‘The Shack’ Author Insists Bestseller ‘is a God Thing’

LTRP Note: The following article by the Christian Post is for research and information purposes. Lighthouse Trails believes The Shack is a highly deceptive book, and contrary to what the author states below is not a “God thing.” In fact, we believe this book is another stepping stone to lead Christians away from the truth of the Gospel and a path that will lead unbelievers away from salvation through Jesus Christ. Below this article, please refer to our research on The Shack.

Postscript: The Christian Post has been a major media outlet to promote Purpose Driven Life, contemplative spirituality, and the emerging church.

By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter

Despite what critics have said about his highly popular and hotly debated best-seller, The Shack, author William Paul Young remains convinced that his book “is a God thing.”

“I absolutely am convinced that this is a God-thing that God is the One stirring this all up, challenging us to rethink and entertain growing deeper in a relationship with Him rather than pursuing our independence,” Young said during a live chat with book lovers last week.

Though Young had not originally intended the novel to be for public consumption, since its debut on the market last year, The Shack has reaped in a surprising amount of success, generating a large amount of buzz – both positive and negative – within Christian circles.

“This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his,” stated Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus Of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, in a published endorsement for the book. “It’s that good!” …

“Al [Moher, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.] tried to get the book banned but was unsuccessful because the theologians of his denomination (the Southern Baptist Convention) ‘could find nothing unorthodox in The Shack that would warrant it being removed or banned,’” Young reported last Wednesday….

Over one million copies of The Shack have been sold since it was published in May 2007. It has maintained its status as the No. 1 Paperback trade fiction seller on the New York Times best sellers list since June 2008. Click here to read this entire news article.

LTRP Research on The Shack, click here.

 

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L.A. Times: Rev. Robert H. Schuller ousts his son as ‘Hour of Power’ preacher

LTRP Note: The following news report by the L.A. Times regarding Crystal Cathedral and Robert Schuller is being posted at Lighthouse Trails because of our articles regarding Schuller’s Rethink Conferences and the co-mingling of popular Christian figures such as Kay Warren, Erwin McManus, Ravi Zacharias and several other evangelical leaders with Robert Schuller (see links below).

“Rev. Robert H. Schuller ousts his son as ‘Hour of Power’ preacher”
By Sam Quinones
L.A. Times staff writer

The Rev. Robert H. Schuller removed his son Saturday as preacher on the syndicated “Hour of Power” television show less than three years after handing over to him the ministry he began more than 50 years ago.

Schuller announced the removal of his son, Robert A. Schuller, in a statement read to some 450 Crystal Cathedral congregants by Jim Coleman, the church’s president.

“It is no secret to any of you that my son, Robert, and I have been struggling as we each have different ideas as to the direction and the vision for this ministry,” his statement read.

“For this lack of shared vision and the jeopardy in which this is placing this entire ministry, it has become necessary for Robert and me to part ways.”

Schuller said he was bringing in several guest pastors from around the country to preach during the show, which has been cut to half an hour in some markets since summer. Click here to read this entire news article.

Related Stories:

Crystal Cathedral Postpones Rethink 2009 – Ravi Zacharias and Dan Kimball Will Have to Wait Until 2010

Rethinking Robert Schuller

More on Rethink Conferences

Erwin McManus Teams Up with Robert Schuller – Could Have Far-Reaching Effects

More on Robert Schuller

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The Resistors: Diet Eman’s Story

VCY America’s Jim Schneider interviews Diet Eman on Crosstalk – October 23rd. Click here to listen to this 50 minute interview.

Diet Eman grew up in Holland and was a young woman as Adolph Hitler came into power. Upon Hitler’s invasion of Holland, Diet joined with her fiance and others in the Christian resistance movement in the Netherlands, a movement that helped to save the lives of many Jews.

Diet’s story is a fascinating one as she describes life in Holland before World War II, what it was like to be part of the resistance movement, how help was given to the Jews, her imprisonment that included a meeting with Corrie Ten Boom, along with a message for young Christians today.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn from someone who was greatly used of God during Nazi occupation; a time of great trial, oppression and persecution.

For information about Diet’s book, Things We Couldn’t Say, click here.

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Biola University Contacts Lighthouse Trails – Accuses of Libel

On October 21st, someone from the Media Relations department at Biola University contacted Lighthouse Trails because of articles we have posted about Biola’s promotion of contemplative spirituality. The person, who asked not to be identified in our articles, said that statements Lighthouse Trails has made are libelous. Upon asking for examples of libelous statements, none were given. Biola’s media person did say that our definition of contemplative spirituality (eastern-style mysticism) is not what they mean by contemplative.

