Archive for January, 2011

We need to be aware of the theology of postmodernists (the Emerging, Emergent and Emergence movements). Yes, they do have theological views, even though most will not provide doctrinal statements or creeds. And we need to know their agenda. Dr. Norman Geisler provides an excellent overview of Emergent thinking in his following critique. The critique can be found in its entirety and original format at:

http://www.normangeisler.net/The%20Emergent%20Church-Emergence%20or%20Emergency.html [broken link]

[Note, an update of Dr. Geisler’s article can be found here.]

I am emphasizing comments by bolding, and inserting comments in [bracketing]. Also, I have reformatted portions of Dr. Geisler’s critique to make it more readable. And I hope to insert further comments, as well as links to pertinent Internet articles as I find them.

You will see that a number of Geisler’s lists overlap in their content. Nonetheless, the lists are very helpful as “hooks” or leads to further research. I hope to do just this, collating the various lists and further researching the various points.

A caveat – Geisler has provided quotes from various authors whom I do not recommend. Among them are St. Augustine, Mark Driscoll, and C.S. Lewis. Also, in his list of books at the end discussing Emergents, he lists Dan Kimball as an author; I cannot recommend Kimball. The fact that I am providing Geisler’s critique here in its entirety, in no way is meant to imply that I approve of all his sources.

Nonetheless, thank you for this critique, Dr. Geisler, and God bless you!!!


The Emergent Church: Emergence or Emergency?
Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2008

The Background of Emergence Stated

There is one key influence on the Emergent Church movement—postmodernism.  While not all Emergents accept all premises of post-modernism, nonetheless, they all breathe the same air.  Post modernism embraces the following characteristics:

1) The “Death of God”—Atheism
2) The death of objective truth—Relativism
3) The death of exclusive truth—Pluralism

4) The death of objective meaning—Conventionalism
5) The death of thinking (logic)—Anti-Foundationalism

6) The death of objective interpretation—Deconstructionism
7) The death of objective values—Subjectivism.

From post-modernism Emergents devise the following key ideas: They consider themselves:

1) Post-Protestant
2) Post-Orthodox
3) Post-Denominational
4) Post-Doctrinal
5) Post-Individual
6) Post-Foundational
7) Post-Creedal

8 ) Post-Rational
9) Post-Absolute

It is noteworthy that “post” is a euphemism for “anti.” So, in reality they are against all these things and more.

Brian McClaren, one of the leaders of the emergent church, stressed the importance of the postmodernism influence upon the movement when he wrote, “But for me…opposing it [Postmodernism] is as futile as opposing the English language.  It’s here. It’s reality. It’s the future…. It’s the way my generation processes every other fact on the event horizon” (McLaren, The Church on the Other Side, 70).

“Postmodernism is the intellectual boundary between the old world and the other side.  Why is it so important? Because when your view of truth is changed, when your confidence in the human ability to know truth in any objective way is revolutionized, then everything changes. That includes theology…” (McLaren, COS, 69).

Basic Works by Emergents Listed

There is an ever increasing flow of emergent literature.  To date [2008], it includes the following:

[I have alphabetized Geisler’s list by author]

Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith

Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor, A Heretics Guide to Eternity

Steve Chalke and Allan Mann, The Lost Message of Jesus

Stanley Grenz,  A Primer on Post-Modernism
Beyond Foundationalism
Revising Evangelical Theology

Tony Jones, The New Christians: Dispatches from  the Emergent Frontier

Brian McLaren, The Church on the Other Side
A Generous Orthodoxy
A New Kind of Christian
Everything Must Change

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Doug Pagitt & Tony Jones, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope

Dave Tomlinson, The Post-Evangelical.

See also: www.emergentvillage.com

Basic Beliefs of Emergents Examined

Of course, not all Emergents believe all the doctrines listed below, but some do, and most hold to many of them.  And since they associate with others in the movement that do, it is proper to list all of them.

1) Anti-Absolutism

McClaren insists that “Arguments that pit absolutism versus relativism, and objectivism versus subjectivism, prove meaningless or absurd to postmodern people” (McClaren, “The Broadened Gospel,” in “Emergent Evangelism,” Christianity Today 48 [Nov., 2004], 43).  This is a form of relativism.  Let’s reduce the premise to its essence and analyze it by showing that it is self-refuting.

