Book Review: Falling Upward by Richard Rohr

I was attracted to this book first by the title and then by the cover. And then I thought I have for myself a wonderful book when I read its introduction - it promises a lot of things I was looking for.

But alas it feel from the sky to the very depths of the underworld. I could not continue with it and stopped at Chapter 6 with 6 more chapters to go.

I was indeed looking forward to read about what it means to build a life in Christ. I did know from the start that Richard Rohr is a Catholic priest, but little did I know he is as one Amazon reviewer termed him as a "progressive Catholic". I would say that he is pluralistic more than anything.

His views about how life in reality is true and I agree with him. I also agree with him that many areas of our lives and the church needs to undergo a more radical transformation than they have. But I could not agree with his means, and his treatment of theology and Scripture. He gives statements that are blatant and I could not agree with his explanation and justification.

For example, his treatment of sin is rather light, with statements like "you cannot avoid sin...anyway". I find it too absolute - cannot...anyway. Yes, it is difficult to avoid sin, but something we can do and should strive to do.

In reference to Paul's "It is when I am weak that I am strong", he writes, "he was merely building on what he called the 'folly' of the crucifixion on Jesus." Merely?

He writes that Jesus praised faith and trust more than love. Really? Where in the Bible did he find that?

He writes, "People who know how to creatively break the rules also know why the rules were there in the first place." Excuse me?

He writes, "You must first eat the fruit of the garden, so you know what it tastes like." If he is referring to the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden...I really do not know how to respond to that. I suppose I can, in a tirade, but I am just rendered speechless for now.

And this is among the last ones that made me stop reading the book: he writes, "There is not one clear theology of God, Jesus, or history presented, despite our attempt to pretend there is."

I rest my case.



  1. That's why when you recommended it, I flipped through it at MPH ... and decided not to buy. Hehehe :P


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