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The work of a Hindu?
on March 20, 2010
This book is a message. It passes off popular psychological ideas under the cloak of deeper spirituality. It is an emotionally charged and very persuasive primer for attracting Christians to the mystical contemplative way of spirituality. The modern contemplative approach has its roots in the Catholic and Orthodox mystics from the fourth century through the Middle Ages. Although the theology is Catholic the emphasis is on mystical experimental methods rather.
In his book Manning takes biblical tenets and spins them in the direction of his mystical worldview. Faith for example is seen as a journey across the chasm between knowledge and experience. The objective content of the faith through adherence to biblical doctrines is denigrated. An anti-doctrinal attitude pervades his book:
"Instead of remaining content with the bare letter of Scripture, we should pass on to the more profound mysteries that are available only through intimate and heartfelt knowledge of the person of Jesus." When he says "knowledge" he means experience of course. Everybody can have these "experiences". Even Ghandi had it, because he said that he loved Jesus, although he rejected his message. It is possible to "love" Jesus but ignore his words.
Manning has an ecumenical and universal prospect of his contemplative gospel: "Many devout Moslems, Buddhists, and Hinduists are generous and sincere in their search for God have had profound mystical experiences." Yes, but from a biblical standpoint the question is whether these experience were from God.
In other words for the author the gospel is nothing objective, it is relative depending on the mystical experience you can have.
At last the author reveals that he is not a Christian at all in the traditional sense rather a Hindu when he says: "How can we best help people to attain union with God? We must tell them that they are already united with God."
Of course along with his Brahman-philosophy he also presents "Christian" psychology such as genetic predispositions, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and al the other humanistic classics. If you live yourself you correspond to the sentiment of Jesus. Its as easy as that! Of course it is not.
This book is a typical work of "Christian" esoteric, a mixture of eastern philosophy, modern psychology and the claim to be Christian. A work with hair raising conclusions? Judge yourselves! But beware! Not everything that says Christ" is Christs!