Relativism Stated: “We cannot know absolute truth.”
Relativism Refuted: We know that we cannot know absolute truth.

2) Anti-Exclusivism (Pluralism)

Pluralism is another characteristic of the emergent movement.  McClaren claims that “Missional Christian faith asserts that Jesus did not come to make some people saved and others condemned. Jesus did not come to help some people be right while leaving everyone else to be wrong. Jesus did not come to create another exclusive religion” (McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, 109).

In brief,

1.  The Claim of Pluralism: “No view is  exclusively true.”
2. The Self-Refutation: It claims that its view (that no view is exclusively true)   is exclusively true.

3) Anti-Foundationalism

Foundationalism in the philosophical sense may be defined as the position that here are self-evident principles at the basis of all thought such as:

1. The Law of Identity (A is A).

2. The Law of Non-Contradiction (A is not non-A).
3. The Law of Excluded Middle (Either A or non-A).
4. The Laws of rational inference.

Inferences take several forms:

  1. The categorical form includes the following necessary inference:  a) All A is included in B; b) All B is included in C.  Hence, c) All A is included in C.
  2. Hypothetical inferences include the following: a) If all human beings are sinners, then John is a sinner; b) All human beings are sinners. c) Therefore, John is a sinner.
  3. Disjunctive inferences are like this: a) Either John is saved or he is lost. b) John is not saved. c) Therefore, John is lost.

One of the fore-fathers of the Emergent movement was Stanley Grenz who wrote a whole book against Foundationalism entitled: Beyond Foundationalism.  McClaren contents that:  “For modern Western Christians, words like authority, inerrancy, infallibility, revelation, objective, absolute, and literal are crucial…. Hardly anyone knows …Rene Descartes, the Enlightenment, David Hume, and Foundationalism — which provides the context in which these words are so important.  Hardly anyone notices the irony of resorting to the authority of extra-biblical words and concepts to justify one’s belief in the Bible’s ultimate authority” (McLaren, GO, 164).

So, the claim and refutation of anti-foundationalism can be stated like this:

1.  The Claim: “Opposites (e.g., A is non-A) can both be true.”

2. The Self-Refutation: They hold that the opposite of this statement (that opposites can both be true) cannot be true.

4) Anti-Objectivism

Another characteristic is the denial that our statements about God are objectively true.  Grenz declared: “We ought to commend the postmodern questioning of the Enlightenment assumption that knowledge is objective and hence dispassionate” (Grenz, A Primer on Postmodernism, 166).

1. The Claim of Anti-Objectivism: “There are no objectively true statements.”

2. The Self-Refutation: It is an objectively true statement that there are no objectively true statements.

5) Anti-Rationalism (Fideism)

Most emergents have a strong doze of fideism.  Grenz chided “Twentieth-century evangelicals [who] have devoted much energy to the task of demonstrating the credibility of the Christian faith…” (Grenz, Primer on Post-modernism, 160).

“Following the intellect can sometimes lead us away from the truth” (Grenz, PPM, 166).  One might add, that not following basic rational thought will lead you there a lot faster!

McClaren adds, “Because knowledge is a luxury beyond our means, faith is the best we can hope for.  What an opportunity! Faith hasn’t encountered openness like this in several hundred years” (McLaren, The Church on the Other Side, 173).

Drop any affair you may have with certainty, proof, argument—and replace it with dialogue, conversation, intrigue, and search” (McLaren, Adventures in Missing the Point, 78).

Donald Miller confessed that  “My belief in Jesus did not seem rational or scientific, and yet there was nothing I could do to separate myself from this belief” (54).  He said, “My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect…. I don’t believe I will ever walk away from God for intellectual reasons. Who knows anything anyway? If I walk away… I will walk away for social reasons, identity reasons, deep emotional reasons…” (103).

“There are many ideas within Christian spirituality that contradict the facts of reality as I understand them. A statement like this offends some Christians because they believe if aspects of their faith do not obey the facts of reality, they are not true” (201).

