Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Different Ways People Draw Near To God

Sacred Pathways - Gary Thomas Posted by Picasa

Have you read this book yet? In the Synosis it says:

"This book encourages readers to see strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies in their devotional approaches to God, and thus learn how to improve their devotional, quiet-time, and personal-worship life with God."

The author Gary Thomas thinks that many Christians seem stuck in a worship rut. He asked an important question, "If God intentionally made us all different, why should everyone be expected to love God in the same way?" He identifies 9 ways people draw close near to God, which I found intriguing.

  1. Naturalists - are inspired to love God in the outdoors and in natural settings.
  2. Sensates - love God with their senses and appreciate beautiful worship services that involve their sight, taste, smell, and touch, not just their ears.
  3. Traditionalists - draw closer to God through rituals, liturgies, symbols, and unchanging structures.
  4. Ascetics - prefer to love God in solitude and simplicity.
  5. Activists - love God through confronting evil, battling injustice, and working to make the world a better place.
  6. Caregivers - love God by loving others and meeting their needs.
  7. Enthusiasts - love God through celebration.
  8. Contemplatives - love God through adoration.
  9. Intellectuals - love God by studying with their minds.

What is your approach to worship and love God?


Bruce said...

Nice try Gary- go Gary go, gooooo Gary.

This reminded me of the paths mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita- such as Bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, Raja yoga, karma yoga etc.

Take my yoke [same root as yoga] upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.


Kitty Cheng said...

Bruce, what is Bhagavad Gita? And what are their paths? Are you into yoga?

Nunzia said...

I may have to grab a hold of this book. :) Hope you are well!

Bruce said...

Hi kitty,
The Gita is an ancient Indian book, that Christians may well profit from reading- I'm sure it's online. That's not to say there isn't such a thing as Christian yoga (which is not based on the Indian yoga).

There is a group of Benedictines in Melbourne who use the Eastern practices. Their teacher was the late Bede Griffiths. Some Carmelites are involved as well, I think.

On Naturalism- this was once frowned upon by the Church.

There is a painting in the National Gallery in London:
(I could only find a black and white version of it)

The painting (down the page a little) is by Garofalo (about 1476-1559).

"A picture frequently seen and known as the Vision of Saint Augustine illustrates the legend that, as the saint walked on the seashore, he
saw a child who, having dug a hole in the sand, was filling it with
water. When the saint asked the child what he did, the child replied
that he intended to pour all the water of the sea into this hole.
When the saint assured him that such a task could never be finished,
the child replied, "It is no more impossible to do this than for thee
to comprehend and explain the mystery on which thou art meditating!""

Catherine of Alexandria sits behind Augustine with her eyes closed.
Perhaps she has learnt the lesson, as she was said to have been learned in the sciences.

In the distance a priest (or a deacon), said to represent St.
Stephen, stands holding a tray on which appears to be sea shells.

Augustine, who has had his head stuck in some books, has a look of
disdain on his face as he looks around at the child Jesus. The
painting does not appear to be sympathetic to Augustine at all. Jesus points out at the light-filled landscape, in which we could say
divinity is living.

We have to consider it is the "image" of the Divine, not the totality.

Best Regards,

Bruce said...

I am interested in comparative religion, not yoga particularly.

Melanie Morales said...

I am reading Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas right now and I think that it is by far the best book on marriage I've ever read. I did see the Sacred Pathways book and it is on my Amazon wish list to purchase when I'm ready to order my next shipment.

Kitty Cheng said...

Nan, yeah this is an interesting book. I am well thanks!

Kitty Cheng said...

Bruce, so inspiring and true! Yes comparative religion is worth digging in and learning about.

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Melanie, nice to 'meet' you :)Gray Thomas is a great writer isn't it? So what have you learned from him about marriage through "Sacred Marriage"?