On August 3rd, Todd Hunter, the USA Alpha Course president, issued an email promoting the October Soularize event in the Bahamas (see email). The Soularize conference is featuring several emerging church speakers as well as contemplative/eastern-style mysticism proponents Brennan Manning and Richard Rohr. Rohr’s spirituality would be in the same camp as someone like Matthew Fox who believes in pantheism and panentheism. Hunter, who was formerly the national director of Vineyard movement USA, is no stranger to contemplative spirituality or the emerging church, but most Alpha participants are probably unaware of this. He has worked with Richard Foster’s Renovare in various settings,1 and his own blog backs up his sympathies toward spiritual formation2. In an interview titled “Alpha and the Emerging Church – Oil and Water?”, Hunter explains that the Alpha Course could be very appealing to the emerging church. In a 2006 Christianity Today Q & A, Hunter tries to show Alpha’s relevancy to the post-modern world and the emerging church. 3 What many people may not realize is that the speaker line up at Soularize 2007 represents the type of spirituality that runs contrary to what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. Richard Rohr, a Fransciscan monk and Catholic priest, is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation. In January 2008, he is presenting the Jesus and Buddha Awakening Seminar. In addition, Rohr is a major advocate for interspirituality through mantra meditation. Other speakers at Soularize include several emergent leaders, two of which are Karen Ward and Mark Scandrette. Faith Undone discusses both of these emergents: Karen Ward, a minister in Washington, rejects the biblical view of the atonement and refers to it as at-one-ment, meaning all is one and unified together as she describes. Occulist Alice Bailey referenced at-one-ment when she said all humanity is equal with God (F.U., p. 216). Mark Scandrette, a contributing author of the new book by Baker/Emergent An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, believes that all things are interconnected – his writing emulates Leonard Sweet’s Theory of Everything, in which a new kingdom is arising, one that will bring all humanity and all creation into unity with God. Scandrette refers to this as “integrative theology” (p. 27 of the Manifesto). For more information on integrative or integral theology, see the work of Buddhist proponent Ken Wilber (but please view this site with caution and discernment). In view of the fact that so many in mainstream Christianity use the Alpha Course and see it as a trustworthy program for spirituality, the implications of Todd Hunter’s endorsement and promotion of Soularize are staggering. If the spirituality represented at Soularize could be indicative of the future of Alpha, this could potentially mean that millions of people could be introduced to these dangerous forms of spiritual practice.