Seminary Dropout 78: Peter Rollins, Author of The Divine Magician

On Pete’s website it says that he is a “provocative writer, philosopher, storyteller and public speaker” , and it’s true he is provocative, in fact his words can make some of us in the church squirm a bit, but you don’t have to agree with Pete to find his thoughts and ideas insightful.

Rollins new book ‘The Divine Magician’ is about reimagining the message of Christianity. Using the illustration of the steps involved in a magic trick; the pledge, the turn, and the prestige, Rollins proposes that the Eucharist might include some of the same elements.

Some things we discuss on this episode:

How Pete’s upbringing has affected the type of theology & philosophy he’s come to practice today.

  • The evolution of Pete’s work over the years, from his earlier work that seemed to be more transformative art that was focused on experience (IKON collective to parables) to his more recent work in “The Idolatry of God” and “the Divine Magician” being very theological and constructive.
  • The Pyro-theology Pete practices that shifts focus from a set of beliefs to the way in which we engage the world, is it mutually exclusive from the Christianity that would include mysticism and supernatural aspects.
  • The use of the three parts of a magic trick – the Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige as illustrations for Christianity.
  • In this season of lent, what’s the point of focusing on the death of Christ? What are good lenten practices for those who want to recognize the “other” inside themselves?
  • This notable quote “Christianity should not be thought of as the means of bridging a gap. This event is nothing less than the smashing of the whole chasm / bridge idea that Gnostic spiritualities buy into. The liberation that this narrative expresses does not offer us the fullness we seek, but rather frees us from the need to seek fullness. “ -Peter Rollins

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If you liked this episode then you might also like…

Seminary Dropout 42: Christian Piatt

Seminary Dropout 24: Danielle Shroyer


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6 thoughts on “Seminary Dropout 78: Peter Rollins, Author of The Divine Magician

  1. I did not think I’d listen to Peter. He is very much influenced by modern psychology and materialism as thought systems. I can tease out some Christ consciousness when he talks about the meaning of the Risen Lord in present. He has an interesting concept of the Eucharist, but he has more psychology than inspired utterance. Peter swims in a theological purgatory.

  2. Charlie Brenner I don’t think you have to agree with all or even the majority of what Pete says to listen to him (or anyone else for that matter). I think we have to be on guard of anti-intellectualism within our efforts to seek out truth. It’s important to discern truth from untruth, but the problem with plugging our ears is that the truth gets filtered out too.

  3. beardonabike Charlie Brenner I listened for the duration. Being a retired librarian I look at the titles and subject headings of books. Hearing the human voice is unique and I liked hearing the interview. I wonder if he has ‘been delivered out of this evil age’. Can you accept the Risen Lord as an intellectual but reject the Holy Spirit which would be one’s Teacher?

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