satisfaction.
The book provides a devastating critique of many of the practices of contemporary Western Christianity, arguing that the "God" we are trying to "sell" is an idol in our own making. Although I struggled with many of the author's arguments and felt threatened by others, I was impressed by the degree of insight which they contained.
However, when it came time to suggest ways of addressing the "idolatry", the author seems to step off the rational path into Alice's Wonderland.Read more ›
The timing for this new book was apropos, as this time of year often brings about criticisms and examinations of Rollins' concept of "atheism for Lent", where one endeavours to give up God for these forty days by focusing on the writings of Nietzsche, Marx, etc. To me, the most interesting reading can be found in the comments sections of various blogs and counter-blogs in the, shall we say, folk-theologian circles. The irony particularly arises in the at-times blind reactions of the Devout in such ways that they betray the intentions of the Teacher. The Devout spit, curse, and defend to the bone the sanctity of what they consume from the table of the Teacher from those they believe to be Detractors, but in doing so they nullify the message through their words and attitudes. I find this especially prevalent in those who allign themselves with more post-modern, deconstructionist thinkers, often in the emerging conversation. Their leaders teach the necessity of being critical and subverting the norms of any given theology and shaking of the ritualistic dead faith of the previous generation, and many scarf it down as pure gospel because it inadvertently justifies the pain and dissatisfaction they have with "mainstream/evangelical" Church. So they simultaneously defend a theology that if truly enacted would lead them to a place where they critique the new message as well as the old, rather than jumping on a new bandwagon for the sake of tribal identity.
Specifically in terms of "atheism for Lent", I get it. I think.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pete presents a perspective far different from what I experienced as a person growing up in American Christianity. There's plenty to wrestle with here. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jay Oldaker
I've found myself recommending this book to so may people in so many different contexts of theological conversation. Rollins has hit the nail on the head with this one. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joel Stetler
Worked well 4 my husband's class,being on a low budget Thanks#Published 9 months ago by Carol J. Schoot
This book has helped me deal with and understand the brokenness of being human. I identified with the idea of holding God as an idol (placing God in the same category as money,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Colby
Rollins' title is a little misleading. Rather than attacking the idea of God as just an idol, he seems to challenge the very fabric of the Christian faith. Read morePublished 13 months ago by LV media watchdog
Reading these comments I'm struck by the difference in those that are most likely Protestant and others that are clearly Catholic (which I suppose I'd put Rollins). Read morePublished 15 months ago by Meanlilkitty