Here is a recent video of one of my personal heroes, Peter Rollins, as he discusses his recent Insurrection Tour. I recently read his book, The Fidelity of Betrayal, and it really did give words to most all that I have been wrestling with and through for the past year or so.

Rollins is a philosopher by trade, and his work has become the philosophical foundation for many of the more “Emergent” guys around today. And that’s what’s so interesting about him. He is good friends with Rob Bell and many of the Emergent Church folks quote Rollins to support many of their ideas. He is even talked about in the book Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, who definitely think Rollins is fundamentally flawed.

But, if you watch this video–by far the most succinct and comprehensive summary I’ve found of his thought–it seems like he really does stand in the middle between the fundamentalists and the liberals. He challenges both to live in the tension that is inherent in the Christian life. Rollins, I feel, exemplifies brilliantly how post-modernity can inform orthodox Christianity (as opposed to simply becoming “Postmodern Christianity”). I really do feel that large philosophical movements are actually providentially ordained by God to try and correct the Church when they’ve embraced one philosophy as the “right” one (as evangelicals have done with modernity).

But nevertheless, Rollins still has the reputation in more conservative circles of being one of “those guys” that sacrifices the Bible for the sake of “the culture.” And indeed, he seems to self-identify as one of “them,” and he certainly hangs out in those circles. Maybe I just don’t get it. He at least seems to me to be far more historically and Biblically orthodox than those guys are. But, the negative connotation still lingers with his name. Even the fake Twitter account made in my name by a yet-to-reveal-themselves person mocks Rollins and my affection for him. So watch the video–especially the last half–and decide for yourself.  I hope it gives words to all of you where you have had none before.  

And discuss in the comments.

About The Author

Paul Burkhart

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