So the basic claim of anti-rationalism goes as follows:

1. The Claim of Fideism: “There are no reasons for what we believe.”

2. The Self-Refutation: There are good reasons for believing there are no good reasons for what we believe.

1. The Claim of Fideism: “Knowledge is a luxury beyond our means.”
2. The Self-Refutation: We have the luxury of knowing that we can’t have the luxury of knowing.

6) Anti-Objectivism (of Meaning)

Anti-Objectivism deals not only with truth (above) but with meaning (called conventionalism).  Emergents embrace both.  All meaning is culturally relative. There is no fixed meaning. Meaning is not objective.

1. The Claim of Conventionalism: “There is no objective meaning.”

2. The Self-Refutation: It is objectively meaningful to assert that there is no objective meaning.

7) Anti-Realism

Strangely, some emergents claim there is no objective world that can be known. Rather, “the only ultimately valid ‘objectivity of the world’ is that of a future, eschatological world, and the ‘actual’ universe is the universe as it one day will be” (Grenz, Renewing the Center, 246).

1. The Claim of Anti-Realism “There is no real world now that can be known.”

2. The Self-Refutation: We know it is really true now (i.e., true in the real world now) that there is no real world now that can be known.

8 ) Anti-Infallibilism

Not only can we not know absolute truth, but there is no certain knowledge of what we do claim to know, even of biblical truth. McClaren insists:  “Well, I’m wondering, if you have an infallible text, but all your interpretations of it are admittedly fallible, then you at least have to always be open to being corrected about your interpretation, right?… So the authoritative text is never what I say about the text or even what I understand the text to say but rather what God means the text to say, right?” (McLaren, NKC, 50).

1. The Claim of Anti-Infallibilism: “My understanding of the text is never the correct one.”

2. The Self-Refutation: My understanding of the text is correct in saying that my understanding of the text is never correct.

9) Anti-Propositionalism

Emergents, along with post-modern, oppose propositional truth, that is that true can be stated in propositions (declarative sentences) that are either true or false.  Grenz wrote: “Our understanding of the Christian faith must not remain fixated on the propositional approach that views Christian truth as nothing more than correct doctrine or doctrinal truth” (Grenz, PPM, 170).“Transformed in this manner into a book of doctrine, the Bible is easily robbed of its dynamic character” (Grenz, Revisioning Evangelical Theology, 114-115).

1.  The Claim of Anti-Propositionalism: “Our view of the Christian faith must not be fixed on propositional truth (doctrine).”

2.  The Self-Refutation: We must be fixed on the propositional truth that we should not be fixed on propositional truth.

1.  Another Claim of Anti-Propositionalism: “Doctrinal truth is not dynamic.”
2.  The Self-Refutation: It is a dynamic doctrinal truth (of the Emergent Church) that doctrinal truth is not dynamic.

They fail to recognize that doctrine is dynamic! Ideas Have Consequences! For example, Einstein’s idea that “energy equals mass times the speed of light squared” had consequences—the atomic bomb!  Likewise, Hitler’s idea (Nazism) led to the holocaust and the loss of multimillions of lives.

10) Anti-Orthodoxy

The emergent movement is post-orthodox.  Dwight J. Friesen suggests it should be called “orthoparadoxy.” He claims that “‘A thing is alive only when it contains contradictions in itself ….’ Just as he [Moltmann] highlights the necessity of contradictions for life, so I declare that embracing the complexities of contradictions, antinomies, and paradoxes of the human life is walking the way of Jesus” (in Pagitt ed., An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, 203).

“Jesus did not announce ideas or call people to certain beliefs as much as he invited people to follow him into a way of being in the world…. The theological method of orthoparadoxy surrenders the right to be right for the sake of movement toward being reconciled one with another, while simultaneously seeking to bring the fullness of conviction and belief to the other…. Current theological methods that often stress… orthodoxy/heresy, and the like set people up for constant battles to convince and convert the other to their way of believing and being in the world” (Friesen, in EMH, 205).

