Archive for November, 2011

What is wrong with CCM (Contemporary Christian Music)? Everything!

I grew up in a biblically sound, born again, evangelical denomination, the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI)[at least at the time it was biblically sound]. I recall CCM coming on the scene in the early 1970s. A few of the groups I followed were Evie, Keith Green, and Second Chapter of Acts. These were relatively “tame” groups – CCM artists have grown more and more worldly over the years. And worldliness is just one of the problems with CCM groups.


Wikipedia article on CCM


Today there are a dizzying array of CCM genres.  Check out the following articles:

Wikipedia list of CCM genres

Today’s Christian Music website (click on “Search by Genre” to see a pull-down window with various genres)

The Many Genres of Christian Music

List of CCM genres (most were located at this website)

Heavy Metal
Praise & Worship
Soaking Music (New Age-ish Third Wave Pentecostal  music – very dangerous)

Give me a break! Most of these CCM songs are obviously entertainment. CCM is an abomination. Most CCM songs:

1) Are not worshipful towards the Lord
2) Are not reverent
3) Are not edifying for Christians
4) Are not a godly witness to nonchristians

I could go on and on. Instead, following I will provide links to articles by others, critiquing CCM. Many, many articles can be found on the Internet.


The Beatles and Contemporary Christian Music (by David Cloud, first published April 12, 2006)

Musical Associations and CCM Adaptation (by David Cloud, revised Oct 17, 2011)


Lists of articles critiquing CCM

Most of these lists are from Independent Fundamentalist Baptists (IFB). I admire IFBs for protesting CCM as well as ecumenism, modernism, modern Bible versions, etc.

Amazing Grace Baptist Church
Calvary Baptist Church
Dial-the-Truth Ministries
He Who Has Ears Let Him Hear
Way of Life Literature (David Cloud)

CCM groups pushing Spiritual Formation (aka Contemplative Spirituality)

David Crowder Band

Also: all Soaking Music involves Contemplative Spirituality (see link on Soaking Music above)

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I stumbled across a very revealing – and shocking – blog about Todd Bentley and other extremely dangerous Third Wave Pentecostal teachers. I am copying it verbatim here. Click here for the original blog. I am emphasizing certain points by bolding, and inserting comments in [brackets].

Targeting the Children: False Prophets Duping Christian Parents

Posted by Simplicity In Christ on April 27, 2008

This article, along with new posts and articles, can also be read on Revival Time, a new Simplicity In Christ blog

Todd Bentley, Patricia King, and Bob Jones, prophets of the Elijah List, what do they have in common? All three of them are targeting your children in order to lift them into a “third heaven” occultic sphere, using meditation, contemplative prayer, angels of light (satan and his demons), emotional manipulation, and blatant lies.

In the following video, Bob Jones, Todd Bentley, and Patricia King speak of this contemplative practice of entering into the “third heaven”:

KING: Todd, I remember years ago, you gave me a phone call and you said ‘Hey, I’ve just been soaking with Bob Jones and I’ve gone up into the “third heaven”‘ and all that. And it was all new to me; I’d never even heard of that kind of language before and I was SO hungry for it. But tell about the first time you met Bob and your encounters in the third heaven.

BENTLEY: The first time I met Bob was actually in Grants Pass, Oregon. We were sitting in a restaurant and I was really hungry; I knew Bob was a real seer prophet. I thought ‘Lord I’m going to get an impartation’. I’ve been having all these encounters and all these visions and experiences already soaking, but I thought ‘Lord I need to talk to somebody that’s been walking in this that’s really a senior prophet’. So when I met Bob, I thought ‘Lord, I’m going to get an impartation’ and I remember talking with Bob in a restaurant about going into the heavens and what it was and we were talking about the “third heaven”, going into the immediate abode, into that place, the dwelling place of God. And I thought ‘That’s awesome!’. I was hungry for it too; I wanted more! ‘Cause, up until that point, sovereignly God was just visiting me. And I was just waiting in His presence and sovereignly God was visiting me. And Bob said to me, he said, ‘We can go right now!’ And I said ‘What do you mean, we can go right now?! We can make the decision right now and enter into that realm of the spirit?’. And he said, “Sure we can! Don’t you have faith, boy?!’. Or something like that. (laughter) That what he said to me…

