Peter Rollins, leader of the “radical Christianity movement” challenges many of the religious assumptions and indeed the religiosity of Christianity in this lecture delivered in early November 2013 at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, Australia.
“Rollins argues for a radical and initially disturbing Gospel: we can’t be satisfied, life is tough, and we don’t know the secret. We should attack the idea of God as that which makes us whole, removes our suffering, and offers us the truth. Rollins is less concerned with the question of life after death than with the possibility of a life before death, and his “churches” challenge escapist versions of spirituality, inviting us to embrace complexity, ambiguity and pain. Doubt is part of life, and religion should be able to explore it — instead of presenting an all-singing, all-dancing distraction.”
Dare we give up God for Lent? Are we ready to expose ourselves to critiques of Christianity so that we might move beyond “God as a crutch” toward an experience of the absence of God? I find myself intrigued by Peter Rollin’s attempt to move us beyond our carefully held images/idols toward a deeper understanding of Christ’s experience on the cross. Atheism for Lent is a daring idea; a real journey into the wilderness.