SADDLEBACK CHURCH PASTORS USING ROB BELL TEACHINGS

Over at his Zondervan author’s profile we’re informed that Doug Fields is:

Founder of Simply Youth Ministry, Doug Fields has been in youth ministry since 1979 and is currently on staff at Saddleback Church in southern California. He’s the director of Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, and the author of more than 40 books, including the bestsellers Speaking to Teenagers and Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry.
(Online source)

In addition to being on staff as a teaching pastor at the Saddleback Church (SC) of Rick Warren—which is aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention—we find out Fields is also author of the book Purpose Driven Youth Ministry of which Warren himself contributes the foreword. At Amazon.com we read:

From the youth pastor of Saddleback Church–a revolutionary approach to building a self-sustaining youth ministry. What The Purpose-Driven Church has done for pastoral ministry, this book is about to do for youth ministry. Doug Fields, the youth pastor at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, reveals the foundations for a powerful, Purpose-Driven? Youth Ministry (PDYM)… This book captures the sweep of Fields’ experience and vision.  (Online source)

As we turn now to the Saddleback Family website we can see some books recommended by Saddleback pastor Fields that have “shaped Doug’s life” and certainly have contributed to his “sweep” of ministry “experience and vision”  (Online source). It’s quite evident immediately that Fields’ life and vision clearly has been shaped by corrupt Contemplative Sprituality/Mysticism (CSM) as among these recommendations from we see Ragamuffin Gospel by teacher of Contemplative/Centering Prayer mystic Brennan Manning, also a Saddleback Family “must read book” (Online source) and Celebration of Discipline (CoD) by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker “Roshi” Richard Foster.

The truth is Dr. Gary Gilley was dead on target when he said that Foster’s CoD is “an encyclopedia of theological error.” Further, in my estimation CoD is the textbook for a growing Cult of Richard Foster within evangelicalism as it continues its repudiation of Sola Scripture in favor of highly subjective experience; i.e. a spiritual “buzz.” However, it really isn’t suprising that Fields is pushing CoD because Warren himself, Senior Pastor of SC praises Foster in his Church Growth Movement classic The Purpose Driven Church as you can see in Rick Warren Guilty for Endorsing Richard Foster.

It’s important to note at this juncture that Foster is without a doubt the leading purveyor of these neo-pietistic so-called “spiritual disciplines” of asceticism-lite, with an able assist from his spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard. And yet, according to SBC pastor Rick Warren God supposedly raised up this decidedly non-Protestant Quaker whose theology is consistent with figures in the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation in order to restore Spiritual Formation to Protestants. I must admit though this has proven to be quite an arresting bedtime story for sleepy evangelical Rip Van Winkles.

But as we leave this spiritual version of Wonderland aside now and enter the real world Apprising Ministries has already shown you in Rick Warren and Saddleback Church: Prayer Is Not For The Novice that you can purchase books e.g. by Foster, the contemplative filled Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, and even titles by Roman Catholic universalist Henri Nouwen, right in the SC bookstore itself. And little wonder because most of these books are featured in “The Spiritual Growth Center” on the Saddleback Family website (Online source).

Knowing this necessary background I personally figured that it would only be a matter of time before Saddleback teaching pastor Fields would be recommending and selling materials by Emerging Church icon and teacher of CSM Rob Bell at his Doug Fields’ Simply Youth Ministry (SYM) website. And indeed he is:

How To Pick 6

Select the NOOMA video that you’d like from the selection below. You can view a short preview by clicking the “PREVIEW” button, and the video will show up on the right in the video player. Once you’re readY to make your pick, drag the box image to an open slot or just DOUBLE CLICK to add your selection to the boxes below. Now repeat! (Online source, bold his)

Also according to Wikipedia Doug Fields is also:

a frequent speaker at Youth Specialties and other national youth ministry conferences… Doug is an avid Twitter user and has often been heard on his award winning podcast [www.simplyyouthministry.com/podcast] sharing about his love for the micro-blogging tool as well as his sarcastic love of blogging. Though Doug does not have his own blog, his collegue, Josh Griffin, hosts a blog, [www.morethandodgeball.com] (Online source, emphasis mine)

Now for those who don’t know Youth Specialties is aligned with the Emergent Church and also heavily promotes spurious CSM and its interspirituality. A search for “Rob Bell” at Fields’ SYM turns up two links to Griffin’s blog. The aforementioned Griffin just happens to be:

the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church, dabbles in community for Simply Youth Ministry1 and loves other like-minded youth workers in the PDYM Community. Oh, and did we mention he co-owns TheForce.Net? He’s a total Star Wars nerd. (Online source, emphasis mine)

The first link from SYM goes to “Noomas for $10 Each” where the “High School Pastor” for the Southern Baptist Saddleback Church,  Josh Griffin, informs us:

We’ve used the Nooma videos (Rob Bell) with good success this year as a supplement to our regular high school ministry small group material – and Andy just let me know that YouthMinistry.com is running a sale on them – Pick 6 Nooma. $10 a piece is good! (Online source, emphasis mine)

One wonders what “success” they’ve had with Bell’s teachings. And the second link, “6 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To” leaves no doubt that the highly ecumenical and also decidedly non-Protestant teachings of Rob Bell are welcomed in Saddleback Church where Rick Warren is Senior Pastor. And as I said before Saddleback is with the SBC, which itself is the largest alleged “Protestant” denomination in the United States. Still the high school pastor at SC writes:

Millions of people listen to podcasts (think radio shows on demand) every week – here’s 6 you should be sure not to miss: Mars Hill Bible Church – Great weekly teaching from Rob Bell and others. There’s a NOOMA show as well, but I prefer this one. (Online source, emphasis mine)

See also:

ROB BELL AND CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM

ROB BELL, YOGA FOR THE CHRISTIAN: JUST SAY NO!

9Marks: The Scoop’a on NOOMA — Part 1

WILL ROB BELL NOW FOLLOW TONY JONES OUT OF THE CLOSET?

CROSSTALK RADIO: KEN SILVA ON ROB BELL AND WARNINGS ABOUT THE EMERGENT CHURCH MOVEMENT

ROB BELL RESOURCES FROM APPRISING MINISTRIES

IS ROB BELL EVANGELICAL?

ROB BELL CONTROVERSY OVER DOCTRINE

Endnotes

  1. http://morethandodgeball1.rssing.com/chan-20792201/all_p4.html