Apprising Ministries continues documenting the growing influence of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) right into the timid heart of the squishy evanjellyfish pretending to be Protestant community.
I’ve told you that the main catalyst for this spiritual skubalon is the Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin, Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard; both of whom teach the same spurious spirituality, which they’ve been pawning off for years as so-called Spiritual Formation.
Sadly, it’s metastasizing throughout the church visible now and people who recommend and/or teach it are even being revealed to be in the Reformed sectors, including the so-called young, restless, and reformed crowd.
You can see this for yourself in previous AM pieces like Mark Driscoll, Acts 29 Network, & The Emerging Church and Matt Chandler And Curious Decisions. Without question, one of the elder statesmen for the “New Calvinism” of that YRR camp would be Dr. John Piper.
He gives us reason for concern as well, as I show you in John Piper, Rick Warren & Foster-Willardism, those involved with CSM are growing closer to him as well. Let me remind you that another leader for the YRR sector is Dr. Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York city.
Courtesy of Christine Pack’s Tim Keller on Whether or not Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus & Jews are Saved After Death, You may know of a clip from an interview Dr. Keller gave where he badly struck out concerning this question. I’m pleased to tell you that, quite surprisingly, it’s even created a bit of a growing stir.
As a matter of fact, AM special correspondent Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised… pointed out in her post This ‘n’ That where even relatively mild-mannered Todd Friel of Wretched Radio examines Tim Keller’s gospel fumble. This is not to be construed as a knock on Friel, whom I happen to respect.
Rather, it’s to say this issue isn’t simply being covered by a few so-called discernment bloggers. Actually yesterday brought us Keller and the Exclusivity of Christ by Mike Riccardi, who “oversees the membership process at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles.” He begins:
Earlier this week Justin Taylor posted a 2008 interview of Pastor Tim Keller by Martin Bashir at Columbia University. The interview was spring-boarded by his then-newly released book, The Reason for God. During the interview, which was designed to ask the hardest questions about Christianity, Bashir asked Keller about the eternal destiny of those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ. (Online source)
The segment in question is below:
After a transcription of the above Riccardi continues, “I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to pick a fight here. I consider Tim Keller to be a fellow laborer in the Gospel.” No argument here; he goes on:
But it does greatly surprise and concern me that a man of such stature and credibility, to whom many in my generation look as a mentor, has handled these questions in the way that he has. Further, it has been equally disconcerting to read and hear how some of his defenders are responding to this issue.
And so my goal is twofold: (1) I want to respectfully—and hopefully, humbly—voice some serious concerns with how Keller handled this question; and (2) I want to demonstrate the unhelpfulness of how some of his defenders are responding. (Online source)
If you wish to know more about Mike Riccardi’s views, I encourage you to read his post. Here I’m going to give you the comment I made concerning his piece:
An hour later the comment section was closed and in his explanation Riccardi said:
I understand that, for some, this video adds to numerous concerns about Keller’s other doctrinal and philosophical commitments. I think it’s right to consider all those other things. And I even think it can be helpful to point them out, just in a way that evidences concern for Christ’s flock and not simply an alarmism flavored more by a desire to separate than to edify.
Having said that, this thread isn’t the place to debunk theistic evolution, contemplative prayer, etc. So, for those who continue to bring up Keller’s other dubious commitments, you’ve made your point, but now it’s time to move on. (Online source)
I’m not sure how we can “consider all those other things” concerning Dr. Keller’s “other doctrinal and philosophical commitments” and “other dubious commitments” without addressing them. Riccardi also informs us:
even though I disagree strongly with Keller on a lot of points of theology and philosophy of ministry, I don’t think believing any of those wrong things precludes one from being a Christian.
I think they all raise some serious red flags, but there’s a difference between being wrong and being a heretic. And so the fact that he is a brother in Christ informs my response. There must be a difference between how we respond to wolves in sheep’s clothing vs. how we respond to erring brothers. (Online source)
Before moving on, God be praised that—for what time shrinking funding may allow—He has me heading up one of the leading online apologetics and discernment works in Apprising Ministries. Let me assure you that none of the actual OADM works, and I know most all of them, disagree with these statements.
So, let’s put that to bed. Now, I’ve been in counter-cult evangelism, apologetics, and Comparative Religions for 24 years now; I’ve studied mediation in altered states of conciousness from primary sources such as secular scientists that Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren has at his ridiculous Daniel Plan.
I’ve also investigated meditation from various mystical religious traditions all the way from Sufism to Eckankar. Along the way, I’ve delved deeply into the so-called “contemplative tradition” of the Christian faith and it’s absolutely nowhere to be found prior to heretical hermits heading into the desert of Egypt.
You should begin to smell the coffee now because this was circa late 3rd century at the earliest. CSM was not practiced or taught by Jesus; nor was it by His Apostles, which is why you do not find it in God’s Word. With this mind, as I close this for now, I’ll tell that next time I discuss how this relates to Dr. Keller.
Know that in the piece to come I will merely produce the evidence I’ve discovered in my own personal investigation into the teaching of Dr. Tim Keller. As we consider the whole video to which Mike Riccardi links, I heard much from Dr. Keller that’s disturbingly close to Warren’s human potential shtick.
In fact to me, all the talk of Dr. Keller about being “addicted” even sounded dangerously close to a misunderstanding on his part of the total depravity of man. If so, Dr. Keller would then be right in line with the fruit of the CSM that he’s been recommending—as well as teaching himself—for years now.
My feeling is the New Calvinism is a form of postmodern Calvinism; an oxymoron where one holds to some Reformation theology all the while marrying it to Counter Reformation theology. This is not a baseless charge and next time I’ll let the evidence relating to Dr. Tim Keller speak for itself.
HT: Discern The Time