To summarize,

1. The Claim of Post-Orthodoxy: “We should not insist on being right about doctrine.”
2. The Self-refutation: We insist on being  right in our doctrine that we should not insist on being right in our doctrine.

11) Anti-Condemnationism (Universalism)

Many emergents are not merely pluralist, but they are universalsts.  McClaren affirmed that:  “More important to me than the hell question, then, is the mission [in this world] question.” (McLaren, Generous Orthodoxy, 114).

Bell believes that Jesus reconciled “all things, everywhere” and that “Hell is full of forgiven people.” So, “Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making” (Bell, Velvet Elvis, 146).

“So it is a giant thing that God is doing here and not just the forgiveness of individuals.  It is the reconciliation of all things” (Bell in “Find the Big Jesus: An Interview with Rob Bell” in Beliefnet.com).

Let’s analyze the claim of universalism:

1. The claim: “All persons (free agents) will be saved.”
2. The Self-refutation: But this is self-defeating for it is claiming that: All persons (free agents) will be saved, even those who do not freely choose to be saved.

C. S. Lewis [whom I do not recommend, but in this case makes a good point-DM] pinpointed the problem with universalism when he wrote: “When one says, ‘All will be saved,’ my reason retorts, ‘Without their will, or with it?’  If I say, ‘Without their will,’ I at once perceive a contradiction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self-surrender be involuntary? If I say, ‘With their will,’ my reason replies, ‘How, if they will not give in?’” (The Problem of Pain, 106-107).

12) Anti-Inerrantism

Most emergent leaders are not inerrantist. They believe that “Incompleteness and error are part of the reality of human beings” (McLaren, COS, 173).

“Our listening to God’s voice [in Scripture] does not need to be threatened by scientific research into Holy Scripture” (Grenz, Revisioning Evangelical Theology, 116).

“The Bible is revelation because it is the [errant] witness to and the [errant] record of the historical revelation of God” (Grenz, ibid., 133).

McClaren rejects the traditional view that: “The Bible is the ultimate authority…. There are no contradictions in it, and it is absolutely true and without errors in all it says.  Give up these assertions, and you’re on a slippery slope to losing your whole faith” (McLaren, GO, 133-134).  He adds, “Hardly anyone notices the irony of resorting to the authority of extra-biblical words and concepts to justify one’s belief in the Bible’s ultimate authority” (GO, 164).

In brief, the problem with the errantists view is this:

1. The Claim of Errantists: “No extra-biblical words or ideas should be used to support the Bible.”

2. The Self-refutation: It is a truth (of Post-Modernism) that no extra-biblical words or ideas (like Post-Modernism) should be used to support the Bible.

Yet this is self-defeating for If “No human writing is without error,” then emergent human writing is not without error when it claims that no human writing is without error.

Inerrancy is built on a solid foundation: 1) God cannot err.  2) The Bible is the Word of God.  3) Therefore, the Bible cannot error.  To deny this, one must deny either: a) “God cannot error,” or- b) “The Bible is the Word of God,” or-

c)  both a and b.

However, God cannot err: Jesus declared: “Your Word is truth.” (Jn. 17:17)
Paul said, “Let God be and every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).  Indeed, “It is impossible for God to lie: (Heb. 6:18).  And he Bible is the Word of God “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” (Jn.10:34-35)  “Laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the traditions of men…, making the word of God of no effect through your traditions.” (Mk. 7:8, 13)  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God….”(2 Tim. 3:16) “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.”  (Rom. 9:6)  “’It is written’…by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4)

St. Augustine’s dictum is to the point [I do not recommend St. Augustine – he is a Catholic mystic; I am just providing Geisler’s quote here – DM]: “If we are perplexed by any apparent contradiction in Scripture, it is not allowable to say, The author of this book is mistaken; but either [1] the manuscript is faulty, or [2] the translation is wrong, or [3] you have not understood.”  (Augustine, Reply to Faustus 11.5)

Emerging Problems with the Emergent Church

Other Errors of the Emergent Movement

In addition to all the above self-defeating claims of emergence, there are some other crucial doctrinal and practical errors.  Here are some of them:

1) Anti-Substitutionism

Steve Chalke speaks of the Cross as “a form of cosmic child abuse” which contradicts the Bible’s claim that “God is love” and ‘makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies” (Steve Chalke, The Lost Message of Jesus, 182-183).

