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Archive for September, 2012

Update 11/07/12: Malone University still publicizes itself as a born again Christian school. Yet today I noticed Malone’s library has a display of 13 books by Emergent heretic Tony Campolo. Why? Read on.
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On 10/28/12 The Repository ran an article by Denise Sautters entitled “King era begins at Malone.” Towards the end of the article, I was struck by a comment from Dr. David King, being inaugurated 10/28/12 as Malone’s 13th president (1). (The latter part of this press release explains the presidential search process by Malone’s Board of Trustees; the press release does not mention how many of the Trustees were on the search committee.) Dr. King states:

“… [having time at a university before one’s inauguration] gives the president time to … develop a vision for the university.”

With all due respect, how biblically sound is Dr. King’s vision for Malone University? (2) Does it match the original vision of J. Walter Malone, the university’s founder? Based on his first year at Malone (prior to his inauguration), my impression is that Dr. King (along with a number of other presidents, faculty and staff) is taking Malone down a theological path far different from that envisioned by J. Walter Malone. I truly believe that J. Walter Malone’s dream for a born again, separatist Fundamentalist, Wesleyan Holiness, Evangelical Friends theological legacy is very close to being lost. (In addition, various heresies are entering the EFC-ER through routes other than Malone University.) How tragic!

Question: Emergent heretic Tony Campolo spoke at Malone University 09/28/12. Does this provide clues to new president Dr. King’s “vision for the university”? Read on…
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Tony Campolo Like many discerning Christians (especially “fundies”/fundamentalists), I was shocked and angered by Charita Goshay’s prominent article favoring Emergent heretic Tony Campolo in The Repository Saturday 09/29/12. Her article summarized Campolo’s speech to Malone University students 09/28/12. (Malone University is an Evangelical Friends/EFCI school; Tony Campolo taught at new Malone president David King’s former school – Eastern University.)

“Church articles” are usually hidden away on the inside pages of The Repository‘s Section B each Saturday, on the so called “Faith and Values” pages. Yet Ms. Goshay’s article was prominently displayed on the front page of Section B (along with a blurb on the newspaper’s front page pointing readers to the article about Campolo). Apparently Ms. Goshay (and/or The Repository) knows that Campolo is a popular speaker. I am very disappointed – and angry – that Goshay did not write a more objective article, pointing out Campolo’s heresies and including statements from opponents.

Another problem – for me Goshay’s article raises more questions than it answers. For starters:

1) Was this event publicized beforehand, or was it an “inside event” only publicized to Malone students and parents? If  Campolo’s speech was not publicized on a wider scale, why wasn’t it?

I did find this description of the event here, in the Schedule for Parents’ Weekend:

2-3 p.m. [Fri. 09/28/12] –  Tony Campolo Speaking, Johnson Center Sanctuary. Dr. Campolo is a speaker, author, sociologist, and pastor. Over his many years of Christian service, Tony has boldly challenged millions of people all over the world to respond to God’s boundless love by combining personal discipleship, evangelism, and social justice. He will speak and then take time for questions from our students.

Note Malone’s positive description of Campolo. They could have said something like “this controversial Emergent leader is coming to Malone to debate his liberal views with Malone’s Professor so-and-so” (ala Brian McLaren’s debate at Malone). Yet Malone did not say this with Campolo.

2) Goshay’s article consists almost entirely of “born again Christianese” quotes from Campolo. Yet Campolo is an extremely heretical Emergent, on par with Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, etc. Did Goshay leave out Campolo’s mainline/liberal/Emergent statements, or was Campolo’s entire speech “born again Christianese”?

4) Is Campolo’s entire speech (or a transcript of it) available online?

5) Did any Malone students protest Campolo’s coming to speak? (If so I’d like to meet them – we have a kindred spirit.)

6) In Campolo’s Q&A session, were opponents allowed to voice their  concerns about his heresies?

7) What individual(s) invited Campolo to come speak at Malone? Did the individual(s) not know that Campolo had a theological stance (heretical Emergent teachings) incompatible with what Malone has claimed to believe at least in the past? (For example, Campolo’s favoring the LGBT movement – an issue Malone has claimed it opposes.) Malone does seem to be changing in various ways – I’m not sure what specific individuals are pushing this change. (Check out their current Mission and Foundational Principles, for example.)

8) David King was recently hired as Malone University President. King was previously an employee of Eastern University, where the heretical Campolo taught for ten years. (In fact, the graduate department at Eastern University is named after Campolo.) Did King’s coming to Malone have anything to do with Campolo coming to speak?  Or was that just a coincidence? (And how about Betsy Morgan, professor emerita of English at EU, coming to speak at Dr. King’s Inaugural Symposium – was that also just a coincidence?)

Campolo Emergent and heretical

Just how Emergent/heretical is Tony Campolo? Here’s a clue: Campolo is an ordained minister in the mainline/liberal American Baptist Churches USA denomination. Note this description of the denomination, found here:

Generally considered more liberal than the Southern Baptist Convention, the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. is a member of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and of the World Council of Churches. It has taken an active part in ecumenical affairs and has worked for closer union among the various Baptist groups.

In 1998 the denomination adopted an “American Baptist Identity Statement” that sought to summarize the Christian faith representative of American Baptists. This was amended in 2005 to include a statement about homosexuality…

“Fundies” have a right to be critical of Campolo. In his book Letters to a Young Evangelical (2006), Campolo devotes Chapter 9 to describing and criticizing Fundamentalists. The chapter is entitled “Being Rescued from Fundamentalism”; the entire chapter is viewable online. Malone University was strongly separatist fundamentalist Wesleyan Holiness between approx. 1892-1942. Any Malone alumnus who loves Evangelical Friends of this time period should be offended by Campolo’s criticisms of fundamentalism.

For those who are still not convinced that Campolo is extremely heretical, consider these quotes from Campolo (click here for another blog of mine dealing with Campolo and other Emergents):

“Going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia… There are many ways…It doesn’t make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place.” 1a

“On the other hand, we are hard-pressed to find any biblical basis for condemning deep love commitments between homosexual Christians as long as those commitments are not expressed in sexual intercourse.” 1b

“But the overwhelming population of the gay community that love Jesus, that go to church, that are deeply committed in spiritual things, try to change and can’t change…” 1c

“…we want to see God at work converting society, converting the systems, so that there aren’t the racist overtones, the economic injustices, the polluting of the atmosphere.” 1d

“I learn about Jesus from other religions. They speak to me about Christ, as well.”1e

“I’m not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians.” 1f

1a CarpeDiem: Seize the Day, 1994 page 85;
1b “20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch” page 117;
1c Beliefnet.com/faith/Christianity 08/2004;
1d MSNBC 2008 interview;
1e MSNBC 2008 interview;
1f Charlie Rose show 1/24/97

(Tony Campolo is an author, professor of Sociology at Eastern College, former spiritual counselor to President Bill Clinton, and a leader of the movement called “Red Letter Christians”.)

