Dear Lighthouse Trails:
This is from a circulating email from Prairie [formerly Prairie Bible Institute or PBI in Three Hills Alberta].
It sounds so good, but I suspect it is dangerous.
Email Our Reader Received from Prairie:
What’s NEW for our upcoming year
New Student Orientation begins tomorrow! This time of year campus is filled with a joyful buzz. As we begin the 2017/2018 school year, we have a lot to be thankful for and want to share what is new at Prairie.
LAUNCHING NEW CHRISTIAN FORMATION PROGRAM
Centered on keeping company with Jesus and being reshaped by his Spirit, students in the Christian Formation program will become more deeply rooted in the Scriptures and the process of discipleship. We will celebrate the launch of this program on September 15, 2017.
Comments by Lighthouse Trails:
Lighthouse Trails has researched and reported on Prairie Bible Institute a number of times over the past several years (e.g. our article: “COLLEGE ALERT: Letters to Lighthouse Trails Prove Prairie Bible Institute (Alberta) Has Gone Emergent”) And even though school leadership has, at times, insisted they were not contemplative or emergent, every time we have observed them, we have come to the same conclusion – that’s exactly what they are.
“Christian Formation” is just another term for Spiritual Formation or Spirituality. It is rooted in contemplative spirituality. In Prairie’s description for the Christian Formation program, it says students will: “Engage with Christians of the past that have thought deeply about Christian growth and formation” (emphasis added). Which Christians of the past? (Or the present?)
We can gain some insight into who PBI is turning to for spiritual guidance by looking at PBI’s current textbook list for 2017. These may or may not be books being used in PBI’s Christian Formation program, but they are books being used in the school. One thing we’ve learned over the years, when a school is immersed in contemplative spirituality, it isn’t just in the Spiritual Formation program; rather, it is integrated throughout the school.
We would consider all of these authors as part of the emergent church and/or outside the scope of biblical Christianity.
This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems by Wendell Berry
The Transforming Friendship by James Houston and Dallas Willard
Lifesigns : Intimacy, Fecundity, and Ecstasy in Christian Perspective by Henri Nouwen
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard
The Secret : What Great Leaders Know and Do by Ken Blanchard
The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene Peterson
Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication by Andy Stanley
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (references about a dozen times a tantric sex author)
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
Taking Your Soul to Work (foreword by Eugene Peterson)
Being Well When We are Ill: Wholeness And Hope In Spite Of Infirmity (Living Well) by Marva Dawn
The Core Realities of Youth Ministry by Mike Yaconelli
Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto of Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We Need to Go by Mark Oestreicher (Marko – former Youth Specialties president)
If you are not familiar with these names, you can do a search on our research site and find information.