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September 05, 2004

Comments

bobbie

keep going bill - this too is what emerging sideways means for me - coming out of that 'must have every answer' mode of christianity that steals away all mystery. you're headed in the direction of freedom and grace. many will be very angry with you, but it's worth it, it's like breathing real air for the first time.

i'm just now a bit familiar with it, but it's like plato's cave, and those still looking at the shadows on the wall are terrified of what life looks like outside the cave. outside that cave is a wide wonderful world of technicolor spirituality and kingdom they can't even imagine. it's glorious!

(ps - just wondering - you're not from a brethren background are you?)

Just Me

If it's McLaren's definition that's standing in your way, I say "Forget it!" First of all, I'm not sure that he's right that mystical is a debased word in this post-modern world, and secondly, or related to that, I disagree with the designation of the mystical as "sub" rational. I might call it para-rational but would prefer supra-rational - and it's oh so important what we "name" something! Anyway, even people who pride themselves on their rational, analytical minds can have mystical experiences (I know) - and having had them, why would they want to deny it? (Deny is not the right word, but you know what I mean.) In a novel I just read (a non-Christian novel, so yes, God is at work everywhere in the process of creating), the stt was made that 1. Christianity is not a monolith but a bunch of diverse groups catering to different psychological temperaments ... (and further on) ... 2. that the mystic is (simply) less likely to suppress (his) mystical experiences and more drawn to the challenge of exploring them. With these thoughts in mind, I say: 1. Don't despair so much over the Christians who "question the validity of clapping" - it's probably not in their psychological and social makeup to do so, and 2. Get out there and explore your mystical experiences. You wonder about having a "personal relationship" with Jesus when he's chosen to reveal himself to you in an intimate supra-rational way?

Bill

To Just Me:

I don't think the way I phrased that paragraph was clear. McLaren was pointing out the way people (Modern) tend to view the mystical. I was simply identifying myself because I have had the same tendencies. So McLaren is saying the mystic is NOT those things.

I would like to be one of those rational/analytical people who are in touch with the mystical aspect of a relationship with Christ. The point is that there is no room in rationalISM for this.

You wrote: "the mystic is (simply) less likely to suppress (his) mystical experiences and more drawn to the challenge of exploring them"

I'm not sure if that's entirely true. I don't know if suppression is always the key factor. Assuming a given mystical experience is from God, perhaps people never even notice it in the first place. Or perhaps God doesn't even bother because he knows they'll ignore him. Okay, probably not the latter. That doesn't sound like God.

Somewhat tangentially, I am beginning to wonder if many many people, especially Christians, are missing (or refusing to see) the way God is at work all throughout life. The book I mentioned in this post, "A Matrix of Meanings" was very thought provoking in that regard. We tend to limit God and assume he is not at work in things like advertising or fashion or Buddhism. These are all things we (Christians) see as "totally depraved."

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