October 14, 2012
One the reasons that I am a Christian is because of the mystery of God. And one of the reasons that I am an Orthodox Christian is because the Orthodox Church is sublime in living that mystery. The Church has developed, in the patristic age, an entire theology devoted to the study of what we do not know – how much more mysterious and Orthodox can you get than to study what you do not know? Essentially apophatic theology is the attempt to describe God – always a humbling practice – by exclusion or negation. In other words to speak only of what or who the Almighty is not. It is closely connected with mystical theology. In the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem “we explain not what God is, but candidly confess that we have not exact knowledge concerning Him. For in what concerns God confessing our ignorance is the best knowledge.” (Catechetical Homilies in Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1994) Confessing our ignorance is sometimes the best – great idea.
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