Campolo’s lack of adherence to Eastern University’s Doctrinal Statement

(Click here for the Doctrinal Statement and ending Sections; to me the Doctrinal Statement sounds biblically sound for the most part – even if many Eastern University employees do not truly follow it)

Note the following two sections below. David King and Tony Campolo had to sign Eastern University’s Doctrinal Statement annually. I don’t know much about King, but it is obvious from Campolo’s writings that Campolo (like many employees of the liberal Eastern University I’m sure) does not hold the born again Christian beliefs stated in the Doctrinal Statement. Yet Campolo taught at Eastern University for ten years; they even honored him by naming their graduate college after him.

Apparently signing the Doctrinal Statement is like taking an oath in court (“I promise to tell the truth… so help me God”), or like making a wedding vow (“I promise to love you… till death do us part”). Signing Eastern University’s Doctrinal Statement annually seems to mean nothing to many employees there. I believe signing a Doctrinal Statement such as this, when you do not truly believe it, is a very serious offense against the Lord.

[In the excerpts below, I have emphasized certain points by bolding.]

SECTION II

Every member of the Board of Trustees, every administrative officer of the Institution, professor, teacher, and instructor shall annually subscribe over his or her signature to the Doctrinal Statement, excepting only that a non-Baptist individual occupying any of the foregoing positions shall not be required to subscribe to that part of the Doctrinal Statement regarding the mode of water baptism.

SECTION III

Whenever a member of the Board of Trustees, administrative officer, professor, teacher or instructor is not in complete accord with the foregoing Doctrinal Statement, he or she shall forthwith withdraw from all connections with the University, and his or her failure to do so shall constitute grounds for immediate removal from such positions by the Trustees.

ENDNOTES

(1) Malone’s 13 presidents are:
1) J. Walter Malone (1892-1918)
2) Edgar Wollam (1918-1921)
3) C.W. Butler (1921-1936)
4) Worthy A. Spring (1936-1948)
5) G. Arnold Hodgin (1948-1951)
6) Byron L. Osborne (1951-1960)
7) Everett L. Cattell (1960-1972)
8) Lon Randall (1972-1981)
9) Gordon R. Werkema (1981-1988)
10) Arthur Self (1988-____)
11) Ron Johnson (____-____)
12)  Gary W. Streit (_____-2010)
12a) Provost Will Friesen, Ph.D., Interim (2010-2012)
13) Dr. David King, (2012-     )

Sources: #1-7: Ohio Yearly Meeting Quaker Sesqui-centennial Commemorative publication, 1962, p.  43
#8,9: EFC-ER 175th Anniversary Commemorative publication, 1987, p. 32
#9:  Founded by Friends: The Quaker Heritage of Fifteen American Colleges and Universities, by John William Oliver, Charles L. Cherry, Caroline L. Cherry, 1970. p. 215 (viewable online)
#10,11: personal conversations with Malone associates
#12,12a: Malone University Welcomes 13th President: David King

(2) Another clue concerning Dr. King’s vision for Malone – and Malone’s vision for itself – is given here:

According to Board Chair Steven Steer, “Dr. King’s depth and breadth of experience seem to have converged with Malone’s vision for the future in a divine appointment.” King says it was Malone’s foundational principals that speak to the integration of faith, learning, and experiential activism that ultimately drew him to the University. Those words resonated within him, and it has not taken him long to embrace the University’s mission as his own.

Frankly, this sounds rather ambiguous to me. To get more specific, it seems to me Malone and Dr. King are pushing the envelope of contemplative spirituality (ala Richard Foster) and the Emerging/Emergent movement.

FOR FURTHER READING

I will be compiling a list of discernment articles about Tony Campolo’s heresies and providing the links here. For starters:

Apprising Ministries – various discernment blogs about Campolo

Let Us Reason Ministries – various articles about Campolo

Lighthouse Trails – article about Campolo

Manny Silva – various  discernment blogs about Campolo

A list of Google hits – articles about Campolo’s endorsement of occultish, contemplative centering prayer (click here for a discernment article exposing centering prayer)

Eastern University’s ringing endorsement of their Emergent darling Tony Campolo

2007: Mennonite Emergent Conversation (with representatives mostly from the liberal Mennonite Church USA denomination) held at Eastern University

2008: Campolo’s stint as featured speaker at 2008 Yearly Meeting of NWYM (the most liberal/Emergent Region of the Evangelical Friends denomination)

2012: Eastern University receives a grant to study occultish contemplative labyrinth prayer

The Repository‘s article mentions that Campolo has written 39 books. I am looking for a complete list of his writings (hopefully with content viewable online). (Admittedly, Campolo is a very readable writer; his books explain heretical Emergent teachings in laymen’s terms.)

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Is Hell real? Yes! Will those who reject Christ suffer for eternity in a literal, burning Lake of Fire? Yes, no doubt about it! Click here for the original source of an excellent sermon on Hell by D.L. Moody, reposted below.


Hell

By D.L. Moody

      A man came to me the other day and said: “I like your preaching. You don’t preach hell, and I suppose you don’t believe in one.” Now I don’t want any one to rise up in the Judgment and say that I was not a faithful preacher of the Word of God. It is my duty to preach God’s Word just as He gives it to me; I have no right to pick out a text here and there, and say, “I don’t believe that.” If I throw out one text I must throw out all, for in the same Bible I read of rewards and punishments, Heaven and hell.

No one ever drew such a picture of hell as the Son of God. No one could do it, for He alone knew what the future would be. He didn’t keep back this doctrine of retribution, but preached it out plainly; preached it, too, with pure love, just as a mother would warn her son of the end of his course of sin.

The Spirit of God tells us that we shall carry our memory with us into the other world. There are many things we would like to forget. I have heard Mr. Cough say he would give his right hand if he could forget how badly he had treated his mother. I believe the worm that dieth not is our memory. We say now that we forget, and we think we do; but the time is coming when we shall remember, and cannot forget. We talk about the recording angel keeping record of our life. God makes us keep our own record.

