God is nothing and Christian Atheism. New to me but I like it

I have just read an excellent post on runningheads.net recommended to me by my friend John B.

As a Pentecostal preacher I have been trying to declare recently that God is more than can be put into words, yet alone comprehend. I have been growing increasingly dissatisfied with the smallness of the God too often proclaimed by Christians and rejected by atheists. I too reject the God the atheists reject – too small!

I recommend you read the post for yourself here. To give you a taster this is how it starts:

I am reading a fascinating book on the otherness of God (The Otherness of God in Christian Theology by Barry D. Smith. Pickwick, forthcoming). It delves into the Hebrew Bible and Hellenistic roots of the classical Christian tradition that God is utterly unlike anything in creation.

God is literally nothing — no-thing. God is not an object in the world; not a being. God does not exist in a manner like anything else but in a fundamentally different, unique mode. Indeed, some orthodox strands of the Christian tradition went so far as to deny the category of existence to God because that would put God on the same level as creation. Etymologically “to exist” is it stand forth or to stand out (against some presupposed background) but such a category only applies to created things and not to the Creator. On this view

  • God is not a being
  • nor even The Supreme Being

For then God would be “like us but bigger.” But God is not simply a SUPER-super-hero.

But for the radicals God is not even “Being itself.” God is “beyond being,” and utterly transcendent. Literally nothing can be known of God-in-Godself.

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