Meditation and Communion with God
As culture has become at once more secular and more religiously pluralistic, a renaissance of interest in the spiritual disciplines has been sparked in evangelical Protestant circles. Mounting levels of stress, burnout and spiritual dryness among those in ministry has only stoked this desire for spiritual nourishment and renewal.
John Jefferson Davis helps us recover the practice of meditation on Scripture as he explores the biblical and theological foundations rooted in the arrival of "the age to come" in Jesus Christ. Indeed by virtue of our union with Christ, the Triune God of the Bible draws near to his people so that they may also draw near to him.
Meditation on God's revelation has always been central to enjoying communion with the Father through the Son and in the Spirit. Davis gives us fresh and practical guidance on removing the obstacles that block our fellowship with God and listening to Scripture in ways that can enrich our worship, faith, hope and love.
"John Jefferson Davis is one of the best and most important evangelical theologians alive today in North America. Whenever I read his works, I feel thrilled and fascinated by his profound insights and inspirations. Meditation and Communion with God is another superb example of his robust and thought-provoking theology. I enjoyed especially his engagement with other religious traditions, primarily Asian. This book will be deeply loved by numerous readers not only in North America but also in the majority world. A must-read for every Christian that is interested in biblical meditation, trinitarian theology and symbolic hermeneutics."
"Davis's passionate conviction that biblical meditation is an antidote to the bewildering busyness and fragmentation of twenty-first-century life shines through in this engaging, incisive work. Integrating theology and cutting-edge neuroscientific discovery, Davis creatively adapts meditative methods of the past for evangelicals in an age of tehnology, teaching us practical ways to grow deeply through our encounters with God's Word."
"Finally, a book about meditation on Scripture that is theologically rich, built on the great Christian tradition, attuned to the contemporary scene and practically helpful! Jack Davis has provided a needed service to the church, one that will be spiritually refreshing to pastors, missionaries, teachers and laypeople alike. I for one was deeply challenged and encouraged by this fine book. I highly recommend it."
"In Meditation and Communion, John Jefferson Davis brings decades of reflection on the current malaise of the Western church to bear in this insightful and well-organized book. This is a wise and provocative book that revisits one of the most basic Christian acts--namely, the reading of Holy Scripture. Davis prophetically bridges the boundaries between descriptive analysis and constructive imagination. In the process, he returns to the church the gift of meditation, a word which for over a century has become identified mostly with non-Christian religions. If his challenge is taken seriously, we will never again read Scripture without an increasing sense of the presence of the risen Christ in our midst."
"According to Davis, the resurrection of Christ inaugurates a new ontology upon which a solid theology of meditation could be based. Davis does not teach us how to meditate but gives us compelling reasons why every Christian should."
"John Davis has written a much-needed book in this age of spiritual hunger and confusion. Working with insights from communication technology, recent discoveries of neuroscience and fresh understandings of the nature of the human person, Davis develops for us an engaging biblical and theological framework for authentic communion with the living God through meditating on the Scriptures. Focusing on the wonder of union with Christ, the good news of inaugurated eschatology and the unspeakable grace of sharing in the inner life of the Trinity, he opens up a fresh way to allow God to write the text into the hard-wire of our souls. What a gift!"
"Jack Davis has taken key themes from contemporary theological study--inaugurated eschatology, union with Christ and communion with the Holy Trinity--and written about how they provide a fresh way to recover the ancient Christian practice of meditation upon Scripture. Biblically, theologically and historically learned as the auther is, Davis sets his proposal in realistic discussions of popular culture, neuroscience and the widespread interest in Eastern meditation. This book leads the reader into the wonder and glory of a deeper life in God."
"In Meditation and Communion with God, Davis ably surveys the cultural, theological, and neuroscientific developments that make this moment propitous for reviving an oft-neglected practice."
"Meditation and Communion with God represents a significant advance in evangelical understanding of Christian spirituality. It forces evangelicals to rethink many of their current practices which in turn should lead them to recognize spiritual affinities with older Christian traditions, especially Orthodoxy."
2. Reading Scripture Today: Communion with God in an Age of Distraction
A Renaissance of Interest in the Spiritual Disciplines
Religious Pluralism in America: "Salad Bars of Spirituality"
Biblical Illiteracy in America
Reading the Bible in an Age of Information Overload
Scientific Studies of Meditation: Health, Medicine, Neuroscience
New Developments in Biblical and Systematic Theology
Spiritual Benefits: an Enhanced, Meditative Reading of Scripture
3. The Arrival of the Age to Come: New Intimacy with God
The Father's Real, Intimate Presence with His People
Brought Near by the Spirit: Temple of God; "Abba" Father
Union with Christ: Real Presence, All the Time
Trinitarian God, Christian Meditation
Excursus: How Personal Agents are Located in Space
Extended Selves and Union with Christ
Implications for Worship and Biblical Meditation
4. Inaugurated Ontology: a Biblical Worldview for Meditation
Theology: Trinity as Ultimate Reality
Cosmology: How Heaven Disappeared, and How to Get It Back
Anthropology: Who Am I? Christian as Trinitarian-Ecclesial Self
Teleology Soteriology: Purpose and Fulfillment of Human Life
5. A "New" Way of Knowing God and Reading the Bible
Epistemology: Knowing God and Heaven by Word and Spirit
Bibliology: the Ontology and Teleology of Scripture
6. The Hermeneutics of the Age to Come:
Inaugurated Eschatology and Recovering the Ancient Four-Fold Sense of Scripture
7. Experiencing Communion with God in Biblical Meditation
Biblical Meditation: Getting Started
Excursus: "Centering" Prayer; the Jesus Prayer; Focusing Prayer
Biblical Meditation: the Next Step: Whole-Brain Meditation
Biblical Meditation as a Way of Life: Worldview Meditation and the Five Practices of Right Comprehension