[…](description of occultic experience into the third heaven)[…]

KING: Well, I remember when you [Bentley] were telling me about it, I got so hungry for it. And right after that Bob was coming to a conference that we were having… I was going to just ask him all kinds of questions about this third heaven, I didn’t know, because I wanted to know. I wanted to experience God in a new way; and I think we all do; we’re all so hungry for Him, right? But I hadn’t caught yet, because you had told me about the experience but not the faith dimension, so I was just still thinking ‘Sovereignty’. God’s sovereignly going to move, take me out, well whatever. So I’m asking Bob questions and Bob, you said ‘Well, I do my raptures every day!’. I said ‘What do you mean, your raptures every day?’. He said ‘I go up every day!’. And I said ‘You go up EVERY DAY! I’d love to go up every day!’ And he said ‘Well, it’s by faith!‘…

A person’s FAITH supersedes God’s SOVEREIGNTY??

Bentley, Jones, and King declare they are going past the sovereignty of God into a contemplative heavenly experience. In scripture there is only one who declares himself to be as high as God — satan:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:14

9:00 minutes into the video:

JONES: A lot of people see a lot of different colors [when in the third heaven], but when I take the children up most of the time, they see the “white light“. And they see the white throne, and nearly everything they see up there is white! That’s what God IS, is white light! But you got all the colors in it. And up there they see one another as white light, for they ARE light.

KING: Wow! I remember you saying to me one time, you said, if you can teach children to ascend into the third heaven and live out of that place then you will have a generation that will not be affected by the devil because the devil can’t go there. Isn’t that profound!?

JONES: Yep! Well, youth and children they hardly have any problem at all going there, especially 6 to 12. They go right up and I’ve seen them take them up and turn them loose! And then after you turn them loose, the first thing they’ll do, they’ll tell you what they’ve seen. So a lot of times with them, I let them tell me what they’ve seen, and then I interpret it to them. And then sometimes I will say, ‘Okay, go up again and see what you see for me’. And I’ll tell you some of the most seer prophecies I’ve got, come from some of them 6, 7, 8 years old! And some of the conferences I’ve been in, when the youth go up, I’ll tell those, the speakers of the conferences, you want blessed, go let the children pray for you. And see, they go continually there! They haven’t been taught the doubt that we have here.

In this video of Bentley’s Lakeland Healing Revival in Florida, Bentley talks about an angel of light in regards to children:

6:42 minutes into the video:

We’re going to have an anointing service because the Lord spoke to me about families and He was going to visit. I saw the angel today that was going to visit the children. I saw the angel that only two times have I seen that is going to visit the children. I tell you what, there is a glory moving into the room. Just go ahead and just… Ohhhh! Get under that! Ohhh! Ohhh! Lord, let it move across the whole place! A drunken glory! Heavy, heavy, weighty, weighty, weighty glory! Smoky glory, Shekinah glory, in all the colors in the glory!…

On Bentley’s site:

Todd saw the Glory Cloud of Revelation… that is, the cloud that is the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the seven Spirits of God. The Lord also showed Todd in the vision, an old Punjabi sadhu (holy man) [Ed. note: mystic], by the name of Sundar Singh, who lived in India and evangelized throughout the world over a hundred years ago. The Holy Spirit spoke to Todd about a new release of prophetic revelation coming… Todd examines the significance of Sundar Singh in his vision as an example of the extraordinary relationship God wants us to have with Him. It’s a wonderful life of devotion, humility, daily discipline, worship and contemplative prayer that calls us daily to soak in and seek God’s manifest presence. (emphasis added)

From Wolf Tracks site:

Why would God give his children a vision of a contemplative who combined the East and West in his meditative disciplines? Is this where Todd Bentley’s ideas about visions, spirituality, and ’soaking’ prayer are coming from?

Why would God, indeed. Bentley, King, and Jones are occultic mystics, doing the works of the flesh, a form of godliness but denying the power thereof (2nd Timothy 3:5). The power of God is not in evidence, nowhere to be found in their false teachings.

The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23):


The fruit or evidence of the Spirit is not false doctrines (heresies), excitement, shaking, barking, laughing uncontrollably, getting a shove from the preacher to be “slain in the spirit”, jumping in “the river”, etc., etc., etc…

Parents, please do not allow your children to be involved in these occultic experiences. Pay attention to what is being taught — not only their teachings but yours as well. Check EVERYTHING against the Word of God.

