Along with other online apologetics and discernment ministries such as Lighthouse Trails Reseach (LTR) here at Apprising Ministries I’m doing what I can to alert you as to how far corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, with an assist from his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, has now penetrated mainstream evangelicalism.

You need to understand that this refried Roman Catholic Counter Reformation CSM masquerades as supposed Spiritual Formation. With this in mind I point you below to a 2006 lecture by Dr. Jay McDaniel to a class at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. In his address you’ll hear from one very familiar with the practice of CSM and the doctrines of its major proponents.

For more background information and clarification of the issues involved I encourage you to read the LTR post Northwest Nazarene University President Responds Regarding New Spirituality Speaker as well as the emails below . Please also know that I have personally been in contact with each of the authors and they’ve both given me permission to publish the following for context:

Mr. McDaniel,

I just finished listening to a video of you at Northwest Nazarene University. I must say that I was surprised that a Nazarene University would allow you to actually come and speak to the students . Your views and ideas are completely opposite to not only Nazarene doctrine but God’s word. Your comment on your Hindu sister makng it to heaven and then realizing that her lifes journey was now made complete when she finally saw Jesus is absolutely non sense. The bible says no one will enter heaven unless they have aknowledged their sin and asked for forgiveness. They must have that personal relationship before death not after. Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.

With all [due] respect. I do not need to talk with a buddist or muslim to grow deeper in my walk with God. The word of God is the only thing we need to teach us about God and what being a christian is all about.  Please take your false teaching away from the Nazarene church and our youth. I have emailed this video to our General Offices of the Nazarene church and will be making it a point to be sure that your false teachings are not allowed at another Nazarene school.

I will be praying for you that God will get a hold of your heart and show you the confusion and heresy that you are spreading. “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Protecting the truth,

Darren Krauter 

Dear Darren,

Thank you for your e-mail.

I haven’t seen the video, Darren, and it has been a long time since I gave the talk at Northwest Nazarene College. Please forgive me if I don’t quite remember what I said. But as I recall, I was describing what some theologians call “the fulfillment model” as developed by Catholic theologians since Vatican II. Their general idea is (1) that people are saved if they are honest to the best of their lights and if they inwardly aspire to live in a spirit of love and hospitality; but that (2) their salvation will be fulfilled in heaven by a recognition that Jesus completes the movement toward divine love, toward which their hearts were already drawn. I find this a plausible perspective, but as it happens, the fulfillment model is not my own position. I am less certain about who is saved and who is not.

Nevertheless, my own view differs from your own, because I trust that God is more mysterious, and more generous, than you. The mystery of God’s love is that it transcends human preoccupations with reward and punishment. I discern from your e-mail that you believe there are limits to God’s generosity, because God first requires that a person be a Christian in order to be saved. Perhaps you think that God is too holy and too pure to receive us into his heart after death, without our first accepting the sacrifice he made on the cross. I know many Christians who think this way.

I understand the cross differently. For me the cross reveals a side of God which has been loving and forgiving from the very beginning of time: a side which is hospitable even to the Roman soldiers who nailed Jesus’ hands to the cross. Thus the cross is, for me, not a substitute for a punishment we all deserve, but rather a revelation of a love that is infinitely tender and deeply mysterious. Moreover, the cross is not simply a symbol for this love, it is an incarnation of this love. Like the sun, God’s love shines on all of us: the just and unjust alike. That’s part of the mystery. Why is there so much grace? Shouldn’t the other people — those who are different from us — get what they deserve?

Nevertheless, I do think there are some limits. I know that God loves the hard-hearted but I know that God wishes their hearts were not so hard. Surely there must be much pain in God, given the arrogance and violence of which we humans are capable, sometimes in God’s name. But I would not define the limits in terms of what a person believes. My own view is that God judges a person’s heart, not a person’s beliefs. As we approach the gates of heaven, I think the question will not be “What did you believe? How fervent were you in claiming a Christian identity?” but rather “How open was your heart? How well did you love?” Let’s imagine that the person standing at the gates is not Saint Peter but rather Jesus himself. Let’s let Jesus decide whether or not to open those gates. Like you, I trust him.

