Other speakers scheduled so far for the 2009 event are emerging church pastor, Dan Kimball, Miles McPherson, Nancy Ortberg, Robert Schuller, Henry Cloud and others. More are expected to be added to the list. The 2008 Rethink Conference had over 40 speakers, including the ones mentioned above, except for Zacharias who is new this year.
Lighthouse Trails reported on last year’s event in an article titled: “Erwin McManus Teams Up with Robert Schuller – Could Have Far-Reaching Effects” The 2008 Rethink was hosted by Schuller, Sr. and emerging church futurist Erwin McManus. One of the things our 2007 report brought out was the contemplative (i.e., mystical) aspect several of the speakers shared. Some of those in that category were Kay Warren, John and Nancy Ortberg, Erwin McManus, and Dan Kimball.
Ravi Zacharias is not without his own contemplative leanings. In an article titled, “Ravi Zacharias Ministries Points to Nouwen, Merton, and Foster,” it was brought out that “Ravi Zacharias International Ministry website is carrying numerous articles, which speak favorably of Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen, Catholic monk and mystic, Thomas Merton, and contemplative Richard Foster.” Those articles are still on Zacharias’ website.
Our 2007 report on the Rethink also stated:
The Rethink Conference is bringing together leaders from several different philosophical and religious camps under the auspices of Robert Schuller. If one wonders what his purpose is, that answer might be found in his book, My Journey, when Schuller states:
I met once more with the Grand Mufti [a Muslim], truly one of the great Christ-honoring leaders of faith…. I’m dreaming a bold impossible dream: that positive-thinking believers in God will rise above the illusions that our sectarian religions have imposed on the world, and that leaders of the major faiths will rise above doctrinal idiosyncrasies, choosing not to focus on disagreements, but rather to transcend divisive dogmas to work together to bring peace and prosperity and hope to the world…. p. 502
Standing before a crowd of devout Muslims with the Grand Mufti, I know that we’re all doing God’s work together. Standing on the edge of a new millennium, we’re laboring hand in hand to repair the breach.” p. 501
What is really taking place at the Rethink Conference is the reality of Schuller’s dream that there be a global unity among all religions and beliefs and that all these paths lead to the same God (i.e., “we’re all doing God’s work” and all these paths can “bring peace and prosperity and hope to the world.”)
It is still unknown who all the speakers will be at the 2009 Rethink, but unless Ravi Zacharias comes to realize his sharing a platform with Schuller will hurt, not help, the Gospel message from getting out, he will most likely be one of the them.