Jesus and Mo on apophatic theology

July 8, 2009 • 6:17 am

Well, it can’t be coincidence: the mysterious artist of Jesus and Mo is clearly reading about the science-versus-religion debates and transforming them into hilarious strips.  His/her latest is about apophatic theology, which is precisely the theology that Karen Armstrong touts in her new book, The Case for God.   Apophatic theology is apparently this:

. . . negative theology is far more than a puzzling emblem of antique theology; it is the foundation of serious reflection about the divine. He understands negative theology as consisting “in a critical negation of all affirmations which one can make about God, followed by an equally critical negation of our negations.” In his words, “without the negative theology our representation of reality loses all depth and becomes abstract, flat, and unreal.” This happens because we lose sight of the divine whenever we accept as final or complete any conceptual representation of it.

o.k., this is clearly a theology which is practiced by beefy, well-fed liberal theologians rather than the average believer.  It appears to be summed up by the statement,  “We can’t conceive of God until we stop thinking about him.”

Whenever I read stuff like this, it reminds me of George Orwell’s great statement in Notes on Nationalism:

One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.

When are intellectual theologians going to realize that “religion” as practiced by most people does not consist of their oh-so-genteel musings? It’s fine for theologians to indulge in these lucubrations if they want, but not to pretend that science and faith are compatible because everybody practices the theologians’ own liberal form of faith — a faith that sometimes verges on agnosticism.

Oh, wait, maybe I should like this kind of theology because it tells believers to SHUT UP.

Enough ranting; on to Jesus ‘n’ Mo: