Thoughts on “Idolatry of God” Trailer

“My theoretical approach is one of dialectic rather than reversal. My theological work is an expression of the Radical tradition from Hegel through Lacan.”

– Peter Rollins (from his comment in his Youtube video “Idolatry of God” trailer)

English: The portrait of G.W.F. Hegel (1770-18...
English: The portrait of G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831); Steel engraving by Lazarus Sichling after a lithograph by Julius L. Sebbers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have googled earlier on to find out more about what “dialectic” means, since Peter Rollins mentioned his theoretical approach is one of dialectic and his theological work is an expression of the radical tradition that includes Hegel. I learnt from Wikipedia that “Hegelian dialectic, usually presented in a threefold manner, was stated by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus as comprising three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis.”

So perhaps Pete was using a similar approach: he presents a thesis stating how (mainstream) Christianity claims that believing in God will give people satisfaction and certainty; and this thesis gives rise to an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, given that life itself is messy and uncertain despite our belief in God; and the tension between the two is resolved by means of a synthesis, which is his proposition that God is found in the midst of our brokenness and uncertainties, and we can embrace the mystery and unknowing, realising that being human in all of its fragility is beautiful. So this is my understanding of Pete’s theoretical approach that is one of dialectic instead of reversal.

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