A growing Christian fascination with darkness


"Christianity has never had anything nice to say about the dark." The opening line in the TIME magazine's April 2014 opinion article by former Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor is certainly true of the faith historically. The same month her opinions published, TIME also placed Taylor's face on it's cover and printed a lengthy profile of the journey that inspired her book, "Learning to Walk in the Dark," which subsequently became a New York Times bestseller. Her message of embracing, and even redeeming, the darkness resonated with many.

Taylor isn't the only one exploring the darkness in recent years, though many do not see it as she does. John Piper, for example, penned a book titled, "When the Darkness Will Not Lift," in 2006 that casts darkness in a different light. And now, popular Christian teacher and author Nancy Ortberg has joined the conversation as well with the publication of her book, "Seeing in the Dark: Finding God's Light in the Most Unexpected Places." Here she describes why she, like so many others, is fascinated with darkness and what she wants to tell Christians who seem stuck in a shady space.

RNS: Let's start by understanding the key term here. How do you define darkness?