YHWH, a God of darkness and mystery as well as light and illumination

In western Christian art the living God is often associated with light, but a review of the Old Testament reveals a far more complex picture. For the God of Israel and everything else is associated with both darkness and light by the prophets. Here are a few examples that illustrate what I mean. God isContinue reading “YHWH, a God of darkness and mystery as well as light and illumination”

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 impossibleContinue 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 kindContinue 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 hisContinue 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 alsoContinue 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 theContinue 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”