Thursday, February 19, 2015

"The emerging movement represents a third way, that cuts across denominational lines and abandons the emphasis on institutional loyalty, instead emphasizing an inclusive, optimistic vision of what it means to be a Christian today. This third way recognizes that the human condition is precarious, no one has a lock on truth, everything (yes, even the Bible and Church authority) must be questioned in the light of reason, criticism, and the full sweep of human knowledge, and that any honest effort to follow Jesus Christ can only be made in the light of the existential uncertainty of the human condition.

This is a path that is humble (because it admits it doesn’t have all the answers), compassionate (since it recognizes that everyone makes mistakes), and gentle (because it emphasizes Jesus’s teachings on mercy and forgiveness). This is the path that says 'I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I take the teachings of Christianity seriously, and I also am willing to engage with other sources of knowledge and wisdom, including secular sciences and ancient contemplative traditions, east and west.'

I believe this third way is the way of the future. And I bet if Karl Rahner were alive today, he’d agree with me. It’s the way of the mystic, for the mystics and contemplatives have always understood that the heart — compassion, forgiveness, relationship, mercy — takes us closer to God than the head — dogma, doctrine, theology, philosophy. The mystics have always understood that feeding a hungry child matters far more to God than all our arguments over the correct way to baptize or the real meaning of Communion or how to interpret the parable of the unjust steward. For the mystics and contemplatives, time spent in contemplative prayer is a way for the mind to abandon arrogant thoughts, so that the heart may embrace compassionate living."

--Carl McColman


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