Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Professor Earl Creps Promote Contemplative Spirituality
Assemblies of God Theological Seminary heading toward Emerging and Contemplative Spirituality. One example of this is Professor Earl Creps' list of recommended reading on Leadership, which include materials from mystic proponents Daniel Goleman, Bill Hybels, Laurie Beth Jones, Steven Covey, Eugene Peterson (The Message), Margaret Wheatley (see A "Wonderful" Deception), Larry Crabb, Rick Warren,Dallas Willard, Ruth Haley Barton, Henri Nouwen,Ken Blanchard, and Leonard Sweet.
Earl Creps, director of the Doctor of Ministry program and associate professor at AOGTS, is a heavy proponent of both contemplative and emerging. In his course syllabi over the last five years, Creps has classes with titles such as "Leading the Emerging Church" and "Models of Ministry in the Emerging Church." Syllabus reading materials include those from Henri Nouwen, Brian McLaren, Ken Blanchard, Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, Sally Morgenthaler, Leonard Sweet. A visit to Creps' "Spiritual Adventures" blog gives a hearty helping of emergent discussion. In one blog, Creps tries to show how there might be a union between Pentecostalism and the emerging church, saying the relationship is "gaining some traction." While Creps ends that discussion with "I am painfully orthodox doctrinally," resources he offers throughout his blogs and websites would paint another picture. Under Apologetics Resources, Creps recommends Leonard Sweet's book, Quantum Spirituality. Listen to Sweet, as he describes the New Light in his book: "I have followed those 'New Light leaders' ... [S]ome of those who led [me] into new light are: ... Matthew Fox, Richard Mouw, Rowan Williams." Others that Leonard Sweet thanks include: Morton Kelsey, M. Scott Peck, Walter Bruggemann, Ken Wilber, Thomas Berry and many other New Age sympathizers. And then:
The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be "in connection" and 'in-formation' with other Christians. Deeper feeling and higher relating go together. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness." Quantum Spirituality, P. 122
He goes on:
Energy-fire experiences take us into ourselves only that we might reach outside of ourselves. Metanoia is a de-centering experience of connected-ness and community. It is not an exercise in reciting what Jesus has done for me lately. Energy-fire ecstasy, more a buzz than a binge, takes us out of ourselves, literally. That is the meaning of the word 'ecstatic.'Quantum Spirituality, P. 93
This ecstasy Sweet speaks refers to the New Age ecstasy that occurs in an altered state of consciousness. (See more research on Sweet.)Sweet has written an endorsement for Creps new book, Off-Road Disciplines. With Creps influence at AOGTS and his admiration for Leonard Sweet, it looks like Sweet will play a role in the future of many Assemblies of God students. Read More of this article.
Endorsements on the AGTS website for these
"Assemblies of God professor Earl Creps, a man for whom many in the emerging church movement give thanks daily."Marcia Ford
"I have instructed my web people to link to your marvelous resource. There is truly nothing out there like it. I can't thank you enough." Leonard Sweet
AUTHORS BY AGTS and Dr. Earl Creps:
Eugene Peterson and more...
Earl Creps and the Emerging Church
November 18, 2005 - 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (2005)
"Earl Creps will share on the subject of "Ministry in a Postmodern Culture" with this group of Emerging Leaders."
His Own Words
"Being on the road and the internet a lot has connected me with ... friends like Len Sweet, and numerous Districts of the Assemblies of God, along with other parachurch organizations like Youth Specialties ..."
His Required Reading to Students
Chuck, Jr. The End of the World As We Know It: Clear Direction
for Bold and Innovative Ministry in a Postmodern World. Waterbrook,
2001. (272 pages)
McLaren, Brian. A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey. John Wiley & Sons, 2001. (192 pages)
Sweet, Leonard. Postmodern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century Church. Broadman & Holman, 2000. (224 pages)
See more required reading by Dr. Earl Creps
Earl Creps Book on Spiritual Formation