To supplement our previous articles (see links at bottom) and to show that Biola is indeed promoting and introducing students to contemplative mystical spirituality, the following links are provided. Please also refer to the many links provided through the articles at the bottom of this statement.

Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology:

Prayer Seminar (TTSF 705) with lectio divina, recollection, centering prayer, Jesus Prayer (all of these fit the contemplative prayer model)

Practicums in contemplative prayer

TTSF 532 – Developmental Spirituality & Contemplative Prayer with emphasis on mystic St. John of the Cross (a panentheist)

TTSF 531 – History & Traditions of Christian Spirituality: Experiential projects in several mystical streams and traditions

*Note: The Spiritual Formation department at Talbot is instructed by several contemplative proponents including director, John Coe and J.P. Moreland.

The Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care: This is a new publication put out by Talbot (Biola). The inaugural issue has an article by Dallas Willard. In fact, Willard permeates Biola’s Spiritual Formation program. Willard emulates mystics such as Richard Foster and Henri Nouwen. He helped to launch Foster’s Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible (filled with contemplative references), wrote the foreword to mantra-proponent Ruth Haley Barton’s book Invitation to Solitude and Silence, and is extremely influential in the spiritual formation movement.

Perhaps one of the strongest influences at Biola for contemplative spirituality is Biola’s professor of philosophy J.P. Moreland. On Biola’s newspage it announces the recent award given to Moreland for his book Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit’s Power.1 Lighthouse Trails issued a book review on this book in January, and we encourage all who are concerned about Biola to read it. His book identifies what Moreland calls one of three needed elements for the church — spiritual formation. In the book, Moreland says he has drawn from the life of Dallas Willard for 25 years. In chapter 6 of Kingdom Triangle, Moreland includes discussion about the “true self” and the “false self.” He echoes Thomas Merton and Martin Buber, both who had strong mystical propensities, and who believed we could attain to our true self (a perfect self) through mystical practices. Moreland encourages the writings (and practices) of St. Ignatius Loyola, (p. 156), saying such practices will help us to “cultivate the ability to discern the divine components” within us. This follows the course of thinking that Thomas Merton had – that divinity is already within, and mystical practices help us to realize what is already there. That is why Merton said,

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are … If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are. I suppose the big problem would be that we would bow down and worship each other…. At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth….This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody. (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, pp. 157-158)

With the influence of Willard and Moreland, and other contemplative proponents at Biola, we believe this school is in trouble, and many of the staff and students do not even realize it because they don’t understand the nature of contemplative spirituality. As an example of just where this belief system will take Biola, take this into consideration. On Dallas Willard’s website, he names several figures who are examples of people we should follow and learn from. Three of those are women, all whom had mystical propensities, one of whom even levitated during mystical experiences. These women are: Teresa of Avila (who levitated), Evelyn Underhill (author of Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness), and Madame Guyon. It was Guyon who said that during the contemplative state she came to realize that God was in everything (from Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ p. 4]).

Willard also recommends Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, and Jan Johnson, all whom have written favorably about a mantric-style meditation.

Willard and Moreland resonate with the mystics – and they have brought these affinities to Biola. Lighthouse Trails will continue to report on these matters with the hope of warning students who are being caught in a deceptive snare, often unknowingly. If Biola is going to accuse Lighthouse Trails of libel, perhaps it would be a good idea if their staff and professors brought themselves up to speed on what contemplative spirituality is and how it is affecting the halls of their institution and the minds of their students.

Related Articles on Biola:

Biola University Student Reports on Contemplative Chapel Services -Warns Parents to Avoid Biola

The Shape of Things to Come: Biola University Embraces Contemplative Spirituality

Student Concerned Over Biola’s Contemplative/Emerging Focus

Respected Ministries Say OK to Contemplative J.P. Moreland

Also researchers should check out Biola’s Institute of Spiritual Formation.

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Political and Spiritual Updates from Kjos Ministries

by Kjos Ministries 
LTRP Note: Kjos Ministries is one of the ministries Lighthouse Trails turns to for accurate information, news, documentation, and commentary, with a strong foundation on Scripture. Kjos has posted a number of articles this past couple of weeks relating to the present political and spiritual situation in the United States. Below are links and synopsis to a few of them.

Socialism in America: A Revolution in the Making By Jan Markell -

In recent weeks it has become more obvious that America is on the yellow-brick road to Socialism. In 1962 Russian Premier Khrushchev said,

“We can’t expect the American people to jump from capitalism to Communism but we can assist their leaders by giving them small amounts of Socialism until they awaken one day to find out they have Communism.”