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(blog under construction)(revised 01/20/12)

I thank the Lord that the EFC-ER traditionally has taken a stand against “charismatic excesses.” Specifically, at their 1970 Yearly Meeting, officials passed a statement worded something like this:

The EFC-ER realizes that various attenders are praying in tongues. These attenders may continue to attend EFC-ER churches. However, they will not be permitted to speak in tongues openly in EFC-ER churches. The EFC-ER holds to these wise words from the Apostle Paul:

33) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints…  40) Let all things be done decently and in order. (I Cor. 14:33, 40, KJV)

(The above is the gist of their statement, not the exact wording. I am looking for the original text of their statement.)

In the last few years, Charismatic (Second Wave) and/or Third Wave Pentecostal teachings have again cropped up in  in EFC-ER churches –  in a big way – and have had to be dealt with by the EFC-ER.  I was shocked to learn that  several close acquaintances of mine have become involved with IHOP. Formerly in positions of EFC-ER church leadership, these acquaintances have left the EFCI denomination (of which EFC-ER is a part) and are now ministering with IHOP. EFC-ER churches are still saying “no” to Charismatic and IHOP teachings; I applaud the EFC-ER churches for taking this stand. (These church transitions are very “touchy” to say the least. I feel no need at this point to go into more details; the main thing is that these IHOP individuals have left the EFC-ER churches.)

Unfortunately, IHOP teachings are now entering the EFC-ER through another venue: Malone University’s MUHOP student group. Question: why has Malone allowed students to form an IHOP group? I believe Malone should take a stand against IHOP and Third Wave Pentecostal teachings, just as various churches in the EFC-ER have done. IHOP teachings are far different from the traditional, historic biblical doctrines of the EFCI and Malone University.

Following are links to the MUHOP website and several related websites:

MUHOP website (provides a tab at top to JHOP; also provides a non-working tab to IHOP-Canton, which I assume is Canton House of Prayer)
MUHOP/FCA Facebook Group
JHOP House of Prayer- Canton
JHOP House of Prayer – Canton Facebook Group
Canton House of Prayer

Dangerous, heretical IHOP teachings pose a far greater threat to the EFC-ER than the “speaking in tongues” issue of the 1970s.

Note – I am not saying that members of MUHOP are engaged in all the heretical teachings listed below. On the contrary, it seems most MUHOP members are at the introductory level of IHOP teachings. But they are at risk of getting involved in the deeper, more dangerous, more heretical aspects of IHOP.

IHOP is very cult-like. On the surface, IHOP presents itself as a vibrant, growing prayer movement. However, like an onion, pealing back IHOP’s layers reveals deeper levels saturated with dangerous, heretical, even occultish teachings and practices. I would say this to MUHOP members: peel  back the layers of IHOP, to see for yourselves how dangerous and heretical IHOP is. Do your research – there are many Internet blogs and articles exposing the dangers and heresies of IHOP.)


1) IHOP is not an isolated movement. It is part of a much larger, extremely dangerous movement – the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), also called the “Third Wave of Pentecostalism.” There are many other related terms to research, including “Elijah’s List” (click here and here) and “Dominionism.”

2) IHOP is a “back door” to Richard Foster’s occultish contemplative spirituality, which has already invaded many Regions of the EFCI (and is becoming more prevalent in the EFC-ER).

3) IHOP has connections with the heretical TACF (Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship), referred to by many simply as “Toronto.”

4) IHOP has connections with extremely dangerous, heretical Third Waver Todd Bentley.

5) IHOP – like Toronto and Todd Bentley – engages in the extremely dangerous and occultish contemplative practice of soaking prayer. IHOP’s Bob Jones taught Todd Bentley soaking prayer as a method for receiving dreams, visions, trances, angelic visitations, third heaven visitations, and more.  Like I said, extremely dangerous.

… The five items listed above are just the tip of the iceberg – IHOP is teaching  many more heresies.


Following are some articles exposing IHOP, in chronological order. I plan to add more articles as I locate them.

