Posts Tagged ‘biola university’

Biola University Brings in Emergent Speaker for Students, as Pathway to Apostasy Continues

On February 22nd, 2017, Biola University hosted a one-evening live recording of the renowned public radio podcast “ON BEING with Krista Tippett.” During the event, which was free to attend to all Biola students and others, Tippett interviewed artist Enrique Martinez Celaya. Biola, a Christian university, began wandering into the contemplative/emergent camp many years ago, particularly via their Spiritual Formation program at the Talbot School of Theology, but it has now spread into other areas as well.

For those not familiar with Krista Tippett, we’d like to share a few things about her beliefs. Then you decide if this is what Christian parents are paying high dollars for when sending their children to a Christian university.

Krista Tippett promotes Yoga: In a 2014 interview Krista did with Seane Corn (National Yoga Ambassador for YouthAIDS and cofounder of “Off the Mat, Into the World”), Krista shows a strong camaraderie with Yoga. While interviewing this Yoga teacher, Tippett exhibits a clear resonance with Yoga and offers no warning whatsoever. In a 2012 interview, she interviewed (with the same kind of fevor) Yoga author and teacher Matthew Sanford.

Her organization promotes contemplative prayer: On Krista Tippett’s website, On Being, there is a 2015 article and illustration about The Tree of Contemplative Practices by On Being co-founder Trent Gilliss. Incidentally, Lighthouse trails author Lois Putnam did an article on the Tree of Contemplative Practices in 2014.

Tippett promotes many emergent ideas: Read her article “Religion does not have a monopoly on faith” where she espouses on ecumenism, interspirituality, the new monasticism, and other emergent views.

If you know someone who is attending or if you yourself are attending Biola, the highest level of godly discernment will be needed. The greatest kind of deception is the kind that has a Christian outer wrapping but which has an inner core that is the antithesis of biblical truth.

The LT reader who alerted us to this one-evening event with Krista Tippett also told us that Mike Erre (former pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton – Chuck Swindoll’s former church) is now a Pastor in Residence at Biola. This brought to remembrance our book review of Mike Erre’s book, Death by Church, an extremely emergent-promoting book. Here is a portion of our review:

In the pages of Death by Church (Harvest House), Mike Erre acknowledges that Jesus is Lord. He also references a number of Scriptures and talks about several different Bible stories. But for the discerning Christian who knows his Bible, it doesn’t take too long into Erre’s book to realize something is amiss, and such a reader soon begins to have a sense that he is theologically being tossed to and fro between the pages of this book and soon feeling like he is in a battle zone for the truth. Sandwiched between the Scripture references and the mention of “Jesus” is a theology that does not at all represent the Gospel.

Death by Church has a point to make–that God is saving “all of creation” (eg. p. 100) and that the “church” is not the substance of the kingdom of God (i.e., the whole of creation and all of humanity is). In fact, Erre says, the church is not the kingdom of God at all – it only points to the kingdom of God, which incorporates all of creation and, if the church does all the right things it can have the privilege of being part of that kingdom too. Erre seeks to prove his point but not just by turning to Scripture – he turns to prominent figures in the emerging/emergent church (e.g., Brian McLaren and Dan Kimball), the contemplative mystical prayer movement (e.g., Dallas Willard and panentheist Richard Rohr-a favorite of Erre’s), and New Age sympathizers (such as Marcus Borg, who believes Jesus did not see himself as the Son of God (see For Many Shall Come in My Name, p. 124), and Gregory Boyd, emerging author of Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty). Couple Erre’s frequent use of emerging/contemplative/New Age sympathizing authors with his kingdom-now theology wrapped in universalist/panentheistic overtones, and Death by Church actually takes on a pseudo-name, Death by Deception.(source)

It’s brings much trepidation to think about the direction Biola University and so many Christian universities are going. We cringe when we think of the young people who are sitting in the classes, chapels, and seminars of these schools taking in everything being told to them, all because the man or woman standing at the front of the class says he or she “loves Jesus” when in reality they are presenting another Jesus and a different gospel so much of the time.

Some Previous Articles Lighthouse Trails Has Written on Biola:

Erwin McManus, Moody, Liberty, Cedarville, and Biola Help Pave the Emergent/Social Justice/Progressive Future with Barefoot Tribe

Biola Conference Welcomes Ruth Haley Barton as it Continues Heartily Down Contemplative Path

Biola’s New Gay and Lesbian Student Group – A “Fruit” of Their Contemplative Propensities?

Biola Magazine Managing Editor Admits Biola Promotes Contemplative Spirituality

Children at Risk: “How Colorado Schools Are Helping Kids Calm Down—and Learn—Through Mindfulness”

LTRP Note: The following out-of-house news story reiterates what Lighthouse Trails has been trying to warn about. More and more public schools are implementing “mindfulness” meditation techniques into the lives of their students. Ray Yungen provides this explanation of what mindfulness is:

In recent years, a type of meditation known as mindfulness has made a surprising showing. Based on current trends, it has the potential to eclipse even Yoga in popularity. You will now find it everywhere that people are seeking therapeutic approaches to ailments or disorders. True to its Buddhist roots, mindfulness involves focusing on the breath to stop the normal flow of thought. In effect, it acts the same way as a mantra; and as with Yoga, it is presented as something to cure society’s ills.