He also said that Communism would take over America “without firing a shot.”

I am not suggesting that the “movers and shakers” trying to take over many of our capitalistic institutions are secretly planning a Communist revolution in America. Some like the idea of Socialism; others just want to bail America out of financial trouble to stabilize the world. However, more industries are going to fail in the coming months and need further government intervention. When does the spinning wheel stop and where will we be at when it is over?

The Joseph Principle and Crisis Economics By Carl Teichrib -

Confusion reigns. Economic bewilderment appears to be the hallmark of 2008. Banks don’t seem to know what to do; politicians offer stimulus packages that don’t stimulate; and everywhere financial planners and advisors proclaim that “it will get better” while each passing week gets worse. And at the gut level everyone knows that if the markets completely unravel, if currencies shatter in the confusion, a brutal monster – Chaos – will appear from under the bed and run rampant while the financial house burns.

Mind Change and Collective Service by Berit Kjos -

At the dawn of Stalin’s deadly reign in the 1930s — when Communist leader Antonio Gramsci was writing his cunning formula for transforming the West — numerous European Marxist were searching for effective strategies for mass control. As Hitler rose to power, some fled to America where they fine-tuned their tactics at “progressive” institutions like Columbia University. Welcomed by liberal educators, they found plenty of opportunity to test and teach their theories. Others merely exported their research to fellow revolutionaries in America. Their names–Adorno, Marcuse, Lukács and Lewin–don’t ring many bells today, but no one can escape their impact on our nation.

In the Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar Unity by Tamara Hartzell -

According to Tom Bandy, “a whole new species of church is emerging.” This emerging church is “not a machine”–”preoccupied with theological purity, ideological correctness, and behavioral conformity”–but “an organism.”

This “organism” “worships differently, thinks differently, and depends on an entirely different kind of leadership.” This “new species of church” is the “Spiritual Redwood” growing in the midst of the diverse, cultural “forest.”

More from Kjos Ministries

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Bible Belt Newspaper (Argus Leader): Eastern Meditation Practices Appeals to Many Christians

“Meditation: Silent practice appeals to many, including Christians”

Argus Leader

Like many churchgoers in the Bible Belt, Kristy Robinson teaches Sunday school with her husband and helps prepare Communion at their Episcopal church in Franklin, Tenn.

She rounds out her church- and prayer-filled life with another spiritual practice that’s not quite as familiar: meditation.

“I’ll see a difference in my day if I don’t,” says Robinson, who opens each day with 20 minutes of absolute silence.

All the chanting and incense and – yikes – even meditation altars may seem too New Age and mystical for some, but meditation has gone mainstream and been embraced by suburban moms and busy people.

Younger generations get an introduction in yoga classes, careerists escape on meditation retreats and boomers seek tranquility in meditation gardens. Meditation, it seems, is no longer associated as a counterculture activity.Click here to read this entire article.

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‘Gay’ pedophilia and Obama

LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails is posting the following WorldNet Daily article by Linda Harvey because we believe the rise in pedophilia and the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle are two inter-related issues that need to be brought to light in our spiritually darkened society. These are signs of the times and indirectly connected to occultism.

“‘Gay’ pedophilia and Obama”

By Linda Harvey
WorldNet Daily

I’d been wondering what Kevin Jennings was doing these days. Jennings is the founder and long-time head of the radical homosexual group GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. GLSEN’s mission has been to plant “gay” clubs and training programs in as many schools as possible. GLSEN now claims 4,000 “gay-straight alliances” exist, although this number is doubtful.

Certainly, there are way too many. The group’s target has been to place these clubs in all U.S. schools, K through 12. If you think a kindergartener signing up for a “gay” club is ludicrous, you are not alone.

But Jennings has moved on to better things. He’s now the Obama campaign fundraising co-chair for the “LGBT” community – that’s “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered.” You can listen to Jennings lay out the rights-oriented rhetoric in two interviews with Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign, on the website “LGBT for Obama.”

Their conversation, reviewing Jennings’ record, dwells on preventing bullying of “gay” kids. Jennings constructed this Trojan horse for access to schools despite the ability of every community to punish school bullying without accommodating the “gay” agenda. This smokescreen hides the pornographic reality of GLSEN’s “support” for kids under Jennings’ leadership.Click here to read this entire article.

Related Stories:

Homosexuality and the New Age

Ted Haggard Story Will Raise Serious Questions For All

Baptist Press Reports: Obama: If elected I will use the bully pulpit for gay causes

Rick Warren’s New Reformation to Include Muslims and Homosexuals

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