Forum for Authentic Transformation Quite Revealing

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Conversations Journal (a “Forum for Authentic Transformation”) is an offshoot of Psychological Studies Institute. The Journal’s target audience “is purposefully broad — all thoughtful, seeking followers of Christ who long for a complete transformation of soul and full restoration of His image within.” Of the journal, Wheaton College calls it “penetrating” and “high-quality” and carries the journal for its students. However, a close look at this publication is revealing at the very best, and disturbing at worse.

Partners of Conversations Journal include an odd mixture of organizations, most of which associate as Christian, and most of which promote mysticism (i.e., contemplative spirituality). Organizations such as InterVarsity Press (a Christian publishing house that now publishes contemplative/emerging materials), LifeSprings, (publishers of Royal Rangers and Missionettes – Christian mentoring curriculum for kids), New Ways Ministries (ministry of Larry Crabb) and Biola University (Institute of Spiritual Formation) are a few listed. The Shalem Institute (founder Tilden Edwards who said that contemplative is the bridge between Christianity and Far Eastern religion) is also among the journal’s partners. We spoke to Shalem’s Gerald May a few years ago before he died and asked him, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation?” He answered, “Absolutely not!” Shalem doesn’t hide the fact that they do not adhere to the biblical tenets of Christianity. And yet nestled with Biola University, InterVarsity Press and New Ways is this panentheistic (God in all) New Age promoting organization.

The journal is also partners with Richard Foster’s Renovare, the Spiritual Formation Forum, and Dallas Willard. Another partner, Christian Audio, presents authors such as Brian McLaren and Brother Lawrence for listeners.

Members of the journal include Executive Editors David Benner (who promotes contemplative and wrote Sacred Companions) and Larry Crabb as well as Editorial Consultants Richard Foster, and Dallas Willard. John Ortberg and Basil Pennington are on the Editorial Board and other contributing editors represent a number of Christian seminaries including Bethel Theological Seminary, Biola University, and Colorado Christian Seminary.

A sampling of recent article titles are: “Finding God in All Things,” “Ancient Christian Wisdom for a Post-Modern Age,” and “Prayer: Transforming Conversations With God.” With such influential and well-known authors and leaders joining together in this “Conversation,” this “Authentic Transformation” will affect the lives of countless people. Unfortunately, the message of contemplative will saturate the church at an even quicker rate with the help of Conversations Journal.

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