KCF- Kansas City Finances (03/14/08)
IHOP openly promotes contemplative prayer/visualization (08/04/08)
Beware the teachings of IHOP KC – New Age contemplative spirituality (08/10/08)
You just don’t “get it.” (12/14/08)
A Profane Bride?  (02/19/09)
Spiritual Dishonesty (02/20/09)
Mike Bickel, IHOP and Mysticism (11/25/09)(YouTube video)
Kansas City Awakens to Revival at IHOP–RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! (12/18/09)
Mike Bickle – Everybody is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle (12/29/09)
IHOP – Contemplative prayer taught at healing rooms (12/29/09)
IHOP?!? (01/01/10)
Apostolic pirate Brandon Barthrop teaches Jesus was born again (01/10/10)
Mike Bickle and IHOP (01/10/10)
Drunken Streams – Defiled Waters  (01/18/10)
Revisionism and the Blueprint Prophecy (02/18/10)
Bickle and the Man-Child (05/12/10)
Make It Up As You Go! (05/20/10)
Mike Bickle and the Man-Child, Redux (05/31/10)
Your Pastors are Lying (06/03/10)
Red Flags Over IHOP – Devotion or Deception? (02/08/11)
The Mother of All IHOP Casualties (02/14/11)
IHOP – The perils of passion (02/16/11)(describes in detail some of IHOP’s heresies)
IHOP and Prophetic Keys (03/02/11)
Testimony of a Former IHOP-KC Attendee: Stephanie (03/05/11)
IHOP and contemplative prayer (04/11/11)(a shocking testimony from another former IHOP attender)
IHOP enters Dominion/Christian Right Politics (Pt. 1)(07/01/11)
IHOP enters Dominion/Christian Right Politics, Pt. 2 (07/04/11)
There is more to IHOP and Mike Bickle than bad eschatology (07/11/11)
Mike Bickle of IHOP wants book about Catholic mystics to be “manual for IHOP-KC” (07/28/11)
Mike Bickle – Inoculation of the Sheep (08/08/11)
Mike Bickle – Transported to Heaven (09/05/11)
Mike Bickle and IHOP – The Depths of Deception  (09/14/11)
Mike Bickle of IHOP-KC instructs followers on contemplative prayer (10/28/11)


The main IHOP website does not seem to have a directory of churches. (Could it be because IHOP has received so much bad press?) Anyway, following are several “third party” directories of IHOP gatherings? Hopefully your town does NOT have an IHOP group!

24/7 Prayer Ministry Directory (updated regularly)
IHOP Network
Prayer for All People House of Prayer Directory


The Dangers of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), by John Park

Click here for the Beyond Grace list of many more articles about IHOP. (I’ve also provided the links below):

Beyond Grace Articles (year only)

Papers and Articles

E-Books – pdfs

Harp and Bowl

Archival Material

Bickle / IHOP Websites

The Joseph Company – at IHOP

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(revised 02/18/15)

Granted, A.W. Tozer said and wrote many wonderful things, and has been quoted by various discernment ministries.  But – did you know there is a great amount of controversy over Tozer? Specifically, Tozer quoted Catholic mystics profusely.

Different ODMs (online discernment ministries) feel differently about Tozer:

1) Dave Hunt, for example, gives a great description of “the Tozer controversy” –  then concludes that Tozer is acceptable.

2) Ken Silva of Apprising.org and Christian Research Network provides biblical quotes from Tozer from time to time. [I would agree with Silva that Tozer did make a number of biblically sound statements. But “a little leaven (Tozer’s mystic leanings) leaveneth the whole lump” (I Cor. 5:6).]

“Iggy,” an Emerging/Emergent heretic, blogs here regarding Silva’s affinity for quoting Tozer. Very interesting – an Emerging/Emergent heretic criticizing an ODM for quoting a Christian mystic. If “Iggy” had done a bit more research, he would have uncovered Silva’s statements regarding his position on Tozer. Following is Silva’s disclaimer regarding Tozer (I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets]):

I read almost all of the works of A.W. Tozer early in my relationship with Jesus Christ; while he did quote Roman Catholic mystics in a postive light, he condemned the false gospel of the Roman Catholic Church and considered it apostate. Unfortunately, Tozer’s mystic bent—though there’s no evidence that he practiced mysticism—and his pietistic teaching of a “deeper life” have tarnished his legacy to the point that I can only recommend his work with this qualification.

