Coming From the Lighthouse


September 17, 2007

In This Issue -

Moody Bible Institute Responds to Lighthouse Trails

Bob Coy Joins Contemplative Proponents Rick Warren and John Ortberg for "Exponential 07".

North Carolina Baptist Convention Welcomes Yoga Emergent Guru Doug Pagitt

Emergence 2007 Speaker Karen Ward on the Atonement

Emerging Mennonites

Brian McLaren's Interspiritual Hand of Faith

Book Review: Stricken by God? by Brad Jersak

Publishing News...- FAITH UNDONE Selling Fast


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Moody Bible Institute Responds to Lighthouse Trails

Over the past year, Lighthouse Trails has written articles regarding Moody Bible Institute's move toward contemplative. Today, Moody's public relations person, Lindsay Crystal, telephoned Lighthouse Trails and said that they were sending us an email and posting a more detailed version of that email on their website in their News section. Their online email may be viewed by clicking here.

In summation, Moody's response states they agree that according to our definition of contemplative spirituality, it is wrong. Our definition states:

A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology; the premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

The email states that MBI does not endorse this type of spirituality. They say that although they use books by contemplative authors in their courses, it does not necessarily mean they adhere to the teachings of these authors. They say they are using these books to possibly discuss the errors of these books and authors. But this defense is contrary to evidence in their ministries and on their web sites that show they are promoting these authors and their teachings in a favorable fashion.

The following (in red) is an excerpt from our 2006 article titled "Moody Bible Institute - Whatever Happened?":

Midday Connection, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute, is featuring an author (and a guest on their show) who promotes contemplative spirituality, Keri Wyatt Kent. Wyatt Kent is a writer for Willow Creek Community Church and often speaks on spiritual formation. Her recent book, Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life (published by the emerging/contemplative promoting publisher, Jossey-Bass), teaches readers to "listen" to God through "spiritual practices," including the practice of silence. The author quotes extensively throughout the book both contemplatives and New Agers, including Henri Nouwen, M.Scott Peck, Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Rick Warren, Richard Foster, Ruth Haley Barton, and Eugene Peterson.

When Midday Connection (MBI ministry) was recently asked about their obvious promotion of Wyatt Kent and of contemplative spirituality, they stated that they were committed to spiritual formation and named "solid guests" like Larry Crabb and Dallas Willard who were teaching people "spiritual disciplines." They said they were just "re-stating some old truths in new ways." It makes sense that they would use Larry Crabb as an example of these "new ways." Crabb, in the foreword of a book (Sacred Companions) by contemplative-promoting
David Benner, said that it was time to get rid of the old written code and replace it with new ways of practicing spirituality. Even still, it is surprising that Moody would call Larry Crabb and Dallas Willard "solid guests ... "who recognize the need to teach people spiritual disciplines." We know that spiritual disciplines, according to Crabb and Willard, include the silence (i.e., contemplative).

Moody Conferences (another ministry of MBI) has a list of several speakers they use at their various conferences. One of them,
Dan Allender (Mars Hill Graduate School) promotes contemplative spirituality and the emerging church. Another speaker, [the late] Robert Webber, has [had] the Ancient-Future Worship ministry and is a strong promoter of the emerging church. In an upcoming conference presented by Webber, he includes Brian McLaren as a speaker.

Unfortunately, Moody's promotion of contemplative doesn't stop there. In the July 2006 issue of Moody Publisher's magazine, Today in the Word, there is favorable mention of Gary Thomas' book, Sacred Pathways, (in which Thomas recommends repeating a word or phrase for 20 minutes) and Habits of a Child's Heart: Raising Your Kids with the Spiritual Disciplines by Valerie Hess.
On Amazon, it states that Hess's book is based on Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline.

Moody Bible Institute Graduate School has joined in too -- there is a
Department of Spiritual Formation, (p. 14) and a Master of Arts Degree in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship (MASF/D). A number of contemplative authors are used in these programs (Nouwen, Benner, Willard, Foster, etc.).

