Peter Rollins at a microphone on stage

Peter Rollins opens for Rob Bell’s “Holy Shift Tour,” in Washington, D.C., March 27, 2018

Last night I had occasion to attend Rob Bell’s Holy Shift Tour featuring Peter Rollins. Rob Bell was amazing and captivating as always, but I confess, I was there to hear Peter Rollins.

I have long been an admirer of Peter Rollins ever since he came to a conference of the United Methodist Campus Ministry Association in 2009 and spoke as our headliner. I furiously scribbled down as much as I could. His thoughts on our unwitting complicity in the very evils we claim to resist, on the idolatries we create even in our theology, and on the role of unknowing have been deeply influential.

And so to honor that, I present a brief snippet from The Certainty of Uncertainty in which Peter’s words help to brilliantly illustrate the book’s message of the value in embracing uncertainty:

From The Certainty of Uncertainty:

Understanding faith to be trust in the midst of unknowing can be transformative, not only in our relationships with the Divine, but also with one another. By way of illustrating this, Peter Rollins invites us to reflect on two different kinds of marriage commitments: one involving a couple who firmly believe that they will be happily married as long as they live and another who understand that their relationship will face various hardships in an uncertain future with no guarantees. Rollins argues that the second couple is the one making a commitment of faith:

Here we can see that doubt provides the context out of which real decision occurs and real love is tested, for love will say “yes” regardless of uncertainty. A love that requires contracts and absolute assurance in order to act is no love at all. [1]

Faith has never been about knowing. It has never been about certainty. It has never been about belief. It has been about stepping into the unknown, about taking that leap.


[1] Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God, 36.