Monday Merton 4.22.2013

I overslept this morning and I need to get out to my lake to walk and pray so today I’m just going to share some quotes from Thomas Merton without my own commentary. I am drawing again from his book No Man is An Island. By the way, apologies for the non-gender inclusive language. I guess because Merton was surrounded by men all the time in a monastery, he can’t imagine ever writing the word “she” in a book. It’s annoying. Continue reading

Monday Merton 4.8.2013

I’m going to start spending Mondays on my blog with Thomas Merton since I’ve been deeply influenced by several of his books. Merton was a Trappist monk who spent most of each day in prayer; his words are rich and beautiful and liberating. Because he is from a different generation and lived only with men, he doesn’t use gender-inclusive language, so I apologize for that distraction. Because he was evangelizing a secular intellectual audience, he doesn’t always fortify his paragraphs with scriptural proof-texts. This will make it difficult to accomplish my purpose, which is to evangelize evangelicals out of some of the more poisonous aspects of our theology. Those of you who fall in that category will hear things you don’t like that will be easy for you to dismiss as “un-Biblical,” but I urge you to be open to what God might be saying to you through the words of someone who pursued God relentlessly. Continue reading

The false dichotomy between God’s will and our will

I’ve been reading Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island. The fourth chapter called “Pure Intention” talks about how doing God’s will is actually doing what we really want to do as opposed to settling for what we think we want. This is because God is the source of our being as opposed to being just another being in the universe. I wanted to share some reflections on Merton’s insights to point a way beyond the never-ending theological debates between Calvinists (who champion God’s sovereignty) and Arminians (who champion human free will), which seem to be firmly grounded in the tendency of modernist thinking to falsely anthropomorphize God. Continue reading