These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. (Psalm 50:21)

Men Said, “Let Us Make God In Our Image.”

The analogy I’m using in this piece here at Apprising Ministries I first heard used by a fella I know; Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough, host of Fighting for the Faith on Pirate Christian Radio.

As he discussed false doctrine and heretical teachers Rosebrough painted the word picture of a store where you can come in and share the characteristics of the god of your choosing. Then after you place your order, people scurry down to the basement of the store and get to work cobbling together your version of god to fit your specific set of speculations.

And so it is right now with those furiously building a version of the mush god of mysticism with a man-shaped hole in his/her/its heart; as typified by the upgraded Emerging Church 2.0 with their new postmodern form of “big tent” Progressive Christianity—a Liberalism 2.0—sometimes referred to by these rebels against the final authority of God’s Word as Emergence Christianity.

This is what Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren, one of the unholy Emergent Church trinity of apostates along with universalist Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt, and his friend Tony Jones—the progressive “theologian in residence” at Pagitt’s Emergent Solomon’s Porch—began laying out more systematically in his latest book A New Kind of Christianity (ANKoC).

In ANKoC McLaren speaks highly of another of those workers in the basement of the Build-A-God Shop, a progressive/liberal theologian by the name of Harvey Cox of Harvard Divinity fame, whose latest book is called The Future Of Faith. On its back cover McLaren himself gushes:

This important book has not only helped me understand the past, present, future of this amazing phenomenon called Christianity . . . it has also motivated me to keep working to help make actual the possible future Cox envisions
—Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian

The wise person is going to ask: Just what does this “possible future Cox envisions,” and Brian McLaren is “motivated” to “help make actual,” look like? Well, Lord willing, we’ll be showing you more and more aspects concerning this new form of postmodern liberalism in days to come; here we’re concerned with the mystic mush god they’ve ordered up from the ol’ Build-A-God Shop.

I’ve already shown you in Stranger And Stranger Global Bedfellows Emerging that the endorsements for Harvey Cox’ vision are rather revealing as to where we’re heading—into a Global religion:

The Future of Faith is insightful, provocative, and inspiring—I found myself uttering a hearty evangelical ‘Amen’ at many points!
—Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport

The Future of Faith is a tour de force. As passionate and challenging as his classic, The Secular City, Cox’s new book invites the faithful, the skeptical, and the fearful intp a spirit-filled version of Christianity that can renew a hurting world.
—Diana Butler Bass, author of A People’s History of Christianity

Cox brings the eye of an historian and the heart of a theologian to explain where we’ve come from and where we’re going. The Future of Faith is an essential guide to that future.
—Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners and author of The Great Awakening

Harvey Cox has been a voice of both reason and faith in our cynical times. Now, he offers a fresh vision for the resurrection of a new global Christianity that will restore our faith both in ourselves and in the divine.
—Deepak Chopra, author of Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment [1]

Let me remind you of something I previously pointed out in Seducing Spirits Sounding The Same; putting this into its proper perspective, when a pantheist proponent of New Spirituality aka New Age like Deepak Chopra can sign on to your “big tent” supposed “resurrection of a new global Christianity,” then it’s safe to say that you’ve officially departed from anything even remotely resembling the historic, orthodox, Christian faith.

Now we come full circle here to what we’re seeing erected in our Build-A-God Shop. You might remember More On: God Of The Emerging Church, where I mentioned that Emerging Church voices like Adam Walker Cleaveland and Samir Selmanovic tell us their Jesus Was Wrong and show us that this god of Emergence Christianity, who Is Father Of All Religion, is essentially but a bigger version of man.

Then we have Open Theist Greg Boyd who tells us this EC god has to helplessly wait each day while his cherished human beings make their little choices before he can even act. For you see, even though he is Truly Madly Deeply in love with mankind, sadly, this pathetic god of Open Theism just doesn’t know what his delightful creatures are going to do next. In other words, seriously; we’re not talking about the one true and living God of the Bible, and this is certainly not at all consistent with historic Christianity.

Throwing Theological Speculations Into A Spiritual Blender And Then Hitting Purée

Evangelical leaders had best cease their amazingly accurate impressions of Rip Van Winkle and wake up to see that this new progressive theology of the Emergent Church is as a huge serpent swallowing up every philosophy of religion. This is then mixed with the panentheistism of classic mysticism, with some aspects of evolutionary scientific emergence theory added in, to come up with their twisted belief they are evolving upward into a higher consciousness. And finally, they are regurgitating this toxic compound back out upon the unsuspecting through mental off-roading far into the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language.

