In 1992, Moody Publishers published Warren B. Smith’s autobiography, The Light That Was Dark. The book chronicled Warren’s years in the New Age movement and then he and his wife (Joy) becoming believers in Jesus Christ. While The Light That Was Dark was selling well amidst Warren being interviewed on over 250 radio and television shows (interestingly only one by Moody), three years after the book was released, Moody pulled the book off the market telling Warren that the New Age was not an issue any longer.* That was 27 years ago. Fast forward to today – and where is Moody Publishers and the church at large in relation to the New Age movement that Moody said was no longer an issue that needed to be addressed in the church?
Sadly, Moody has maintained their stance on not warning about the New Age movement and in fact has helped to allow New Age spirituality into the church via authors who promote Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality), which is a disguised version of New Age beliefs. While you will find books by contemplative authors such as Priscilla Shirer, J.P. Moreland, and Anita Lustrea being published by Moody, you will find rarely (if any) a book by Moody since Warren’s book was pulled that is warning about the New Age and its infiltration into the church. Thanks to Moody and most of the other medium-to-large-sized Christian publishers, scores of books promoting contemplative spirituality have flooded the Christian market. And that has brought the New Age into the church. Yet, Moody and other publishers insist that the New Age is not an issue any longer.
If you don’t believe this has happened, visit your local Christian bookstore where you will find too-many-to-count authors and books promoting the Spiritual Formation movement. See the list below for some of the names that grace the shelves of Christian bookstores.
When Warren Smith became a born-again Christian, he realized the movement in which he had been involved—the New Age movement—was insidious, dangerous, and highly deceptive and was initiated and led by demonic entities (something the Bible warns about). Through his study of the Scriptures, Warren knew this movement was going to be the vehicle in which the world would be deceived into accepting and embracing an antichrist who would proclaim himself to be God. It is this message of warning that Warren brought through The Light That Was Dark and his subsequent writings. And it is this message of warning that Moody Publishers said was no longer relevant.
While the term “New Age” is not directly promoted in the church, the beliefs of the New Age certainly are. The question is, why are Christian publishers, leaders, pastors, and professors saying there is no issue here?
Some of the Contemplative Authors You Will Find in Christian Bookstores (taken from Chris Lawson’s booklet A Directory of Authors: Three NOT Recommended Lists):
Allender, Dan (on Moody Radio)
Barton, Ruth Haley
Bass, Diana Butler
Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg
Fosdick, Harry Emerson
Hansen, Mark Victor
Hildegard of Bingen
Ignatius Loyola, St.
Jones, Laurie Beth
Kent, Keri Wyatt
Kidd, Sue Monk
Meyers, Robin R.
Peale, Norman Vincent
Smith, James Bryan
Spong, John Shelby
St. Romain, Philip
Talbot, John Michael
Wilhoit, James C.
Young, William Paul
*Most publishers know it takes at least two years to really get a new book off the ground and would never pull a book that is selling well off the market after just three years.
Jeffrey A Wahburn
We must not look to man in all his knowledge, best we come with clean hands an all the breath within.
He is on the list in the booklet (see the link for the full booklet).
A name that was not on the list that should be is Timothy Keller. He is one of the founders of the Gospel Coalition. The church he pastors holds teaching series on contemplative prayer.
In Moody’s case, the phrase “another one bites the dust” comes to mind. Well-known institutions and leaders/authors are falling like flies. It is MORE important now, more than ever before, for Christians to be more discerning than ever before, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to be prepared to share the Truth of God’s Holy Word with everyone — believers and unbelievers — so that as many as possible can be spared the destruction to come. Oh how we need the mercy of God. How thankful I am that it is written in His Word — His mercies are new every morning.
Most people do not see what is happening in so many churches, ministries and teachings…they are embracing contemplative mysticism…it wears a mask but this is not God and it opens the door to the enemy.
Zukav and Vanzant are on the complete list in the booklet as well.
She is on the main list in the booklet. https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=14035. The list above is just a portion of that booklet list.
Realizing certainly this is not a comprehensive list, the lethal New Age writings of Marianne Williamson would be a worthy addition. Additionally according to the excellent writings of Ray Yungen; Gary Zukav and Iyanla Vanzant are two New Age authors to warn other about.
Wow! I am shocked! This was an excellent book and helps people get out of the New Age Movement. It is still a big issue perhaps just disguised better.
Ha, it’s not an issue for them because they don’t have an issue with the new age movement, obviously because they decided to swim in it instead of run from it! Yes, it is an issue, because yes, it has flooded the church, and yes, it is dangerous in a deadly way. But they have embraced it so they don’t see the dangers, just like all the other things like that, it just goes with the territory. Sad.
The list should realistically include the late A.W. Tozer, who prolifically read, benefited from, quoted, and valued not only “The Cloud of Unknowing” but other historic mystics of the past. Being self-taught, he loved the early church fathers and mentions them in both “Pursuit of God” and “The Knowledge of the Holy,” true Christian classics.