Thursday, July 01, 2010

On Biblical Mysticism

A great quote on the unique, rich physicality of biblical mysticism, from Richard N. Longenecker's excellent commentary Galatians:

Mysticism, of course, frequently conjures up ideas about he negation of personality, withdrawal from objective reality, ascetic contemplation, a searching out of pathways to perfection, and absorption into the divine - all of which is true for Eastern and Grecian forms of mysticism.  The mysticism of the Bible, however, affirms the true personhood of people and all that God has created in the natural world, never calling for negation or withdrawal except where God's creation has been contaminated by sin.  Furthermore, the mysticism of biblical religion is not some esoteric searching for a path to be followed that will result in union with the divine, but is always of the nature of a response to God's grace wherein people who have been mercifully touched by God enter into communion with him without ever losing their own identifies.