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suggestion boxIf there were such a thing as a divine suggestion box, I’d suggest that God make things easier. Or if not easier, at least clearer.

I would love this book to close with something more substantial than empty faith, unattached love, and hopeless hope. I would love to be able to make practical suggestions about how to identify and claim the transformative qualities of the dark night [of the soul] in your own life.

I yearn to offer something that would really make the hard times easier and bring a definite sense of meaning to the unavoidable sufferings of life.

It would be so wonderful to be able to prescribe effective methods or understandings that could help us all get a grip on our dark nightdestinies.

But the nature of the dark night does not permit that.

It comes as a gift and in obscurity, as and when it will, taking us where we would not and could not go on our own. And though in truth we say yes to it, we have little control over it.

The reason for the obscurity, John [of the Cross] says, is to keep us safe, so we don’t stumble because we think we know where we’re going.

I do not want to trust that.

Gerald G. May
The Dark Night of the Soul:
A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection
Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth

pp. 194-95

[Gerald May was one of many who helped guide me years ago through some unexplored theological territory, which eventually led to The Sin of Certainty.]


Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.