And in the following excerpt, Silva further explains his position on Tozer (click here for the entire original text of Silva’s article). I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets]. Now on to Silva’s comments:

Emerging Mysticism in New Evangelicalism (Part Two)

… No one is arguing that spending time alone with God is a bad idea for the regenerated Christian, nor am I saying it is necessarily wrong to spend time alone with the Lord silently contemplating in wondrous amazement just Whom it is that dwells within you. And this is what men like A.W. Tozer are talking about when they refer to being in silence before God. Unfortunately in a more innocent spiritual climate Tozer unwisely gave some credence to these so-called “Christian” mystics.

As one who has read much from Tozer and from the current “mystics” I can tell you with assurance that Tozer was not involved in the same type of contemplative prayer/mediation that is being encouraged by many leaders in the Emerging Church movement. You will see when this series moves along that the easiest way to tell those who practice the type of neo-pagan mystic “disciplines” encouraged in the EC from those who simply silently spend time in God’s presence is the message that each will come away with.

In closing this piece we take as examples Emergent spiritual director Brian McLaren and A.W. Tozer. The result thus far for McLaren as he’s practiced his friend Richard Foster’s version of mysticism has been his emerging message that the Christian faith should become “a welcome friend to other religions of the world.” While Tozer, more of a “mystic” than I comfortable with [so in essence Silva provides biblical quotes from Tozer from time to time although he is not comfortable with Tozer’s mysticism], came forth from his moments of “silence” with the message that “the task of the Church is to spread New Testament Christianity throughout the world.”

Undoubtedly these messages from McLaren and Tozer did not come from the same Spirit. The purpose of this study is to show you that the meditation practiced in the emerging mysticism in new evangelicalism most certainly does not lead to a mystical union with the one true and living God of the Bible.

3) I found these comments in a Puritan Board forum here:

A.W. Tozer the Mystic?

Posted 04-01-2005 by heartoflesh, Puritanboard Junior:

A group of us, led by our pastor and the assistant pastor, have been meeting at a restaurant on Wednesday evenings going through A.W. Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God”. I really like Tozer, and although I assume he was Arminian in his theology, he seemed to have a great grasp of the glory of God.

I’ve been told that Tozer was a “modern-day mystic”, but I’m not sure what is meant by this. His writings do sometimes appear to be like those of a man who possesed some sort of extra-biblical, subjective revelation. Is this what is meant?

Our next book is going to be Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God, which I’ve been told was one of Tozer’s favorite reads. I really don’t know anything about this fellow, Brother Lawrence, only that he was a monk.

To be honest, I’m starting to smell a rat. I’ve recently become aware of the subject of Contemplative Prayer, and how it is sweeping the church. I’m afraid I’m going to get a little bit punchy if the discussion starts to veer in the direction of special prayer practices– breath prayers, breathing exercises, “quieting the mind”, “palms up/palms down”, etc. Nothing has been brought up yet, but I’m ready to put in my 2 cents if it does.

Anyway, back to Tozer. I’ve never read anything by him where he suggests any such techniques, or claims any special mystical knowledge, so I guess I’m trying to figure out why he would be classified as a mystic.

Any ideas?

Rick Larson
Seeking new church home. Currently worshipping at South Suburban EV Free Church, Apple Valley, MN.

Response, posted 04-02-2005 by openairboy, Inactive User:


To my knowledge, Tozer doesn’t promote any such techniques. He, especially early on in my Christian life, was instrumental in helping me love God through “Knowledge of the Holy” and “The Pursuit of God”. Another article that is a must read, I believe, is his “The Old Cross and the New”. He says in a page and a half what others try to say in books. It is a stroke of genius.

The mystic? Yes, he is a bit of mystic due to his readings and influences, but I don’t believe in a negative way. The following is a quote from Snyder’s “In Pursuit of God”:

Tozer’s hunger for God led him to study the Christian mystics. Their knowledge of God and absorbing love for him profoundly attracted Tozer. They were spirits kindred to his own. ‘These people know God, and I want to know what they know.’ But at the same time, the Bible remained absolutely central.

