By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Feb 7, 2010 in AM Missives, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, Current Issues, Dallas Willard, Emergence Christianity, Emergent Church, Features, Southern Baptist Convention
In articles like Dr. Jay McDaniel And Mysticism At Northwest Nazarene Universary and Southern Baptist Convention Embracing The Emerging Church and Rick Warren And Peter Scazzero With Messed-Up Monk-ee Bizness here at Apprising Ministries I continue to warn of the crippling effects of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, with an assist from his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, now that it’s penetrated mainstream evangelicalism.
As a former Roman Catholic I can tell you that Foster/Willard’s stupid CSM shtick, masquerading as supposed Spiritual Formation, is nothing more than a romanticized Roman Catholic Counter Reformation spirituality such as that promulgated by apostates (at best) like Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the militantly pro-Roman Catholic Church spiritual Gestapo Unit known as the Jesuits. It’s rather amazing people don’t realize this spurious CSM is what led Rome to the false doctrines dealt with at the Reformation.
Do you really not see that, by far, the vast majority of mystics appealed to by Foster—and Willard teaches precisely the same CSM as his former pastor and friend Foster—were Roman Catholics? You really can’t follow that Foster/Willard and their ilk rarely, if ever, quote men e.g. like Charles Spurgeon or Jonathan Edwards concerning the proper Christian spirituality of Sola Scriptura. Well, the fact is they can’t; because CSM must approach the Bible in a highly subjective manner e.g. neo-orthodox in order to “find” CSM in it.
Now you’ll see that I have very good reason to ask: Is Dallas Willard A Christian? As you listen below to the Fighting for the Faith program of Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough from Pirate Christian Radio beginning at 07:22 you’ll hear Willard share his law-based non-gospel as he muses, “Now, I believe that everyone who deserves to be saved will be saved no matter where they are or what they do.” And Willard then goes on to flatly contradict the Scripture when he opines:
It’s so important to understand that God is not biased about these matters [being saved and devout] and He is open and in touch with everyone in the world, and for all who seek them with all of their heart—and that is defined in terms of coming to love Him, and not just have the right beliefs about Him—but coming to love Him, and loving their neighbor as themselves.
Being that Willard is a minster, as am I, in the Southern Baptist Convention I can tell you the above is not biblical doctrine, let alone being in accord with the SBC’s revered The Baptist Faith & Message. It is, however, right in line with the uber-inclusive and sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church—that morphed into Emergence Christianity—(EC). That’s little wonder because EC guru Brian McLaren himself already clearly told us in the 2004 Christianity Astray Today article “The Emergent Mystique” that Foster and Willard were “key mentors for the emerging church”.
And if you’re tempted to think Willard merely misspoke let me remind you that last year in So You Want To Be Like Christ… Ditch The Disciplines Of Dallas Willard I showed you from his own website Willard also informs us that people who are “worthy of being saved” will “be saved” as he just did above; not only that, but in Willard’s fantasy even those who don’t know Jesus can still be saved:
What Paul is clearly saying is that if anyone is worthy of being saved, they will be saved. At that point many Christians get very anxious, saying that absolutely no one is worthy of being saved. The implication of that is that a person can be almost totally good, but miss the message about Jesus, and be sent to hell.
What kind of a God would do that? I am not going to stand in the way of anyone whom God wants to save. I am not going to say ‘he can’t save them.’ I am happy for God to save anyone he wants in any way he can. It is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved. (Online source, emphasis mine)
This is the kind of reasoning we get from “Protestant” SBC philosopher Dallas Willard; and you’ll also find this eternally fatal view quite common among practitioners of CSM, “if anyone is worthy of being saved, they will be saved.” As well as their mystic speculation, “It is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved.” But the Spirit of Jesus has already told us…THREE different times; in Psalm 14:1-3, in Psalm 53:1-3, and then because sheep aren’t too bright, He tells us once again:
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)