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      Even while in his mid-20s and writing his thesis, Gothard was laying the foundation for the elaborate and distorted doctrine of meditation he would make one of the hallmarks of his Basic Seminar.
     Meditation is an important spiritual discipline in the Christian life, but not the most important one as Gothard makes it out to be.  The Bible reserves that role for the active, practical discipline of Christian love (see 1 Corinthians 13).  Meditation is but a fruit of a healthy relationship with God, not its root.  Actually practicing Godís word merits higher approval from Him than either hearing it or meditating upon it (see James 1:22-25).  While this emphasis on contemplation is in perfect harmony with Keswick mysticism, it is out of keeping with the emphasis of Scripture.
     Gothard presented a fairly well-developed doctrine of meditation in his thesis, but he added even more extraordinary elements to it in his Basic Seminar.  For one thing, in the Seminar he elevates meditation to a hermeneutical (i.e., interpretive) principle.  Only meditation, he says, can help us arrive at the proper application of Scripture.