We won’t need any one to condemn us at the bar of God; it will be our own conscience that will come up as a witness against us. God won’t condemn us at his bar; we shall condemn ourselves. Memory is God’s officer, and when He shall touch these secret springs and say, “Son, daughter, remember” – then tramp, tramp, tramp will come before us, in a long procession, all the sins we have ever committed.

I have been twice in the jaws of death. Once I was drowning, and was about to sink, when I was rescued. In the twinkling of an eye every thing I had said, done, or thought of flashed across my mind. I do not understand how every thing in a man’s life can be crowded into his recollection in an instant of time, but it all flashed through my mind at once. Another time I was caught in the Clark street bridge, and thought I was dying. Then memory seemed to bring all my life back to me again. It is just so that all things we think we have forgotten will come back by and by. It is only a question of time. We shall hear the words, “Son, remember” – and it is a good deal better to remember our sins now, and be saved from them, than to put off repentance till it is too late to do any good.

The scientific men say that every thought comes back again, sooner or later. I heard of a servant girl whose master used to read Hebrew in her hearing, and some time afterward, when she was sick of a fever, she would talk Hebrew by the hour.

Do you think Cain has forgotten the face of his murdered brother, whom he killed six thousand years ago? Do you think Judas has forgotten that kiss with which he betrayed his Master, or the look that Master gave him as he said, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” Do you think these antediluvians have forgotten the Ark, and the flood that came and swept them all away?

My friends, it is a good thing to be warned in time. Satan told Eve that she should not surely die; and there are many men and women now who think that all souls will at last be saved in spite of all their sins.

Do you suppose those antediluvians who perished in Noah’s day – those men too vile and sinful for the world – do you think God swept those men right into Heaven, and left Noah, the only righteous man, to struggle through the deluge? Do you think when the judgment came upon Sodom that those wicked men were taken right into the presence of God, and the only righteous man was left behind to suffer?

There will be no tender, loving Jesus coming and offering you salvation there – no loving wife or mother to pray for you there. Many in that lost world would give millions, if they had them, if they had their mothers to pray them out of that place, but it will be too late. They have been neglecting salvation until the time has come when God say, “Cut them down; the day of mercy is ended.”

You laugh at the Bible; but how many there are in that lost world today who would give countless treasures if they had the blessed Bible there! You may make sport of Ministers, but bear in mind there will be no preaching of the Gospel there. Here they are God’s messengers to you – loving friends that look after your soul. You may have some friends praying for your salvation today; but remember, you will not have one in that lost world. There will be no one to come and put his band on your shoulder and weep over you there and invite you to come to Christ.

There are some people who ridicule these revival meetings, but remember, there will be no revivals in hell.

There was a man in an insane asylum who used to say over to himself in a voice of horror, “If I only had.” He had been in charge of a railway drawbridge, and had received orders to keep it closed until the passage of an extra express train; but a friend came along with a vessel, and persuaded him to open the bridge just for him, and while it was open the train came thundering along, and leaped into destruction. Many were killed, and the poor bridge tender went mad over the result of his own neglect of duty. “If I only had!”

A good man was one day passing a saloon as a young man was coming out, and thinking to make sport of him he called out, “Deacon, how far is it to hell?” The deacon gave no answer, but after riding a few rods he turned to look after the scoffer, and found that his horse had thrown him to the ground and broken his neck. I tell you, my friends, I would sooner give that right hand than to trifle with eternal things.

Tonight you may be saved. We are trying to win you to Christ, and if you go down from this building to hell you will remember the meetings we had here. You will remember how these Ministers looked, how the people looked, and how it has seemed sometimes as if we were in the very presence of God himself. In that lost world you won’t hear that beautiful hymn, “Jesus of Nazareth Passeth By.” He will have passed by. There will be no Jesus passing that way. There will be no sweet songs of Zion there. No little children either to pray for their impenitent fathers and mothers.

It is now a day of Grace and a day of Mercy. God is calling the world to Himself. He says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?”

O, if you neglect this salvation, how shall you escape? What hope is there? May your memories be wide awake today, and may you remember that Christ stands right here! He is in this assembly, offering salvation to every soul. He is not willing that any should perish, but turn to him and live.

When I was at the Paris Exhibition in 1867 I noticed there a little oil painting, only about a foot square, and the face was the most hideous I had ever seen. It was said to be about seven hundred years old. On the paper attached to the painting were the words, “Sowing the tares.” The face looked more like a demon’s than a man’s, and as he sowed these tares, up came serpents and reptiles. They were crawling up on his body; and all around were woods with wolves and animals prowling in them. I have seen that picture many times since. Ah! The reaping time is coming. If you sow to the flesh you must reap corruption. If you sow to the wind you must reap the whirlwind. God wants you to come to him and receive salvation as a gift. You can decide your destiny today if you will. Heaven and hell are set before this audience, and you are called upon to choose. Which will you have? If you will take Christ He will receive you to his arms; if you reject him He will reject you.

Now, my friends, will Christ ever be more willing to save you than He is now? Will He ever have more power than He has now? Why not make up your mind to be saved while mercy is offered to you?

I remember a few years ago, while the Spirit of God was working in my Church, I closed the meeting one night by asking any that would like to become Christians to rise, and to my great joy, a man arose who had been anxious for some time. I went up to him and took him by the hand and shook it, and said, “I am glad to see you get up. You are coming out for the Lord now in earnest, are you not?”

“Yes,” said he, “I think so. That is, there is only one thing in my way.”

“What’s that?” said 1.

“Well,” said he, “I lack moral courage. I confess to you that if such a man [naming a friend of his] had been here tonight I should not have risen. He would laugh at me if he knew of this, and I don’t believe I have the courage to tell him.”

“But,” said I, “You have got to come out boldly for the Lord if you come out at all.”

While I talked with him he was trembling from head to foot, and I believe the Spirit was striving earnestly with him. He came back the next night, and the next, and the next; the Spirit of God strove with him for weeks; it seemed as if he came to the very threshold of Heaven, and was almost stepping over into the blessed world. I never could find out any reason for his hesitation, except that he feared his old companions would laugh at him.

At last the Spirit of God seemed to leave him; conviction was gone. Six months from that time I got a message from him that he was sick and wanted to see me. I went to him in great haste. He was very sick, and thought he was dying. He asked me if there was any hope. Yes, I told him, God had sent Christ to save him; and I prayed with him.

