Wednesday, December 08, 2010

This is rare

It is very rare that I agree with anything Al Mohler says. But, I do agree with him about yoga. Our of Ur has a nice post summarizing the mess. Read the whole thing, but here's a taste of it:

Many of the responses Al Mohler received to his original column were from people who do yoga stretches while forgoing any of yoga’s religious elements. Mohler took issue with this bifurcation. "My response to that would be simple and straightforward: You're just not doing yoga.”

Mohler received support for his view from a surprising source—a Hindu. Rajiv Malhotra wrote a column for The Huffington Post on the question of “Christian yoga.” He said:

While yoga is not a "religion" in the sense that the Abrahamic religions are, it is a well-established spiritual path. Its physical postures are only the tip of an iceberg, beneath which is a distinct metaphysics with profound depth and breadth. Its spiritual benefits are undoubtedly available to anyone regardless of religion. However, the assumptions and consequences of yoga do run counter to much of Christianity as understood today. This is why, as a Hindu yoga practitioner and scholar, I agree with the Southern Baptist Seminary President, Albert Mohler, when he speaks of the incompatibility between Christianity and yoga, arguing that "the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine" is fundamentally at odds with Christian teaching.

With the popularity of yoga among all people, including Christians, getting a better understanding of the issue is important for pastors responsible for giving spiritual guidance. What Mohler, Driscoll, and even Malhotra agree on is that the philosophical/religious origins of yoga are incompatible with Christian belief, AND if those elements of yoga are stripped away what remains (the stretches and breathing practices) cannot be rightly called “yoga.”

<idle musing>
Yep. It isn't compatible with Christianity. I do take issue with Mohler's statement about reaching divinity; it seems incompatible with theosis, which I strongly believe in (just do a search on this blog for the term to see how much I believe in it!). But, that could just be a misuse of terminology.
</idle musing>

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