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Growing into God
A Beginner's Guide to Christian Mysticism
John R. Mabry
ISBN: 9780835609012
Book (Paperback)
Quest Books
$17.95
6 x 9
304 pages
August 28, 2012


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"Mabry (Grace North Church, Berkeley) addresses the broad questions that surround mysticism in the Christian tradition, too often thought of as something esoteric or secret. Mabry usefully reminds us that authentic mysticism is a core part of Christian practice that returns us to community rather than pulling us away. His book includes common questions about mysticism, quotations from renowned mystics, and thumbnail biographies of mystics cited." --Graham Christian, Library Journal

For many people, the word mysticism conjures up occult, secretive rituals held after midnight in some dark cave. But true mysticism isn’t at all sinister or secretive, says author John Mabry, an Anglican-rite Congregational minister. In fact, mysticism is at the heart of an authentic Christian life. It is nothing more and nothing less than the pursuit-and enjoyment-of union with God, which is the goal of all Christian spirituality. Christian mysticism is the discipline of growing the soul into God—shedding illusory identities, deepening prayer, seeing God in all things, and acting as Christ in the world.

Mabry’s great passion is to bring theology to everyday life by explaining complex ideas in everyday language that anyone can understand and find useful. In Growing into God, he “demystifies” mysticism, providing a friendly and accessible entry point to some of the teachings, practices, and experiences of the Christian mystical tradition. Mabry explores the classic mystical journey, which begins with the Awakening of a unitive consciousness that experiences everything as Divine and interconnected. The journey continues with Purgation, in which we empty ourselves of illusion; Illumination, in which we begin to see God in all things and all things in God; and, finally, Union, in which we marry our lives with God’s life. Our hands become God’s hands, our lips become God’s lips, our touch becomes God’s touch, in order to bring help, comfort, and healing to the world.

,p>Along the way, and with an entertaining teacher’s clarity, Mabry recounts the stories of many Christian mystics, including inspiring quotations. He also enriches each chapter with questions and answers to simplify points as well as experiential practices to help readers embark upon the mystical journey themselves

John R. Mabry is a pastor, teacher, musician and writer. He holds a master's degree in creation spirituality from Holy Names College and a doctorate in philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies. John has served as editor for Creation Spirituality magazine and Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, and as managing editor for the Episcopal Diocese of California's Pacific Church News. John currently serves as pastor of Grace North Church in Berkeley, Calif., an Anglican-rite Congregational parish. John is the Director of the Interfaith Spiritual Direction Certificate Program at the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministry, where he also teaches world religions and interfaith theology. He also teaches for the master's degree program in Interfaith Spiritual Guidance at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, Calif. John is the author of numerous books on spirituality and spiritual guidance, including Faith Styles: Ways People Believe, Noticing the Divine: An Introduction to Interfaith Spiritual Guidance, and The Way of Thomas: Nine Insights for Enlightened Living from the Secret Sayings of Jesus. He also writes fiction, poetry, and music. John lives in Oakland, Calif.
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