For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)
I’ve heard a lot great things about Pete Rollins but have never read any of his stuff. I stumbled upon his blog and quickly found proof that he is indeed a very brilliant voice to be heard. His post about 1 John is incredibly fascinating. Money quote:
The author seems to be suggesting, not that those who believe in Jesus as Messiah will naturally love but rather those who love believe in Jesus as Messiah. This reading requires a different understanding of belief. Here the author of 1 John seems to be suggesting, in the very midst of its high Christology, that belief is embodied, that it is incarnated. In short that it is affirmed in the transformed life of the believer.
The radical, heretical, claim here is that one is not called to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ but rather to be the site where that death and resurrection is made manifest, not to believe in the miracles of Jesus but to be the place where a miracle takes place. In short belief in the Messiah is one that is affirmed only in the life that emanates love, sacrifice, forgiveness, mercy and joy.
What we have in 1 John then is simultaneously a high Christology mixed with the idea that this high Christology is never said, but only lived.