“If [lectio divina] is promoted with efficacy, I am convinced it will produce a new spiritual springtime in the Church” Pope Benedict XVI, September 16, 2005
The following concerns what Dan Kimball, a very prominent spokesman for the new cult of liberalism which is the Emergent Church, has said about the practice of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) commonly known as Lectio Divina.
From The Emerging Church: Vintage Faith For New Generations, 223
We have neglected so many of the disciplines of the historical church [Desert Fathers], including weekly fasting, practicing the silence, and lectio divina.
From Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations, 93
In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican churches, you’ll find a well-developed calendar and more set pattern of worship. In many American branches of the church, however, liturgical practices were removed and forgotten a long time ago. Yet among emerging generations there is a desire to embrace Christianity’s ancient forms of worship, which includes liturgy.
In the book Soul Shaper, Tony Jones explains a lot of ancient spiritual disciplines and shows how they can be attractive ways of worship for emerging generations. Lectio Divina, which is the practice of repeatedly meditating and praying through a passage of Scripture, and many other spiritual exercises are being reintroduced in emerging worship gatherings.
There is also a growing practice in emerging worship to focus on the Christian calendar, which is organized around two major seasons of sacred time: Advent. Christmas, and Epiphany; and Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. Churches that have used liturgy for some time are breathing new life into their “routine” practices. Other emerging worship gatherings are revising ancient practices.
This movement into ancient forms of worship includes a revival of understanding and teaching about the Jewish roots of the faith. Most emerging churches include a Passover Seder as part of their worship year. They spend considerable time teaching the Jewish perspective of the Bible.
The following comes from an article by Kimball which is in Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox at Pastors.com. In this piece called Emerging worship: Moving beyond only preaching and singing Kimball explains:
in our church setting, we began bringing back ancient religious symbols and some rituals used throughout church history. We began using some forms of liturgy and responsive readings. Instead of “hiding” the fact that we were gathered to worship, we began praying more, having times of quiet, and teaching more deeply. The more “religious” we got, the more we saw response!
There is a richness to be found in looking back in church history and implementing ancient forms of worship, in addition to more recent ways. When choosing to implement something like *Lectio Divina* (a contemplative praying of the Scriptures) into a worship gathering, though, take a moment to teach worshipers the history of the practice so that it isn’t perceived as just a gimmick.
And herein I actually find a point of agreement with Dan in that those of us who truly love Christ and His Church should educate worshippers concerning this Roman bondage of religious idolatry and these heretical practices of CSM, e.g. Lectio Divina and Contemplative/Centering Prayer, which originated in pagan religions and then flowered through the antibiblical monastic traditions of the apostate Roman Catholicism.