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 considersContinue 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, itContinue 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 whoContinue 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. GodContinue reading “Who is stranger than God?”

The kingdom of God is within you?

Two verses I often see misused amongst Christian mystics (and I am speaking as a Christian mystic here) are “Be still, and know that I am God” from Pslam 46 and “the kingdom of God is within you” from Luke 17. Again, context is the issue. Psalm 46:10 Read holistically, Psalm 46 is a psalm aboutContinue reading “The kingdom of God is within you?”

Non-Gnostic Mysticism

Many people who are frustrated with orthodox Christianity, at least in the form they’re familiar with, turn to Gnosticism as a way of seekingout deeper spiritual experience. And when they do this, they often speak of the shift in polarised terms, as a turning from exotericism to esotericism, from institutionalism to inner life, from religion toContinue reading “Non-Gnostic Mysticism”

Two approaches to Christian mysticism

In correspondence to a colleague, I recently suggested that “…there are some very distinct differences between (1) Christians exploring mysticism for the first time and (2) mystics exploring Christianity for the first time. One of my criticisms of Emergent was that they largely failed to recognise this, believing themselves to be catering for both when in truthContinue reading “Two approaches to Christian mysticism”

Unknown even to Jesus

Earlier this week I asked, what does negative theology look like from a Christ-centred perspective? Reflecting on this further I was drawn to ask, what was unknown even to Jesus? Sound like a strange question? Well, consider what Jesus said about the last days: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angelsContinue reading “Unknown even to Jesus”

Negative theology from a Christ-centred perspective

Negative theology is, somewhat ironically, on my mind this week. On the one hand I’ve been reflecting on The Mystical Theology and The Cloud of Unknowing. On the other hand I’ve been observing that, although I haven’t blogged on meditation and mysticism much this year, it has historically been a topic that’s prompted much conversationContinue reading “Negative theology from a Christ-centred perspective”

Where to locate the mystery

In his book, Is God to Blame?, Gregory A. Boyd makes some astute observations about the known and the unknown: We customarily assume we know a lot about creation but very little about God. After all, we can see creation but we can’t see God. Creation is finite but God is infinite. While we canContinue reading “Where to locate the mystery”