The Jesus Paradox: Balance Please! 04-07-2017

The Jesus Paradox profoundly changes the way I think. After wrestling with the Jesus Paradox, the crown jewel of the Christian mystics, I now acknowledge what I know while remaining humbly aware of so much that I don’t know.

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I resist playing the role of judge and jury and bringing down the gavel. I also resist throwing my arms up in disgust. Like Jacob I wrestle the angels of truth (Genesis 32:23-34). Wrestling means I no longer settle for easy answers expressed in sound bites and either/or propositions beginning with yes or no. And I no longer settle for quick fixes, which only scratch the surface.

I don’t think the political landscape is a labyrinth of gray areas, where ambiguity is so great that the jury is out indefinitely. Distinctions can and must be drawn in order to achieve personal and collective integrity. There’s a temperate position in most theological and political debates that achieves balance.

People tend to see Jesus as either human or God, but not both at the same time. So too, people tend to swing from one side of a political pendulum to another. Finding the center is elusive, not only in relation to Jesus, but in relation to a broad range of political issues. There are black and white thinkers to the right and fuzzy grey area thinkers to the left. For the former, arriving at a centrist position that holds extremes in tension somehow admits defeat. It’s a compromise of integrity. “We can’t have it both ways.” The grey area thinkers are more at ease when the jury is out and precise analysis and decisiveness is put off for another day; meanwhile issues affecting the planet’s future are tabled indefinitely. The endless gathering of data becomes another addiction, which puts off having to make the difficult decisions. Balance please!

David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings.  Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program  created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.