Jones: Leading the Youth Toward Mystical Spirituality
Emerging church leader Tony Jones' March 2008 release, The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier, may not come as a shock to those who have already read Jones' books, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope and The Sacred Way. But it does provide further insights into the true nature of the emerging church. In The Sacred Way, Jones openly acknowledges his affinity with mysticism. With chapters on labyrinths, stations of the cross, the silence, centering (mantric) prayer, and more, Jones' leaves no doubt that he embraces eastern-style mystical prayer practices. In An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, he takes it to the next level. The thesis of that book could be described as:
The Kingdom of God is already here on earth, includes all people, all faiths, and in fact is in all people and all of creation and can be felt or realized through mysticism which connects everything together as ONE. (see review
Those who have come to understand mantra meditation know that the usual outcome of going into altered states is a new spiritual consciousness that is open to both panentheism (God in all) and interspirituality (all religions lead to God). 1 In order to have this new spiritual outlook, one's view of "truth" must be adjusted - Jones' new book, The New Christians, provides such an outline for this adjustment. A theme of this book could go something this:
Emergents say they believe in truth, but they define it as something that is always changing and being refined, can never be grasped, and enfolds all beliefs, except the ones that insist there is only one truth.
It's not really any wonder that Jones says this - he credits Brian McLaren as "helping to birth this book" (p. 253). McLaren's view on truth resonates with the description above.
As is typical with many emerging church books, The New Christians emphatically tries to convince readers that the "church is dead" (p. 4), at least church as we have known it. (Click here to read this entire review.)
Emergent Manifesto of Hope is the new release from Emersion, a publishing partnership between Baker Books and Emergent Village. The book, edited and compiled by emergent leaders Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt, is a collection of essays by various emerging church leaders. Pagitt says the book "provides a rare glimpse inside the emerging church." This "rare glimpse" actually lays out the agenda of the movement, and in essence Emergent Manifesto is the emerging church's coming out of the closet tribute.
The back cover of Emergent Manifesto describes it as a "front-row" look at this "influential international movement" and promises readers that they will come away with "a deeper understanding of the hopeful imagination that drives the emerging church." Readers are also told that they will "appreciate the beauty of a conversation that is continually being formed." However, the book fails to deliver any "beauty."
A more accurate title for this book would be Emergent Manifesto of False Hope, and a subtitle (albeit a lengthy one) that would describe it perfectly would go something like this:
The Kingdom of God is already here on earth, includes all people, all faiths, and in fact is in all people and all of creation and can be felt or realized through mysticism which connects everything together as ONE.
This new collective spirituality leads people into a socialistic community where rituals, practices, and social justice become a means of salvation, but not the salvation you think of in a personal sense of being born-again through Jesus Christ. This is a collective salvation 1 that includes whole cultures and communities who follow the way of someone referred to as Jesus. (Click here to read this entire article.)
a National Youth Worker's Convention,Tony Jones says the emerging church has
no position on absolute truth, but his new book, Sacred
Way, takes a strong position on Eastern religion and New
Age practices ...
by Tony Jones
Exploring Spirituality and Contemplative Practices in Youth Ministry
spiritual exercises are being implemented by youth ministries
around the United States and Great Britain"
Is Tony Jones Teaching?
Silence and Solitude
The Jesus Prayer
The Ignatian Examen
Stations of the Cross
Read Tony's article
in Youth Specialties, Youth
Worker Journal where Tony tells all about his experiences with:
Read the whole article by Tony Jones
Is Tony Jones Doing
To Teach Youth?
According to Tony Jones, he:
Reads only Bible versions that have no chapter or verse numbers, such
as The Message.
*Reinvigorates the process of catechism.
a big fan of lectio divina*
Does more and more ancient
practices for corporate spirituality.*Stations
of the Cross is one we've used several times.
a nutshell, postmodernism says there are no universal truths valid
for all people. Instead, individuals are locked into the limited perspective
of their own race, gender or ethnic group. It is Nietzsche in full
The Postmodern Cult of Hermes
radical shift in the way young people view reality is bringing permanent
change to Europe's spiritual climate. The global forecast is both
threatening and promising. Post-modernity, as this mood-change is
becoming known, is not a rational, consistent, philosophy.... It
is a soup of contradictory ideas....
Global Weather Change
by Jeff Fountain
to be Lost and Searching
Rather Than Accept the Gospel According to Jesus Christ
July 8th, 2005 - PBS' Religion & Ethics Weekly
has just released a news
story on the emerging church movement.
The story shows how far this movement's leaders are willing
to go to bring a whole generation into their emergence. These
leaders are compromising the gospel and keeping thousands
of young people from hearing the true message of salvation.
The underlying foundation of the emerging church is New Age
mysticism. With labyrinths, yoga,
chanting and meditating,
the emerging church is helping to unite all the world's religious traditions.
The three emerging church leaders featured in the PBS story, Brian
Pagitt, and Tony Jones, speak of a new Christianity:
Doug Pagitt - "When people discover we are a church
with a yoga class ... they sometimes assume that we're simply
out to appeal to the cultural creatives and the neo-hippies."
(p. 53, Reimagining
Brian McLaren: Endorsing the back cover of Alan
Jones' book, Reimagining Christianity, which
says the doctrine of the Cross is a vile doctrine.
Tony Jones, author of Soul
Shaper:"The first time I introduced this, the
kids came in, and I had a candle going and a little incense
burning and some Gregorian chant music on the CD player."
doesn't have a position on absolute truth, or on anything for
that matter. Do you show up at a dinner party with your neighbors
and ask, 'What's this dinner party's position on absolute truth?'
No, you don't, because it's a nonsensical question." At
the 2005 National Youth Workers Convention
was the key to unlock the door to the future of my theology and
divina is a very ancient way of reading Scripturewhere you
take a very small chunk and read it over and over."
"The first time I introduced this, the kids came in, and
I had a candle going and a little incense burning and some Gregorian
chant music on the CD player." Tony Jones, from interview with editor Jeff Bailey, Cutting Edge magazine, pp. 15-22.
used prayer with icons, or the Eastern Orthodox
done Ignatian meditation."
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.
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. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.