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