At Pyromaniacs Phil Johnson writes in his post A Brief Update on the Kimball conundrum:

I haven’t forgotten that I promised to revisit the issue of Dan Kimball’s movement toward “becom[ing] more of a Nicene Creed doctrinal statement believer”… Here’s the thing: As many readers know, Kimball asked for a private conversation before I post my final comments on the matter. Actually, he asked me to phone him… I did do that, as promised, on Tuesday. He was out of the office. I left my cell phone number for him. He later e-mailed me to say I need to call him again; evidently he left my phone number behind when he went out of town.

Johnson then explains that both of their schedules conflict so it might be a bit before they can speak. I fully appreciate that Johnson wants to make every effort to talk to Kimball before he writes further. In my own dealings with Kimball I’ve also seen similar scenarios develop as he and I tried to have dialogue via email. So I can only speak for myself here but as soon as I began asking specific questions which required specific answers it seems Kimball’s schedule rather conveniently got rather busy.

O, but apparently not too busy to write to people like Ben Davis, now of Symphony of Scripture, who happened to post my articles critical of Dan Kimball. There he’d begin his usual M.O. of saying that if one wants to know the facts regarding the emerging church he’d be happy to answer any questions about what his particular church does. I’m sure there are others of you who have also been contacted by Kimball for similar dialogues in futility. You do know this neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church is called “the conversation”, right?

In any event, in my “conversations” with Dan Kimball he has insisted they not be published. I also know that this is SOP for Kimball as well, which is okay by me and I am fine with not publishing what he and I have spoken about. But when Kimball showed up publicly in the comments section of the above post by Phil Johnson I decided to leave the following comment for clarification on Kimball’s views concerning Contemplative/Centering Prayer:

Hello Dan,

Would you please publicly let us know where you stand on the following? You have written: “In the book Soul Shaper, Tony Jones explains a lot of ancient spiritual disciplines and shows how they can be attractive ways of worship for emerging generations. Lectio Divina, which is the practice of repeatedly meditating and praying through a passage of Scripture, and many other spiritual exercises are being reintroduced in emerging worship gatherings.” (Emerging Worship, 93, emphasis mine)

As a former Roman Catholic myself, and being good friends with former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett, this kind of thing really concerns me because these “ancient spiritual disciplines/exercises” are undoubtedly things that were developed through the anti-biblical monastic traditions of the apostate Church of Rome.

Then in my article Emergent Church: Soul Shaper Tony Jones I point out that your friend Tony Jones “advocates some sixteen ‘ancient-future’ spiritual tools such as The Jesus Prayer, Lectio Divina, Silence and Solitude, Stations of the Cross, Centering Prayer, and the Labyrinth.”

Dan, you told me that you didn’t know what Centering Prayer was. So are you recommending books with things within them that you don’t actually know about? Those of us the Lord has called to study the Emergent Church know that Contemplative Spirituality (aka Spiritual Formation) as taught by Richard Foster and Dallas Willard – both called “key mentors” in Emergent Church by Brian McLaren – is a core doctrine of this whole emerging church movement, and I just clearly showed that you personally recommend this Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism.

So am I really to believe that you don’t know what these “ancient spiritual disciplines/exercises” are which you are now recommending to our youth? And further that you don’t know the origins of said practices? I think that this would be a really good place to clear this up for us.

Let the reader know that I’m not holding my breath for a substantive answer…