John Keenan on The Emptiness of Christ

Some reflections by John P. Keenan on The Emptiness of Christ : The scriptural words of and about Jesus likewise describe him as empty of essence. [The] function of doctrine in Mahayana theology is not to communicate a body of information about God, but to engender a sense of the presence of God beyond all words. It is impossible … Continue reading John Keenan on The Emptiness of Christ

Theology for Knowing the Unknowable

I have long had a facination with Mystical Theology, which is also know as Apophatic Theology or Negative Theology. If you share these interests in any way, one book I have found quite accessible as an evangelical Christian is "The Mystery of God: Theology for Knowing the Unknowable" but Christopher A. Hall and Steven D. … Continue reading Theology for Knowing the Unknowable

The Via Negativa in the New Testament

The following quote is from "Blessed Negativities: The Contribution of Deconstruction to Theology" by Tony Kelly. I my explorations of negative Christology I have appreciated authors like this who illustrate negative theology emerging, not from monastic speculation, but from apostolic experience. Any assessment of deconstruction might do well to note how negation of a particular kind … Continue reading The Via Negativa in the New Testament

Luther on the hidden God

Following are some quotes from "Luther on the Hidden God" by Steven D. Paulson. Basically its apophatism, protestant-style. "God hides so as not to be found where people seek him, and reveals himself where he is not sought" "Adam and Eve were deluded by the serpent into thinking God was jealously hiding something of his … Continue reading Luther on the hidden God

Revelation of Mystery

"In the particular case of Gregory of Nyssa, it should be possible to arrive to a Christological goal (telos) from the theological principle (arche) of apophasis. The studies of this thesis assume that such sequence is possible and existent in Gregory, and that this is the very sequence that, once exposed, at once exposes also … Continue reading Revelation of Mystery

Is Dionysius the last word on Apophatism?

"Dionysian Platonism is a form of Christian apophaticism that has a tendency to obfuscate the importance of the incarnation. Where Dionysius speaks apophatically about the things revealed, the Russian sophiologists presume to speak cataphatically about the things hidden." - Paul L. Gavrilyuk Over the holidays I've been digging deeper into apophatism (negative theology), teasing apart the … Continue reading Is Dionysius the last word on Apophatism?

Words are not enough

Surely, if God could be revealed through words alone then God's incarnation would not have been necessary. That the Word become meat and bones (John 1:14) carries the implication that words are not enough for transmitting the way, the truth and the life. I think then, the wordiness of the Evangelicalism needs to be questioned. … Continue reading Words are not enough

Carson on the limits of cognition

It is interesting to observe that even D. A. Carson confesses there's more to the gospel than logic: "All of this shows how cognitive the gospel is ... Yet the gospel is not exclusively cognitive. It is also affective and active. The word of the cross is not only God’s wisdom, which the world considers … Continue reading Carson on the limits of cognition

The Incomplete Gospel

I love the incompleteness of the Gospel of Mark. It ends without ending: "Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid." (Mark 16:8) It invites us to ask, "But if they said nothing to anyone, how come we've heard of this?" Evidently, it … Continue reading The Incomplete Gospel

Before words, what was the Word?

"Yes, Jesus is the language. He is the Word, and yet his language has no words; there is no need for words. If this can indeed be said, then it's the language of silence. Silence is the password that gains entrance to the holy place wherein we worship God in our inner world. And who … Continue reading Before words, what was the Word?

Who is stranger than God?

We worship the unknown God, YHWH, who's wisdom is mistaken for foolishness and who's strength is mistaken for weakness. Who confounds our expectations and transcends our understanding. He offers us hope too good to be true - world transformation, bodily resurrection - through a life too tragic to comprehend, that of Jesus of Nazareth. God … Continue reading Who is stranger than God?