While it may seem that Moody has just recently come to the contemplative table, that is not actually so. In 1987, Moody Monthly wrote an endorsement for
Sue Monk Kidd's book, God's Joyful Surprise. In this book, one of Monk Kidd's earlier books, she unfolds her journey into contemplative spirituality, largely from reading Thomas Merton and other contemplative authors. Once a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher, today she promotes neo-paganism and goddess worship. This is what Moody Monthly wrote on the back cover of God's Joyful Surprise nearly two decades ago:

"Carefully avoiding a how-to approach [Kidd] suggests some disciplines for cultivating an interior quietness and a richer personal experience of God's love. Her writing, well-balanced by the wisdom of writers like Brother Lawrence, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Henri Nouwen is alive with humorous anecdotes." (more on this )

The email from Moody Bible Institute states that it "does not promote contemplative spirituality." However, the facts indicate that MBI does promote it. To say they reject eastern mysticism but then employ and promote the spirituality and teachings of contemplative teachers is contradictory at best and disastrous at worst.

So the real question is, is the spirituality of "Christian" contemplatives (those named in this article) truly Christian, biblical spirituality, or is it no different than eastern spirituality that is taught in Hinduism and other religions which premise is based on pantheism (God is all) and panentheism (God is in all)? If the latter is true, then MBI and its students are heading for serious detriment.

Is MBI prepared to issue a public statement saying that the spirituality of Henri Nouwen, Gary Thomas, Larry Crabb, Dallas Willard, Sue Monk Kidd, Dan Allender, Keri Wyatt Kent, and the other contemplative leaders that it uses to teach students is anti-biblical, dangerous to the spiritual well-being of practitioners, and should be avoided and warned against at all costs? Is MBI prepared to recant its promotion of these teachers and their contemplative proclivities? If not, then we fear that MBI will continue down this path with results that will mislead many unsuspecting students and place them in harm's way.

For more information:

Moody Responds to Lighthouse Trails

Moody Bible Institute - Whatever Happened?

Moody Bible President Praises Dallas Willard

Young Christian Woman Withdraws from Moody Bible Institute Because of Contemplative Promotion

Bob Coy Joins Contemplative Proponents Rick Warren and John Ortberg for "Exponential 07"

On November 13th and 14th at Saddleback Church in California Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale will join Rick Warren and John Ortberg for the Exponential 07 conference. Both Warren and Ortberg are strong proponents of contemplative spirituality, and attendees should use caution and discernment.

While staff at Coy's Florida church have told Lighthouse Trails on various occasions that they do not promote contemplative spirituality or the emerging church, the walk-in bookstore at the church has been selling books by contemplative and/or emergent leaders and authors such as Rob Bell, David Crowder, and Liz Babbs.

Crowder, author of a contemplative-promoting book called Praise Habit, also performed at the Fort Lauderdale church this past February.  In an interview with (a web site for Catholic teens), Crowder admitted: "Much of the Catholic traditions and writings have been influential in my formation of faith ... I've found much inspiration there."

An interview with Liz Babbs reveals her proclivities for eastern-style meditation. Her book, Into God's Presence, confirms this as does her website where she gives detailed instructions on how to meditate by focusing on the breath and repeating words over and over.

Rob Bell's mystical affinities can be seen in his book Velvet Elvis for one, where he tells readers (often teens) to spend three months studying a book by New Ager and Buddhist sympathizer Ken Wilber (see Faith Undone for more information on Rob Bell's beliefs).

The Exponential 07 event describes itself in the following way: "Learn new and practical ways these diverse and dynamic leaders have shifted their congregations from just tipping God to experiencing the joy of giving."

Unfortunately, the experiences Rick Warren and John Ortberg offer followers could include the contemplative experience. Ortberg resonates with Ruth Haley Barton, with whom he co-authored the Willow Creek Spiritual Formation curriculum. Ruth Haley Barton is founder of the Tranforming Center, a place where Christian leaders are taught the dynamics of contemplative prayer. Barton was trained at the panentheistic Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.


