Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to Still the Hunger of the Soul: A Critique of the Book, Hunger

by John Witcombe 

Autumn House Publishing, a subsidary of the Review and Herald, produced a book entitled Hunger: Satisfying the Longing of Your Soul, by Jon Dybdahl, that deals with an increasingly vital need for a people who continue to wander in a Laodicean state of surfeiting yet remain hungry. Dybdahl rightfully desires to lead the reader on a journey that will satisfy the longing of the soul. Furthermore he does present some biblically sound ideas certain to be helpful.
 Yet, Dybdahl’s suggestion that aspects of Eastern meditation offer a valuable aid in Christian worship raises some questions. We appreciate that he identifies the difference between Eastern meditation and true worship as a contrast in the nature of the God worshiped. But in what way do some new-age “postures and actions” benefit Christian worship? Note how he introduces this issue:

With the rising popularity in North America and Europe of Eastern and New Age religions, questions about meditation have increased. Something that many Christians may earlier have simply neglected they now fear as a subtle way to bring false teaching into the church.
 My response is that meditation is like music. A powerful tool for either good or evil, it can be God's means for growth and inspiration or the devil’s instrument of deception and destruction. Let us look then at the distinctions between Eastern/New Age meditation and true Christian meditation. The differences stem from contrasting concepts of God. . . .
 At times we will notice occasional similarities between Eastern and Western meditation. Some postures or actions can benefit both types.1

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