Emergent/Mystical Leaders at Baylor University

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Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt were recently speaking at Baylor University. Jones stated on a blog that the occasion was the paperback release of his book, The New Christians. We would like to direct your attention to the Lighthouse Trails book review of this book. And if you know any students at Baylor University, please warn them that Baylor may be heading into the emergent/contemplative camp. On another blog posting Jones discussed his visit to Baylor. He states:

For the third year in a row, I’ve spent the past few days in Waco, TX at Baylor University. As a yankee, I hear all sorts of stereotypes about things and places Southern. But, with the exception of some rather rude treatment by a Baylor professor at the Wheaton Theology Conference a couple years ago, I have been hospitably received by all of the Baylorites I’ve met…. But Baylor, and its affiliated seminary, Truett, is not the stereotypical “Texas Baptist” institution that you might think. Instead, Truett is more like my alma mater, Fuller — it’s evangelical, but open and moderate.

Both Jones and Pagitt have each written a number of books, most of which promote mystical spirituality. One of the things Pagitt is known for is that his church, Solomon’s Porch in MN, has had yoga classes: “When people discover we are a church with a yoga class … they sometimes assume that we’re simply out to appeal to the cultural creatives and the neo-hippies.” (p. 53, Reimagining Spiritual Formation)

In addition to Jones’ frequent promotion of mystical prayer, last year he “came out of the closet” and said that the homosexual lifestyle could be considered a biblical lifestyle:

I now believe that GLBTQ can live in accord with biblical Christianity (as least as much as any of us can!),” writes author and church leader Tony Jones, “and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.1

The Baylor University website is peppered with contemplative influences. Contemplative authors’ names sit on a number of recommended reading lists (Nouwen, Benner, Brueggemann, etc.) and speakers have included New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet and emergent Brian McLaren. On a Christian Ethics “Sabbath Study Guide” on Baylor’s website, breath prayers and lectio divina are encouraged. 2

This coming fall incoming Baylor freshmen will be attending a Freshman retreat. If you have a son or daughter who will be starting Baylor University this fall, it might be a good idea to check things out – find out where the retreat will be held and what activities students will participate in. And please make sure your student understands the unbiblical nature of the spiritual formation/contemplative/emergent belief system.