How Mysticism is like Poetry

Christian critics of mysticism attack it because they say that it is "unscriptural," that is to say, it's supposedly not in the Bible. My only guess about how this piece of logic was born stems from the fact that the word mysticism itself never appears in the Bible. "Mystery," from which mysticism is derived, does appear, but that's not enough to satisfy the critics.But students of mysticism recognize that the Bible is drenched in mysticism. How, then, do the critics miss it? I think it has to … [Read more...]

Remain in Love

Yesterday a reader of this blog named Simon made this response to my post in which I announced that I'm writing a book on Christian mysticism: Just something that immediately springs to mind. Do we really need another book on Christian mysicism? I mean, when is it going to end? There are whole libraries full of them. How about everybody, start at the Gospel, take what Jesus said seriously and take it from there? So much of this search for mysticism is just plain navel gazing and distraction. Do … [Read more...]


A wise Episcopal priest once told me, "Most Christians believe that unless something is explicitly approved in the Bible, it is forbidden by God. But it makes just as much logical sense to say that unless something is explicitly forbidden in the Bible, it is approved by God." Her words echo in my mind whenever I run across folks who attack mysticism or contemplative prayer because it is "unscriptural." Not only do I believe the Bible is literally infused with mystical sensibility, but I've never … [Read more...]

The Conversation Continues…

Well, Diane of the ARE THERE NO MORE IDOLS? blog has left a detailed comment in response to my post from last week, A Conversation about Mysticism. Even though I disagree with much of what she writes, I'm glad she's willing to keep the conversation going. Rather than leaving it buried within the comments section of a week-old post, I thought I'd reproduce her comment in full, along with my response, here. Readers of my blog may be unaccustomed to seeing me write in a way that uses the language … [Read more...]