In John Ortberg's book, God is Closer Than You Think, Ortberg quotes favorably from contemplatives such as Anne Lamott, Annie Dillard, Gary Thomas (Sacred Pathways), Brother Lawrence (who danced violently like a mad man when he practiced contemplative), interspiritualists Tilden Edwards (Shalem Institute), Thomas Kelly (believed a Divine Center was in all people), Jean Pierre de Caussade, Frederick Buechner, Meister Eckhart as well as Dallas Willard and Thomas Merton.

Rick Warren has been promoting the contemplative prayer movement for over a decade. In his first book, The Purpose Driven Church, he said that Spiritual Formation (that which is taught by Richard Foster and Dallas Willard, he said) was a "neglected purpose" and a "valid message for the church" which has "given the body of Christ a wake-up call" (see A Time of Departing, p. 145).

One of the other speakers at the Exponential 07 is Allen Hunt, senior pastor at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church, where the Walk to Emmaus is hosted.1 The Walk to Emmaus is a meditative experience/lesson created by Upper Room Ministries, a pro-contemplative/mystical organization that encourages all types of eastern-style meditation. According to the Walk to Emmaus website, it is "an adaptation of the Roman Catholic Cursillo Movement, which originated in Spain in 1949." 2 A women's group at Mt. Pisgah is focusing on contemplative prayer proponent Larry Crabb. In Crabb's book, The Papa Prayer he talks about the benefits of centering prayer.3

A "Sneak Preview" promotional video clip of the Exponential 07 conference states: "The principles taught here are fantastic, right out of the Word of God." But in view of the speakers this year, the principles taught may be more dangerous than "fantastic" and may offer something contrary to the Word of God. It may be best for Bible believing Christians to steer clear of the Exponential 07 conference at Saddleback Church this year. And we pray that those who do attend will not be exposed or introduced to the dangerous teachings of contemplative spirituality.

Related Stories:
Is Rick Warren Promoting Contemplative Prayer?

Will the Next Billy Graham Be a Mystic?


North Carolina Baptist Convention Welcomes Yoga Emergent Guru Doug Pagitt

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina will be sponsoring a conference this fall featuring yoga proponent and emerging church leader Doug Pagitt. The Wired2Grow event will take place on October 16th in Burlington, North Carolina. Lighthouse Trails spoke with Neal Eller (Church Health Team Leader) of the Baptist State Convention (NC), who confirmed Pagitt's planned appearance at the October conference, and who told us that the BSCNC is the main sponsor for the event.

The BSCNC is the North Carolina affiliate for the Southern Baptist Convention. A message on the BSCNC answering service states that it represents over 4000 North Carolina churches.

Doug Pagitt, one of two speakers at the Wired2Grow conference, was recently featured on CNN (Headline News) in a short news brief with John MacArthur. The topic was Yoga. Pagitt backed up his ongoing view that yoga is safe and healthful. MacArthur on the other hand said that Christians should not "borrow an expression from a false religion," but his comments "If it's just purely exercise, and you're a strong Christian, it probably wouldn't have any impact on your faith" may leave some viewers confused.

Pagitt is the pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minnesota where yoga classes are often held. In the December 3rd 2005 issue of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, it stated: "Christian yoga has been gaining a devout following, and Twin Cities pastor Doug Pagitt has endorsed the practice in his new book, Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God." A PBS news story (see video) on the emerging church featured Doug Pagitt. The video also showed yoga classes taking place at the 2005 Emergent Convention in which Pagitt was a speaker. In one segment of the video (25 second mark), there was an Egyptian god symbol above a sanctuary stage (25 second mark) of a church. Currently, on the Solomon Church website is advertised the Women's Yoga and Prayer class held Sunday morning, September 16th. 1