Contrary to all expectations he recovered. One day I went down to see him. It was a bright, beautiful day, and he was sitting out in front of his house.

“You are coming out for God now, aren’t you? You will be well enough soon to come back to our meetings again.”

“Mr. Moody,” said he, “I have made up my mind to become a Christian. My mind is fully made up to that, but I wont’t be one just now. I am going to Michigan to buy a farm and settle down, and then I will become a Christian.”

“But you don’t know yet that you will get well.”

“O,” said he, “I shall be perfectly well in a few days. I have got a new lease of life.”

I pleaded with him, and tried every way to get him to take his stand. At last he said, “Mr. Moody, I can’t be a Christian in Chicago. When I get away from Chicago, and get to Michigan, away from my friends and acquaintances who laugh at me, I will be ready to go to Christ.”

“If God has not Grace enough to save you in Chicago, he has not in Michigan” I answered.

At last he got a little irritated and said, “Mr. Moody, I’ll take the risk,” and so I left him.

I well remember the day of the week, Thursday, about noon, just one week from that very day, when I was sent for by his wife to come in great haste. I hurried there at once. His poor wife met me at the door, and I asked her what was the matter.

“My husband,” she said, “has had a relapse; I have just had a council of physicians here, and they have all given him up to die.”

“Does he want to see me?” I asked.

“No.”

“Then why did you send for me?”

“I cannot bear to see him die in this terrible siate of mind.”

“What does he say?” I asked.

“He says his damnation is sealed, and he will be in hell in a little while.”

I went in, and he at once fixed his eyes upon me. I called him by name, but he was silent. I went around to the foot of the bed, and looked in his face and said, “Won’t you speak to me?”, and at last he fixed that terrible deathly look upon me and said:

“Mr. Moody, you need not talk to me any more. It is too late. You can talk to my wife and children; pray for them; but my heart is as hard as the iron in that stove there. My damnation is sealed, and I shall be in hell in a little while.”

I tried to tell him of Jesus’ love and God’s forgiveness, but he said, “Mr. Moody, I tell you there is no hope for me.” And as I fell on my knees, he said, “You need not pray for me. My wife will soon be left a widow and my children will be fatherless; they need your prayers, but you need not pray for me.”

I tried to pray, but it seemed as if my prayers didn’t go higher than my head, and as if Heaven above me was like brass. The next day, his wife told me, he lingered until the sun went down, and from noon until he died all he was heard to say was, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved.” After lingering along for an hour he would say again those awful words, and just as he was expiring his wife noticed his lips quiver, and that he was trying to say something, and as she bent over him she heard him mutter, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved.” He lived a Christless life, he died a Christless death – we wrapped him in a Christless shroud, and bore him away to a Christless grave.

Are there some here that are almost persuaded to be Christians? Take my advice and don’t let any thing keep you away. Fly to the arms of Jesus this hour. You can be saved if you will.

(Mr. Moody closed by reading the following piece of poetry, which, he said, had affected him deeply):

I sat alone with my conscience,
In a place where time was o’er.
And we talked of my former living,
In the land of the evermore.
And I felt I should have to answer,
The question it put to me.
And to face the answer and question,
Throughout an eternity.

The ghosts of forgotten actions,
Came floating before my sight.
And things that I thought had perished,
Were alive with a terrible might.
And the vision of life’s dark record,
Was an awful thing to face.
Alone with my conscience sitting,
In that solemnly silent place.

And I thought of a far away warning,
Of a sorrow that was to be mine.
In a land that then was the future,
But now is the present time.
And I thought of my former thinking,
Of the Judgment day to be.
But sitting alone with my conscience,
Seemed Judgment enough for me.

And I wondered if there was a future,
To this land beyond the grave.
But no one gave me an answer,
And no one came to save.
Then I felt that the future was present,
And the present would never go by.
For it was but the thought of a future,
Become an eternity.

Then I woke from my timely dreaming,
And the vision passed away.
And I knew the far away warning,
Was a warning of yesterday.
And I pray that I may not forget it,
In this land before the grave.
That I may not cry in the future,
And no one come to save.

I have learned a solemn lesson,
Which I ought to have known before.
And which though I learned it dreaming,
I hope to forget no more.

So I sit alone with my conscience,
In the place where the years increase.
And I try to fathom the future,
In the land where time will cease.
And I know of the future judgment,
How dreadful soe’er it be.
That to sit alone with my conscience,
Will be Judgment enough for me.

Back to D.L. Moody index. 

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For anyone who doubts the love Spiritual Formation’s heretical Richard Foster has for Northwest Yearly Meeting of the Evangelical Friends (EFCI) and George Fox Universityand vice versa – consider the following excerpt from a web page reposted below:

Richard is a former pastor of  Newberg Friends Church, which is part of the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church (NWYM), and, as a graduate of George Fox, he has chosen to house his papers at the combined archives of the University and the NWYM.

Question: I wonder if discernment ministries will be allowed access to Foster’s archives, to write critiques of him. Consider the following procedural guideline, mentioned below:

Use of the Collection: Correspondence is restricted. Materials must be reviewed by the archivist before use.

Click here for the original source of the info reposted below.

Guide to the Richard J. Foster Papers

Sponsored by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Richard J. Foster is the author of several books, which have appealed to a wide audience since the 1978 publication of Celebration of Discipline. Although he is ecumenical in focus, his works often reflect Quaker precepts that are described as an attempt to “promote a balanced understanding of the Christian faith.”

Foster is the founder of Renovare, an effort working for the renewal of the Church in all her multifaceted expressions. He has written numerous magazine articles, taught spiritual formation classes at several universities, and spoken in venues around the world. Richard is a former pastor of  Newberg Friends Church, which is part of the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church (NWYM), and, as a graduate of George Fox, he has chosen to house his papers at the combined archives of the University and the NWYM.

Collection Overview

The collection includes the following materials from Foster’s writing and speaking career:

  • manuscripts
  • writings
  • research materials
  • schedules of speaking engagements
  • interviews
  • invitations
  • calendars
  •  brochures
  • correspondence
  • photographs and media

Collection Quantity:

  • 64.25 cubic feet
  • 28 record boxes, 34 document boxes, 7 file drawers

Language: English

Future Additions: Further accruals are expected.

Use of the Collection: Correspondence is restricted. Materials must be reviewed by the archivist before use.

