Monday, July 5, 2010

Best of the Web: Christian Mysticism of the Future

For a while now, I've been wanting to do a "best of" series where I post links to what I consider to be some of the best web posts/articles that you can find on the internet.

Lately, I've been very busy writing articles, and so my posts here on my blog have taken a bit of a back seat to the rest of my writing. But since I've found time tonight to sit down and actually do something here, I thought it would be a good time to start this "best of" series.

My first pick comes from Carl McColman's delightful mystical Christian blog Anamchara: The Website of Unknowing. The post is entitled "Christian Mysticism of the Future" and its my favorite of all of Carl's posts. (And he's written quite a lot.)

By the way, after you've read this, be sure to check out the rest of his site. His last few blog posts alone are wonderful reading.

Christian Mysticism of the Future

One of my gripes with Phyllis Tickle’s book The Great Emergence is that she provides little or no insight into where she thinks the church is headed during this period of emergence. I think everyone kind of gets it that post-modernity is a hinge time, where we’re after something that no longer works (modernity) and we don’t really know yet what it is we’re before. (as an aside, I figure it’s either going to be a new renaissance that will make the 15th century look like a dress rehearsal, or else it could involve environmental devastation and resultant trauma on a scale never before imagined. And it all really boils down to how effectively we can curb our appetites!).

Okay, well, I can hardly whine about Tickle’s lack of forecasting, if I don’t do a bit of my own. So I’m working on a chapter in my book that will explore my conjectures about the future of Christian mysticism. This is utterly un-scientific: I am only basing my thoughts on what I have seen and read and intuited. So feel free to disagree — but if you do, please post a comment as to why. I’d be curious to hear what other contemplatives sense about where the Holy Spirit is leading us.

But for now, here are the seven characteristics that I (currently) believe will shape the future of Christian mysticism:

  1. Christian mysticism in the future will be increasingly Trinitarian. I believe the success of William Paul Young’s The Shack is at least partially due to its lovely presentation of the trinitarian nature of God. Obviously, the Blessed Trinity has always been central to Christian theology, but I believe its importance will only increase, as a healthy alternative to monism and dualism — both of which have dogged Christian spirituality for too long.
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