Does the Evangelical Free [EFCA] lean toward contemplative. I don’t hear it, but [Rick] Warren is one of our pastor’s favorite authors and . . . I don’t mean to imply that liking Warren will necessarily lead to the contemplative movement but, in my experience, favorite “whatevers” have a tendency to influence. Thanks for your time and patience.
It has been a number of years since we wrote about the EFCA’s move toward contemplative. You can read that 2008 article here. Current research indicates that the Evangelical Free Church has continued on this path. One example is the EFCA’s connection with an emerging-type organization called Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). EFCA is listed on the CCDA as a sponsor (and on their own website as a “partner”). CCDA is an ecumenical, interfaith think-tank that promotes the emerging view of social justice inline with change agents like Jim Wallis of SoJourners (also a sponsor for CCDA).
In addition, on the EFCA website, one can find references to contemplative practices such as lectio divina and quotes by contemplative’s such as Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and several resources for “Spiritual Formation.” The official magazine for the EFCA, EFCA Today, shows how contemplative spirituality is being accepted at the leadership level of the denomination. For example, the Summer 2010 issue has under “Book Recommendations authors Eugene Peterson, Timothy Keller (both contemplative advocates) and the late emergent author, Robert Webber.
As with other evangelical denominations that are promoting contemplative spirituality, this does not mean that every church within the EFCA is doing so. It would have to be looked at on a church by church basis.