2) Anti-Trinitarianism

“I asked him if he believed that the Trinity represented three separate persons who are also one” (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, 202).

3) Anti-depravity (Pelagianism)

Some (like Chalke and Tomlinson) reject depravity.  The former said, “Jesus believed in original goodness.” (The Lost Message of Jesus, 67).  The latter said it is “biblically questionable, extreme, and profoundly unhelpful” (The Post-Evangelical, 126).

4) Anti-Futurism (Amillennialism)

It has an overemphasis on the present spiritual kingdom to the neglect of Jesus’ future literal kingdom—an overrealized eschatology.

5) Anti-Capitalism (Socialism)

It has a social Gospel, not a spiritual Gospel with social implications.  It adopts the agenda of the political left.  Tony Jones said on David Chadwicks show that he and most of the Emergents he knew were voting for Barack Obama (6/22/08).

6) Ecumenism

The Emergent movement is a broad tent which includes numerous heresies (see above), embracing Catholicism, and even pantheism (by some).  Spencer Burke said, “I am not sure I believe in God exclusively as a person anymore either…. I now incorporate a pantheistic view, which basically means that God is ‘in all,’ alongside my creedal view of God as Father, Son, and Spirit.” (A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity, 195).

Difficulties with the Emergent Movement

There are many difficulties with the Emergent movement.  Here are some of the main ones:

1. Its central claims are all self-defeating.
2. It stands on the pinnacle of its own absolute and relativizes everything else.
3. It is an unorthodox creedal attack on orthodox creeds.
4. It attacks modernism in the culture but is an example of postmodernism in the church.
5. In an attempt to reach the culture it capitulates to the culture.
6. In trying to be geared to the times, it is no longer anchored to the Rock.
7. It is not an emerging church; it is really a submerging church.

Answering an Anticipated Objection

Some emergents may wish to claim that:  No self-defeating truth claims are being made.  These are straw men set up by critics.  In response we would reply that: Either they are making such truth claims or they are not.   If they are, then they are self-defeating.  If they are not, then why are they writing books and attempting to convince people of the truth of these views, if not always by affirmation, at least by implication?

While directed to another view, C. S. Lewis [whom I do not recommend-DM] made a insightful comment that applies here as well:

You can argue with a man who says, ‘Rice is unwholesome’: but you neither can nor need argue with a man who says, ‘Rice is unwholesome, but I’m not saying this is true.’  I feel that this surrender of the claim to truth has all the air of an expedient adopted at the last moment.  If [they]…do not claim to know any truths, ought they not to have warned us rather earlier of the fact? For really from all the books they have written…one would have got the idea that they were claiming to give a true account of things.  The fact surely is that they nearly always are claiming to do so.  The claim is surrendered only when the question discussed…is pressed; and when the crisis is over the claim is tacitly resumed” (Lewis, Miracles, 24).

To re-cast the Emergent Movement, using titles from its own books,

It is not “The Emergent Church” but “The Submergent Church.”

It is not “A Manifesto of Hope” but is “A Declaration of Disaster.”

It is not “Refocusing the Faith” but “Distorting the Faith.”

It is not “Renewing the Center” but “Rejecting the Core.”

It is not “Repainting the Faith” but “Repudiating the Faith.”

The Emergent movement is not “A Generous Orthodoxy” but “A Dangerous Unorthodoxy.”

It is not the “Church on the Other Side,” but it is on the “Other Side of the Church.”

It is not “A Primer on Post-Modernism” but “A Primer on the New Modernism.”

It is not going to “Produce a New Kind of Christian” but a “New Kind of Non-Christian.”

In short, the Emergent Church is the New Liberalism.  As Mark Driscoll [whom I do not recommend although he claims to be anti-Emergent – DM] wrote: “The emergent church is the latest version of liberalism.  The only difference is that the old liberalism accommodated modernity and the new liberalism accommodates postmodernity” (Mark Driscoll, Confessions of a Reformation REV, 21).