‘Once’, Martyn Lloyd-Jones recalled, ‘Dr. Tozer and I shared a conference years ago, and I appreciated his ministry and his fellowship very much. One day he said to me: ‘Lloyd-Jones, you and I hold just about the same position on spiritual matters, but we have come to this position by different routes.’ ‘How do you mean?’ I asked. ‘Well,’ Tozer replied, ‘you came by way of the Puritans and I came by way of the mystics.’ And, you know,’ said Lloyd-Jones, ‘he was right.’

With anyone there are caveat’s, but I strongly recommend Tozer for the simple fact of his love for God and how his works stir that in my soul and those I know that have spent time with him.


Posted 04-02-2005 by heartoflesh, Puritanboard Junior:

I actually re-perused my copy of “The Pursuit of the Holy” today to see if I could find anything that matched up with blatant mysticism, of the type I’ve been studying about in today’s Contemplative Prayer movement. The only thing that I found minutely questionable was when he quotes from the author of “The Cloud of Unknowing” on pg. 19:

“Again, he recommends that in prayer we practice a further stripping down of everything, even of our theology. “For it sufficeth enough, a naked intent direct unto God without any other cause than Himself….lapped and folden in one word, for that thou shouldest have better hold thereupon, take thee but a little word of one syllable: for so it is better than of two, for even the shorter it is the better it accordeth with the work of the Spirit. And such a word is this word GOD or this word LOVE”

Of course, the Contemplative Prayer movement takes it lead from just this very practice— repeating a word such as “love” or “Jesus” over and over until one enters into “the Presence”. Even the title of the work “The Cloud of Unknowing” betrays the mystical intent of the writer. The gist is that we must enter the presence by UN-knowing, as opposed to meditating on an objective reality, i.e., the Scriptures.

I don’t believe Tozer practiced this, in fact, on pg. 76 he writes:

“It is important that we get still to wait on God. And it is best that we get alone, preferable with our Bible outspread before us…..Then the happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the Scriptures, and that which had been only a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend”.

To summarize: I can only assume that Tozer had an appreciation for the mystics, for their devotion, but that this appreciation didn’t translate into his following their practices.

4) Tom Riggle takes a more critical view of Tozer, presenting a number of points that others quoted here did not touch upon. Click here for the entire list of Riggle’s blogs critiquing Tozer.

5) The Just the BOOK blogsite has many blogs criticizing A.W. Tozer’s quoting of “Christian” mystics.

To his credit, Tozer was a prolific writer – see the list of books in his Wikipedia article. Unfortunately, it appears he made a habit of quoting mystics throughout his various books.

In conclusion, here is my take on “the Tozer controversy” while I do more research: I admire Tozer and view him as a wonderful man of God. but I see no need for Tozer (or any other born again Christian) to quote Catholic (aka nonchristian) mystics – period. There are many biblically sound, born again Christians he could have quoted instead to make his points.  (C.H. Spurgeon and D.L. Moody are a few names that come to mind.)

Tozer does indeed seem to have been a wonderful, born again Christian. However, by quoting Catholic mystics, Tozer (and others) set a dangerous precedent. Since Tozer’s passing, followers of Richard Foster and company have claimed Tozer himself was a “Christian mystic” due to his quoting of Catholic mystics. Whether Tozer truly was a Christian mystic to the degree of a “Richard Foster” is highly doubtful. Nonetheless, by quoting Catholic mystics, Tozer did give the impression he was sympathetic to Christian mysticism.

Addendum:  A.W. Tozer was not alone in quoting Catholic mystics. Many writers in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition have quoted Catholic mystics, for various reasons, dating clear back to John Wesley himself. (All of these writers innocently set a dangerous precedent for Spiritual Formation people today to quote Catholic mystics.) Consider this excerpt from an article by M. James Sawyer:

[Wesley’s] doctrine of Sanctification was not traditional Arminianism. Wesley was also heavily influenced by the mystics. [J.I.] Packer has observed that he superimposed:

“on the Augustinianism of the Anglican prayer book and the heaven aspiring High Church moralist in which he was reared a concept of perfection . . . that he had learned from the Greek Patristic sources. “Macarius the Egyptian” . . . and Ephraem Syrus were chief among these. There idea of perfection was not of sinlessness, but of an ever deepening process of all around moral change. To this idea Wesley then added the lesson he had learned form those whom he called the “mystic writers” (a category including the Anglican William Law, the Roman Catholics Molinos, Fenelon, Gaston de Renty, Francis de Sales, and Madame Guyon, the Lutheran Pietist Francke, and the pre-Reformation Theologia Germanica)…  (Keep in Step with the Spirit, p. 134)