While this particular article is talking about a public school, make no mistake about it, mindfulness meditation has entered the church (such as at Biola University).

By Ann Schimke
Chalkbeat

photo: Chalkbeat

In a recent Thursday afternoon, school psychologist Amy Schirm stood before two-dozen fifth-graders in a classroom at Denver’s Munroe Elementary School. Piano music played softly in the background and a string of white holiday lights twinkled on the wall behind her.

“Close your eyes,” Schirm said. “I’m going to ring the bell three times. Just focus all your attention on the sound.” She struck a small metal bowl with a mallet.

“Let your body kind of feel heavy, like you’re sinking down into your chair,” she said. “Just take a minute to check in with yourself. How are you doing in this moment?”

The students were practicing mindfulness — concentrating on their present thoughts, emotions and environment. The concept is catching on in schools in Colorado and nationwide as a way to help students better focus their attention, process their emotions and develop compassion. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

Mindfulness! Heard of It? What Does it Mean, and Where is it Showing Up in Christian Circles?

Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?

 

Letter to the Editor: Concerned About Spiritual Deception in the Homeschooling Camp

Woman helping her children with homework

Stock photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails is a strong supporter of homeschooling. This letter to the editor is posted not to condemn homeschooling but rather to show that homeschooled children and their parents are at risk too of becoming victim to spiritual deception. If you are homeschooling children or if your grandchildren are being homeschooled, we hope you will do all you can to protect those children from teachings that are not grounded in the Word of God. Contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation) is entering the Christian homeschool camp. For example, Biola University (a contemplative-promoting university) offers an annual lecture titled “Spiritual Formation for Home Educators.” Biola has been a leader in bringing contemplative spirituality into the church for a number of years. Now they are helping to bring it to homeschool parents.

Dear Lighthouse Trail Editors:

I am a Bible-believing, born-again homeschooling wife and mother from Australia.  I am continually astounded by  the sheer depth of deception that has gripped the church and has also taken over so many professing Christian mothers both here and in America.

There are so many homeschooling blogs by professing Christian mothers who promote all manner of things that are unbiblical and smacking of the world, witchcraft, the New Age and psychology.  Blog after blog promoting Harry Potter novels and fantasy, Disney movies and T.V shows that promote witchcraft, homosexuality, and the spirit of the world.  Having the veneer of Christianity but having no substance thereof.  Loving and promoting all things of the world on the one hand while professing to be Christian and having a love of Jesus on the other. Promoting worldly  methods of raising children such as “respectful parenting” where requiring obedience and punitive measures of discipline are viewed as harmful and mean.

What happens when you politely point out that these things are unbiblical and how God forbids us from having anything to do with witchcraft and the occult?  That if you do not require your children to obey you how can they possibly learn to obey God? That punishment is not a bad thing, that it is a reality of life and that God is love and He punishes and disciplines. That God is just and holy and the unrepentant [those who do not turn from their sin and put their trust in Christ for salvation] will be judged on judgement day.

You are met with derision and the whole “judge not” rhetoric and then are blocked from ever commenting again.  “Go away,” is the message; “we don’t want to know about it, and we don’t want to hear from you.” It doesn’t matter how nicely you do it, it’s the so-called Christians (the pseudo Christians) who turn on you the most whenever you point out that what they are promoting is unbiblical.

Every day I am reminded of the frightening lack of discernment among Christians. Now more than ever we need to exercise discernment because Satan and his minions are unleashing havoc everywhere – on television, in the movies, in books, through the school curriculum, and on the Internet. Particularly when raising children because there are snares everywhere.  Satan is subtle, and the way to not fall victim to his deception is to not watch worldly TV shows and movies because the brainwashing and the defilement is rife, to pray and to be grounded firmly in the Word of God (preferably using the KJV).  If you do these things, you have a far greater ability to spot the apostate teachings that abound.

Many of these high profile “Christian” homeschooling mothers have considerable influence.  I often think what a great shame it is that instead of leading their many impressionable followers (many who seem to hang on their every word) to the truth of the Bible, they are leading them very subtly down the slippery slope of the New Age, a false Jesus, and a “feel good”/ “sounds good” methodology of child rearing that is not biblical.  A methodology that doesn’t offend anyone and also keeps their non-Christian readers (and their advertisers!) happy.

I often feel like I’m completely on my own when challenging these women because nobody backs me up; it’s a pack mentality, and it is made known in no uncertain terms that you are firmly on the outer. It’s like I’m some kind of weirdo for having the “audacity” to say something. So thank you for your website, your blogs, and your books as you remind me that I am not alone and that God will always have His remnant.

