Thoughts on Christian Mysticism

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For some reason, I’m attracted to discussions like this…I think it’s a curse for wronging someone in a previous life (not really).  Anyways, the ladies over at Sola Sisters have a personal vendetta against anything and everything that falls under the category of mysticism.  The works of Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi and countless others are dismissed as being non-Christians simply because they are mystics.  For all intents and purposes, the sisters have excluded our Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters, not to mention all Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians and countless other Protestants who do not have a problem with spirituality and mysticism.  In a sense, the attacks on mysticism denies our heritage as Christians.

There does seem to be an increasing number of (predominately) evangelical Christians who agree with the Sisters.

I’m not convinced with their arguments.  Sure, they make sense, if you toss out the 1500 years prior to the Reformation and ignore church history and tradition prior to.  But I don’t think that’s the answer.

The issue, as I see it is applying the definition of New Age Mysticism to Medieval Mysticism.

So, let me ask this, “What are your thoughts on Christian Mysticism?”

Also, if anyone knows of any good books regarding Christian Mysticism, please let me know.

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11 thoughts on “Thoughts on Christian Mysticism

  1. I recommend St. Teresa of Avila. The translation I use is by Kieran Kavanaugh O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez O.C.D.. I also recommend the Collected Works of St. John of the Cross by the same translators.

    “What are your thoughts on Christian Mysticism?”: God speaks. The mystics just point the way for you to hear. You need to train ears to listen sharply. God Bless you in your search.

  2. Christians who distrust mysticism have a point. Mysticism does tend to undermine book-based orthodoxy. Eckhart and Shankara would have understood and recognized each other. But Christian and Hindu theology are hardly reconcileable.

    • So, there should be a distrust of Luther because he was influenced by the Theologica Germanica? And the writings of Francis of Assisi undermine “book-based orthodoxy?”

  3. Christian Mysticism has been around since the beginning to the church. People have had deep spiritual experiences and we can read about them in the life stories of the saints. If a writer writes about or explains the mysteries in contemporary language then they are dismissed as New Age. A good writer that explains Christian Mysticism in contemporary language is John Kuykendall. His book “Evolution of Consciousness” explains the mysteries with Christian terms and contemporary language. The book is at his site http://thinkunity.com.

  4. The best book I have read on mysticism is MYSTICISM by Evelyn Underhill. Beware, there is a lot of confusion out there on this subject. The path to union with God has always been, is, and always will be the same. Star

    • I have my issues with Al Mohler. The more I read from him, the more I believe he’s adding to the works righteousness mentality that permeates the church.

  5. If I may say, I think that the thread you made was excellent.

    I actually made a blog post on the issue myself–called “East Vs West: Is Western Christianity or Eastern Christianity best suited for evanglising those in Eastern Religion?” ( http://emissary7.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/east-vs-west-is-western-christianity-or-eastern-christianity-best-suited-for-evanglising-those-in-eastern-religion/ ).

    When it comes to examining the reality of how the mysticism of Eastern Religions is so attractive to others due to how it has many facets that are involved in it….counter to the forumula-like/ “1+1=2” minset that rationalizes everything…and what’s sad is that Eastern Christianity/The Church in early history had a much different dynamic where others had no need to go looking into Eastern Religions because much of the church was so contemplative.

  6. Pingback: Mysticism « Earthpages.ca

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