I have currently been studying the roots of contemplative spirituality particularly as espoused by the Guru of Contemplation, Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster who is a “key mentor” in the Emergent Church for months now. The research into The Religious Society Of Friends (the Quakers) that Foster himself is a member of has proved quite enlightening in itself. In fact, articles on both on Foster and Teresa of Avila have already been substantially revised because of it.

In his classic two volume A History Of Christianity the great historian Kenneth Scott Latourette supplies some key information in understanding the deadly flaw which has emerged in this contemplative prayer movement from the theology of Quaker founder George Fox. Latourette brings out that “Fox and other Quakers insisted that every man who comes into the world is illuminated by an inner light which is Christ” (Vol. II, 981, emphasis mine).

New Evangelical Salvation Apart From Christ

Some of you may recall Ingrid Schlueter’s post on Slice of Laodicea from February Rick Warren: There is Salvation Outside of Knowing Christ” and one I wrote concerning the same issue “All-ee, All-ee In Free” The Universal Appeal Of Jesus” where we begin to show you why so many today are attacking the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement on the Cross by Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Here from the theology of Foster and the Quakers we now also glean some critical insight into why we are seeing the reemergence of interest in Contemplative/Centering Prayer and “Spiritual Formation” in the ECoD of the new evangelicalism.

This is also indicative of the inevitable result of the practice of this “Christian” mysticism as well. If every man who comes into the world is illuminated by an inner light which is Christ, then we don’t have to risk offense standing for the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through this alleged “Inner Light” now we have opened the door to a universalism with no real need for anyone to be “born again.” Here we have uncovered why so many professing Christians can believe that all religions should be friends and then work together to usher in “the kingdom” of God’s Global Peace.

Men and women, take an honest look at the theology of men like Richard Foster, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, and even the Pied Piper of Purpose Driven Rick Warren, each of whom is involved to one degree or another in contemplative spirituality. There is no bold stance on their part that the only way any human being anywhere upon God’s planet can be saved from an eternity of conscious torment in a literal place our Creator called Hell is personal faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His vicarious penal substitutionary atonement on the Cross.

The “Inner Light” Reveals No Need For The Cross

O you will on occasion hear mild (at best) statements that “I believe Jesus is the way,” but the end result of this practice of Contemplative/Centering Prayer (i.e. trancendental meditation for the Christian) is a “discovery” of this alleged Inner Light (supposedly God) within all of mankind. What this means is that if “every man” already is “illuminated by an inner light which is Christ,” then we have effectively eliminated the need to preach the Cross for conversion. Rather, those who believe this theology are now free to talk about the various “stories” we all supposedly have in our “journey” back to God because in their mind all of mankind is already indwelt by God.

However, this is what the Lord says to these fools who have been blinded by “the Inner Light” of contemplative spirituality:

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ ” (Matthew 15:7-9)