God bless,

Lynda

Related Information:

BOOKLET TRACT: IF it is of God—Answering the questions of IF:Gathering

Letter to the Editor: Many Women Reading Terkeurst and Voskamp Contemplative Books

 

 

Letter to the Editor: Rick Warren, the Road to Rome, and More Trouble at Biola University

To Lighthouse Trails:

I just got the latest Biola Magazine in the mail today. Did you hear about Rick Warren and his wife being given honorary doctorates at the same time at Biola’s last graduation ceremony?

I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts about that topic. Maybe you could post an article on this. I graduated from Biola, and I remember when Rick Warren spoke at a friends graduation, a semester before I graduated. I am the guy who told you about the mystical stuff Biola does and how Biola’s media department claimed they were going to sue you back around 2008-09. 

There was also recently some big discussion at Biola about the death of Protestantism between one guy who says Protestantism should be done away with and mixed with Catholicism. The other guy was an evangelical low church guy, and the third was a protestant guy. It was a discussion about whether or not we need to be separated from the Church of Rome or not basically. In my opinion this is not a discussion any Christian needs to have, as it is obvious Catholicism is false. Now if this was a debate I could understand having this, but it seemed more like a discussion to be positive about it. I feel such discussion allow liberalism/ecumenicism to seep through cracks when there is not a major stance taken on the biblical issue.

Related information on Biola:

Biola Conference Welcomes Ruth Haley Barton as it Continues Heartily Down Contemplative Path

Biola’s New Gay and Lesbian Student Group – A “Fruit” of Their Contemplative Propensities?

Biola Magazine Managing Editor Admits Biola Promotes Contemplative Spirituality

 

Biola Conference Welcomes Ruth Haley Barton as it Continues Heartily Down Contemplative Path

On October 16th, Biola University will host its Torrey Conference 2013, and contemplative teacher Ruth Haley Barton will be a featured speaker at the event. This does not come as a great surprise to the editors at Lighthouse Trails because Biola has been going down the contemplative path for quite sometime. But because there are still so many who do not think there is a crisis happening at Christian colleges and seminaries, Lighthouse Trails continues issuing the warnings. And there are Christian parents who are paying large amounts of money to send their children to these schools, thinking their children are going to be drawn closer to the Lord and the truth of His Word. But for most kids going to Christian colleges today, they are going to be handed a college diploma that has been obtained through the filter of contemplative spirituality. Such is definitely the case with Biola University.

It was just earlier this year that we brought to our readers attention the Assemblies of God invitation of Ruth Haley Barton to the AG General Council conference. We wrote articles explaining the spirituality that Barton embraces and passes on to thousands of Christian pastors and church leaders. Sadly, our warnings fell on the deaf ears of AG leaders, and Barton’s invitation remained intact. In fact, AG General Superintendent Dr. George Wood defended the invitation publically and expressed his relaxed views about contemplative spirituality. You can read the coverage we did on that situation by clicking here. 

One of the main points we want to get across – something we have worked very hard at explaining clearly over the years – is that contemplative prayer is essentially the same mystical practice that takes place in occultism, the New Age, and eastern meditation. While intent may be different (contemplatives say they want to reach God), the methods are virtually the same, and the results are identical. In this particular article, Lighthouse Trails Statement to Assemblies of God Response Regarding Invitation of Ruth Haley Barton,” we answer these important questions: 1. WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER AND EASTERN MEDITATION? 2. WHERE DID CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE COME FROM? and 3. WHAT IS THE PROOF THAT CONTEMPLATIVE IS OCCULTIC?

As for Ruth Haley Barton, we have given ample evidence to prove that she is a bi-product, if you will, of the spirituality of contemplative panentheistic mystics Thomas Keating, Richard Rohr, and Tilden Edwards. And the fact that she is now being welcomed so readily by evangelical denominations (Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, Wesleyan, etc.) shows just how integrated contemplative spirituality has become in the evangelical and Protestant church.  

As we stated earlier in this article, we are not surprised that Biola has invited Ruth Haley Barton to the Torrey Conference. We first wrote about Biola University’s contemplative leanings in 2006 in an article titled “The Shape of Things to Come: Biola University Embraces Contemplative Spirituality.” And in that article, we pointed out that Biola had invited Barton to speak at an event. In that 2006 article, we stated “Biola University, the traditional virtual bedrock of conservative Christian higher education, has opened itself to influences that would have its founders turning over in their graves.”

Incidentally, Biola is also engaging with contemplative author Adele Ahlberg Calhoun as you can see from this Biola page that has two videos of  talks at Biola by Calhoun.  Calhoun’s book, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, shows her strong propensities toward a number of eastern style mysticism advocates such as David Steindl-Rast, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington, and Tilden Edwards (Shalem Institute). You can read our review of Calhoun’s book here.

