In some ways I feel like paraphrasing Keller or assuming I fully understand his point is ridiculous…but I digress…here, at least in part, he points out that where contemporary spiritualities around the globe are in search of a mystical feeling or experiential manifestation confirming the legitimacy of the “religious” practice, Christianity IS real. Christianity is an actual connection to God in Christ…and that that reality is in itself powerfully deep. Enough of me, here’s Keller:
I found guidance on the inward life of prayer and spiritual experience that took me beyond the dangerous currents and eddies of the contemporary spirituality debates and movements. One I consulted was the Scottish theologian John Murray, who provided one of the most helpful insights of all:
It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion.
Keller, Timothy (2014-11-04). Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (pp. 15-16). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.
Good and Beautiful
I found Smith striking notes in my soul of a similar Chord…
We cannot find happiness or joy apart from a life of obedience to the teachings of Jesus. C. S. Lewis wrote, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” God is not being stingy and withholding joy apart from our obedience; there simply is no joy apart from a life with and for God. “God, please give me happiness and peace,” we plead, “but let me also live my life as I please.” And God answers, “I cannot give you that. You are asking for something that does not exist.”
James Bryan Smith. The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ (Apprentice (IVP Books)) (Kindle Locations 254-257). Kindle Edition.