Pagitt, like most emerging church leaders, resonates with mysticism (such as yoga and contemplative prayer) and is sympathetic towards Catholicism. In Roger Oakland's book, Faith Undone, he quotes Pagitt. Pagitt states:

During a recent Life Development Forum we offered a session on Christian practices. In one of the four weeks we introduced the act of making the sign of the cross on ourselves. This gesture has become a very powerful experience for me. It is rich with meaning and history and is such a simple way to proclaim and pray my faith with my body. I hold the fingers on my right hand in the shape of a cross, my index finger lying over the top of my outstretched thumb. I use the Eastern Orthodox pattern of touching first head, then heart, then right lung followed by left. Others in the group follow the Roman Catholic practice with left before right. (Faith Undone, p. 51)

One can only wonder if Pagitt will teach North Carolina Baptists how to do the Catholic sign of the Cross and Hindu yoga at the Wired2Grow conference.

While many Christians think that yoga is ok if it is just practiced as a physical exercise omitting the spiritual aspects, even Hindu yoga masters say that you cannot separate the two. In one article titled "There is No Christian Yoga" by Hindu Yogi Baba Prem, Vedavisharada, CYI, C.ay,, he states:

It was quite astonishing to see on the flyer 'Christian Yoga! This Thursday night....' I could feel the wheels spinning in my brain. 'Christian Yoga,' I thought. Now while Christians can practice yoga, I am not aware of any Christian teachings about yoga. Yoga is not a Judeo/Christian word! It is ... certainly not a part of protestant teachings. It is not found within the King James Version of the bible. It is a Hindu word, or more correctly a Sanskrit word from the Vedic civilization. So how did we get 'Christian Yoga'?

In an email Lighthouse Trails received from a professor at the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy, he stated:

Is Yoga a religion that denies Jesus Christ? Yes. Just as Christianity denies the Hindu MahaDevas such as Siva, Vishnu, Durga and Krishna, to name a few, Hinduism and its many Yogas have nothing to do with God and Jesus (though we do respect that others believe in this way). As Hindus who live the Yogic lifestyle, we appreciate when others understand that all of Yoga is all about the Hindu religion. Modern so-called 'yoga' is dishonest to Hindus and to all non-Hindus such as the Christians. (Danda, Dharma Yoga Ashram (Classical Yoga Hindu Academy) posted by permission)

In a DVD titled Yoga Uncoiled by Caryl Productions, she explains that Yoga is not mere exercise. The postures themselves are specifically designed to worship the gods of Hinduism. For anyone who thinks that Yoga exercises (postures) are valid and safe, please get a copy of Dave Hunt's book, Yoga and the Body of Christ and Caryl Matrisciana's DVD. You will not only have a deeper understanding of the true nature of Yoga, but you will also see how dangerous it is to the spiritual welfare of the believer.

Unfortunately, Pagitt's role in the North Carolina Baptist event is not the only indication that the North Carolina organization is heading into the contemplative/emergent camp. In their Spiritual Formation department, they include Marjorie Thompson's book Soul Feast. In a recent book review, Thompson is quoted from her book as saying:

Some Christians find that "mindfulness meditation," a traditional Buddhist practice, helps them live their Christian discipleship more faithfully.... The practice of contemplative prayer might give a Christian ground for constructive dialogue with a meditating Buddhist. (from Prologue of Soul Feast)

Thompson, an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church USA, is a director for The Pathways Center (part of the Upper Room Ministries). Upper Room is a religious organization that promotes Eastern style meditation and is the creator of the popular, meditation tool Walk to Emmaus.

BSCNC is also advertising the North Carolina Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation. A look at the retreat's brochure reveals influence by Catholic priest and mystic Thomas Merton, who said he wanted to be the best Buddhist he could be and who compared dropping LSD to practicing contemplative prayer (see ATOD)4

It is interesting to note that according to one article in the Deseret News in 2003, the BSCNC expelled a Baptist church for accepting two gay men. However, their embracing of emerging and contemplative spiritualities could prove far more detrimental for the organization and could spill over into many of the 4000+ North Carolina churches affiliated with them. These anti-biblical theologies ultimately lead to the belief that man is divine, is co-creator with God, and all creation is part of God. Yoga is a gateway for this deception. Every aspect of it should be avoided by believers in Christ. Whether it is just the exercises or the whole nine yards, yoga does not belong in the Christian's life.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:11-16)

For more information on yoga, see our research.