Subjects

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings:

  • Foster, Richard J.–Archives
  • Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church
  • Renovare
  • Quaker
  • Spiritual formation


Contact:
Zoie Clark, GFU/NWDA Archives — zclark@georgefox.edu, 503-554-2415

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(revised 12/19/12)

Attending Evangelical Friends (EFCI) churches back in the 1960s (before they left their first love), I remember salvation messages about “the Blood and the Cross”, as well as hymns of Calvary such as “Power in the Blood“, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood“, etc.

Today “The Blood and The Cross” message – the blunt, straightforward, bloody gospel message of repentance-of-sin and salvation that offends and convicts sinners – is seldom heard in the EFCI (particularly the ultra-liberal Northwest Yearly Meeting aka NWYM) and other evangelical denominations.  Sermons, hymns and tracts about Calvary used to be common, but no longer.

Today most evangelical pastors have become deeply entrenched in the Emerging/Emergent church movements. These pastors seldom use these terms in their sermons: sin, judgment, perish, eternal damnation, Hell, Lake of Fire, repentance of sin, the Blood, the Cross, etc. It seems these pastors are hesitant to offend or turn off unsaved seekers in their congregations/audiences, for fear they’ll scurry off to churches which are “less offensive.”

I know of a large Evangelical Friends church which – praise the Lord – was offering a series of classes in “evangelism training.” Yet when this church obtained a new pastor, the pastor discontinued the evangelism training classes. Now the church has many “fun” activities (Life Groups for devotees of amateur radio, classic cars,  scrapbooking, etc.) Apparently the pastor wants unsaved seekers to become involved in “fun” secular activities alongside born again church members, become comfortable attending seeker sensitive church services, then eventually be presented with the “full” salvation message. But when is this “full” salvation message presented by the church? I have never heard “hellfire and brimstone” preaching from the pastor, nor the “bloody” message of Christ on Calvary (picture the movie “The Passion of the Christ.”)

Frankly, Pastor, you (like so many other Emerging/Emergents today) are way off track. For sinners to repent of their sins and accept Christ as their Saviour, to truly become born again, you must preach an “offensive” gospel of  “the Blood and the Cross” that will be hated by  unsaved church attenders who insist on remaining in their sin. And unsaved seekers don’t need to be “eased in” to a church setting – they need confronted head on, as soon as possible, with the so-called “negative” message of the Blood and the Cross.

This pertinent excerpt is from a post by my Facebook Friend John Henderson, posted  here   09/24/12:

“That old Baptist preacher didn’t pull any punches when he dangled my feet over the flames of Hell. I am glad that he did. It was what I needed. I had already been hearing soothing and nice things from other “preachers” and remained lost. I needed to know and feel that I was lost and, when I did, it was a simple matter to run to the Cross.

Believe me, if the church has failed to reach the world it is right here. We do not need to come up with something more appealing to the world; we need to revive and sharpen the only things that will pierce their hearts with holy conviction so they know the choices are clear.”

Following are some more excerpts along this line, from A.W. Tozer. (Tozer had his flaws. He was not perfect, but I don’t know of any godly preacher or writer who ever has been.) These excerpts are from “The Old Cross and the New”, by A. W. Tozer. Click here (Berit Kjos’ website) for the original source of these excerpts. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Excerpts from …

The Old Cross and The New

                     By A. W. Tozer

This wise saint went to be with the Lord in 1963. His messages were written more than forty years ago, yet they are as relevant now as they were then!


Unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique — a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.” To the egotist it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.” To the thrill-seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.” The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.

The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.

The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.

The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.

That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.

Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ….

Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we… alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power.  


“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

Info on the above article, found here:

NOTE: This article first appeared in The Alliance Witness in 1946.  It has been printed in virtually every English-speaking country in the world and has been put into tract form by various publishers, including Christian Publications, Inc.  It still appears now and then in the religious press.

FOR FURTHER READING

Some comments on “The Old Cross and the New”

A.W. Tozer, The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ  – This book contains, under one cover, many essays by Tozer about the Atonement and related doctrines.

These are just a few of the many essays included:

“The Cross Does Interfere”
“The Cross is a Radical Thing”
“Each His Own Cross”

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The late H. Orton Wiley was one of my favorite Wesleyan Holiness theologians. He was not perfect (no one is), but his writings are far more biblically sound than more recent Nazarene theologians such as Mildred Wynkoop, H. Ray Dunning and Thomas J. Oord. (Click here for my blog which discusses the increasing liberalization of Nazarene theology textbooks over the years.)

Below I’ve reposted Wiley’s list of books on the Atonement and related doctrines, from his three-volume Christian Theology. Click here for the original source of this list – as well as Wiley’s entire three-volume Christian Theology – viewable online.) Note – I’m in the process of alphabetizing this list by author. Also note – the original list was not scanned accurately by those who put Wiley’s three-volume Christian Theology into digital form.

I plan to add links to author bios, as well as links to online books.

Please note that these books present many different theological positions, not just the Wesleyan Holiness position. I am working on separate blogs which list only books of the Wesleyan Holiness position.

THE ATONEMENT (III, 419-421)

Anselm (1033-1109), Cur Deus Homo, English Translation by Deane, Chicago, 1903 (free online Google eBook of first edition, 1858)

Albert Barnes (1798-1870), The Atonement in Its Relation to Law and Moral Govern­ment, Philadelphia, 1859 (free online Google eBook)

Charles Beecher Redeemer and Redeemed, Boston, 1864 (free online Google eBook)

B.R. Brasnett, The Suffering of the Impassible God, 1928

Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), Christ and His Salvation, 1865 (free online Google eBook)[I added this title-DM]

Horace Bushnell, The Vicarious Sacrifice (2 volumes), New York, 1891 (this free online Google eBook  includes both volumes under one cover)

John M. Campbell, The Nature of the Atonement, London, 1873

R.S. Candlish (1806-1873), The Atonement: Its Efficacy and Extent, Edinburgh, 1867 (free online Google eBook)

S. Cave, The Scripture Doctrine of Sacrifice, T. & T.  Clark

H.S. Coffin, Social Aspects of the Cross, New York, 1911

Thomas J. Crawford, The Doctrine of the Holy Scripture Respecting the Atonement, 1875