I need to study John Wesley and other born again Catholic-quoters more, to determine exactly why they felt the need to quote Catholic mystics at all. Regarding the quoting of Catholic mystics by Tozer, Wesley and many other wonderful, born again men of God of his time, I would summarize the enigma this way. It seems to me that born again Christians quoted the “Christian” sayings of Catholic mystics (while overlooking the nonchristian sayings of Catholic mystics). Emergent mystics such as Richard Foster, on the other hand, quote the heretical sayings of Catholic mystics (while ignoring the “Christian” sayings of Catholic mystics).


Google hits for search on [“Tozer” “mystic”]  – Some links say Tozer was a Christian mystic and support him; others say Tozer was a Christian mystic and critique him; yet others say Tozer was not a Christian mystic.

James Stuart Bell, Compiler, From the Library of A. W. Tozer: Selections From Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey (much of this book is viewable online)

Gilley, Gary, review of A Passion for God, the Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer by Lyle Dorsett “Tozer’s endorsement and love for Catholic mystics is problematic. While not agreeing with all their theology, Tozer truly believed that mystics such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter Abelard, Frederick Faber, Jeanne Guyon, Meister Eckhart and Thomas Merton knew something about intimacy with God that the evangelical world had missed. Much of Tozer’s methodology for seeking God was shaped not by Scripture, but by the mystics. Even his natural tendency to remain aloof from people was justified by Thomas á Kempis’ brand of Christianity, not the Bible (p. 183).”

Harris, Lynn (1992). The Mystic Spirituality of A.W. Tozer. Edwin Mellen Pr. ISBN 0-7734-9872-9
– The Amazon reader reviews of this book provide further insights into Tozer’s theology, as well as his rationale for quoting Catholic Mystics. Note – I assume this book is not written from a born again Christian perspective.

Snyder, James L. The Life of A.W. Tozer: In Pursuit of God – The Authorized Biography (many pages viewable online). See especially Ch. 13 (starting on p. 153), entitled “Mystic and Prophet.”

Sola Scriptura Ministries, “The Very Best of A.W. Tozer” (online pdf document)

Stanford, Miles J. Dr. A.W. Tozer. This online article mentions several famous Christian writers and preachers who were influenced by Tozer, particularly in his views regarding the Holy Spirit.

Tozer, A.W. The Christian Book of Mystical Verse (1963).
summary of book and list of chapters; provides some of the names Tozer quotes
Amazon description of the book; provides more of the names Tozer quotes

Was A.W. Tozer a Mystic?  – includes many links for further research

Wegter, Jay. Taking Every Thought Captive: A Critique of the Higher Life Movement.
– This online article mentions Tozer and many others. The author presents a good discussion of the pros and cons of the Higher Life movement (also called the Keswick movement). I identify with parts of this movement; I label myself as “born again, separatist fundamentalist Wesleyan Holiness”. I define “fundamentalist” as holding to the Fundamentals of 1910-1915. I also admire separatist fundamentalist groups such as Independent Fundamentalist Baptists; prior to New Evangelicalism, nearly all Wesleyan Holiness denominations were separatist fundamentalist.

A list of Christian mystic works quoted by Tozer (I am providing this info for research purposes not as recommendations); click here for the original source of the following list and intro:

James L. Snyder wrote The Life of A.W. Tozer: In Pursuit of God. In his book, Snyder mentions 34 Christian mystical books and works recommended by A.W. Tozer.  I’ve added links to all those offered by ChristianBooks.com so you can explore them further…

[Note – this article (broken link) describes how Tozer himself compiled the following list of “Christian” mystic works. Again it boggles my mind that, as a Christian who claimed to be born again, Tozer could recommend or at least quote all of the following. At best, he was undiscerning and encouraging an ecumenical mindset; at worst he was deceptive]

I have rearranged the original list in alphabetical order by author:

Lancelot Andrews
Private Devotions

The Cloud of Unknowing

Anselm of Canterbury
Proslogion in Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works