Contact info:

205 Convention Dr
Cary, NC 27511
Tel: (919) 467-5100
Fax: (919) 460-7507


Emergence 2007 Speaker Karen Ward on the Atonement

 The Emergence 2007 conference, called a "unique weekend conversation," will take place October 19-20 in Austin, Texas. One of this year's speakers is Karen Ward, an emerging church leader. Ward is Abess of Apostles Church in Washington state and is one of the authors for a book called Listening to the Beliefs of the Emerging Churches. In Faith Undone, Roger Oakland discusses Ward and some things she says in this book (which will be featured at the Emergence 2007 event):

Emergent leader Karen Ward asks the question, "Is there an 'emerging' theology of the atonement?" She answers, "I think not." Calling it "the mystery we're in," she refers to the atonement as "at-one-ment," which occultist and New Age prophet Alice Bailey refers to as our (all humanity) oneness and equality with God. Ward explains her views:

We are being moved, as a community, beyond theories about atonement, to enter into atonement itself, or at-one-ment--the new reality and new relationship of oneness with God which Christ incarnated (in life, cross, and resurrection) and into which we are all invited "for all time."(Faith Undone, p. 220)


Emerging Mennonites

by Roll Over Menno


Some Mennonites have gradually been showing signs of going emergent. Could it be because they've been merging for a while now with emerging church leaders like Brian McLaren? As he is being promoted to pastors, teachers and students, McLaren's influence has begun to show up in Mennonite churches everywhere. The following links will give you a glimpse into this trend.

2002 - Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Eastern Mennonite University - Brian McLaren, pastor at Cedar Ridge Community Church in the suburban Washington, D.C., area, and a church renewal leader, led a well-received opening workshop that introduced the program theme, as well as daily Bible study and worship sessions:
EMS Conference Probes 'Postmodern' Issues

2004 - Mennonite Brethren Forum, Mennonite Brethren Conference: In may of '04, among many contemplative authors (like Jan Johnson, Henri Nouwen, Tom and Christine Sine, etc.) Sharon Johnson, on the MB Forum, recommended Brian McLaren's books under resources for Preaching, Classes and Personal Growth. Click here to read the rest of this article.


Brian McLaren's Interspiritual Hand of Faith

From The Daily Iowan

  "The Left Hand of Faith"
Wearing a suit coat dyed a preacher's black hue, Brian McLaren, an Evangelical writer and pastor, addresses attendees in his signature soft tone and asks all to stand and join hands for a final prayer. In a room containing a forum on faith and politics, sponsored by Barack Obama's campaign on Sept. 7, a spill of mainline Protestants and Mennonites, lapsed Catholics and agnostics, and even a heavy handful of atheists, gathers together....

"God is not a Republican or a Democrat," the D.C.-based Evangelical Christian said. "People of faith shouldn't be in any party's or candidate's pocket - we should be the ultimate swing vote that holds both sides accountable."

Related News:

The Spirituality of Barak Obama and Rick Warren

Meditation: The Heartbeat of a New Kind of Politics


Book Review: Stricken by God? by Brad Jersak

Book Review by
More Books and Things:

Stricken by God?
Nonviolent Identification & the Victory of Christ

Edited by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin
published by Freshwind

It's about the 'non-violent atonement.' Supposedly, the church is asking questions about the very foundation of their belief - the theology of the cross. And the answers are coming from 'every stream of Christianity.' From Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice:

"Across virtually every stream of Christian faith, the doctrinal ground is shifting under our theology of the Cross and the atonement. Tectonic plates of understanding are sliding and grinding -- long-standing assumptions concerning sin, wrath, judgment, salvation and the very nature of God are triggering theological tremors in every quarter."1

This new book, a compilation of essays edited by Brad Jersak, is endorsed by emerging church leader Brian McLaren who says this:

"Stricken by God? is a highly important contribution at a critical time, bringing together a range of thoughtful voices who raise important questions and pose needed and well-defended answers. This is a work I will refer back to often and recommend widely." - Brian D. McLaren, Author/Activist.

Some of the contributors to the book include N.T. Wright, James Alison, Rowan Williams, Richard Rohr, Marcus Borg and includes essays by Michael Hardin, J. Denny Weaver, Tony Bartlett and Sharon Baker.

But who are all these people and why should it matter? Let's take a closer look at a few of them. Click here to read more of this book review.

Related Research:
Slaughterhouse Religion - When they reject the blood atonement

Brennan Manning and the Cross

See also chapter 11 of Faith Undone: "A Slaughterhouse Religion."


Publishing News  - FAITH UNDONE 2nd Printing

Faith Undone, our newest release, has had to go to a second printing after just one month. The new printing will be back from press on September 26th. We have about 150 copies left in our warehouse today (09/17/07), which we will ship until they are gone. We believe this hard-hitting, well-documented book is in such demand because believers want to learn the truth about the emerging church that incorporates mysticism, Purpose Driven, global ecumenism, and more.


If you haven't read Faith Undone, we encourage you to do so. One of the reasons the book is selling so fast is because many people and many churches are buying multiple copies to give to others. We strive at Lighthouse Trails to keep our book prices low, as well as offer large discounts for quantity orders, so that our books can be available to all who wish to read them.


If we have to backorder your order for the book, we will ship all backorders the day the books arrive. Thank you.



Lighthouse Trails Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Faith Undone by Roger Oakland. 


Is the emerging church movement just another passing fad, a more contemporary approach to church, or a bunch of disillusioned young people looking for answers? In fact, it is actually much broader and is influencing Christianity to a significant degree. Grounded in a centuries-old mystical approach, this movement is powerful, yet highly deceptive, and it draws its energy from practices and experiences that are foreign to traditional evangelical Christianity. The path that the emerging church is taking is leading to an interfaith perspective that has prophetically profound ramifications.

Discusses the following:

1. Ancient rituals and practices brought back to life

2.The Eucharistic Evangelization

3.The emerging road to Rome

4.Contemplative spirituality and mysticism

5.The emerging church's view of Hell and the Atonement

6.How the emerging church considers biblical prophecy and the future of planet Earth

7.The key catalysts of the emergent church

8.Purpose Driven ecumenism: Part of the emerging church's new reformation

9.How emerging spirituality is altering missions and evangelism

10.Understanding the emerging church in light of Bible prophecy


Retail price: $12.95

262 Pages

ISBN: 978-0-9791315-1-6

Click here for more information and a chapter by chapter synopsis of Faith Undone.




2. Toll Free Order Line: 866/876-3910


Quantity Discounts: 40% off retail for orders of 10 or more copies, 50% off for international orders of 10 or more copies


We ship within 24 hours of receiving order.

This book will also be available to order from most bookstores (online and walk-in) by mid-August. If your local bookstore isn't carrying Faith Undone, you can ask them to order it  for you.




Lighthouse Trails Publishing's 2nd spring release, For Many Shall Come in My Name by Ray Yungen is now here.

For more information on this book, click here.


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For information on our 1st 2007 spring release, The Other Side of the River, click here. 



Lighthouse Trails Publishing now has sample chapters available online for most of the books we publish. We believe you will find each of these books to be well-written, carefully documented, and worthwhile. Click here to read some of the chapters.

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Note: Lighthouse Trails is a Christian publishing company. While we hope you will read the books we have published, we also provide extensive research, documentation, and news on our Research site, blog, and newsletter. We pray that the books as well as the online research will be a blessing to the body of Christ and a witness to those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.



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