Apprising Ministries now brings you a follow up to Questions Concerning Dr. John Piper where I told you that when Dr. Piper made the ill-advised decision to invite Leadership Network’s propped-up Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren to DG 2010 as a keynote speaker it set off a rippling effect where people, and not merely discernment ministries, have started to look a little closer at his theology, educational background, and associations; e.g. his charismatic bent, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the late Ralph Winter. 

Unfortunately it got even worse when Dr. Piper decided to defend his decision:

At root I think [Rick Warren] is theological and doctrinal and sound. 
(as cited Online source)

Make no mistake, Warrengate is now still slowly simmering. In my last post I shared that I had received a tip from a source; as I followed up on it, it would eventually lead me to discover some disturbing information which I placed within. Dr. Gary Gilley sums up my own feelings as I examined the evidence I had been led across as it concerns Dr. John Piper:

• Finally, Piper quotes favorably from a very disturbing stable of authors: Dietrich Bonhoeffer (popular liberal theologian, who, by the way, was executed not for his faith in Christ, but for his part in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler) (p. 90), Dallas Willard (leader in the unbiblical spiritual formation movement) (p. 119), G.K. Chesterton (Roman Catholic author) (p. 196), and Richard Foster (father and main promoter of the infiltration of Roman Catholic mysticism into evangelical circles) (pp. 192-193). He also speaks twice of the “dark night of the soul” which comes from counter-reformation Catholic mystic St. John of the Cross (pp. 217, 229).

Most disturbing is Foster’s quote calling for “new prophets to arise in our day” to which Piper responds, “And when they arise, one way that we fight for joy in God is to read what they write” (p. 193). After authoring a book which majors on pointing us to the Bible in our fight for joy, it is disconcerting to now read of an encouragement to read the words of modern prophets; and coming from Foster’s perspective and Piper’s theology on prophets, they are both referring to extrabiblical revelation through present-day prophets).
(Online source)

I find this most disturbing as well; especially so because I am also a former Roman Catholic. As I shared in Goodbye Law Of Non-Contradiction And Hello Universalist Christian Pastors, through being ushered in through Young Adult and Youth groups, such of these are now slithering ever deeper into the mainstream of squishy evanjellyfish with their spiritual cancer metastasizing throught the church visible in the rising popularity of the neo-liberal cult of the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church. You need to undestand they are having a terrible impact upon your own youth; and it may be that Dr. Piper, for whatever reason, is one who’s opened the door for these mystics into the neo-Reformed New Calvinist camp.

You can see some of my concerns along that line in Mark Driscoll And Neo-Reformed New Calvinsit Contemplative Spirituality; in addition, added to this murky mix—under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation—is critical thinking skills-numbing corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), such as that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard. Did you know that mainstream evangelical churches have long been using your young as spiritual guinea pigs exposing them to the mystic musings of Emergent Church wolves?

And so now we end up deep within the Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language and the mental off-roading that is postmodernism; words lose their fixed meanings and out goes the Law of non-contradiction: Simply, A cannot be non-A, in the same way, and at the same time. This is always the fruit of mysticism; consider this from Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola, And The Third Way where I pointed you to Carl McColman, who’s “the author of several books including The Aspiring Mystic and 366 Celt, and runs Anamchara: The Website of Unknowing, we’re told “is devoted to Christian mysticism” and “interfaith spirituality”.

I told you that al though I disagree with many of McColman’s conclusions regarding so-called “Christian mysticism,” on the subject of mysticism itself, McColman is to be considered as an expert witness. While reviewing Red Letter Christian and Roman Catholic mystic Richard Rohr‘s latest book The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See McColman gives us insight into how mystic musers like Rohr…um, well…“un-think”:

Rohr has a clear sense of the paradox and play at the heart of mysticism,… Rohr does not promise his readers that The Naked Now will make them become mystics; instead, he promises to invite them to “see” as mystics do. He uses the metaphor of seeing and even of the “third eye” to unpack not only what is wrong with religion in general, but to present mysticism as a shift into all-embracing, nondual consciousness…

Rohr suggests that these principles epitomize what he is trying to say: “All saying must be balanced by unsaying, and knowing must be humbled by unknowing,” and “All light must be informed by darkness, and all success by suffering.” The key to these mystical axioms, of course, is unlearning the dualistic way of seeing and thinking by relaxing into the naked now: the “sacrament of the present moment.” (Online source)

