The 2007 Arts Conference will be held at Willow Creek Church June 13-15. The theme for the event is “Halelujah! What’s Right With the World?” and is featuring many contemplative/emerging speakers. According to the conference website, this “is a powerful reminder that that artists and teachers who follow Christ can use their gifts to open a window of hope to our broken world, as they affirm the goodness of God.” Unfortunately, the spirituality being represented may open a window that will be more spiritually harmful to our broken world than it will be a window of God’s hope (which is Jesus Christ). For instance, Brian McLaren, one of the conference speakers, says that the doctrines of the Cross and Hell are false advertising for God.. He also endorses Episcopal priest, Alan Jones who calls the atonement a vile doctrine.1 McLaren is also a proponent of contemplative spirituality. In a 2004 Christianity Today article, McLaren says that “the emerging church must be ‘monastic’-centered on training disciples who practice, rather than just believe, the faith…. He cites Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, with their emphasis on spiritual disciplines, as key mentors for the emerging church.”
Another speaker at the Arts Conference is Pete Scazzero, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life in Christ . In the this book, Scazzero favorably quotes Daniel Goleman(a Buddhist sympathizer), panentheists Basil Pennington and Tilden Edwards and several others of similar affinities.2
Erwin McManus is also speaking at the Arts Conference. For information about McManus’ spirituality, please refer to our research.There you can read about McManus’ “core of mysticism” and his recent remarks about the new film, The Secret (which teaches that we are all God). McManus, who is promoted by David Jeremiah, says that his goal is to destroy Christianity (see our article Christian or Christ Follower).
Other speakers at the conference include Dan Kimball, Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz), and Nancy Beach (from Willow Creek).