Sunday, March 29, 2009

Redeemer Presbyterian NYC and Contemplative Prayer

Here is an email I received this week:


Tim Keller has endorsed a book by Adele Calhoun on spiritual disciplines.

In reading parts of Roger Oakland's book, I looked again at some contemplative prayer articles last night and read parts of the introduction on line of Adele Calhoun's book. She thanks Kathy Keller, for instance, in her introduction. She then goes on to thank many people - Eugene Peterson, M. Basil Pennington, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle (Emergent Village,) Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius Loyola, Julian of Norwich, etc. Incredible! How can all of this be taken in and accepted in true Christianity? I saw this on google books. You can read different parts on line. It turns out you can click on a chapter in the contents and read parts of it on this limited preview.,M1

Quote from article:

David Benner's book, Sacred Companions, openly promotes the teachings of Merton and is actually a who's who of mystical and panenthestic writings such as atonement denier Alan Jones (Reimagining Christianity), Thomas Keating and a host of like-minded writers. In that foreword, Larry Crabb said something that was in a sense prophetic of the emerging church. He stated:
The spiritual climate is ripe. Jesus seekers across the world are being prepared to abandon the old way of the written code for the new way of the Spirit (p. 9).

Benner's book is a manual for this new emerging way that throws out the old way (the biblical way). As an example of this, Benner praises a book by John Gorsuch titled An Invitation to the Spiritual Journey. Benner says, "This little book sparkles." In Gorsuch's book, the general gist of it is how mysticism is uniting all the world's religions. He makes specific reference to Swami Paramahansa Yogananda and comments that he was a great saint who brought many people to God. In the back of Gorsuch's book there are also Tibetan Buddhist meditations. Without a doubt, Gorsuch's book is a New Age book. It proclaims the validity of all religions and also that God is in everything and everybody. For Benner to say this book sparkles, means he embraces its views - more importantly, not just in an intellectual sense but in a mystical sense. So in essence, for Crabb to write the foreword to this book speaks for itself.

This refers to the 2002 book by Ray Yungen and the book Sacred Companions that Redeemer Church has listed on line.

Remember Keller endorsed this book by Adele Cahoun.

Here is an excellent article to link to regarding spiritual formation, contemplative prayer Rick Warren, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun and her spiritual disciplines.

Quote from Lighthouse Trails website:

Adlele Ahlberg Calhoun's book Spiritual Disciplines Handbook is one of the books Rick Warren uses to teach spiritual formation and spiritual disciplines at Saddleback. This book promotes mantra meditation, giving detailed instructions on several types of contemplative practices. In addition, the author quotes from many New Age sympathizers and New Age contemplatives. In the book, Ahlberg Calhoun encourages the use of centering prayer, breath prayers, contemplative prayer, labyrinths, palms-up, palms-down exercises, and recommends for further reading a who's who of mystics. Those who embrace Purpose Driven teachings will ultimately be led in this direction and toward the spirituality of Henri Nouwen (who Rick Warren also strongly promotes). At the end of Nouwen's life, after following mysticism for years, Nouwen came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was not the only way of salvation. This view is the "fruit" of contemplative spirituality and negates the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

The Transforming Center endorses Calhoun and her book.

The center is run by Ruth Haley Barton, a spiritual formation director.
Also, Tim Keller is speaking at church planting conferences for the Anglican church. When we think of the fact that the Anglican church practices communion the same as the Catholic church in being it is the Eucharist, this step is yet another foray into the contemplative prayer movement at Redeemer Pres. Tim Keller, in helping the Anglican church plant more churches, is in reality also helping the Roman Catholic church enlarge their base. The Anglican church is formally under the authority of the pope as of 1999. Contemplative prayer has the agenda to blend Catholicism with Protestant churches to introduce new mystical (anit-biblical) "spiritual practices". Here is an article regarding the Roman Catholic church and the Anglican church by Richard Bennett to further explain: