If Christianity is going to be remade it can’t be remade around hot-button political issues, political correctness, environmentalism, trends in philosophy, an inclusive mind-set, or a charismatic leader. It has to be remade in the image of Christ conceived in the minds of the mystics.
Nothing substitutes for experience of the person of Jesus through deep prayer. Yet, that experience needs an accurate lens, leaving room for both conviction and mystery. The Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers) temper conviction so it becomes “paradoxical certitude.” They also temper mystery, helping us to understand that mystery isn’t the result of missing data. It’s the result of a fullness we can never fully comprehend. The Jesus Paradox of the Alexandrian Mystics is the foundation and hope for Christianity’s future.
Orthodoxy as it’s usually understood (especially in the West) defends the five “fundamentals”: virgin birth, biblical inerrancy, substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection, and the imminent return of Jesus. Yet, this orthodoxy hasn’t served to unify Christians, because few agree on these particulars. We need a more primal mystical root, which can unify Christians. We need a more basic orthodoxy which can heal the abscesses in the worldwide communion. That root is the Jesus Paradox of the Alexandrian Mystics. For more on the Jesus Paradox see my first book, Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots.
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The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.
Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering Contemplative Practices. This course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including: The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.
Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer. Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.
Enjoy Rich’s post: Does God Wake You Up At 3 in the Morning?
Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review