Biola has also welcomed the teachings of the recently late contemplative pioneer Dallas Willard (see Biola video here) and has resonated with and encouraged the teachings of Peter Drucker (see video here).  Others who have spoken at Biola are meditation proponent Ken Blanchard (here), emerging church teacher Shane Claiborne (here), and lectio divina instructor, Joanne Jung (here) to name just a few.

If you know someone who is attending Biola University, please deliver to them a sober warning about what he or she could encounter while attending Biola. To see the Lighthouse Trails list of contemplative colleges, click here.

Related Articles:

Biola’s New Gay and Lesbian Student Group – A “Fruit” of Their Contemplative Propensities?

Book Warning: Kingdom Triangle by Biola Professor J.P. Moreland

Biola Magazine Managing Editor Admits Biola Promotes Contemplative Spirituality

 

NEW BOOKLET: An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited

An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail.  Below is the content of the booklet. There is a also an appendix (see below). To order copies of An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited, click here.

An Epidemic Of ApostasyBy the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case, you will find contemplative spirituality and its “pioneers” such as Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and Henri Nouwen. Spiritual Formation is based on “spiritual disciplines” that can be practiced by people of any faith to make them more “Christ-like.” Rebirth through Jesus Christ and regeneration through the Holy Spirit are not essential. Rather it is a works-based “theology” that has strong roots in Roman Catholicism and ancient paganism.1

Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all). Common terms used for this movement are “spiritual formation,” “the silence,” “the stillness,” “ancient-wisdom,” “spiritual disciplines,” and many others.2

What do Abilene Christian University, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Bethel Seminary, Biola Seminary, Briercrest College and Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Moody Theological Seminary & Graduate School, Multnomah Biblical Seminary, Regent College, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and around 240 other seminaries and colleges throughout North America all have in common?3 They are all accredited or in the process of being accredited through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).4

What do Cincinnati Christian University, Columbia International University, Briercrest College & Seminary, Hope International University, Moody Bible Institute, Prairie Bible College and about 90 other colleges and seminaries throughout North America all have in common? They are all accredited through the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).5

What do the two accreditation organizations—Association of Theological Seminaries and Association for Biblical Higher Education—have in common? Both associations require schools that wish to be accredited to include Spiritual Formation within the school’s infrastructure. Just what exactly does that mean for these 350 some seminaries and Bible colleges? Well, it means that if they want to receive and maintain their accreditation, they are going to have to incorporate Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) into the lives of their students.

This would certainly answer, in large part, a question that Lighthouse Trails has had—how is it that contemplative spirituality has become so widespread so quickly within Christian colleges and seminaries over the past decade?

We were told, when we contacted ATS, that “Each school and tradition approaches this [Spiritual Formation] in a different way.” In other words, how one school defines “Spiritual Formation” may differ from how another school defines it, they say. Yet, both accreditation associations have made it very clear that they are speaking of contemplative spirituality when they are speaking of Spiritual Formation. That’s easy to prove. A look around their websites and in their handbooks shows clear signs of the contemplative emphasis.

Take the “Additional Resources for Seminary Presidents” 18-page handbook, for instance, from ATS.It recommends books by mysticism advocates Jim Collins (Good to Great), Daniel Goleman (author of The Meditative Mind), Peter Drucker, contemplative mystic Henri Nouwen, Buddhist sympathizer Peter Senge (recommending his book The Fifth Discipline (the 5th discipline meaning meditation), contemplative advocate Dorothy Bass, and Catholic nun and Buddhist zen practitioner Rose Mary Dougherty (part of the panentheistic Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, DC); and there are numerous other “Spiritual Formation/contemplative” advocates in the list of “Additional Resources for Seminary Presidents.”6

In the ATS Handbook under “Assessing Outcomes in the Master of Divinity Program,” where it talks about assessing students progress, it states:

The Master of Divinity degree program standard requires that students be educated in four areas: (1) Religious Heritage, (2) Cultural Context, (3) Personal and Spiritual Formation, and (4) A Guide for Evaluating Theological Learning Capacity for Ministerial and Public Leadership . . . The MDiv standard requires each school to address the four areas.7

The ATS is determined that Spiritual Formation is integrated through all four of these areas:

However, the standard indicates that achievement and formation in these four areas should be integrated: “Instruction in these areas shall be conducted so as to indicate their interdependence with each other and with other areas of the curriculum, and their significance for the exercise of pastoral leadership.”

Integrated outcomes result from an integrated curriculum and instructional strategies.8

The Spiritual Formation/contemplative focus at the Association for Biblical Higher Education is as troubling as it is at ATS. In the ABHE Programmatic Standards handbook, it states under Curriculum—Essential Elements: “[A]n accredited graduate program is characterized by . . . A learning environment that cultivates critical thinking, theological reflection, spiritual formation, and effective leadership/ministry practice.”9

That might sound vague, but the 2011 ABHE Leadership Development Conference helps clarify ABHE’s view of Spiritual Formation. Session 1 was titled: Student Spiritual Formation—Principles, Processes, Issues, Resources & Assessment.10 This session was presented by Todd Hall of Biola University, a school that has clearly come out on the side of contemplative spirituality. Hall co-authored a book with contemplative advocate Dr. John Coe, who is the director of Biola’s Institute of Spiritual Formation; Hall also teaches Spiritual Formation at the Institute, which turns to the ancient mystics for spiritual understanding.