On the Incarnation

Saint Augustine
Confessions of St. Augustine

Bernard of Clairvaux
On the Love of God
Song of Songs
Both in On the Love of God and Other Selected Writings

Berdardeno de Laredo
The Ascent of Mt. Zion

Jakob Boehme
Way to Christ (read online)

Brother Lawrence
The Practice of the Presence of God

Miguel de Molinos and others
A Guide to True Peace
Miguel de Molinos: The Spiritual Guide

De Sales
Introduction to the Devout Life

de Tourville
Letters of Direction

Meister Eckhart
Talks of Instruction

Fredrick Faber

Francois Fenelon
Christian Perfection in The Complete Fenelon

Walter Hilton
The Goad of Love
Walter Hilton: The Scale of Perfection

John of the Cross
Ascent of Mount Carmel – St. John and the Cross
Dark Night Of The Soul

Juliana of Norwich
Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love in Encounter with God’s Love: Selected Writings of Julian of Norwich

Thomas Kelly
A Testament of Devotion

Thomas a Kempis
The Imitation of Christ

Nicholas of Cusa
The Vision of God

Richard Rolle
Amendment of Life

Lorenzo Scupoli
Spiritual Combat: How to Win Your Spiritual Battles & Attain Peace

Heinrich Suso
The Book of Eternal Wisdom

Johannes Tauler
Johannes Tauler: Sermons

Gerhard Tersteegren
The Quiet Way

Thomas Traherne
Centuries of Meditations

Jan van Ruysbroeck
The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage

Issac Watts

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I stumbled across this very helpful series of eight articles. Following are the links. Note – the author uses the term “Emerging” to cover the Emerging, Emergent and Emergence Church movements. I prefer to use the term Emerging/Emergent/Emergence. The lines between the three movements are becoming more and more blurred – they are virtually inseparable. Still a good rule of thumb would be:

I use the term “Emerging” to describe the Evangelical/New Evangelical wing of Emerging/Emergent/Emergence. Emerging churches still hold to some truly biblical doctrines. However, as more and more extreme Emergent heresies enter a church, the biblical Christians leave. Which leaves only the nonbiblical “Christians”; thus the church becomes truly Emergent.

I use the term “Emergent” to describe the liberal/mainline wing of Emerging/ Emergent/Emergence. Emergent churches no longer hold to biblical doctrines. They are, in essence, nonchristian.

Beyond “Emergent” is the “Emergence” movement, represented by New Ageish speaker Phyllis Tickle among many others.

This is the danger – Emerging, Emergent and Emergence are all three becoming virtually inseparable. Scary!

Now on to the eight-part series of articles. These articles make a good introduction to Emerging/Emergent/Emergence heresies – with one caveat. Most of the footnotes refer to sources around 2005-2007, making the articles out of date. There have been many heretical Emerging/Emergent/Emergence figures crop up and/or grow in popularity since then – Rob Bell for example. In these postmodern youth oriented movements, things have changed very quickly, unfortunately for the worse.

The Emerging Church, Part 1: An Overview, by Scott Diekmann
Introduces the concepts of modernism and postmodernism, and provides a brief description of the Emerging Church using their own words.

The Emerging Church, Part 2: The Bible, One Voice Among Many
Describes the Emerging Church’s rejection of Biblical inspiration and inerrancy in favor of a derivation of “truth” through a cooperative effort of community, story, and Biblical “interpretation.”

The Emerging Church, Part 3: The Experiential Road
Relates how abandonment of Scriptural authority necessarily leads to an emphasis on experience.

The Emerging Church, Part 4: The Mystical Road
Considers the Emerging Church’s embrace of mysticism through such means as contemplative prayer.

The Emerging Church, Part 5: Redefining the Gospel?
Delineates how the New Perspective on Paul has led to a rejection of justification by grace through faith.

The Emerging Church, Part 6: A Social Gospel?
Emphasizes the Emerging Church’s confusion of Law and Gospel, to “live in the way of Jesus.”

The Emerging Church, Part 7: Sheep Without a Shepherd
Points out the lack of certainty of many Emerging Church pastors, and their failure to preach the whole counsel of God.

The Emerging Church, Part 8: Final Thoughts
Summarizes the previous parts and reiterates the true way to “live in the way of Jesus,” through Word and Sacrament.

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