Fr. Richard Rohr: Life on the Edge: Understanding the Prophetic Position

Richard RohrImage via Wikipedia

I said at the outset of this blog that Third Stream Christianity often describes  those groups which are broadly evangelical, that exist outside of historic Protestant denominations and that combine a seeking of New Testament forms of church life with the best of the Catholic mystic tradition.

I've focused on some aspects of that definition more than others during the course of updating this blog. So here's a re-balancing contribution from some of  "the best of the [contemporary] Catholic mystic tradition."

A few quotes from Richard Rohr:

To take your position on the spiritual edge of things is to learn how to move safely in and out, back and forth, across and return. It is a prophetic position, not a rebellious or antisocial one. When you live on the edge of anything with respect and honor, you are in a very auspicious position. You are free from its central seductions, but also free to hear its core message in very new and creative ways.

To live on the edge of the inside is different than being an insider, a "company man" or a dues paying member. Yes, you have learned the rules and you understand and honor the system as far as it goes, but you do not need to protect it, defend it or promote it. It has served its initial and helpful function. You have learned the rules well enough to know how to "break the rules" without really breaking them at all. "Not to abolish the law but to complete it" as Jesus rightly puts it (Matthew 5:17).

There is a place and time for being outside, or you never really understand or appreciate the inside.

Jesus was into a process of transformation more than a belonging system.

People inside of belonging systems are very threatened by those who are not within that group.

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