It is interesting to note the following in the conference literature:

Todd also developed the Spiritual Transformation [a contemplative term] Inventory (STI), a measure of Christian spirituality that is being used in national assessment projects conducted by the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).11

In other words, when it says “a measure of Christian spirituality that is being used” to assess students at Christian schools, it means that assessment is made under the lens of contemplative spirituality. Students are assessed to see if they are properly absorbing their spiritual disciplines ala Spiritual Formation.

ABHE’s Council of Reference members list also indicates a contemplative agenda. Members include J.P. Moreland (whom Lighthouse Trails has critiqued for his contemplative advocacy) and contemplative musician Michael Card.12

Students who oppose or resist contemplative spirituality aren’t going to find success in these 350 theological Spiritual Formation-driven schools. According to the ATS Handbook, “direct evidence of students reaching stated goals is needed.”13 In a section titled Quality Assurance Expectations, it explains again that students will be expected to “provide evidence” that they are being transformed into their view of spirituality:

[T]heological schools are required to provide evidence that students in general reach stated learning outcomes. 14

In the summer of 2010, Moody Bible Institute, accredited through ABHE, took part in ABHE’s Assessment and Accountability Project. A report on this project explains in depth the criteria for assessing the outcomes of student success. The four areas are Biblical, Transformational, General/Experiential, and Missional (Transformational, Experiential, and Missional are terms used frequently by contemplative/emerging advocates). The “suggested assessments” include ABHE Spiritual Formation Assessment.15 The report explains that students will need to “demonstrate the knowledge of specific spiritual disciplines.”16

Incidentally, the ABHE Spiritual Formation Assessment is given every year whereas some other programs at ABHE are only assessed every three years. Clearly, ABHE intends to see Spiritual Formation thriving at these accredited member schools. One of the ways they will do this is through the influence of Henri Nouwen. In the Winter 2010 ABHE Journal is an article titled: “Hospitable Teaching, Redemptive Formation, and Learning Mobility: A Spirituality of Teaching Based upon the Writings of Henri J.M. Nouwen” by Neal Windham.17 Nouwen’s idea of hospitality and redemption incorporated mystical practices, universalism, and an interfaith reconciliation.

Anyone who thinks that Moody Bible Institute is not going to succumb to the pressure from ABHE to implement a full Spiritual Formation program at Moody is not looking at the obvious here. Already Moody has a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship. By the way, the report we mentioned—ABHE’s Assessment and Accountability Project—is on Moody’s website. In the past, Moody has condemned Lighthouse Trails for our efforts to warn them because they were veering toward contemplative/emerging figures.18 What shall they say now? They HAVE incorporated Spiritual Formation (that is, contemplative spirituality). In the spring of 2013, Lighthouse Trails issued a special report titled “Concerns Grow as Moody Presses Forward Down Contemplative Path.”19

One other case in point, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School has been accredited by ATS since the 1970s. It went through an assessment by ATS in 2010 and passed. That is partly because Trinity now has a Spiritual Formation emphasis.20 Some may argue that just because a school uses the term Spiritual Formation doesn’t mean they are going contemplative. But in virtually every case we have ever examined, if a school is using that term, they are using the writings of the contemplative mystics.

As for Trinity, so are they. In their 2012-2013 catalog, they list some recommended authors for incoming seminary students for “excellent background.”21 Among those authors is Henri Nouwen and the mystic monk Brother Lawrence. This means that incoming students are being introduced, before they even get started, to contemplative writers. Trinity also has on this recommended reading list Lesslie Newbigin, a Scottish writer and Bishop who is looked to for insights by emerging church figures because of his sympathetic and embracing views of postmodernism (i.e., emerging). Of Newbigin, emerging church leader Brian McLaren says: “I see my work very much in line with Newbigin’s.”22 Trinity has at least one course, DE 5740, that is called Spiritual Formation. And in a student chapel service in October 2010, contemplative pioneer, the now late Dallas Willard was the guest speaker.23 Willard is aligned with Richard Foster, and both men have had a major influence in bringing contemplative spirituality into the evangelical church.

The future of Christian theological schools is bleak. In many cases, they are the most dangerous places for Christians to be, from a biblical point of view. Already scores of them are implementing contemplative spirituality, via Spiritual Formation programs, into the lives of their students. And remember, these students are the evangelical/Protestant church’s future pastors, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, professors, missionaries, and leaders. Thanks to ATS and ABHE, there’s little doubt that a growing number of Christian seminaries and colleges will join the ranks of contemplative-promoting schools. Consider the following by some of the people who are recommended on the resource list at ATS. This will illustrate the severity of this epidemic of apostasy.