I think there is something Wesleyan about my perspective, too, insofar as it focusses on love. His central concern was how the Holy Spirit transforms a life into love. But my aspirations are not to be “Wesleyan.” My desire, like your own, is to be faithful to Jesus and to walk with him in daily life. I trust that we — you and I – can agree on the importance of such fidelity and such walking, even if we have sharp disagreements on other matters. So I close this response to you with a prayer of my own, namely that both of us walk in the light of God’s love as best we can.

In peace,

Jay McDaniel

PS If you send the video to others, you might also include your e-mail to me, and my response to you, in the interests of fairly representing my own point of view. This is not because I aspire to speak at Nazarene schools. I am happy to do so, and I consider myself a Wesleyan in spirit. However, I do not want to go where I am not welcome. But I want to be known for who I am; that’s why I encourage you to send copies of our interchange. I am also sending this note to Dr. Thomas Oord, because I know him and admire him, and I want him to be apprised of our interchange. I trust Dr. Oord’s judgments on these matters, too. He is among my very favorite Wesleyan theologians. His own definition of love is from which I continue to learn.

Dr. Jay McDaniel

Willis T. Holmes Distinguished Professor of Religion

Nancy and Craig Wood Professor of Engaged Education

Hendrix College

1600 Washington Avenue

Conway , AR 72032


Thank you for your quick reply. I will be honest I did not expect a reply so soon or even at all. I will definitely forward your response along with the video link. I believe your response does show a drastic difference in our beliefs.

I do believe that Jesus does represent an unbelievable love for all people of all races and religions. That being said, I do not believe salvation is not made complete when we arrive in Heaven and see Jesus. Jesus said when he was calling the disciples to “Follow Me”, he did not say, do what you think is right , love people and when you see me in Heaven, you will understand that what you did is now allowing you to enter heaven. I believe you are saying that as long as we walk in what light we have in the religion we are practicing, we have an opportunity to make it to heaven. My bible says, I (Jesus) am the way, the truth and the light . No man comes to the father but by me. I can not think of anywhere in the word that it says that can be accomplished after death. I do not fine anything in my bible that gives credence to your view. We need not look any further than the word of God to learn we are in need of a Savior. That same bible gives us all the direction we need to grow and be the Christians that God wants us to be. The fruits of the spirit will be evident. I must admit I am not sure what part of your Wesleyan roots you formed these views from.

I believe that before Jesus returns he will give everyone an opportunity to accept or deny Him as Lord and Savior. I believe that when our lives on earth are complete and if we have not repented of our sins and accepted Jesus Christ as our personal savior, we will be eternally separated from God. That is not a popular view in the world today. People always just like to concentrate on God is love and not deal with what you need to do, salvation not works, in order to spend eternity in Heaven. God has laid out in His word very clearly what we need to do. Not only for salvation but what our lives as Christians should be. God does not send anyone to hell. I can not and will not make a determination on anyone’s salvation. If we choose not to accept Him as Lord and Savior we are turning our back on His greatest gift and condemning ourselves to eternal separation.

Thank you for the discussion. As you said in your video, you probably will not change any of the “exclusive” believers view and you haven’t. I would ask you to be very careful in what you tell your students. You have an awesome responsibility when you are presenting your views. I am not a theology major, not even close, and in no way would even come close to your education. Jay all I can tell you is I am a sinner that found a savior. that changed my life. I want to tell as many people about his unbelievable love and that this love and forgiveness I found is available to everyone. We both have an awesome responsibility!

I also want to apologize for my initial email. I know I came across a bit angry. I was!!! I could have expressed my concerns better.

God bless you and your family.

In His service,

Darren Krauter

Dear Pastor Silva,

 Thank you for your thoughtful e-mail. I do give you permission to post my e-mail. I would appreciate it if you would add this e-mail, too. I would like for those who view the talk to know two things. First, that the hospitality extended to me by NNU was a wonderful example of Christian witness. And, second, I would like viewers to know that I am grateful for the many people who visited with me after my talk, who shared with me their conservative theologies in firm yet kindly ways. I learned from them. I wish the video you post could include those conversations, so viewers would understand that NNU community includes conservative thought at its very best.

In Christ’s peace,

Jay McDaniel

See also: