We invite our friends, colleagues and readers to join us, Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson, in a conversation about our book, Taboo Or To Do? Is Christianity complementary with yoga, martial arts, Hallowe’en, mindfulness and other alternative practices? It is published by Darton Longman & Todd. Our friend John Drane, who is a Scottish practical theologian, biblical scholar and best-selling author, has written a foreword.
There is a new blog-spot dedicated to the book Taboo Or To Do (click here)
Taboo Or To Do is a book for Christians who may be exploring different practices either for their personal development, or are involved in creative missions ventures where hot-button issues are being faced. It is a conversation-starter for individual Christians and bible study groups that want to work out if something is “taboo” or not. We believe that we are long overdue for having frank and respectful conversations on specific hot-button matters such as:
- May a Christian do the physical exercises of yoga without being exposed to some sort of spiritual peril?
- My employer has enrolled me in a personal development course that presents “mindfulness meditation”. Isn’t this taboo because it comes from Buddhist practices?
- Are churches compromising truth by “celebrating” Hallowe’en when it seems tainted by pagan beliefs and crass commercialism?
- Can a Christian participate in martial arts such as karate, kung fu and T’ai Chi given that they have historical roots in Buddhist or Taoist beliefs? How can a Christian manifest the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace patience etc) while being trained in violent techniques of fighting?
- Are church services for blessing animals a diversion from the gospel message?
Taboo Or To Do? is not an encyclopedia of topics similar to books opposing cults and non-Christian religions. Taboo Or To Do? takes a different tack by not preaching at readers to shun what is new, edgy or unusual. Instead, we present helpful information to enable readers to make up their own minds.
In ten chapters we explore controversial hot-button topics such as yoga,martial arts, Hallowe’en, energy healing (e.g. Reiki), mindfulness meditation, aromatherapy, mind-power transformation seminars,animal-blessing services, etc. We examine the historical background and root beliefs associated with each topic. How do people perceive them: Is this religious? Is it secularised? Has it been “Christianised”? We draw attention to critical matters for discernment particularly in assessing the practitioner’s worldview.
We present case studies of churches that have responded in different ways. For example, some churches condemn and reject the celebration of Hallowe’en, while others believe they have “Christianised” it, and there are others who for purposes of outreach have devised alternatives to trick or treat. Each chapter contains discussion questions as well as suggested “things to do” to take matters beyond what our book examines.
You may join us in subsequent blog-posts to chat about particular hot-button issues discussed in our book. We look forward to your lively and fruitful contributions to this conversation.For other background about our book check out the publisher’s press release (click here).