Henri Nouwen: “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.”24

Daniel Goleman: “The meditation practices and rules for living of these earliest Christian monks [the Desert Fathers] bear strong similarity to those of their Hindu and Buddhist renunciate brethren several kingdoms to the East . . . the meditative techniques they adopted for finding their God suggest either a borrowing from the East or a spontaneous rediscovery.”25 Note: Goleman’s book advocates Tantric sex, Kundalini, T.M., and other deep occultic meditative practices.

Rose Mary Dougherty: A description of Dougherty from the Shalem Institute: A Zen student for a number of years, Rose Mary was called forth as a dharma holder in the lineage of the White Plum Asanga in 2004, becoming a dharma heir in 2006. As a sensei, she teaches Zen meditation in various settings and assists people in integrating contemplative presence and just action in their lives.26

If you know someone who is attending a seminary or Christian college that is accredited by ATS or ABHE, the quotes above are a representation of what that person may be getting rather than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

To order copies of An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited, click here.

Endnotes:
1. From the www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com website.
2. Ibid.
3. http://www.ats.edu/MemberSchools/Pages/Alpha.aspx.
4. http://www.ats.edu.
5. http://www.abhe.org/pages/NAV-Directory.html.
6. http://www.ats.edu/LeadershipEducation/documents/presidents/PresHndbkWebResources.pdf.
7. http://docs.ats.edu/uploads/accrediting/documents/handbook-section-8.pdf.
8. Ibid, (A.3.1.1.3), p. 8.
9. http://www.abhe-sln.org/opac/programmatic_standards.pdf, p. 9.
10. http://www.abhe.org/images/11.CSDO_Program.pdf.
11. Ibid., p. 3.
12. http://www.abhe.org/pages/NAV-Council.html.
13. ATS Handbook (http://www.ats.edu/accrediting/pages/handbookofaccreditation.aspx), p. 9, Section 8.
14.http://www.ats.edu/Accrediting/Documents/Handbook/HandbookSection8.pdf, p. 46.
15. http://www.academia.edu/609666/Association_for_Biblical_Higher_Educations_Assessment_and_Accountability_Project_for_Summer_2010, p. 7.
16. Ibid., p. 17.
17. http://www.abhe-books.com/ABHEJournal/2010ABHEBibleicalHigherEducationJournal.htm.
18. http://www.moodyministries.net/crp_NewsDetail.aspx?id=7080.
19. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11846.
20. http://divinity.tiu.edu/student-life/spiritual-formation.
21. http://divinity.tiu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2013/05/TEDS12-13catalog.pdf, p. 188.
22. http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/q-r-newbigin.html
23. http://web.archive.org/web/20120119110125/http://blogs.tiu.edu/sojourn/2010/10/29/dr-dallas-willard.
24. Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey (New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing, 1998), p. 51.
25. Daniel Goleman, The Meditative Mind (Los Angeles, CA: Tarcher/Putnam Inc., 1988), p.53.
26. http://www.shalem.org/index.php/about-us/people/senior-fellows/rose-mary-dougherty-ssnd.

To order copies of An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited, click here.

APPENDIX

Christian Schools That Are Promoting Spiritual Formation and Contemplative Spirituality

Note: Lighthouse Trails has done research on every one of the schools below.

Note:

Lighthouse Trails has done research on every one of the schools below.

Abilene Christian University—Abilene, TX

ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University—British Columbia, CA

Alberta Bible College–Calgary, Alberta, CA

Ambrose University—Calgary, Alberta, CA

American Christian College & Seminary—Oklahoma City, OK

Anderson University—Anderson, IN

Anderson University—Anderson, SC

Ashland Theological Seminary—Ashland, OH

Assemblies of God Theological Seminary—Springfield, MO

Azusa Pacific University, Haggard School of Theology—Azusa, CA

Baptist Theological Seminary of Southern Africa—Johannesburg, ZA

Barclay College—Haviland, KS

Baylor University—Waco, TX

Beeson Divinity School—Birmingham, AL

Belmont University—Nashville, TN

Bethel Seminary—San Diego, CA St. Paul, MN, East Coast campus

Bethel University—St. Paul, MN

Biblical Theological Seminary—Hatfield, PA

Biola University—La Mirada, CA

Briercrest Bible College— Caronport, Saskatchewan, CA

Bryan College—Dayton, TN

California Baptist University—Riverside, CA

Calvin College—Grand Rapids, MI

Campbell University—Buies Creek, NC

Campbellsville University—Campbellsville, KY

Canadian Mennonite University—Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA

Carey Institute—Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

Cedarville University—Cedarville, OH

Christian Theological Seminary—Indianapolis, IN

Christian University (GlobalNet); ministry of RBC Ministries (online)

