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Bible

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Video: Mysticism and the Bible — Three Contemplative Verses

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“Is mysticism in the Bible?” It’s a question I get asked from time to time. And while the word mysticism itself is not found in scripture, the elements of mysticism are very much part of the Biblical story. In the first of what I imagine will be multiple videos on this topic, I begin to explore mysticism in the Bible by focusing on three verses that speak of silence — in a...

Balancing Faith in the Word with a Scholarly Understanding of the Bible

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Sometimes, people grow up in conservative churches where the Bible is often read in a very literal or fundamentalist way. Such persons might go on to study at a college or university where they are exposed to a more scholarly, historical-critical way of reading the Bible. This usually feels more informed and honest than the fundamentalist approach to the Bible — but often it seems that something...

The Sheer Sound of a Still Small Voice

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“God speaks to us in a whisper,” or so said an Episcopal priest I once knew. It was one of his trademark sayings, and the idea was obvious enough: if we want to discern the voice (will) of God in our lives, we had better listen carefully, because it won’t come with any amplification. While I can’t say so for sure, my hunch is that all this came from a reading of 1 Kings 19...

Nondual Christianity and the Problem of Evil

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A reader of one of my previous blog posts sent me this question via Facebook messenger. I read your article about non dualism Nonduality in the Bible … and us. So what about scriptures about God hating sin, wickedness, evildoers etc… Or am I misunderstanding? Also there’s a lot of…... Read more at Patheos

The Fear of the Lord and the Love of God

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As a young man growing up in the American south, I heard the phrase “God fearing” a lot. As in, “He’s a God fearing man.” I think it comes from Psalm 111:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” or its near corollary, Proverbs 1:7: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” So someone who is “God fearing” is...

What to Say to the Nay-Sayers: Talking About Contemplation With Its Critics

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If you are active in a church or other faith community, and you are drawn to (or practicing) silent prayer, if you talk about it with others you will likely, sooner or later, hear somebody say something along these lines: “Isn’t meditation Buddhist? Or Hindu? Christians don’t need to do that sort of thing.” “Sitting in silence? It’s just a waste of time. We are...

Psalm 131: Humility, Silence and Hope

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Sometimes I get asked “Where is contemplation in the Bible?” One obvious answer to this question is Psalm 131. It’s a short Psalm, only three verses. Here it is in its entirety from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (but every translation works): O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too...

Lectio Divina Every Day

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“Love for Jesus is fed by constant meditation on the Gospels.” — Michael Casey, OCSO A prominent pastor who hosts an Internet podcast once interviewed me for his show, and at the close of our conversation asked me, “What is the one book you would recommend to readers as the most essential title to read, for the purpose of understanding Christian mysticism?” Without batting...

Nonduality in the Bible … and us

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A reader writes: I love reading your articles but am new to the terminology. What is “non-dualism” and is it compatible with Biblical truth? Also, why did non-dualism get marginalised? Great questions, both of them, and both point back to Richard Rohr, one of the most dynamic contemplative teachers alive today. Rohr calls Jesus the first nondual religious teacher in the west, and also...

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