Reconciling Mystical Teachings with Conventional Christianity


A reader named Allen wrote to me: Dear Carl, I find myself struggling with a bit of a spiritual crisis. I feel torn between the teachings of more traditional Protestant thinkers like Dallas Willard and the mystical teachings of figures like Thomas Keating. While I’ve experienced spiritual growth through my meditation practice using the WCCM form, I’m also concerned that I’m...

Gnosis and Mysticism


A reader of this blog named Brian writes: Carl, How would you compare and contrast mysticism with gnosticism? Thanks! I suppose there are three ways to answer this question. First we’ll look at the historical sense of mysticism and gnosticism in the history of Christianity. Then, to bring it closer to the present day, we’ll consider how these words were used by a twentieth century...

“Contemplative Prayer is Dangerous — the Way Jesus is Dangerous”


A regular reader of this blog recently named Peter wrote to me: Carl, I’ve been reading about the Jesus Prayer. On the Orthodox sites they stress that if you haven’t had any experience with this prayer that you should get guidance and that it’s dangerous to try it on your own. When reading about the Jesus Prayer on other Christian sites like the Catholic ones then this advice is...



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