Today we received the following email from a concerned Lighthouse Trails reader. We believe it is worth noting to help warn those who are looking for good Christian colleges to attend that Lincoln promotes spiritual formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality).
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I notice on your website that you list “Lincoln Christian College and Seminary” in Lincoln, Illinois as a school which promotes the practice. I do not dispute this, being a graduate of the seminary, and know for a fact that during my time there as a student, Bill Hybels and Rick Warren were regarded more highly as models for pastors and evangelists than Peter and Paul.
But, to update you – the school has changed its name and is now known as “Lincoln Christian University.”
Moreover, this is not merely something which is being simply “promoted” there–students are being indoctrinated with [contemplative spirituality] since all undergraduate students are now required to take at least one class in “spiritual formation.”
Moreover, every year during the week before Easter, undergraduate students are “encouraged” to participate in what is called “week of E,” which originally meant “week of evangelism” where teams of students would disperse to various parts of the country to lead or assist with revival meetings or other types of evangelistic outreach. Now the school reports some of the following to be offered during this year’s “Week of E”:
1: Led by Isaac Gaff [professor of “Worship Ministry” in the undergraduate school], students will observe the Daily Divine Prayer Offices and share in meals with the monastic community at Holy Cross in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago.”
2: Chris Simpson [professor of philosophy and theology in the undergraduate school] will take a group to the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, for a week of study and spiritual formation based around Kierkegaard’s writings.
3: In daily worship services, Steve Cone [professor of theology in the undergraduate school] will lead students in reading from the writings of Catherine of Sienna as a meditation on Christ’s passion as a way to find true self through the love of God.
Obviously, nothing which even approximates a proclamation of the Gospel will be occurring during these proceedings.
Just thought you’d like to have some documentation of what supposedly Christian schools are promoting.
From a concerned alumni of Lincoln Christian College and Seminary
Here are a few more items to substantiate what is said above. This is only a PARTIAL list of contemplative and/or emerging textbooks being used at Lincoln Christian University.
Textbook used for Senior Seminar include: In the Name of Jesus (Henri Nouwen – perhaps Nouwen’s most blatantly contemplative book)
Textbooks for YM211 FOUNDATIONS FOR YOUTH MIN include: Purpose Driven Youth Ministry (Doug Fields), This Way to Youth Ministry (Duffy Robbins, author of Enjoy the Silence)
Textbooks for WM400 CAPSTONE IN WORSHIP MINISTRY include: Ancient-Future Worship (Robert Webber),
Textbooks for CE899 READING SPIRIT FORMATION include: Celebration of Discipline (Richard Foster), Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller), Renovation of the Heart (Dallas Willard), Eat This Book (Eugene Peterson)
Textbooks for LS601-01 SHAPING HEART OF A LEADER include: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Pete Scazzero; also used for their course PC600 BASIC TYPES OF COUNSELING) and Renovations of the Heart (Willard)
Texbook for DMIN1004 CULTURE/MINISTRY includes: Christ and Culture (Nieibur)
Textbook for NT899 ESCHATOLOGY includes: Surprised by Hope (N.T. Wright – emerging)
If you are not sure who some of these names are, do a search on our research site.