No doubt you’ve heard this Eastern-style gibberish slithering into mainstream evanjellyfish circles for a while now: “All saying must be balanced by unsaying, and knowing must be humbled by unknowing”. Translation: Shut off your critical reasong skills. Biblical Christians will recognize this better as: Yea, did God really say? Speaking of  a “third way,” in his excellent 2005 article Why Did Evangelicalism Marry Catholicism’s Stepchild?” G. Richard Fisher of the fine discernment ministry Personal Freedom Outreach informs us:

Out of this milieu [the 1960’s and 1970’s] came a wide-spread practice of mysticism and meditation. Mysticism peaked during the Middle Ages and was contained. It was the practice of lesser numbers, some of whom were canonized. Medieval mysticism had a monastic covering and names like Thomas A. Kempis, Catherine of Sienna, Catherine of Genoa, St. [John] of the Cross, St. Francis of Assisi, and Theresa de Jesus of Avila are well known, even though they lived in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The rationale was that maybe days gone by had something to offer us. The Bible was abandoned and experiences ruled the day. Occasionally, the mystics (such as Madame Guyon) took mysticism to such levels that even the Catholic Church excommunicated them. Some mystics believed they were merging with God or Jesus. [1]

As I’ve asked before, just how apostate do you have to be in order for apostates to consider you apostate? But here’s an important point building upon what Fisher just told us concerning the rebirth of interest in mysticism during the 1960’s and 70’s; in Root Of This New Downgrade I told you that those of us who’ve studied mysticism and liberal theology know that this rebirth of mysticism—precisely the same neo-Gnosticism taught in Foster-Willardism—would spread into the ecumenical movement of mainline denominations, and then into evangelicalism with the charismatic revival as it then traveled through the Jesus People/Movement circa early 1970’s, and also into what became the Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission [2], which launched the man-centered Church Growth Movement.

Which brings us back around to unanswered questions concerning Dr. John Piper and books by false prophet C. Peter Wagner, as well as books by the main purveyors of spurious CSM Richard Foster and Dallas Willard in the library Online catalog of Bethlehem Baptist Church (BBC) where Dr. John Piper  is listed as “Vocational Elder; Pastor for Preaching & Vision; Chancellor, Bethlehem College and Seminary.” [3]  In the video below Dr. Piper is asked what he thinks about corrupt Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP); CCP is the crowing jewel of spurious CSM and a type of meditation in an altered state of consciousness, which itself is a form of neo-Gnosticism that flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism.

Considering what Dr. Piper has to say about CCP, although for me he seemed a bit evasive, the following books in the BBC library Online catalog would seem to sow some confusion as to what Dr. Piper’s position actually is. Remember my question concerning apostates considering apostates apostate; well, here’s Madame Guyon’s ode to CCP, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ:

(Online source)

It’s simply beyond question that Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon, aka Madame Guyon, was a Roman Catholic mystic hostile to Reformation theology so I’ll simply refer you to The Mindless Mysticism of Madame Guyon Countering the Myth of Intermittent Deification and Sinless Perfection by the aforementioned G. Richard Fisher of PFO. Next from the library Online catalog of BBC we also find two books by Brennan Manning, a leading contemplative teacher of CSM. First there’s his magnum opus, Ragamuffin Gospel

(Online source)

And then Manning’s Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

(Online source)

Manning’s personal website leaves no doubt that he is a mystic [4] and my friend Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries, who has personally spoken with Brennan Manning, further fills us in through his post Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing:

Consider Brennan Manning, an inactive Roman Catholic priest, who has some obvious characteristics of a “wolf,” yet goes mostly undetected. In the last ten years, he has become a popular speaker in many “evangelical” churches. Manning was ordained to the Franciscan priesthood after graduating from St. Francis Seminary in 1963. Later he was theology instructor at the University of Steubenville (a Catholic seminary and catalyst for Mary to be named co-redeemer). After being treated for alcoholism and leaving the Franciscan Order in 1982, he married Roslyn Ann Walker. The marriage has since ended in divorce but his popularity as a writer and speaker continues to grow despite his proclamation of “another” gospel…

As with many such teachers who gain popularity by tickling ears, Manning overemphasizes the love and grace of God while ignoring His attributes of justice, righteousness and holiness. He teaches that Jesus has redeemed all of mankind. His “good news” is that everyone is already saved. Among those Manning believes he will see in heaven is “the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last ‘trick,’ whispers the name of the unknown God.” Manning’s theology opposes God’s word again and again… (Online source)