Because the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church has at its evil core corrupt Counter Reformation Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, now being perpetrated within the mainstream of evangelicalism as supposed Spiritual Formation with an able assist from his spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard, they teach—also in line with classic mysticism—that God created the world within Himself and therefore everything created is also divine.

In fact, in his latest book the aforementioned EC leader Samir Selmanovic, who is also a universalist known for his “interspiritual” work, tells us that the mystic:

Meister Eckhart said that our religions are like houses. Each house has a trap door somewhere down in the basement, and if we go deep enough, we will fall through the trap door into a river that flows beneath all of us. Beautiful, I thought.[2]

Translation: Eckhart is talking about what’s commonly called “a spark of the divine,” which is supposedly within each “house”; i.e. all of mankind, and the flowing “river” is God.[3] Eckhart also clearly contradicts God’s Word in Scripture with a denial of the doctrine of regeneration when he teaches, “Every creature is full of God and a book about God.” Leading EC theologian Leonard Sweet, not only confirms this, but also reveals that he believes it himself in the below tweet Sweet sent May 12 of this year:

(Online source)

I showed you earlier in Emergence Christianity: Quantum Shift To Panentheism that, once again in line with classic mysticism, emergence theory “Christianity” also involves the doctrine of panentheism. As I explained in Brian McLaren And Evangelical Panentheism you need to understand that it’s never been Satan’s style to suddenly show up and say: “Hi, here’s my latest deception; and now I’ll go ahead and introduce you to my new false prophets and counterfeit teachers.” Did we really think that as the end of the Age of Grace grows nearer we’d somehow just get a free ride home?

As I close this, for now, here’s the logical conclusion of the doctrine of pan-(all)-en-(in)-theism-(from Theos, God): If panentheism is true, then everything that has been created would also share the divine nature of God, i.e. it would be like God. Earlier in Brian McLaren And Evangelical Panentheism (Part 6) this would also have to include the Satan himself—no way around it—and that would then actually be the fulfillment of his boast in Isaiah 14:14“I will be like the Most High.” Note carefully that the enemy of men’s souls was not saying he would be God; no, all he says is that he will become like God.

The doctrine of panentheism thus fulfills his demented desires. Yet the beginnings of panentheism in Brian McLaren’s own writings can really be seen as at least as far back as his 1999 book Finding Faith: A Self-Discovery Guide for Your Spiritual Quest, the title of which is quite revealing as to its being centered on the self (cf. 2 Timothy 3:2). There McLaren muses:

And then McLaren admits that his “honest sense in my own search is that logic drives me behind the many, behind the two, behind the all, to one God ‘over all, through all, and in all.’”[5] Despite his eastern sounding reasoning, this verse of Ephesians 4:6 is clearly addressed to believers who are in Christ i.e. those who, by God’s grace, have accepted the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name, and so, have quite literally been regenerated by God the Holy Spirit; this verse is not at all speaking to mankind and/or of the cosmos in general.

But this is an early example of the playing fast and loose with Scripture, which has become so apparent—not only with McLaren himself—but with much of the leadership within this postliberal cult of the Emerging/ent/ence Church as a whole. I’ll leave you this time with some wisdom concerning panentheism from my friend Larry DeBruyn and his Herescope article Part 4: FROM COSMOS, TO CHAOS, TO CONSCIOUSNESS:

Though it disavows that nature is God (i.e., pantheism), panentheism believes that nature is permeated with a divine Soul. For example, if someone hugs a tree, they are not physically hugging God per se, but they are putting their arms around an object that, along with the rest of nature, houses the divine Soul. Thus, everything and everyone is endowed with an aura of sacredness. Such a worldview, so the thinking goes, will provide humanity with the spiritual basis and incentive to love one another, the creation, and thereby solve the ecological crisis. (Online source)

You be sure and stay tuned now, because as that great pop philosopher Mr. T., playing Clubber Lang in the cinematic classic Rocky III, says to boxer Rocky Balboa — “C’mon, I gotta whole lotta mo’!”


[1] Harvey Cox, The Future Of Faith [New York: HarperOne, 2010], back cover.

[2] Samir Selmanovic, It’s Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian [San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2009], 262.

[3] I refute this Biblically in Understanding The New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind.

[4] Brian McLaren, Finding Faith: A Self-Discovery Guide for Your Spiritual Quest [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999], 118.

[5] Ibid.

See also: