Insurrection Chapter One: I'm a Christian! I'm a Christian!

Rollins starts off the chapter talking about desire -- desire for things, desire for people. He makes a fundamental distinction between desire for things, including experiences such as vacations and promotions, and desire for those whom we love. "Beloved" in his terminology. It's not so much a matter of degree (wanting the beloved more than those other things), but rather the desire for the beloved allows all of those other desires to exist. I can see that, though he then makes what to me seems a rather sudden leap -- that it's the desire of our beloved for us that we really desire. While I think there's probably a lot of truth in this, I found his leap a little jarring as I was reading it.

Be that as it may, he uses that to explain our desire for a relationship with a God who loves us eternally and unconditionally, quoting Voltaire:

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

The bulk of this section of the book seems to be oriented toward breaking down belief. He speaks of God as "deus ex machina," meaning something inserted into life to arbitrarily resolve problems, rather than having anything to do with reality. The problem here, from Rollins point of view, is that of the meaning of life, or rather its lack thereof.

Having said all of that, Robbins finishes the chapter with a way forward. He rejects "pat answers" to questions, but encourages movement into doubt and ambiguity. Anyone who has read some of Rollins' other works will recognize this as a theme of his. That doubt and ambiguity is very uncomfortable, but, he believe, essential. I tend to agree.

Back to table of contents