It isn’t the first time and may not be the last that popular Christian preacher David Jeremiah quotes a New Ager. But this incident has a mysterious twist. In today’s Turning Point commentary, Jeremiah quotes New Ager M. Scott Peck. Jeremiah, whose radio program is played on countless Christian radio stations, has a record of quoting mystics and New Age proponents (see timeline below). In his book Life Wide Open (2003, 2005), Jeremiah said that the book was a road map to a more passionate life. Listing what he called a handful of people who had learned the secret of a passionate life, Jeremiah included New Agers, a Buddhist sympathizer, and mystics. While a report came out on this two years ago, to our knowledge Jeremiah has never publicly commented about that book’s content. On the contrary, he continues to promote the book (see examples: 1, 2). In addition, he has defended the spirituality of New Age proponent Ken Blanchard and continually promotes emerging church leader Erwin McManus.
Perhaps one could say, in Jeremiah’s defense, that he isn’t aware of what the New Age is, let alone M. Scott Peck. But in Jeremiah’s 1995 book, Invasion of Other Gods (an excellent expose’ of the New Age movement), Jeremiah identifies not only the New Age movement but Peck as part of the New Age. He says:
Someone may proclaim to be a Christian and yet embrace an incompatible non-Christian pluralism, like M. Scott Peck, author of the bestselling book The Road Less Traveled, who frequently uses Christian terminology and considers himself a convert to Christianity and yet who inconsistently proclaims in the sequel, Further Along the Road Less Traveled: “God, unlike some organized religions, does not discriminate. As long as you reach out to Her, She will go the better part of the way to meet you. There are an infinite number of roads to reach God.” (p. 18)
This is astounding! David Jeremiah called Peck for what he was 12 years ago, and yet today, he quotes him, not in a critical manner but a favorable one (see more on the spirituality of M. Scott Peck). He warned us about Peck’s spirituality in 1995, and in 2007 he quotes him, giving no warning at all. How could this be? What happened?
In Peck’s book, Further Along the Road Less Traveled, he said: “If the New Age can reform society rather than just adversely challenge it then it can be extremely holy and desperately needed.” Does David Jeremiah realize he is helping to fulfill Peck’s dream of a New Age society by consistently quoting these New Age and emerging evangelists? We beseech him to have his own turning point and once again begin to warn about the New Age. It would have to include a warning about Erwin McManus (now a favorite of Jeremiah’s) who said it was his goal to destroy Christianity and who said mysticism was at the core of his own spirituality.
“I have said that the ultimate goal of spiritual growth is for the individual to become as one with God … It is for the individual to become totally, wholly God.” M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
Time Line of Jeremiah’s Walk Towards Contemplative Spirituality
2001 – Quotes Henri Nouwen in church services
2002 – Endorses back cover of Erwin McManus’ book, Seizing Your Divine Moment
2003, 2005 – In his book, Life Wide Open, Jeremiah favorably quotes the following New Agers, Buddhists and contemplatives,( i.e. mystics):
Sue Monk Kidd
Peter Senge (Buddhist)
St. John of the Cross
2003 – David Jeremiah’s church, Shadow Mountain, encourages their men to become involved with contemplative spirituality. Currently, Pastor John Gillette of Shadow Mountain encourages the use of Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline.
2005 – Signs on with Ken Blanchard and Laurie Beth Jones in the Lead Like Jesus conference.
2006 – David Jeremiah’s New Book, Captured by Grace Discusses Henri Nouwen and includes endorsement by Ken Blanchard
November 2006 – David Jeremiah Quotes Erwin McManus in Sermon
Throughout 2007 – Jeremiah continues to promote Life Wide Open
November 2007 – David Jeremiah quotes New Ager M. Scott Peck on Turning Point, after identifying him as part of the New Age movement in 1995 in his book, Invasion of Other Gods. ( for links to the above timeline)
For further research:
Spiritual Fusion – When East Meets West by Mike Oppenheimer
New Age in Religion by Ray Yungen