This opposition to the Bible is SOP for mystics as I explained in Tony Campolo: “Christian Mysticism” Trumps The Bible; and the leading online apologetics and discernment ministry Lighthouse Trails Research (LTR) points out that Manning “says that Dr. Beatrice Bruteau is a ‘trustworthy guide to contemplative consciousness.'” LTR then goes onto the key question:

Who is Beatrice Bruteau and what does she believe? She is the founder of The School for Contemplation, and she believes God is within every human being. She wrote the book, What We Can Learn from the East

“We have realized ourselves as the Self that says only I AM, with no predicate following, not “I am a this” or “I have that quality.” Only unlimited, absolute I AM” [A Song That Goes On Singing – Interview with B.B.]. When Brennan Manning says she is trustworthy, does he mean we can trust her when she says we are all I AM? (Online source)

Well, I think you get the idea; if Brennan Manning ever was a Christian, he’s long since left the building for the, centered on the self, cave of mysticism. Concerning his wishful “ragamuffin” musings I refer you to my previous post Ragamuffin Spirituality With Brennan Manning. And finally, in closing this for now, in the library Online catalog of Dr. Piper’s BBC we come to so-called “Brother” Lawrence with his “classic” Practice of the Presence of God

(Online source)

The idea of “practicing the presence of God” is meaningless. Do we also practice the omniscience of God; or perhaps, we need to practice His omnipotence? You may recall that in Disciplines To Deception In The Southern Baptist Convention I told you about this gentleman; you see, “Brother” Lawrence (born Nicholas Herman) was a mystic Roman Catholic monk. LTR also brings out that Lawrence was of the “Carmelite order mean[ing] his spiritual practices were derived from or heavily influenced by Teresa of Avila.” [5] If you wish to know more about about this emotionally troubled Roman Catholic nun I’ll refer you to Who Is Teresa of Avila?  

Here I’m only going to point out that Dr. Ursula King, a proponent of mysticism herself, informs us that Teresa’s:

mysticism was influenced by the spirituality and methods of the Jesuits and Franciscans, but given her partly Jewish background, her thinking was also affected by Jewish Kabbalistic mysticism, elements of which can be detected in her writings. [6]

Sadly, today these Roman Catholic mystics are undergoing a revisionist history within the visible church and then being romanticized.What needs to be brought out here is this: For Lawrence, his “being so in tune with ‘God’s’ presence” would lead him to remain in spiritual slavery to the apostate religious system of the Roman Catholic Church with its false gospel (no gospel at all), which Dr. John MacArthur rightly referred to as “Satan’s best front for the Kingdom of God.” So, why would we even want to follow this kind of stupid spirituality; rooted, as it is, in the Counter (hello) Reformation of the Church of Rome? 

Unfortunately, when Dr. Piper made his error of inviting Rick Warren to DG 2010, it has raised more unanswered questions, could Dr. Piper possibly have been more influenced by C. Peter Wagner, of the New Apostolic Reformation and formerly Fuller Theological Seminary, than we may have known? Perhaps all the more likely when we consider that both Dr. John Piper and C. Peter Wagner were both quite taken with the late “mission engineer” Ralph Winter [7]; as was Rick Warren. There’s also no doubt that Warren himself promotes CSM, e.g. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, And Spiritual Disciplines, which now seems to shed some light on the DG 2010 invitation.

As I said before, it’s beginning to look like Dr. Piper has a lot more in common with Rick Warren already than we even knew. Again I point you to what Dr. Piper said in his defense of the Warren invitation, “I just think he could put me to shame with his aggressively, in-your-life, transformative discipling of his church.” [8] From my ongoing research into all of this, I’ll tell you that our key to seeing a deeper connection with all of these men, and maybe even a motive as to why Dr. Piper made his invitation to invite Rick Warren into the Reformed camp, just might lie in the little phrase “transformative discipling of his church.” 


[1] G. Richard Fisher, “Why Did Evangelicalism Marry Catholicism’s Stepchild,” The Quarterly Journal, Personal Freedom Outreach, Vol. 25, No.2, April-June 2005, 13.
[2] http://tinyurl.com/2do9obh, accessed 6/17/10.
[3] http://tinyurl.com/28l8eq5, accessed 6/17/10.
[4] http://www.brennanmanning.com/, accessed 6/17/10/
[6] Ursula King, Christian Mystics [Mahwah: HiddenSpring, 2001], 149, 150. 
[7] http://tinyurl.com/n8wxjx, accessed 6/17/10.
[8] http://tinyurl.com/387e677, accessed 6/17/10. 

See also: