An increasing number of believers are drifting away from organized religion to embrace a more personal encounter with God.
Theme: Masculine Authority and Responsibility
Length: 450 words + links
Reading Time: 1.5 minutes
About Christian Mysticism
As readers may know, I’ve only just discovered Christian Mysticism in the past couple years (from my pastor, Ed Hurst, and NovaSeeker), but I’m finding that it is a very important part of faith, perhaps even the central aspect of the faith experience.
It is also known as the “Noetic sense”, “Holy Cynicism”, or “Romantic Christianity”. The main concept of this is that one is directly seeking peace with God and has no expectation of finding that peace through the philosophies, systems, and institutions of this world — including Aristotelian theological approaches and organized religious institutions with all of their problems. This approach to faith does not exclude Biblical teaching or Christian fellowship, but emphasizes these instead.
Unfortunately, there is just not a lot of information about Christian mysticism. To make matters worse, there is a diffuse fear surrounding the term as it has the connotation of being esoteric, and there is some degree of hesitancy in accepting it as an authentic form of Christian faith. For these reasons, Christian Mysticism is not taken seriously by Mainline Protestants, and is frowned upon in many circles.
To my knowledge, the Orthodox Church is the only Christian sect that has a well-developed liturgy about mysticism. NovaSeeker (who is Orthodox) and I have written a number of posts coming from the perspective of Christian Mysticism. I’ve also written posts about other forms of Mysticism (Eastern Mysticism and a series on Gnosticism) such to make a comparison. I’ve listed these posts below under Related. Ed Hurst (who comes from a Calvinist perspective) touches on mysticism rather frequently in his writings at Radix Fidem.
Interested readers who are unfamiliar with Christian Mysticism but who want to learn more may like to start out by reading Ed’s posts that focus exclusively on Christian Mysticism. Then go on to read all Ed’s posts in the Christian Mysticism category. Also, Ed has written a book about Christian mysticism which you can find here.
Mysticism is Displacing Ecclesiasticism
I want to bring readers’ attention to a debate going on in the Sphere between Francis Berger, Bruce Charlton, Kristor, Alan Roebuck, J. M. Smith, and others participating in the comments sections, about the validity, value, place, and purpose of Christian Mysticism, and how this is affecting traditional ecclesiastical Christianity. I believe this debate is important because the current emergence of Christian Mysticism will become a significant movement in the history of Christianity. We are witnessing its conception right here.
- Francis Berger: The Altar-Civilization Model is Over (2022-7-22)
- The Orthosphere (J.M. Smith): Preparing for the Aftermath: My Answer to Francis Berger (2022-7-22)
- The Orthosphere (Kristor): On the Reason & Purpose & Intent of the Orthosphere (2022-7-23)
- Bruce Charlton: What is the “Orthosphere debate” (concerning the Altar-Civilization Model) ultimately About? (2022-7-23)
- The Orthosphere (Kristor): On Finding the True Way to Life (2022-7-24)
- The Orthosphere (Alan Roebuck): On Our Recent Discussions of Christianity (2022-7-28)
- The Orthosphere (Kristor): Romantic Christianity versus Christianity Proper (2022-7-30)
- Bruce Charlton: Me-Here-Now versus History – what kind of Christian are you? (2022-7-30)
- The Orthosphere (Alan Roebuck): Examining Bruce Charlton’s Theory of Knowing Christian Truth (2022-7-31)
- Bruce Charlton: Should Christians hand-over their eternal salvation to… historians? Romantic Christianity at the cutting-edge (2022-7-31)
- The Orthosphere (Alan Roebuck): Further Study of Bruce Charlton’s Theory of Christian Epistemology (2022-8-1)
- The Orthosphere (Kristor): On Branding Romantic Christians Enemies of Christianity (2022-8-1)
- Francis Berger: On Being Branded an Enemy of Christianity (2022-7-31)
- Derek L. Ramsey: What is Christian Conversion? (2022-8-1)
- From the Narrow Desert: The most important teaching of the Book of Mormon (2022-8-1)
- Francis Berger: Not Alone, But With the Holy Spirit (2022-7-31)
- Meeting the Masters: On Romantic and Church Christianity (2022-8-1)
- Francis Berger: All Salvation is “Not Alone, But With the Holy Spirit” (2022-8-1)
- Bruce Charlton: Renewal by Schism: How might Christian churches be purged of corruption and affiliation to evil, and restored to God-affiliation? (2022-8-2)
- Bruce Charlton: Step one in modern Christian conversion is always… intuitive individual discernment. The only question is whether the convert acknowledges this fact (2022-8-2)
- Francis Berger: The Romantic Christian Maxim That Has Apparently Shaken Christianity to Its Core (2022-8-3)
- Francis Berger: Missed the Point? Dismissed the Point? Then What’s the Point? (2022-8-3)
- Meeting the Masters: More on Different Spiritual Priorities (2022-8-3)
Note 1: I expect this debate to continue for some time, so this list of links may be updated in the future.
Note 2: Some time stamps appear to be anachronistic, but are not. The anomaly is due to different time zones.
Note 3: Alan Roebuck asked me some pointed questions about Christian Mysticism here. It’s difficult to give him a solid answer because his questions are premised on traditional Protestant soteriology.
Update (2022-8-1): In post 12, Kristor drew a hard line, and in post 13, Berger withdrew. Were looking at a schism!
Update (2022-8-4): We have not heard anything from The Orthosphere since 2022-8-1. It appears they’re trying to kill the debate through silence.
- Bruce Charlton: The significance, or non-significance, of theological heresy: the Coptic example (2012-9-23)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Hijacking and Misappropriating Eastern Mysticism (2020-1-23)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Dissemination and Dissolution (2020-11-7)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Anti-Progressive (2020-11-16)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Relinquished Life (2021-3-8)
- Σ Frame (Richard P): A Mystical Approach to Meta Reality (2021-03-19)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Viewpoints on Man’s Confusion about How God Works in the Life of a Believer (2021-3-29)
- Bruce Charlton: Notes on mysticism of thinking (2021-4-11)
- Francis Berger: Is It Time For Christians To Become “Mystical”? (2021-4-11)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Anglo Femlightenment (2021-4-12)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Juxtaposing the Temporal and the Eternal (2021-4-26)
- Bruce Charlton: Creativity and Christianity – in Traditional compared with Romantic Christianity (2021-4-30)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): The Noetic Nose Knows (2021-9-6)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Developing Discernment (2021-9-27)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Is a second Dark Ages a real possibility? (2021-10-25)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Religion of Gnosticism (2021-10-27)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Identifying Your Spiritual Domain (2021-12-1)
- Catacomb Resident: Prospects (2022-1-28)
- Bruce Charlton: The metaphysics of mysticism – a vital consideration (2022-3-4)
- Catacomb Resident: Resolve, Not Catharsis (2022-8-1)