Friday, October 17, 2008

Like a Thick Steak

Several weeks ago, I ordered How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins. I had heard about it six different times in a week. The last time that had happened, it was several people recommending The Tipping Point to me within a couple of days. I loved The Tipping Point, so I was hoping that this pattern would hold, that lightning would strike twice, and that How (Not) to Speak of God would shoot to the top of my favorite book list. The Amazon box came, and because of a whole bunch of things, the book sat. And sat. And sat. Until yesterday.

Oh, my. Is this a good book. You want to take it slow, savoring every bite. But you don't want to go too slowly because you don't want to get full before you're done. It's the kind that you talk about how good it was later.

Here's the first line.

Christian faith, it could be said, is born in the aftermath of God.

Sit with that for a moment.

Consider the word "aftermath." We normally use it in the context of a big storm, a city cleaning up in the aftermath of a major hurricane. An "aftermath" is full of deconstruction, change, and the need for rebuilding. But we are talking here about "the aftermath of God," not the aftermath of Katrina or Ike.

Does the arrival of God in our lives overwhelm our flimsy levies and defenses?
Does the arrival of God blow through our poorly constructed facades?
Does the arrival of God cause us to ask questions like why and how could this have happened?
Does the arrival of God leave us in major need of reconstruction, or maybe we could use the word, redemption?

It's not usually how we think of God, but I love this imagery. Sometimes God comes like a hurricane that leaves us utterly beaten down and destroyed. And from that destruction is born our faith.

I know some folks who have gone through the hurricane lately and some who are in the midst of it right now. It's not fun. But maybe its the arrival of God in their lives. And maybe it will birth new faith. That's what I'm praying for, anyway.



Anonymous said...

For one caughtin the very middle a a hurricane right now, your words brought tears and help. Thanks.

Garrett A. Brown said...

will it make the bookshelf?

Robb said...

Garrett, it will once I'm done with it.

Sara said...

That encouragement could not have come at a better time. Your timing is on!