According to Christianity Today, author Anne Lamott is a “funny, nutty, fast-talking, born-again author.” ChristianBook.com would probably consider Lamott a “born-again Christian” as well as they carry two of her books. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale carries one of Lamott’s books in their online bookstore, and Lamott wrote the foreword for Zondervan author, Mark Yaconelli’s new book, Contemplative Youth Ministry. She has been a speaker at places like Baylor University and Calvin College, and World Magazine says “Anne Lamott has become a favorite of many Christian college students.”
In spite of Lamott’s acceptance by Christendom, her spiritual sympathies seem to lie in two camps: Christian and New Age. In the recent release of New Age leader Marianne Williamson’s book, The Gift of Change (new edition), Lamott endorses the book. On the front cover, Lamott says, “[Williamson’s] voice is strong medicine for our woundedness, warmth, insistence, good humor, and a little light to see by.” But Williamson’s medicine is a strong dose of A Course in Miracles, a thousand-plus-page channeled work (by spirit guides), whom Williamson brought to fame with the help of Oprah. According to Ingrid Schlueter, “Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles, was a runaway best seller and resulted in a revival of interest in the occult teachings of A Course in Miracles. One of the famous lines of the Course in Miracles goes this way, ‘Don’t make the pathetic error of clinging to the old rugged cross…'” It is a serious contradition of the most tragic terms for Lamott to promote a book by Williamson who speaks this way about the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Now that Lamott’s spiritual sympathies have more clearly emerged, it is the hope that Christian bookstores such as Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and Christianbook.com would discontinue selling Lamott’s books. It should be noted however, that Lamott’s spiritual affinities have really been evident for quite some time, as the Christianity Today article clearly reveals:
Here is one of her [Lamott’s] favorite jokes. “A man dies and goes to heaven,” she says. “He is being shown around by an angel. Everything is just so sweet and gentle, the total golden tender presence of God everywhere, a pond over there, a beautiful field there, and some hills for people who like to hike, and this expansiveness in every direction of sky and light and physical beauty. And there is this section separated from the rest; it has beautiful high walls. The man who’s just come to heaven says, ‘What’s over there?’ The angel says, ‘That’s for the fundamentalists. They don’t consider it heaven if anyone else got in.'”
It’s at this point in the conversation that I begin to wonder if she’s a universalist. Later, I follow up in an e-mail message: “Do you think that people from other faiths who don’t believe in Jesus are God’s children and will go to heaven?”
“Yes,” she writes back. “I think Jesus is divine love manifest on earth, as it comes through the community of Christians.” He’s like the “beautiful Jewish uncle” who says, “Well, I can show you the way.”
“Only Jesus has come to me, and I experience God’s love in an immediate and personal way through his companionship,” she says. Those in other countries and cultures “feel Divine Love come to them through more local teachings, through other expressions of that love.”