Salvation Army Joins the Contemplative/Emerging Ranks

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Salvation Army is now offering a full line of Spiritual Formation. Books “relevant to Spiritual Formation” include Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus, Spiritual Classics and Devotional Classics by Richard Foster and Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. Also being offered is a men’s retreat called Wild at Heart:

Through teaching sessions, films, guided periods of reflection and journaling, and question and answer, we have designed something far more than a retreat—it’s an expedition of the heart. You will never be the same.

If men attend this retreat, it is true, they will never be the same. The Wild at Heart retreat (held at a Young Life campus) is put on by Ransomed Heart Ministries (John Eldredge. On the Ransomed website, under Going Deeper, recommended books include titles by contemplatives Anne Lamott, Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard and other contemplatives.

Salvation Army is also advertising the Women of Faith conference, which includes contemplative speakers Max Lucado and Sheila Walsh. But if the Wild at Heart retreat and the Women of Faith conference don’t provide enough contemplative/emerging, Salvation Army is also advertising a Renovare conference with Richard Foster (took place in July). And almost last but not least, Salvation Army is pointing people to the Intervarsity conference called Urbana, which includes Rick Warren as one of the speakers. Intervarsity publishes many books on contemplative spirituality and promotes the emerging church in various avenues. Finally, Salvation Army is advertising The Origins Experience. Speakers at this “experience” include Erwin McManus and his brother Alex.

It appears it is a new season for Salvation Army. The questions must be asked, is the gospel not sufficient enough for this ministry that has been around for a very long time, and have they too joined the ranks of Christian leaders and organizations that somewhere along the line began walking the fence and finally fell off on the side of the world, an emerging world … one filled with mysticism, delusion and the occult? It looks as though the Salvation Army is now marching to the beat of a different drummer.