Honest Christianity: is God “nada”?

From Learning to walk in the dark, Barbara Brown Taylor

I really enjoyed reading this idea on one of my recent nights in the hermitage. Several decades ago I decided I was not going to teach in negatives, don’t do that, don’t do this…. As helpful as it might be in not making mistakes, it struck me that I was not helping people to know what to do.

Taylor Brown picks up the idea from St John of the Cross, that teaching definitely about God can limit God. I find this really challenging, as I want to assure people how wonderful God is. But this is indeed open to the possibility of limiting the revelation of the fullness of richness of God. John called this nada, drawing upon his Spanish cultural experience.

I do want to retain the opportunity to share absolutely that God is love and gracious. But how this is absolutely played out in God’s values, Kingdom, eternal perspective, is naive. As Barbara soberly reminds us, how much have we changed our opinions, minds over time and experience? We did not set out to mislead, but we may have. I am certainly embarrassed over what I was so definite about 10, 20, 30 years ago, that I now hold a opposite view over.

God is not nothing, but God is immeasurably more than we will ever know or imagine here on Earth.

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