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Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality Paperback – November 15, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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About the Author

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized. Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam’s Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under WaterFalling UpwardImmortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. Fr. Richard is academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Drawing upon Christianity's place within the Perennial Tradition, the mission of the Living School is to produce compassionate and powerfully learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all beings. Visit cac.org for more information.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: St. Anthony Messenger Press; 10/16/07 edition (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867166592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867166590
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Toward the end of his marvelous Things Hidden, Richard Rohr tells an equally marvelous story. Parents bring home a newly-born baby. Their 4-year-old daughter insists on speaking to her new sibling--alone, she insists. The amused parents leave, but stand at the doorway for easy eavesdropping. Their daughter gets close to the infant and urgently whispers: "Quick! Tell me where we came from and why we're here. I'm beginning to forget!"

This little parable is a nice encapsulation of what Rohr has to say about the spirit of scripture. For Rohr, following Rene Girard (whose influence, along with Nouwen's, is all over this book), the bible is a "text in travail," a fluid, living document that is often times messy and meandering, taking one step forward and two steps back. That's why it's important, insists Rohr, to be clear about the bible's trajectory and momentum, so that we won't get lost down a sidetrack and take the inessential as vital (the fundamentalist failing). The trajectory is the working out of the human recognition of God as a loving, nurturing parent who exhibits mercy, grace, faithfulness, forgiveness, and steadfast love; of recognition of ourselves as originally blessed, made in the image of a loving God and hence intrinsically lovable ourselves; and recognition that the bible encourages awakening, remembering, rather than accomplishing. (It's fascinating to reflect on the fact that the Greek word for truth used in the New Testament--aletheia--can be translated as "unforgetting.")

Readers familiar with Rohr's work won't necessarily find a great deal to surprise them in this lovely and wise book.
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Format: Paperback
THINGS HIDDEN: Scripture as Spirituality, Richard Rohr (2008).

Franciscan prophet and teacher Richard Rohr is a mystic rather than a systematic theologian: indeed he believes `systematizing' theology runs the risk of doing it violence and missing the point: theology is to be experienced in a life of faith, hope and love, not organized into creeds.

Is he `evangelical'? I would say `yes' though he doesn't use the term of himself: he has an unqualified commitment to Jesus as Lord and God's special revelation of God's character. Is he `progressive'? Yes: for example he likes Marcus Borg and reads the mainline liberal biblical scholars. Is he a dogmatist/ fundamentalist? Definitely not: any exclusionary system which divides humans made in God's image into `our people' and `those [heretics] not like us' is alien to the will of God as experienced in the life and teaching of Jesus.

He writes in the Introduction: `Only when inner and outer authority come together do we have true spiritual wisdom. We have for too long insisted on outer authority alone, without any teaching of prayer, inner journey and maturing consciousness. The results for the world and for religion have been disastrous... I offer these reflections to again unite what should never have been separated: sacred Scripture and Christian spirituality.'

He quotes Eugene Ionesco with approval: `Overexplanation separates us from astonishment.' Example: the humble recipient of God's love in the Eucharist/communion, who gazes at Christ on the cross with awe and wonder and love, is far more likely to `get the point' than a theologian who organizes dogma into theories of the atonement.
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Format: Paperback
Lucid, profound insights into what passages of scripture really contribute to our understanding of spiritual growth. A remarkable treatise from one of the leading retreat leaders of the church.
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"The amazing wonder of biblical revelation that I hope to make clear in this book is that God is much different than we thought, and also much better than we feared," promises Richard Rohr in the first chapter of Things Hidden. The book is based on the author's earlier talks on great themes of scripture. Two key themes he stresses are "Divine, unmerited generosity" is offered unconditionally, and the Spirit promised by Jesus is available to all.

In the Bible, writes Rohr, any time God or an angel breaks into human life, the event is prefaced by "Do not be afraid." God's entering the scene was considered bad news. "Even today most feel that God's love and attention must be earned and then we deeply resent the process." The earliest Hebrews saw God as punitive and petty, demanding of blood sacrifices. By the time of Abraham the sacrificial instinct "matured a bit," Rohr tells us, and animals became the sacrifice of choice "to please this fearsome God." When we get to the Risen Jesus, there is nothing to be afraid of in God.

The author uses numerous examples to show the gradual enlightenment. Of the Adam and Eve story, he suggests that seeking knowledge may seem more like virtue than sin. However, it isn't knowledge that God is trying to keep us from, but "lust for certitude, explanation, resolution and answers." He sees Noah's Ark as an image of how God liberates us, embodying "the contradictions, the opposites, the tensions and the paradoxes of humanity." And in Mary, he finds God's total gift of grace. She asks how the angel's proposition will come about without wondering why she is chosen or protesting her unworthiness "It takes all of the Bible to work up to one perfect vessel that knows how to say an unquestioning yes to an utterly free gift."
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