The Inner Light network, community and fellowship is a free association of individuals and groups that recognize the importance of examining the private and innermost secret teaching of Jesus, living by it and restoring it to Christianity at large.
This deeper teaching is primarily about what it means to know or experience what Jesus spoke of as the secret of the kingdom of God. This 'kingdom' is understood to be a spiritual dimension sometimes referred to as the inner Light or Christ.
In this sense, the Christ is not a person, but a luminous Presence that is hidden in every person in the world. We understand and have experienced that to be "in Christ" is to live in and from this inner dimension of clear Light -- the Light of Consciousness.It's out of this peaceful, pure Presence, that awakened people consciously 'live and move and have their being'.
Inner Light fellowships are allied with, but not wholly defined by, Christian communities that see themselves as alternative, emergent, progressive, inclusive and/or contemplative in character.
Fr Richard Rohr speaks of the four pillars of the Emerging Church: 1) honest Jesus scholarship, 2) peace & social justice, 3) contemplation & non-duality, and, 4) non-institutional vehicles.
These are also guiding principles for Inner Light friends who usually see themselves as being intrinsically different (but not separate) from those that have adopted traditional, exclusive, denominational, doctrinal, credal, institutional, heirarchical and/or theologically dualistic belief/belonging systems.
Some sharing the vision of Inner Light may think of themselves as radical Christians, original Christians, primitive Christians, non-credal Christians, non-dual Christians, gnostic Christians, esoteric Christians, enlightened Christians or free Christians, despite the fact that a few extremist and/or exclusive groups have hijacked some of these terms from time to time.
Inner Light encourages Christians everywhere to grow beyond the orthodoxy of a particular church denomination or school of theology, into paradoxy. For instance,to move on from: "Jesus alone is fully human and fully divine," to, "Every person is fully human AND fully divine."
Inner Light friends also recognise and explore the deep connection of Jesus' innermost secret teaching with humanity's ancient Nondual Wisdom Tradition and feel themselves to be part of it.
The good news is that whether religious or not, anyone can come to recognize and identify with the infinite and eternal 'Christ Consciousness' as their true and essential nature. This isn't a consciousness of Christ but rather the Consciousness or Spirit that is the Christ.
What are the principles valued at Inner Light gatherins?
Resources for Further Consideration
- Early Christian Writings
- The Bible History Page
- Bible Origins
- Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Early Church Fathers
- Church History On-Line
- The Development of the Canon of the New Testament
- A Different View of the New Testament History
- The Formation of the New Testament Canon
- Gnostic Society Library
- The Gospel of Thomas
- Guide to Early Church Documents
- The Study of Judaism and Christianity
- Jesus: A Historical Reconstruction
- JesusMysteries Mailing List
- New Advent: The Fathers of the Church
- New Testament and Christianity
- Noncanonical Scripture
- Online Texts Re Biblical Study
- The Skeptic's Annotated Bible
- Skeptic's View of Christianity
- Virtual Christianity
- World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts
Sites Unseen: A comprehensive list of emergent or alternative Christian resources. There are enough surprises to draw you in and keep you engaged for hours.
Emerging Churches in Australia and elsewhere.
TCPC - The Center for Progressive Christianity
PCNV - Progressive Christian Network of Victoria.
PCNSA - Progressive Christian Network of South Australia.
Sea of Faith in Australia (SoFiA) - The SoFiA Network promotes the open exploration of religion, spirituality and meaning.
CPRT - The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought
Useful Books• “Beyond Foundationalism” by John Franke and Stanley Grenz
• “Postmodern Youth Ministry” by Tony Jones
• “A New Kind of Christian” by Brian McLaren
• “The Emerging Church” by Dan Kimball
• “The Gospel in a Pluralist Society” by Leslie Newbigin
• “The Church in Emerging Culture” by Leonard Sweet and Andy Crouch
• "A Churchless Faith" by Alan Jamieson
• "The Spirituality Revolution: The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality" by David Tacey
• “Beyond Belief: How to Develop Mystical Consciousness and Discover the God Within" by Rev. Peter Spink
"In worshipping Jesus, men lost the Christ. In devotion to Jesus, men failed to apprehend the Christ. In seeking good through Jesus, men failed to find the omnipresent Christ in their own consciousness." ~ Joel Goldsmith, The Infinite Way pp 36
"Our Christ-nature lives in and through our human bodies. When we awaken from unconscious to fully conscious living, we are naturally aligned with our Christ-nature and thus bring into creation a new world." ~ PS.