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...

Concerning Contemplative Charismatics and Ecumenical Priests (Answers to Reader Questions)


The same reader asked me both of the following questions, in two separate social media posts. but since they’re from the same person, I’m putting them together in this one post. Questions Concerning Ordained Ministry First, a question in response to Do I Have to be a Member of a Christian Church to be a Mystic? … It’s interesting what you say about seminaries. I’m...

Questions About Different Methods of Contemplation


Recently I had an email exchange with a long-standing reader of this blog. With that person’s permission, I am sharing the conversation here, edited to protect the reader’s privacy. The questions are some that I think many people might ask. Hi Carl, a very quick question.  Is the Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation (as taught by the World Community of Christian Meditation) basically...

A Question for Discernment: What Do We Need to Do to Make Mysticism Mainstream?


It’s the first Sunday of Advent. So liturgically speaking, it’s a new church year. Happy new year! In the spirit of making a new year’s resolution, I’d like a pose a question for discernment. I don’t have the answer to this question, certainly not all the answers. This is question that I think everyone who is drawn to contemplation and mysticism needs to be working...



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