M.C. D’Arcy, The Pain of This World and the Providence of God, 1936

R.W. Dale, The Atonement, New York, 1876

James    Denney,    The Atonement and the Modern Mind, London, 1903

James    Denney,    The Christian Doctrine of Reconciliation, New York, 1918

James    Denney,    The Death of Christ, New York, 1903

George C.    Foley,    Anselm’s Theory of the Atonement, New York, 1909

L.W.    Grensted,    A Short History of the Doctrine of the Atonement

Grotius,    De Satisfactione (Editions from 1617-1730), English Translation by Foster, Andover

James    Hinton,    The Mystery of Pain, 1866

F.R.M.    Hitchcock,    The Atonement and Modern Thought, London, 1911

A.A.    Hodge,    The Atonement, Philadelphia, 1867

E.W.    Johnson,    Suffering, Punishment and Atonement, 1919

Albert C.    Knudson,    The Doctrine of Redemption, Abingdon, 1933

J. S.    Lidgett,    The Spiritual Principle of the Atonement, London, 1901

Clark Robert    Mackintosh,    Historic Theories of the Atonement, New York, 1920

H.R.    Mackintosh,    The Christian Experience of Forgiveness

William    Magee,    Scripture Doctrine of Atonement and Sacrifice, New York, 1839

Howard    Malcom,    The Extent and Efficacy of the Atonement, Philadelphia, 1870

F.D.    Maurice,    The Doctrine of Sacrifice Deduced from the Scriptures, 1854

John    Miley,    The Atonement in Christ, New York, 1879

R.C.    Moberly,    Atonement and Personality, New York, 1901

R.C.    Moberly,    Sorrow, Sin and Beauty, 1903

J.K.    Mozley,    The Doctrine of the Atonement, Scribners, 1916

J.K.    Mozley,    The Impassibility of God, 1926

H.N.    Oxenham,    The Catholic Doctrine of Atonement, London, 1865

A.S.    Peake,    The Problem of Suffering in the Old Testament, 1904

Leighton    Pullen,    The Atonement, London, 1913

Lonsdale    Ragg,    Aspects of the Atonement, London, 1904

Rashdall,    The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology, MacMillan, 1920

G.W.    Richards,    Christian Ways of Salvation

Ritschl,    The Scripture Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation,

H. Wheeler    Robinson,    Suffering: Human and Divine, MacMillan, 1939

A.    Sabbatier,    The Doctrine of the Atonement and Its Historical Evolution, English Translation, New York, 1904

D.W.    Simon,    Reconciliation Through Incarnation, Edinburgh, 1898

D.W.    Simon,    The Redemption of Man, Edinburgh, 1899

G.    Smeaton,    The Doctrine of the Atonement as Taught by Christ Himself, Edinburgh, 1868

P.L.    Snowden,    The Atonement and Ourselves, London, 1919

G.B.    Stevens,    The Christian Doctrine of Salvation, 1905

William    Symington,    The Atonement and Intercession of Jesus Christ, New York, 1849

T.V.    Tymns,    The Christian Idea of Atonement, London, 1904

Ralph    Wardlaw,    Discourses on the Nature and Extent of the Atonement, Glasgow, 1844

J.S.    Whale,    The Christian Answer to the Problem of Evil, 1936

THE PRELIMINARY STATES OF GRACE (III, 423-424)

The best treatment of the Preliminary States of Grace, as also the subjects of Justification and Regeneration, will be found in the standard works on Systematic Theology. Representing the earlier, or what is some times known as modified Arminianism, are the following: Watson, Insti­tutes; Wakefield, Christian Theology; Summers, Systematic Theology; Pope, Compendium of Christian Theology; and Ralston, Elements of Divinity. The last named work contains an excellent discussion of the Calvinistic and Arminian positions. As representative of the so-called later Arminianism, Raymond, Systematic Theology; Miley, Systematic Theology; Whedon, Commentaries, and A. M. Hills, Fundamental Chris­tian Theology. In the Calvinistic theology, Dr. W. G. T. Shedd represents the realistic position, and Dr. Charles Hodge, the Federal or Representa­tive position. Among the older works on both the Calvinistic and Ar­minian positions, may be mentioned the following:

James    Arminius,    Writings, Volume III

Albert Taylor    Bledsoe,    Examination of Edwards on the Will, An; Philadelphia, 1845

Albert Taylor    Bledsoe,    Theodicy, A; or Vindication of Divine Glory, New York, 1853

John    Calvin,    Institutes, Book III, Chapters xxi-xxiv

Edward    Copleston,    Enquiry into the Doctrines of Necessity and Predestination, London, 1821

Jonathan    Edwards,    A Divine and Supernatural Light Imparted to the Soul by the Spirit of God, 1734 (A sermon noted for its spiritual philosophy)

Jonathan    Edwards,    An Essay on the Freedom of the Will, 1754

W.    Fisk,    The Calvinistic Controversy, New York 1837

John    Fletcher,    Checks to Antinomianism, Volumes I-H

John    Forbes,    Predestination and Free Will Reconciled, or Calvinism and Arminianism United in the Westminster Confession, 1878

Randolph S.    Foster,    Objections to Calvinism, Cincinnati, 1848 (many editions)

Martin    Luther,    Bondage of the Will

Asa    Mahan,    Election and the Influence of the Holy Spirit, 1851

Asa    Mahan,    System of Intellectual Philosophy, New York, 1845

J.B.    Mozley,    Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination, 1855

Henry Philip    Tappan    Doctrine of the Will Applied to Moral Agency and Responsibility, 1841 (Single volume, Glasgow, 1857)

Henry Philip    Tappan    Doctrine of the Will Determined by an Appeal to Consciousness, 1840

Henry Philip    Tappan,    Review of Edwards on the Will, A, New York, 1839

George    Tomline,    A Refutation of Calvinism, London, 1811

Thomas C.    Upham,    Treatise on the Will, 1850 [early Wesleyan Holiness?]

Richard    Watson,    Theological Institutes, Part II, Chapters xxv-xxviii

John    Wesley,    Works, Volume VI, On Predestination

Daniel D.    Whedon,    Freedom of the Will, 1864

CHRISTIAN RIGHTEOUSNESS (III, 424)

Here again, the best treatment of the subject will be found in the standard works on theology. The clearest and most specific treatment is found in the earlier treatises.           ‘

James    Buchanan,    The Doctrine of Justification, Edinburgh, 1867

John    Calvin,    Institutes, III, xi-xxiii

G.    Cross,    Christian Salvation, Chicago, 1925

John    Davenant,    A Treatise on Justification (2 volumes), London, 1844­1846

R.N.    Davies,    A Treatise on Justification, Cincinnati, 1878

Jonathan    Edwards    (the younger), On the Necessity of the Atonement, and Its Consistency with Free Grace in Forgiveness, Three addresses, 1875, which form the basis of the “Edwardean Theory” of the Atonement, generally accepted by the “New England School.”

Faber,    The Primitive Doctrine of Justification

Julius Charles    Hare,    Scriptural Doctrine of Justification

Charles Abel    Heurtiey,    Justification, 1845 (Bampton Lectures)

M.    Loy,    The Doctrine of Justification, Columbus, Ohio, 1869, 1882

Martin Luther, On Galatians

H.R.    Mackintosh,    The Christian Experience of Forgiveness (previously mentioned)

S.M.    Merrill,    Aspects of Christian Experience, Chapters iv-vii

John H.    Newman,    Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification, London, 1874

John    Owen,    Works, Volume V, The Doctrine of Justification

G.W.    Richards,    Christian Ways of Salvation, New York, 1923

Albrecht    Ritschl,    The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation, (Translated by Mackintosh and Macaulay)(Second Edition, 1902)

Richard    Watson,    Theological Institutes, II, Chapter xxiii

John    Wesley,    Sermons, V, VI, and XX. (Harrison, Wesleyan Standards, Volume I)

John    Witherspoon, Essay on Justification, 1756 (Considered one of the ablest Calvinistic expositions of the doctrine)

CHRISTIAN SONSHIP (III, 424-425)

Outside of the standard works on theology, the literature of Chris­tian Sonship or Regeneration is not extensive.

H.    Begbie    Twice-Born Men, New York, London and Edinburgh, 1909 (previously cited)

Stephen    Charnock,    On Regeneration, (Complete works in Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, 5 volumes, Edinburgh, 1864)

R.N.    Davies,    A Treatise on Justification, 1878 (Lecture x)

Jonathan    Edwards,    On Spiritual Light (mentioned in connection with Prevenient Grace)

Faber,    Primitive Doctrine of Regeneration

John    Fletcher,    Discourse on the New Birth

G.H.    Gerberding,    New Testament Conversions, Philadelphia, 1889

G.H.    Gerberding,    The Witness of the Spirit

John    Howe,    On Regeneration (Sermons xxxviii-xlix) Complete Works (2 volumes), London, 1724; New York, 1869

G.    Jackson,    The Fact of Conversion, London, 1908

Archbishop    Leighton,    On Regeneration

N.H.    Marshall,    Conversion or the New Birth, London, 1909

S.M.    Merrill,    Aspects of Christian Experience (Chapter x)

H.E.    Monroe    Twice-Born Men in America, 1914

Austin    Phelps,    The New Birth, Boston, 1867

Walton    Witness of the Spirit

John    Wesley,    Sermons, X, XI, XII, XVIII and XIX (Harrison, Wesleyan Standards, Volume I)

John    Witherspoon    Treatise on Regeneration, 1764 Calvin, Institutes, III, i-ii

Witsius    Covenants, III, vi

Young,    The Witness of the Spirit, 1882

ADDITIONAL READING  (Wesleyan Holiness books on Salvation, Evangelism and related topics; I am also preparing some lists offline)

The Wesleyan Heritage Library CD contains the following, among eBooks on many other subjects:

Amos Binney, Binney’s Theological Compend

Samuel Logan Brengle, The Soulwinner’s Secret

Charles Ewing Brown, The Meaning of Salvation

James Blaine Chapman, All Out For Souls

James Blaine Chapman, Nazarene Primer

List of PDF books from various theological viewpoints

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Below I’ve reposted Ken Silva’s blog re: a great testimony by an Episcopalian. I especially like the expose of Dallas Willard, who was once an Evangelical Friends (EFCI) co-pastor with Richard Foster – and Foster’s mentor in heretical, occultish Spiritual Formation. Willard downplays and criticizes the gospel of salvation, of “the Blood and the Cross.” Check out this excerpt, in which Brian McLaren refers to Willard’s book The Divine Conspiracy:

Atonement-centered understandings of the gospel, [Willard] says, create vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else. He calls us to move beyond a “gospel of sin management” – to the gospel of the kingdom of God. So, rather than focusing on an alternative theory of atonement, I’d suggest we ponder the meaning and mission of the kingdom of God. – Brian McLaren (Online source)[emphasis mine]

[For some anti-Cross views of Brian McLaren’s, an Evangelical Friends adjunct professor, see the Endnotes below.]

Dallas Willard, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Tony Campolo, and other Emergents have been making the rounds of the Evangelical Friends (EFCI) as well as many other evangelical denominations. (Richard Foster is retired I think.)

For years, pastors in the EFCI and many other evangelical denominations have been New Evangelical/Emerging – often DOWNPLAYING/OMITTING the gospel message of “the Blood and the Cross” (except perhaps during Easter time) so they don’t turn off unsaved “seekers” and send them scurrying off to “less offensive” churches.

Willard, McLaren, Sweet, Campolo, and other Emergents seem to be drawing New Evangelical/Emerging pastors (in the EFCI and elsewhere) further into apostacy, to become mainline/liberal/Emergent, to actually CRITICIZE the gospel message of “the Blood and the Cross.” Scary – and blasphemous.

Back to Ken Silva’s blog. The testimony giver proceeds to describe Episcopalian coworkers as follows:

I went to work for an Episcopal church shortly after college… I think I finally understand how they think, how they can put so much emphasis on the kingdom of God (which they define as service to others) and virtually ignore the sinful conduct rampant here (‘wedding’ reception for a gay couple here next week). These people, my co-workers and friends, believe in an inner light, a True Self (I remember that term from class) that is intimately connected to the Divine. Everyone has this light, so we are all a part of God. As such, there is no need for a substitutionary penal atonement (i.e. the cross) because there is no separation to atone for.

This teaching sounds almost identical to the teaching of the various non-evangelical Quaker denominations. Interesting.

I have reposted Ken Silva’s entire blog below. Click here for the original site of this blog.

AM TESTIMONY RE. CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY/MYSTICISM

By on Sep 13, 2012 in AM Missives, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, Current Issues, Features

One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.(Galatians 6:6)

In the interest of showing that things are not all bad, may the Lord be praised as a reader of Apprising Ministries shares the following encouraging testimony of God’s faithfulness:

Thank you for your website. I have been using it to further my personal study for some time now. It has truly been a blessing.