To put it to poetry:

The Emergent Church is built on sand
and will not stand.
Christ’s Church is build on Stone,
And it can not be overthrown.
(Matt. 16:16-18)

Works Evaluating The Emergent Movement

Several works are emerging on the Emergent Church.  The following is a select list containing valuable criticisms of the movement:

Adler, Mortimer. Truth in Religion.
Carson, D. A.  Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church.
Carlson, Jason. “My Journey Into and Out Of the Emergent Church” (www.Christianministriesintl.org)
*DeYoung, Kevin and Ted Kluck. Why We’re Not Emergent.
Driscoll, Mark. Confessions of a Reformation REV.
Howe, Thomas ed., Christian Apologetics Journal of Southern Evangelical Seminary (Spring, 2008, www.ses.edu)
Kimball, Dan. The Emerging Church.
Rofle, Kevin, Here We Stand.
Smith, R. Scott Truth and The New Kind of Christian.
Geisler, Norman.  “The Emergent Church” DVD (InternationalLegacy.org).

Of course, not all emergent beliefs are bad.  De Young and Kluck summarize the situation well.  They “have many good deeds.  They want to be relevant.  They want to reach out.  They want to be authentic.  They want to include the marginalized.  They want to be kingdom disciples.  They want community and life transformation….”  However, “Emergent Christians need to catch Jesus’ broader vision for the church—His vision for a church that is intolerant of error, maintains moral boundaries, promotes doctrinal integrity, stands strong in times of trial, remains vibrant in times of prosperity, believes in certain judgment and certain reward, even as it engages the culture, reaches out, loves, and serves.  We need a church that reflects the Master’s vision—one that is deeply theological, deeply ethical, deeply compassionate, and deeply doxological” (Why We’re Not Emergent, 247-248).

Legacy International

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Most so-called Christian bookstores are filled with false teachings from the Contemplative/Emerging movements.  These bookstores will be held accountable for selling such garbage. And so-called Christian publishers will be held accountable for printing such garbage.

The following listing of bad – and good – Christian publishers is from Lighthouse Trails Research (dated November 29th, 2008). (I am hoping to find more up-to-date lists.)

The lists below were originally posted by Lighthouse Trails Research at:


Christian Publishers – Which Ones Are Contemplative/Emerging?

November 29th, 2008 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

During this time of year, Christian bookstores are visited more now than perhaps any other time of the year. And the majority of the books and DVDs filling the shelves of most of these Christian walk-in stores are from the largest Christian publishers. Unfortunately, most of the larger Christian (evangelical) publishers are releasing books and DVDs that promote contemplative spirituality, the Purpose Driven Movement, and the emerging church, all of which are conduits for the unbiblical “new spirituality.”

Lighthouse Trails has monitored the books and DVDs being released by the large Christian publishers for several years. Below is a list of the publishing companies most responsible for the influx of contemplative/emerging material into mainstream Christianity. If you are buying books/DVDs from any of these publishers, we hope you will contact them and ask them not to publish or produce products that promote contemplative and emerging spirituality.

“Christian” Publishers That DO Publish Contemplative and Emerging Spirituality Books/DVDs:

Baker Books
Bethany House (a division of Baker)
Chosen Books (a division of Baker)’
David C. Cook
Group Publishing
Guideposts Books
Multnomah Books
Thomas Nelson
W Publishing (div. of Thomas Nelson)
The list above is not comprehensive but lists the most prolific Christian publishers today. (More on contemplative Christian publishers)

List of Christian publishers that are NOT releasing contemplative/emerging/Purpose Driven books.

Important Note: Please note that listing these companies below is not necessarily an endorsement or recommendation. While we believe the companies below do not offer contemplative/emerging/Purpose Driven materials, please use discernment whenever you turn to a book or DVD other than the Word of God for guidance or inspiration. As Christians, we must “Test all things” and “Try the spirits” through the screen of Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1). Most of companies listed below are smaller publishing companies, and your local bookstores may not be carrying their titles. But often you can request your bookstore to order their titles. With the exception of Barbour and Kregel, the larger Christian publishing companies could not be placed in this “good” list.

Non-Contemplative Publishers

Barbour Publishers
Believers in Grace
Caryl Productions
Eastgate Publishers
Eternal Productions
Kregel Publications
Lighthouse Trails Publishing
Proclaiming the Gospel
Sword Publishers
The Berean Call
Understand the Times

** Harvest House and Moody Publishers have some good publications, but use discernment and caution because of some indications that they are being influenced by contemplative/emerging/Purpose Driven. Please contact them and ask them to steer clear of these types of materials.

Related Information:

Christian and Secular Publishers on Contemplative/Emerging Frenzy

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Tragically, it is becoming more and more difficult to find biblically sound Christian colleges. But they ARE out there. I have copied and pasted the following list from Lighthouse Trails Research. I’m assuming this list is incomplete. Also, I’m assuming there are some seminaries out there that are not promoting Contemplative/ Emerging and do not have a Spiritual Formation program.

I am adding links as I locate them. The original college list from Lighthouse Trails can be found at:


Here is the Lighthouse Trails list as of 4/20/11 (revised by me):leges That are Not Promoting Contemplative/Emerging and Do Not Have a Spiritual Formation Program

Click here for List of Contemplative Colleges [I have revised this link-Dave Mosher]

The schools below do NOT promote contemplative/emerging spirituality. In addition, they do not include “spiritual formation (i.e., contemplative) in their programs.

Disclaimer: These colleges are listed, not necessarily as an endorsement or recommendation, but rather to show schools that do not have Spiritual Formation programs, nor do we know of any promotion of contemplative prayer or the emerging church within each of these schools. They also do not promote Purpose Driven materials, which are a catalyst for contemplative spirituality. Before sending your student to any of the schools listed below, please check out other criteria at the school that will influence your student.

Ambassador Baptist College (North Carolina)

Appalachian Bible College (West Virginia)

Atlanta Baptist College (Georgia)

Baptist Bible College & Graduate School (Missouri)

Berean Bible Institute (Wisconsin)

Bob Jones University (South Carolina)[I have revised this link-DM]

Boston Baptist College (Massachusetts)

College of the Open Bible & Theological Seminary (Online)

Cornerstone Bible Institute (South Dakota)

Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary (Iowa)

Heartland Baptist Bible College ( Oklahoma)

His Hill Bible School and Camp (Texas)

International Baptist College (Arizona)

Internet Bible Institute (online)

Liberty Baptist College (Georgia)
(see Atlanta B. C.)

Millar College (Sask, CA)

Pensacola Christian College (Florida)

Special Note: If your student is not yet aware of what the New Age movement (such as contemplative, emerging, etc.) really is, you should ask them to read For Many Shall Come in My Name. The book is a compelling overview of the New Age movement. This book will prepare young people and adults alike to recognize dangerous and non-biblical practices and beliefs that are being introduced into countless Christian schools.

If you know of a Bible-believing Christian college or seminary that does not promote contemplative or emerging and does not have a Spiritual Formation program, please drop us an email and tell us the name of the institution. We would like to post some of these on our research site.

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I have been reading through the doctrinal statements of various  denominations (mostly evangelical). I came across several denominational doctrinal statements which seemed excellent. I was shocked when I later discovered these denominations don’t “practice what they preach.” More specifically, they accommodate and even endorse various Emerging/Emergent/Emergence speakers.

Below I am including links to the doctrinal statements of various ODM ministries that are confronting the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence movements. I believe these ministries are  trustworthy – they truly believe and follow the doctrinal statements they have provided.

NOTE –  I would point out that although I recommend only the KJV, I have included doctrinal statements which quote other versions. Note also that I plan to add more links as I locate them.

Following are the doctrinal statements and/or doctrinal info I have located thus far:

Apprising Ministries (Ken Silva)

The Berean Call (Dave Hunt)

The Berean Library


CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry)
(articles on doctrinal statements)

Christian Research Service

Deception in the Church


Eastern Regional Watch

Kjos Ministries (Berit Kjos)

Lighthouse Trails Research Project

Southern View Chapel (Gary Gilley)

Way of Life Literature (David Cloud)

(articles on doctrinal statements)

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