When the fully Divine Christ is not at the center, then a charismatic leader, conservative sensibilities, liberal sensibilities, or some other less worthy candidate takes the center. Then our faith is no longer about devotion to our transcendent higher power. Then the agenda of the current leadership becomes central. Then the church has no generations old anchor and becomes vulnerable to the whims of congregation and culture.
As Christian author Eugene Petersen has reiterated, people need two things from worship: transcendence and fellowship (Divine connection and human connection). The Christian Right is all about transcendence, often tolerating community in order to praise God. The Christian Left often enjoys fellowship and tolerates God so they can be together. We need both!
We need vigorous faith that is ultimately not about rights, devotions, and know-how. It is not about knowing something! It is about knowing someone! That someone is Jesus, who mysteriously holds the fullness of the Creator and of the creature in his very being! That someone is transcendent God beyond the bounds of any limited human framework. That someone is also immanent human being, who shares our human limitations!
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Contemplative Light Course – The Divine Transformation: Essentials of Christian Mysticism – Welcome to an introductory course on both practice and perspectives of timeless teachings from the Christian Mystical and Contemplative traditions! Whether you are a long-time practitioner looking to solidify your understanding and framework for practice or a beginner interested in immersing yourself in this teaching, this course can serve as a rich resource.
Check out Rich’s interview with Dr. Philip St. Romain regarding his course: Christian Prayer Methods.
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.
How do we know that Jesus was actually raised from the dead in bodily form? This course with Prof. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, examines the extraordinary claim that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead in a bodily fashion to appear in person to people after his cruel death, crucifixion, and entombment.