Main Index

Longer Articles:


Anselm's Explanation of the Trinity
How can the Father, Son and Holy Spirit each be God, but not be each other? This is Archbishop Anselm's explanation - the best I've heard so far.

Anselm at Starbucks
A new look at Anselm's argument for the existence of God.

The Divine Inferno
Why the existance of Hell is a demonstration of God's mercy.

1000 Easter Balloons
What if, on Easter Sunday morning, after services, every church in town released yellow balloons?

Scary Meditation
What is the difference between Eastern meditation and Christian meditation?

The Golfer of the Gaps
Have you heard that our God is a "God of the Gaps," only invoked to explain increasingly small gaps in science? Here's that logic applied to golf.

Esther's Japanese Origins
Using the approved "wild extrapolation" method, I've conclusively shown that the Biblical Book of Esther is of Japanese origin.

But I Was Born That Way
When people use this excuse, why do we keep trying to talk them out of it?

Digital Reality
Is reality digital? I couldn't care less, but if it is, maybe that's one point for the theistic view.

Church Economics
It's kind of fun to see companies becoming successful using the kind of financing churches have used for ages.

Legislating Morality
You can't legislate morality! Really? If you can't legislate morality, what can you legislate?

Paganism in Christmas and Easter?
A writer thought I ought to stop celebrating Christmas and Easter. It had pagan origins, he said. So what, I replied.

Shooting the Wounded
In which I launch a diatribe against a phrase I find particularly shallow and offensive.

Evolving Computers
What computers do - or don't - show us about evolution.

Are All Religions the Same?
A Buddhist's view.

Meditation - A Little Bit Scary

For some time I have been both wary of and interested in meditation.

Wary, because as a Christian I don't want to loose my moorings and go wandering around in a land that has to a great degree been claimed by Eastern religions.

However, I've also been interested - even intrigued - by meditation, though I remain a rank amateur. This is because there is a rich history of Christian meditation, all the way from the various Catholic mystics to (yes, believe it or not) the Puritans.

However, what initially concerned me as I looked at various Christian meditative techniques is that they often resemble Eastern meditation, and I wondered if Christian meditation wasn't really a route that some have mistakenly taken that leads away from Christianity and toward Buddhism or Hinduism.

For example, both Eastern and Christian meditation materials may tell their practicioners to find a quiet and comfortable place, then to relax, to breathe deeply and regularly, and use various methods to clear their minds of the thoughts that come to them.

If I understand correctly, for the practicioner of Eastern meditation this is essentially the object of his or her meditation - to empty the mind and realize one's "oneness" with the universe. (I'm unsure how you realize anything without thinking, but that's a topic for another day.)

But it seems that in Christian meditation, this relaxing and clearing of the mind serves a very different purpose. It is not the object of meditation; it is a mere preliminary. The Christian empties his or her mind of the thoughts of the world in order to think about God, to ponder the sacrifice of Jesus, to consider a passage of the Bible, or simply to bask in the love and glory and presence of God - much as a lover might silently gaze into the eyes of her beloved.

Yes, I still think there are those who will become confused and lose their way through their involvement in meditation. But the fault, I think, lies with the lack of Christian teaching on meditation rather than with meditation itself.

© Copyright 2000 Brad Haugaard

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self–discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7