Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ apophatic nonsense

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “tell2,” is appropriately described as “a resurrection from 2009”. Take that, David Bentley Hart and Karen Armstrong! They may not say they’re apophatic, but their obscurantism means that they really are, for what they say about God is so flaccid and unspecific that they might as well be saying nothing.

14 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Sub

  2. W.T. Effingham
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Gotta love Jesus n Moe! This particular strip could be template for a “Jimmy(Swaggert) n Jim (Bakker w/without Tammy Fae) with the last panel stating “,Doesn’t that mean we can’t tell people how to VOTE?”

  3. Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    The main point … you missed. Religions exist to control people’s behavior (to serve the interests of the secular and religious elites). If they can’t do that, they fade away to nothingness. (Wouldn’t that be nice.)

    So, it wasn’t a comment on the strength of their god but the purpose of all religions.

    On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 9:31 AM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “tell2,” is > appropriately described as “a resurrection from 2009″. Take that, David > Bentley Hart and Karen Armstrong! They may not say they’re apophatic, but > their obscurantism means that they really are, for what they s” >

  4. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I like how apophatic turned into near apoplectic.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “Author” should go with the three finger, one thumb cartoon convention – four fingers just looks wrong. Also I suppose seatbelts are irrelevant if you think you’re a risen prophet.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 9, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      I suppose seatbelts are irrelevant if you think you’re a risen prophet.

      Or a body-double.

      They could be using lap belts. They’re still available and legal – just not approved for fitting in new vehicles at manufacture. They’re a bloody stupid idea, but they are available – a friend was fitting ones to his modified ex-army missile launching lorry a few weeks ago for the summer’s travelling.

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    It seems that David Bentley Hart is not really emphatically apophatic although his body seems a bit aliphatic. Even so his devout followers are quite lymphatic. 🙂

    On a more serious note, Karen Armstrong more overtly refers to apophatic theology much more that DBH, though the latter seems to have roots in there. It is rarely used in classical theology as a tool of apologetics, though Armstrong does do so.

    Apophatic theology has its roots in pagan Greek philosophy starting with Xenophanes, and poets/playwrights like Homer and Hesiod.

    A chief problem as Wikipedia notes is “there seems to be no fixed basis on deciding what God is not, unless the Divine is understood as an abstract experience of full aliveness unique to each individual consciousness, and universally, the perfect goodness applicable to the whole field of reality.”

  7. Sastra
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Trouble is, if you say that God is the sort of thing of which nothing can be said, then you’re denying the beliefs of those theists who think God is the sort of thing of which something — maybe even a LOT — can be said. Thus you’ve got insider information on God, Special Knowledge which other people don’t. You’re right, and they’re all wrong.You understand God better than they do.

    That’s a claim, buckaroo.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted August 8, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      For reasons I don’t fully understand, defenders of apophatic (Greek for “not saying”) theology say it always has to be supplemented by Cataphatic theology which involves positive affirmations about the Deity.

      Now this only begins to make sense if by that you mean that the positive statements are all imprecise symbolic metaphor which do not completely capture the reality of the subject like models of the atom. (The latter of course are testable!!)

      A second problem I have with apophatic theology (in addition my post above about there being no stable sense of method in the enterprise) is that in modern writing it seems often to be coming hand-in-hand with post-modernist thinking in a way that it does not in ancient philosophers such as the Greco-Jewish thinker Philo.

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted August 8, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      ‘Whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent’ probably won’t fill many pews or collection plates.

  8. Posted August 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Remain dumb… until the heavens part and he rises not, again.
    Thank you for co operation in this matter.

  9. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    The steering wheel in the cartoon is on the wrong side! 🙂

    • Steven in Tokyo
      Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      No it isn’t. There are a lot of cars in the world with the steering wheel on the _right_ side. (Apologies in advance for that!)

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 9, 2018 at 12:10 am | Permalink

      In a Panzer both sides are the right side Ullrich – ask your grandad 🙂


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