Apophatic is a theological term. An apophatic theology is one in which God is not thought of in terms of human properties or ideas. Instead he can only be described in terms of what he is not. A theology which is apophatic is the apophatic way, also called the Via Negativa.

Aphophatic comes from the Greek aphophasis, which means negation. The apophatic way is a theological belief that is common within the Greek Orthodox church, but not widely accepted outside, as it is thought to be a philosophical tool, and not one that should be important in the formation of beliefs for ordinary worshippers. Followers of the apophatic way may claim that our search for clear answers, even in the field of theology is one that stems from our cultural heritage, and is not desirable. Proponents would also claim that the apophatic way is closer to the biblical view of an unknowable God that modern Protestant theology.

If one has apophatic beliefs, then common theological questions such as does God exist? are, in a way no longer relavent. God is beyond the transient property of existance. The properties of God are not those that we may describe, or even imagine, and to burden our concept of him with a view that includes human terminology would be worse than to allow ourselves a more abstract and contemplative opinion.

"We deny in order to affirm. We say that something is not in order to say that it is."

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