Engage: What Do We Do with Evil? #11

Thanks to a gentle nudge from a group member a little while ago, I realize I did not post the weekly “Engage Group” memo this past Monday. In the spirit of “better late than never, here it is. 😃

Read: “The Pauline Dialectic”

In this chapter, Rohr invites us into a new way of thinking and acting. Even using the word ‘dialectic’ is a call to look at things differently than we often do. In this case, it is a way of seeing opposites without choosing sides. (p. 88)

That may seem strange in relation to good and evil. But it is a way of “holding opposites in tension” in order to see a new ground for acting. In general, Rohr has written about this in other places as nondual thinking–not thinking which never decides, but rather thinking that decides from the vantage point of a larger perspective than one-sided thinking can provide.

In the Pauline dialectic, a “hidden wholeness” emerges. Rohr’s phrase is reminiscent of Parker Palmer’s book by that title, and I looked at it again with profit as I read Rohr’s chapter.

Rohr provides eight examples of nondual thinking (p. 89), and does so in the belief that the Pauline dialectic is an exercise in naming and overcoming opposites through love. He believes we must think this way or humanity is in trouble

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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