Is it possible for a book of contemplative theology to be neo-noir?
In some ways, this collection of essays does resemble a detective novel: there are mysteries to solve, it always seems to be night-time, conventional methods are ignored, and nothing is what it appears to be.
The Bible demonstrates that all good theology is not only a story, it is a movie, and not only a movie, but a movie deliberately designed to perplex, surprise and unsettle us.
However, while the anxiety, alienation, romance, and dark wit (hopefully) remain, this book reserves noir’s hard-boiled cynicism and nihilism for the foibles of those who rebel against God. For the Christian writer-director, the darkness is only a device employed to bring the reader to the light. The deliberate ambiguities are only temporary cowls that eventually will be stripped away. Like the Bible, which, if we are honest, is a very dark book, these Dark Sayings, in their fundamental mindset and ultimate trajectory, are unshakably optimistic.
AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 2018