Monday, August 10, 2009

Some Gems (however heavy) from Peter Rollins

I'll take slice and dice some memorable statements from ‘Why Do I Do What I Do’, or ‘The Horror of Relationships’ (focusing more on the why do I do what I do what I do, than the relationship part, although my wife and I just celebrated our 16th anniversary this weekend) from the end:
It is today very common to see reason opposed to faith in popular literature (with reason or faith being the better depending on which side the apologist sits). The point is not that they are opposed but rather that reason is saturated with faith. In other words, all real decisions, no matter how reasonable, involve a faith act. Neither the facile liberal nor the crude fundamentalist examples mentioned above allow for the anxiety of making a real decision about love, politics or prayer. While the former only ever minimally commits (not making a full blooded decision), the latter knows what to commit to in advance of doing it (thus not making a real decision, as one can only ever make a decision when one does not know what needs to be done – thus making a choice).
Which is teed up near the beginning

The question ‘Why do I do what I do’ disturbs the smooth running of our lives because it involves a certain amount of anxiety. Yet, far from seeing its manifestation as a minor disturbance in our ongoing life, perhaps we should see it as a site of truth. As a moment in which the foundations of our decisions are momentarily manifested to us in their underlying contingency.

Most of us do not feel the full force of this question either because we never fully commit to a cause (choosing to travel through life without real investment – allowing the TV we watch and papers we read to experience life on our behalf) or because we attempt to ground our theological/philosophical/political projects, or romantic ones, in some absolute (God, Reason, Destiny, Historical Necessity etc.). In the former we never truly make a radical commitment to some cause, while in the latter we never experience the fear and trembling which such a commitment should engender.

Yep, "sites of truth." I like it.

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