Has the influence of Mennonite Benedictine oblate Arthur Boers reached 100 Huntley Street? According to their blog, it appears so.
The Unforced Rhythms of Grace
2013-07-03 by Moira Brown
Are you wondering what and where those “unforced rhythms of grace” are? Sounds out of this world doesn’t it?
That phrase appeared in a wonderful book by Arthur Boers(1), associate professor at Tyndale Seminary — LIVING INTO FOCUS—Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions(2). (Available at our estore) The author has excited me about “the priorities, potentials and practices of focal living”. Even before noting that Eugene Peterson wrote the foreword, I recognized his words from The Message . Here it is in context:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me — watch how I do it. l earn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11: 28-30 MSG )
What are the unforced rhythms of grace Boers is talking about? In his book Day by Day These Things We Pray(3), Boers writes about the monastic prayer disciplines (fixed hours of prayer, the daily office, etc.) which he first learned of while in university when he found a book in a discard bin by Jesuit priest and activist Daniel Berrigan that made him realize he had much to learn from other traditions.(4)
Is 100 Huntley Street actually promoting the monastic rhythms of this Mennonite ‘monk’?
Shall we chalk up one more notch on the Mennonite monkey business wall?
1) Boers is an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church USA and a Benedictine oblate at St. Gregory’s Abbey (Anglican) in Three Rivers, Michigan. He has written the foreword to a new book by a Mennonite pastor on contemplative spirituality called Sacred Pauses. See here:
Pausing to Examine ‘Sacred Pauses’ https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/pausing-to-examine-sacred-pauses/
He also wrote the foreword of a book called Under Construction: Reframing Men’s Spirituality, written by Gareth Brandt, a teacher at Columbia Bible College who has been trained in Richard Rohr’s male spirituality. See here:
More Rohr Influence – this time at Inter-Mennonite Bible College https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/more-rohr-influence-this-time-at-inter-mennonite-bible-college/
2) View LIVING INTO FOCUS—Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions by Arthur Boers, here: http://books.google.ca/books?id=5RsSidXZ_KIC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
3) In December of 2010 the MB Herald promoted his book on monastic prayer. See:
MB Herald promotes ancient rhythms of monastic prayer https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/mb-herald-promotes-ancient-rhythms-of-monastic-prayer/
4) Boers discusses this and more in a 2011 interview by Jim Cantelon on 100 Huntley Street here:
Day By Day, These Things We Pray – Dr. Arthur Boers – 1/2 (June 14, 2011)
This is not the first time that 100 Huntley street has inadvertently promoted contemplative prayer and/or Roman Catholic mysticism. In a 2011 interview, Red Letter Christian Tony Campolo refered to Ignatius of Loyola, lectio divina and the stillness as practiced by Benedictine monks. See:
“Hearing God Speak” — TRUTH TO GO with Tony Campolo #12 http://www.crossroads360.com/100huntley/video/UdaaZs_CKc0