You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Gospel and Mysticism

Recently I have been looking into the alternative worship scene and the emerging church scene - one seems to have a symbiotic relationship with the other, although the sequence of genesis is not yet clear.

What I have noticed is a relationship between David Tacey's mysticism and those in the alt.worship community.

More on this in a later post, when I get around to transcribing the notes that I took at the conferance held at Indooroopilly UCA a few weeks ago now.

I struggled finding anything on the web both a) reasonable and b) critical of this type of movement ("alternative emerging mysticism" for want of a better phrase) - and I know I am oversimplifying quite a complex and diverse topics e.g not all in the emerging church scene are into al.worship, not all alt.worship is mystical.

However, I thought to pursue one of the latest and greatest innovations on this front - the LABYRINTH - and came up with GOLD.

Read it here (it's in four parts, but worth your while - it certainly firmed up my understanding of the whole issue):

Mysticism part 1

But many thirsty believers, wanting something more, something deeper than
has been their experience, are also becoming infatuated with two other
overlapping fads. One of these is ancient, harkening back to premodern
times (mysticism). The other is new and considers itself postmodern (the
emerging church). They have in common disdain for modernity, a distortion
of Scripture and a rejection of much that conservative Christians hold
dear. Despite these flaws both are rapidly gaining popularity, especially
among the young, which seems to be the targeted demographic.
Mysticism part 2

Mysticism part 3

Mysticism part 4 (this one is on the labyrinth movement in particular, but IMHO does not go far enough)

The other article I found to be of help was this one: The Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool: Description, History and Evaluation - although not as critical as the articles above, it still has an intersting point of view (thus: labyrinths have a pagan origen, appeal to emotional types, are contentless, experience driven, and solitary BUT could be used cautiously in a christian context)

I''l leave the punchline to CS Lewis, reflecting on the life-affirming validity of 'the journey' amongst all sincere seekers of truth in great faiths everywhere:

"All who leave the land and put to sea will "find the same things" -- the land sinking below the horizon, the gulls dropping behind, the salty breeze. Tourists, merchants, sailors, pirates, missionaries -- it's all one. But the identical experiences vouches for nothing about the utility or unlawfulness or final event of their voyages"

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