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Lorna Doone
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"The only thing more dangerous than reading the Bible is not reading it." 

I don't remember where I heard this quote, but I could say this is equally true about studying the Bible or prayerfully meditating upon it, allowing the Holy Spirit to use the message in the Scriptures to sift our own hearts and motives (as in Lectio Divina). 

As others in this thread have said, this is not either/or, it is both/and. LD and its precursors in the more ancient Christian monastic tradition were in the context of the whole package of the traditional Christian spiritual disciplines and of membership in a Church that worked to maintain its dogmatic and sacramental unity and faithfulness to apostolic teaching through the office of its  bishops. Together the bishops of this ancient, undivided apostolic orthodox Church of the first millennium worked to clearly express in the face of various heresies the apostolic framework in which the Scriptures could be properly interpreted and applied (which we know as the early Creeds, such as the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed). This was often a messy and arduous process. These formal dogmatic statements worked out along the way together with the early liturgies of the Church in which orthodox dogma was expounded in the prayers, homilies, and hymnody of the Church's most holy and exemplary members arguably made for a safer context for spiritual practices such as LD than much of our modern profusion of diverse  and often contradictory theological perspectives and denominations all going under the banner of "Christian."

Nevertheless, it seems to me to the degree that a modern church maintains these ancient apostolic frameworks and interpretation of Scripture and traditional spiritual disciplines, members likely can also quite safely practice LD, particularly if they remain accountable to other spiritually mature believers. In a world in which there exist such things as the "Holy Laughter" and "Word of Faith" movements, though, as well as New Age syncretism creeping in to some quarters of Christendom, it's understandable some might be leery of even traditional practices they worry could lead to such an excess.

Still, Scriptures like John 5:39, John 7:17, and many others lead me to be leery of the propensity in other quarters of our modern Christendom of preferring our conscious analytical faculty over the deeper seat of our inner person which includes our unconscious spiritual awareness and motivations and is the place of our conscience where the Holy Spirit works to guide and convict us. Many Scriptures seem to indicate that it is the purity of the heart and its desires, not the rational capacity for methodical conscious analysis, that is the key to discernment of the truth. It seems to me the proper goal of a Christian life should be that our capacity for conscious analysis and the deeper motivations and perceptions of our hearts' depths be united together in submission to the Lordship of Christ and the work of His Holy Spirit--not pitted against one another in false dichotomies.
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