Wesleyan Publishing House, the publishing arm of the Wesleyan church is going contemplative. This past summer, we reported that the Wesleyan Church was offering contemplative retreats called Holy Next: Spiritual Formation Retreat. Dr. Keith Drury (featured on HolyNext and a professor at Indiana Wesleyan University) writes “extensively on spirituality.” His newest book is titled With Unveiled Faces … Experience Intimacy with God Through Spiritual Disciplines. Drury also wrote a book for a series called the Lectio Divina Bible Studies, which is published by Wesleyan Publishing.
Another book of a contemplative nature released by Wesleyan is The Rhythm of Prayer: A Forty Day Experience by Mark Moore.
In January, the Wesleyan Church will present the Gathering 2007 event. Speakers include Willow Creek pastor, Bill Hybels and business guru John Maxwell, a former Wesleyan pastor. And the denomination website has a Spiritual Formation Department with a Youth Ministry section that promotes the teachings of Rob Bell (Noomas) and Saddleback Church’s Doug Fields.
In addition to these reasons above why we should be concerned about the direction Wesleyan is going, their main site online bookstore (serviced by Parable) is saturated with New Age sympathizing authors such as Brian McLaren, Ken Blanchard, Laurie Beth Jones, contemplatives such as Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, emerging church leaders like Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, and Doug Pagitt. They also sell Alan Jones’ book, Reimagining Christianity, in which Jones says the doctrine of the Cross is a vile doctrine. In Henri Nouwen’s book, Sabbatical Journey (which Wesleyan sells) Nouwen said he was uncomfortable with those who said Jesus was the only way to salvation and he wanted to help people find their own path to God. Wesleyan is also selling Sue Monk Kidd’s books, including The Dance of the Dissident Daughter in which Monk Kidd states that God is in everything, even excretement! To top all that off, they are carrying books by panentheists Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, Matthew Fox, and Basil Pennington.
If you are attending a Wesleyan church, it might be a good idea to warn your pastor about the spiritual formation movement and ask him to contact headquarters because there is a fire of deception coming down the line, and a lot of people are going to get burned.