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July 20, 2011


If read in the context in which Wayne quoted Merton, Merton is spot on. Are you suggesting that if individual men and women who may not hold to the same doctrine of the Apostolic faith have nothing to offer to the Christian community? All truth is God's truth and when recognize we Chrinstians should embrace it regarless the messenger. The mark of Christian Maturity is the ability to discern between good and evil with out throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I was all amen and hallelujah right up until you mentioned Thomas Merton. He actually approved of the very kind of non-Christian meditation you mention. Are you suggesting we look to Merton as an example or a teacher of biblical meditation?

Merton biographer Alexander Lipski wrote that "Merton argued that Zen meditation shatters the false self and restores us to our paradisical innocence which preceded the fall of man." [Thomas Merton and Asia: His Quest for Utopia by Alexander Lipski -- ©1983, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI, page 29.]

Merton claimed that there is no reason to believe that God has not revealed himself to other religions.

“Since in practice we must admit that God is in no way limited in His gifts, and since there is no reason to think that He cannot impart His light to other men without first consulting us, THERE CAN BE NO ABSOLUTELY SOLID GROUNDS FOR DENYING THE POSSIBILITY OF SUPERNATURAL (PRIVATE) REVELATION AND OF SUPERNATURAL MYSTICAL GRACES TO INDIVIDUALS, NO MATTER WHERE THEY MAY BE OR WHAT MAY BE THEIR RELIGIOUS TRADITION, provided that they sincerely seek God and His truth. Nor is there any a priori basis for denying that the great prophetic and religious figures of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., could have been mystics, in the true, that is, supernatural, sense of the word” (Mystics and Zen Masters, p. 207).

I get the sense he was an all inclusive universalist and didn't preach Christ crucified for sin as the only way of salvation and true spirituality. He definitely did not call the mystic practitioners of false religions to repentance and faith in Christ alone.

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