Cincinnati Bible Seminary—Cincinnati, OH

Corban University—Salem, OR

Colorado Christian University—Lakewood, CO

Columbia Theological Seminary (Presbyterian)—Decatur, GA

Cornerstone University—Grand Rapids, MI

Dallas Theological Seminary—Dallas, TX

Drew University—Madison, NJ

Duke Divinity School (Duke University)—Durham, NC

Eastern Mennonite Seminary—Harrisonburg, VA

Eastern University—St. Davids, PA

Emmanuel Bible College—Kitchner, Ontario, CA

Emmanuel School of Religion—Johnson City, TN

Fresno Pacific University—Fresno, CA

Fuller Theological Seminary—Pasadena, CA

George Fox University Seminary—Newberg, OR

Gordon College—Wenham, MA

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—South Hamilton, MA

Grace Theological Seminary—Winona Lake, IN

Grand Canyon College—Phoenix, AZ

Greenville College—Greenville, IL

Harding School of Theology—Nashville, TN

Harding University—Searcy, AR

Hope College—Holland, MI

Hope International University—Fullerton, CA

Houghton College—Houghton, NY

Indiana Wesleyan University—Marion, IN

John Brown University—Siloam Springs, AR

John Wesley College—Pretoria, ZA

Lancaster Bible College—Lancaster, PA

LeTourneau University—Longview, TX

Liberty University—Lynchburg, VA

Lincoln Christian University—Lincoln, IL

Lipscomb University—Nashville, TN

Luther Rice Seminary/University—Lithonia, GA

Malone College—Canton, OH

Mars Hill Graduate School—Bothell, WA

Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary—Fresno, CA

Messiah College (Brethren in Christ Church)—Mechanicsburg, PA

MidAmerica Nazarene University—Olathe, KS

Milligan College—Milligan College, TN

Montreat College—Montreat, NC

Moody Bible Institute—Chicago, IL

Mount Vernon Nazarene—Mt. Vernon, OH

Multnomah University—Portland, OR

Nebraska Christian College—Papillion, NE

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary—New Orleans, LA

Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Chicago, Rockford, IL

Northeastern Seminary—Rochester, NY

Northpark University & Northpark Theological Seminary—Chicago, IL

Northwest Nazarene University—Nampa, ID

Northwestern College—Orange City, IA

Northwestern College (University of Northwestern)—St. Paul, MN

Nyack College—Nyack, NY

Oklahoma Christian University—Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma Wesleyan University—Bartlesville, OK

Olivet Nazarene University—Bourbonnais, IL

Oral Roberts University—Tulsa, OK

Pacific Rim Christian College—Honolulu, HI

Palm Beach Atlantic University—Palm Beach, FL

Pepperdine University—Malibu, CA

Phoenix Seminary—Phoenix, AZ

Prairie College of the Bible—Three Hills, Alberta, CA

Providence College and Seminary—Otterburne, Manitoba, CA

Reformed Theological Seminary—Several locations in U.S.

Regent College—Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

Rockbridge Seminary—Springfield, MO

Rocky Mountain College—Calgary, Alberta, CA

Rolling Hills Bible Institute—Rolling Hills Estates, CA

Samford University—Birmingham, AL

Shorter College—Rome, GA

Simpson University—Redding, CA

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary—Wake Forest, NC

Southeastern University—Lakeland, Fl

Southwest Baptist University—Bolivar, MO

Spring Arbor University—Spring Arbor Township, MI

Talbot Seminary (Biola)—La Mirada, CA

Taylor Seminary/Taylor College—Edmonton, Alberta, CA

Taylor University—Upland, IN

Toccoa Falls College—Toccoa Falls, GA

Trevecca Nazarene University—Nashville, TN

Trinity International University—Deerfield, IL

Trinity Western University—Langley, British Columbia, CA

Tyndale University College & Seminary—Toronto, Ontario, CA

Vanguard University—Costa Mesa, CA

Western Seminary—Portland, OR; Sacramento, San Jose, CA

Western Theological Seminary—Holland, MI

Westmont College—Santa Barbara, CA

Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, IL

Whitworth University—Spokane, WA

William Carey Institute —Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

* This is not a complete list. Lighthouse Trails is adding new schools to this list as we learn of their contemplative propensities. To see updates to this list, visit: www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/Colleges.htm. We also have a small list of Christian schools that are not promoting Spiritual Formation at: www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/collegesgood.htm.

An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited, click here.

Want Your Child to Become an Atheist? – Send Him to LeTourneau University in Texas (or Any Other Contemplative/Emergent School For That Matter)

That headline may seem a bit overboard or shocking at first glance, but this is what is happening in many of the Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities to kids who start off as Christian and four years later are proclaiming to be now atheist. At Letourneau University, this happened to the son of a  family that Lighthouse Trails has known for years. When their son graduated from Letourneau, he said he no longer believed he was a Christian. Rather, he said he is now an atheist.

And this is not the first time that Lighthouse Trails has heard such a tragic story.