I was raised in a Bible-believing church and home, saved as a child and a missionary as a teenager, so I was first exposed to this sort of emerging spirituality when I went to work for an Episcopal church shortly after college. The lead priest there (along with several others) routinely teaches courses covering all kinds of mysticism and contemplative spirituality. He invited me to attend one of his classes, so I did.

Nothing he taught in that class made me feel comfortable, although I couldn’t put my finger on a reason. Several times in my notes, I wrote, “What about the cross?” Nearly two years have passed and I still couldn’t figure out why this place, my workplace, makes my spirit uneasy. The people here are loving and kind, they do great acts of service in the community. Yet there is something missing.

Today I read your article Brian McLaren and Evangelical Panentheism and this quote you referenced made it all begin to click:

Dallas Willard also addresses this issue in The Divine Conspiracy. Atonement-centered understandings of the gospel, he says, create vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else. He calls us to move beyond a “gospel of sin management” – to the gospel of the kingdom of God. So, rather than focusing on an alternative theory of atonement, I’d suggest we ponder the meaning and mission of the kingdom of God.

I think I finally understand how they think, how they can put so much emphasis on the kingdom of God (which they define as service to others) and virtually ignore the sinful conduct rampant here (‘wedding’ reception for a gay couple here next week). These people, my co-workers and friends, believe in an inner light, a True Self (I remember that term from class) that is intimately connected to the Divine. Everyone has this light, so we are all a part of God. As such, there is no need for a substitutionary penal atonement (i.e. the cross) because there is no separation to atone for.

It follows, then, that the only “sins” we commit are those that do harm to others (ergo, to God), which is why they can, without so much as a flinch, condone homosexuality but at the same time condemn those (like me) who fail to practice “tolerance” because we insist that there are such thing as moral absolutes. It is also why they can place acts of service (e.g. to the poor – extremely important here) above acts of evangelism (which display intolerance of others’ belief systems).

Contrast this with my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is that we are born sinners, are separated from God, and are in need of a Savior to reconcile us to Him. I do believe in a “Punitive Father” but one who only punishes when rejected after repeated attempts to redeem us – and even then it is less punishment than letting us have our own way. To those that call out to Him, He is merciful and loving and wants to show us the boundlessness of His grace – but only to those who accept His gift of salvation.

As I said, I’d been searching for nearly two years for a way to wrap my mind around what seems to be a warped – but strangely appealing – theological view. Your article made it fall into place for me. Thank you so much for your faithful service to God through your website.

Further reading

ENDNOTES

Dallas Willard and Brian McLaren both have Evangelical Friends connections. And both have an anti-Cross theology. Check out this excerpt regarding McLaren, in this blog by Ken Silva. Silva writes:

… This would then be a credible explanation for McLaren’s own personal hedging whenever he’s asked about the Gospel:

Theory of Atonement

Could you elaborate on your personal theory of atonement? If God wanted to forgive us, why didn’t he just forgive us? Why did torturing Jesus make things better?

This is such an important and difficult question. I’d recommend, for starters, you read “Recovering the Scandal of the Cross” (by Baker and Green). There will be a sequel to this book in the next year or so, and I’ve contributed a chapter to it.

Short answer: I think the gospel is a many faceted diamond, and atonement is only one facet, and legal models of atonement (which predominate in western Christianity) are only one small portion of that one facet.

Dallas Willard also addresses this issue in “The Divine Conspiracy.” Atonement-centered understandings of the gospel, he says, create vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else. He calls us to move beyond a “gospel of sin management” – to the gospel of the kingdom of God. So, rather than focusing on an alternative theory of atonement, I’d suggest we ponder the meaning and mission of the kingdom of God. (Online source)

 

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The following paragraph seems to have been removed from the Wikipedia article on “Church of the Nazarene“. At this web page, I found this note (which references the user who deleted the Concerned Nazarenes paragraph):

This is the current revision of this page, as edited by NazareneBishop (talk | contribs) at 22:17, 18 September 2012. The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this version.

A pretty bold move by NazareneBishop (whoever he is), removing the paragraph. In one fell swoop he changed the Wiki article from balanced (both sides) to biased (one sided).

Following is the deleted info, which I found by clicking on “previous revision” at the above Wikipedia link and ending up here. I suppose the info could be added back in, or liberal/Emerging/Emergent content could be removed that was just added. (Hint, hint!) In either case, again, NazareneBishop overstepped his bounds in messing with the previously two-sided article.

Concerned Nazarenes criticism

Alarmed by what they perceived to be the increasing influence of “emerging church philosophy that had crept into the Nazarene denomination”, after August 2008 a group of church members formed an organization called “Concerned Nazarenes”.[92] They believe that “The emergent ideology is a perversion of the Word of God and the doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene.”[93] The group circulated a petition to members of the denomination, which was presented by 500 members to the Board of General Superintendents in January 2009, with the desire that “Our fervent hope and prayer is that the General Superintendents will respond by purging our denomination of the emergent cancer before it is too late.”[93][94] Prior to the most recent General Assembly held in July 2009, the Concerned Nazarenes advocated revising the Articles of Faith to affirm biblical inerrancy: “Old and New Testaments are inerrant throughout and the supreme authority on everything the scriptures teach.”[93] Further, they are concerned about the teaching of open theism and biological evolution in Nazarene universities; invitations to emergent church leaders Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, and Doug Pagitt to speak at Nazarene institutions; and the use of “experiential works-based techniques for prayer”, including prayer labyrinths, prayer stations and retreats to Roman Catholic monasteries. On 15 June 2009 the Concerned Nazarenes issued a press release indicating “Conservatives are pushing the church hierarchy to make a clear statement about Scriptural inerrancy at the Orlando gathering. Representatives from Indiana have put forward a resolution, urging delegates to affirm the Bible as totally free of error.”[95] The resolution was defeated by a large majority of delegates voting. During the General Assembly 6,000 copies of a two-hour DVD outlining the perceived dangers of the Emergent Church were distributed to delegates and visitors.[96]

[92] ^ “Who Are Concerned Nazarenes?”, Concerned Nazarenes

[93] http://www.concernednazarenes.org/page12.php[dead link]

[94] ^ To see the petition, http://www.ericbarger.com/grace.naz.petition12-2008.pdf

[95] ^ http://www.ericbarger.com/naz.pressrelease.6-2009.pdf

[96] ^ Manny Silva, “General Assembly Diary” (Friday, July 3, 2009), http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/general-assembly-diary/

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