When mystery is drowned in a cloud of mystery.   Leave a comment

Nothing is more beautiful than the uniqueness
that God has created.
… You don’t have to create the beauty
– you’ve got the beauty.
… You don’t have to create the freedom
– you’ve got it.
… You don’t have to create the image of God in you
– you have it.
… You don’t have to win over God’s love
– you have more than you know what to do with.
Thomas Keating, ‘Centering Prayer,’
Heartfulness: Transformation in Christ

Why would this rather pious sounding religious quote be wrong, what could possibly be more touching than knowing how much God loves you. This by the way is not being disputed. God’s love is beyond measure and the depths of it no man can fathom. But what the Poet is passing of as a beautifully written religious prose, is so far of the mark as far of a gospel centred religion.

Is it in any man to create something that is not within him? The assumption that Keating makes here is that man in his unregenerate state can create something that is beautiful to the eternal eye. We always end up creating a self centred religion, not something that Glorifies God, but something which inevitably glorifies man. Man also is not free, except maybe in the freedom to choose what his fallen will desires. It is God who must regenerate our will otherwise we end up making the wrong choices the whole time. It is God who we should centre on, not our own effort or self.

The Imageo dei? Yes, we do have the image of God within us, but in an unregenerate man, it is marred by sin. It does not reflect the beauty of God who is infinitely beautiful.
Centering Prayer, which is what Keating advocates , comes from contemplation of what is in a man, and truth be known, what is in a man is inherently sinful. We can not offer up to God anything from our own selves.
And no we don’t, indeed we cannot “win over God’s love” it is God who chooses upon whom he will set His love,…… Romans 9:13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

This text is not popular with the “free willers” and this poem by Keating has left its theological moorings.. It is imply is just not true of that love of God and be seperated from the nature and character of God and that is what is implied.. God is in heaven and still does whatever He pleases.

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Posted April 14, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in apologetics

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