So when a Lighthouse Trails reader contacted us recently asking what we thought about Letourneau University, we provided this parent (who is looking for a Christian school for his college-age child to attend) with the following information:

1. Here you can see that they brought in Biola University’s Mr. Contemplative himself to speak to the students:  http://www.letu.edu/news/2012/Dr.JohnCoe.html.

2. Here the school turns to contemplative mystic Adele Ahlberg Calhoun to help teach students how to fast: http://www.letu.edu/opencms/opencms/_Other-Resources/presidents_office/vision/process/fasting.html.

3. In this example, you can see the student chapel schedule where they have emergent author Mark Scandrette speaking to the students: http://www.letu.edu/_Student-Life/spiritual-life/chapel/Fall2012/index.jsp. You will find Scandrette‘s name mentioned in Roger Oakland’s book, Faith Undone. Scandrette is connected with an organization called Imagine,(https://www.facebook.com/ReImagineSF), and would be inline with the spirituality of New Age sympathizer, Leonard Sweet. Scandrette‘s book, Soul Graffiti, is a primer in emergent theology.

4. You can also see on the Letourneau chapel schedule, chapel’s focusing on the contemplative practice of lectio divina as well as chapel’s led by contemplative advocate Mindy McGuire (Soulcare.com), John Coe (heads up the Spiritual Formation department at Biola).

5. One particular chapel at Letourneau (December 2012) was titled “Spiritual Disciplines in Other Cultures.” The title alone makes us shudder. In this video of that chapel service, you can see various students sharing. One young man talks about how Thomas Merton changed his entire spiritual outlook: http://www.letu.edu/_Student-Life/spiritual-life/chapel/Fall2012/flashvideo/2012-12-03-Mosaic.html.

6. Letourneau is also promoting the contemplative/emergent message through their Impact Retreat for students:http://www.letu.edu/_Student-Life/leadership/IMPACT/resources.html. In the 2012 retreat, Aubrey Spears, an Anglican pastor, was the speaker. In this pdf, http://www.letu.edu/opencms/export/sites/default/_Student-Life/leadership/IMPACT/media/Session_x2_-_Receiving_the_Day.pdf, are the sermon notes for one of the talks Dr. Spears presented during the retreat. Spears tells students, as is typical of most contemplative teachers, that you cannot really mature spiritually without “slowing down” or having the stillness. He then proceeds to teach the students various forms of contemplative prayer.  If you read the back of this pdf, you will see that Spears turns to emergent/contemplative figures such as Phyllis Tickle, John Ortberg, Marva Dawn, Calvin Miller, Dorothy Bass,Eugene Peterson, and Henri Nouwen.

Some may be asking right now, why would following contemplative authors turn a Christian student into a proclaiming atheist? Well, consider this: Contemplative prayer is panentheistic at its roots (God is in all things). If one comes to believe that everyone and everything is divine or that God or divinity is in all things, including all humans, then the message of the Cross (man needing a Savior because of his sin) and the message of a personal Creator who loves man begin to lose their significance and meaning. And once that happens, is it possible there is a short gap between panentheism and atheism? Both reject the idea of a personal God.

Think about what happens to a young person who has been raised in a Christian home, then ends up in a “Christian” college, and begins getting indoctrinated with emergent teachings by men and women who use Christian terminology and even Scriptures (out of context) to basically knock down everything that child learned in his Christian home. And because most Christian parents today are not equipping their children to recognize and resist spiritual deception (probably because the parents have no idea what spiritual deception even looks like because it isn’t talked about in most churches), they are literally throwing their children to the wolves.

How we wish the family we know who sent their son to Letourneau would have asked Lighthouse Trails about that school four years ago. But, like so many other Christians today, they underestimated the wiles of the devil, and now their beloved son is in the clasp of deception.

If you are looking for a Christian college for your child, do two things: First, make sure your child understands the underlying agenda and teachings of contemplative/emerging spirituality; and second, find a college that at least has some understanding of (and resistance to) the contemplative/emergent issue. Here is one alternative: http://www.faith.edu/. We know that school has a president who is aware of these dangers and is committed to keeping them out. It may not have the prestige that some of these other bigger schools have, but at least a student will more likely still be a Christian when he or she graduates. And isn’t that worth everything!

If you have a high school or college age student, we recommend he or she read Castles in the Sand and that you as parents read A Time of Departing and Faith Undone. Then sit down together as a family and discuss these things until you feel confident that your child gets it. Please realize that all the work you have done over the past 18 years of that child’s life can be undone in just a few terms at a contemplative/emerging college. We have talked to many many parents over the last 11 years who have shared their tragic stories with us.

Note: Needless to say, Letourneau University is now on our Contemplative Colleges list.

Related Articles:

Rob Bell to Teach Teens That Christian Beliefs About Hell are ‘Misguided and Toxic’

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

An Epidemic of Apostasy – Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited

 

 


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