May 26, 2010


Author, speaker, and general good guy, Tony Jones, is blogging a series of apophatic thoughts on God. Apophatic Theology is an attempt to describe God from the wrong way round, by negation, by stating what God is not.

As I continue to ponder the merits of a Trinity Sunday, I wonder it would be worth the peoples time for a preacher to engage the Trinity apophatically.

I wonder this because, quite frankly, it is impossible to describe God. Sure, God is loving. Or is God love? God is life-giving. Or is God life? God is true, or is it truth, or the Truth? See. It isn't easy. Be coming at God apophatically, we can begin to deconstruct the myth of God, but we must also be prepared to do some reconstruction, to lay a good foundation.

And for that, we must be willing to venture into the world of parable, analogy, and metaphor. As 21st century westerners, steeped in 400 years of enlightenment garbage, we have a hard time with that which is not fact. We like our details neat and tidy and true, but when it comes to God, the One who is wholly other, neat, tidy, and even true are hard to come by.

The Spirit, at Pentecost, arrived with a sound like a mighty wind and laid on the disciples like tongues of fire.

Jesus describes himself as the way, the truth, the life, the sheep gate, and the shepherd - among other things.

John describes the Father by saying, "God is love." (1 Jn 4.8)

It is uncomfortable to do apophatic theology and to dabble in metaphor, but when it comes to God, its about all we've got.

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