“God seldom, if ever, reveals concepts about himself. He simply reveals himself. Such encounters deeply transform our concepts.” Kindle Ed., loc 37
If you have ever wondered how we learn to believe what we believe…especially in a setting such as a church or denomination this book might be for you. It answers a lot of questions regarding how tradition is passed on and why. Combining sociological perspective and theological wit, Rabe provides insight on a level I have yet to find at a popular level.
I found this book to be a bit enigmatic. I confess, I chose it mostly because I have been seeing quite a few references to Rene Girard and Mimetic Theory in my biblical studies. As such, I thought this book might provide some insight without having to attend to the primary sources. I think this is what took me so long to get through the book. I found it incredibly insightful, and yes, it did give me the Girardian basics I was looking for, but I couldn’t help but feel the writing style was either a bit disjointed or parts of the book were left unedited. Other than that, there were several chapters that are worth the price of the book alone: Paradox of Evil, History of Satan, Atonement Theories and Sacrifice, and Mimetic Atonement. These chapters, I believe, were well written and do a wonderful job of suggesting alternatives to the popular Christian thought on these topics. Overall, I would recommend the book to anyone interested in learning how to begin to apply Mimetic Theory to their understanding of the Bible or their faith and practice. Indeed, the disjointedness I experienced could well have been the fact that I was taking on a subject unfamiliar to me. That said, I sure highlighted tons of quotes that I expect to refer back to in my studies and teaching.
Disclaimer: Yes, I received a free copy of this book, but ultimately I chose to review it!
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