Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. (Proverbs 22:5)

Mysticism Will Only Spread Spiritual Deception

Apprising Ministries has been warning you that evanjellyfish is only just beginning to pay a heavy price for its foolish embrace of the sinfully ecumenial Emerging Church aka Emergent Church; and in Doug Pagitt Points Us To Michael Dowd I told you that an upgraded Emerging Church 2.0 is all the more insidious. The reason being, through the assistance of apostates like progressive process theologian Dr. Philip Clayton of the Transforming Theology network, the EC 2.0 continues cobbling together their new postmodern version of Progressive Christian theology—aka “big tent” Emergence Christianity—and it’s poison is now being injected into the very heart of the church visible.

You should know that the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church was a Trojan Horse from which enemy forces unloaded corrupt Counter Reformation Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which incontrovertibly flowered within long apostate Roman Catholicism; and this spurious CSM ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster would then be perpetrated throughout the mainstream of evangelicalism as supposed Spiritual Formation with an able assist from his spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard. Earlier in Philip Clayton And A “Jesus” Who’s Gandhi With A Beard I explained to you why this CSM was so important to the EC’s evil agenda to penetrate the mainstream as its forebears in the original Cult of Liberal Theology once did the mainline.

Mysticism is perfectly suited to the philosophy of postmoderism that now dominates much of this caprious culture in which we find ourselves; you see, as with neo-orthodoxy ala Karl Barth postmodernism is “anti-logical” and “embraces Paradox”[1] while its deconstructionists viciously attack rational thought with what’s commonly known as irrational philosophy:

Irrational philosophies accordingly stress the will at the expense of reason, as exemplified in the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre or Karl Jaspers. (Online source)

Roughly put, its influence upon our culture is why you’ll so often hear people say things like: “With all my heart I feel that’s a good thing”; in other words, truth is being decided by how someone feels as opposed to what is objectively known. In fact Dr. John Bohannon points out that, in classic centered on the self postmodern existentialism, for Doug Pagitt:

the Bible is an active and living book that, in his own words, “invites us to step into the stories, not as observers, but as participants in the faith that is alive and well and still being created.” The implication being, the Bible is not a fixed, immutable, infallible Word from above, but rather a piece of God’s ongoing story in humanity; a story that Pagitt, Solomon’s Porch, and other communities of faith, can participate in as they join in the ongoing creative activity of writing their own story for today, just as Paul did for his day.[2]

As you can see, not only is this a repudiation of sola Scriptura, but it’s also a recipe for spiritual disaster because people can make the texts of Bible say whatever they want them to. This is the necessary backdrop for you to see where Pagitt is headed in what you’ll hear him talk about below in the two segments of his radio program from this past Sunday. Next time I’ll go through these segments more fully; however, for now what I’m going to do is highlight for you more of the Toxic Theology Of Doug Pagitt; this man has no business teaching a Sunday School class, let alone pastoring an ostensibly Christian church. Pagitt begins:

And as I promised you, we’re going to have a conversation with Michael Dowd. And Michael Dowd bills himself as an “Evolutionary Evangelist,” but Michael hasn’t called in today.

Then, because he approaches religion as a spiritual blender, Pagitt makes a joke about this supposedly being “a Karma kick-back” that Dowd hasn’t called in. Rev. Michael Dowd, “an ordained Christian minister with a Master of Divinity degree”[3] is author of Thank God for Evolution!: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World (TGfE); and you need to prepare yourself because men like Pagitt and Dowd will take us deep into the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language as they bend and shape words into whatever Play-Doh shapes they wish to. Dowd doesn’t end up calling in to Pagitt’s show so, before I get back to Doug Pagitt, I’ll give you further example from “Rev.” Dowd as to what I’m talking about above. Dowd says that he’s “a Pentecostal Evangelical”; sounds good, right. Well, in How and Why I’m a Pentecostal Evangelical Dowd explains what he means:

As an evolutionary Pentecostal, an evolutionary evangelical—an evolutionary Christian—I cherish the very same doctrines and teachings that other Pentecostal and evangelical Christians cherish. But rather than interpreting the core elements of my faith as unnatural and otherworldly, as I used to, and as many Christians still do, I now interpret these concepts in natural, undeniably real ways. (Online source)

The Spiritual Shell Game Of Multiple Meanings Of The Same Words

“I now interpret these concepts in natural, undeniably real ways.” Um, wha? Watch, the shell game with words is about to begin; for Dowd “unnatural and otherworldly” refers to those of us uninitiated ones who are Bible-believing Christians, where “natural, undeniably real ways” are those practiced by the superior “evolutionary” visionaries. So rather than our “flat-earth faith,” with us believing the “metaphors and theology still in use [that] came into being at a time when peoples really did believe the world was flat,” these new Gnostics—the initiated—have “[a]n evolutionary form of a religious tradition [which] differs from its flat-earth form in a striking way.” Dowd continues:

The evolutionary version is grounded in knowledge rather than beliefs and in the authority of cumulative wisdom rather than the authority of an ancient past.  Thus, every meaningful religious meme in my tradition—God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin, salvation, the kingdom of heaven, the return of the Lord—I now interpret as night language

Night language is dreamlike, inspired metaphor that gives voice and meaning to real human experience—experience that may or may not be fully explicable even today but that would have been outright impossible to understand objectively prior to advances in science and technology. (Online source. emphasis his)

Translation: We reserve the right to take your language and then completely redefine all of your terminology at our whim. This is what you’re dealing with here with people like Dowd and Pagitt; men who use Christian words, gut them of their original meaning, and then stuff the shell with their new mythical definitions. You think I’m kidding; here’s what “Rev.” Dowd has to say about “the necessity of Christ and the centrality of the cross”:

I know that Integrity is the key to joy and that I cannot walk this path alone; I need others. Living with no resentments, no secrets, and no unfinished business, I know the peace that passes all understanding and I do not fear death. (Online source. emphasis his)

Remember what I told you about irrational philosophy; what does a sentence like that even mean? Well, one thing we know it doesn’t mean is the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus Name. How do I know that; I’m glad you asked. In a sermon called Evolutionize Your Life: Heaven Is Coming Home to Reality, which he “preached”  at a spiritual blackhole called C3 Exchange Dowd tells us our sinful nature is actually a good, and quite necessary, thing:

F]rankly, I don’t know of any Christian, Muslim, or Jew, that is genuinely appreciative of their sinful nature; and yet, that’s what an evolutionary understanding gives us. Is we can have appreciation [of it].

Obviously, we don’t need a crucified, and risen, Savior for that. And Dowd also shares this evolutionary revelation concerning “God” in his article Evolutionize Your Life: Heaven Is Coming Home to Reality:

God is not a person; God is a sacred personification of one or more deeply significant dimensions of reality. If we miss this we miss everything! (Online source)

So you can see, if we were ever in it, we’ve now left the Christian building completely. With this all in mind then, we can return to Pagitt’s radio program last Sunday where he filled the time because Michael Dowd didn’t end up calling in. After a long commercial where the anti-establishment empire *cough* counter-culture Doug Pagitt plugs his latest book of psuedo-Christianity he finally says:

But anyway, Michael hasn’t called in yet,…here’s what I’d like to talk to him about: I like what he’s up to…he’s written a book called, Thank God for Evolution and his argument is that there’s this big thing going on in the larger story of the cosmos and that it’s not at all inconsistent with Christianity; it’s not all inconsistent with the Hebrew faith, it’s not at all inconsistent with the other great faiths of the world. 

That evolution is not the problem; evolution is a conversation partner about how things go. And on his Facebook status (and if you’re friends with Michael Dowd you might have seen this already) Michael’s Facebook status there’s this great little phrase there that I really want to talk to him about and we’re going to get him back on the show sometime (unless he’s dodging me on purpose. The phrase is this, “Facts…facts are God’s native tongue.”

Did you catch that; Pagitt likes “what [Dowd’s] up to”; and, rather amazingly, in addition he apparently even thinks that what I just showed you above from Dowd’s teachings is “not at all inconsistent with Christianity.” In closing this, for now, Pagitt will likely point out that he was referring to Dowd’s “larger story of the cosmos”; and I rather think he was. However, you don’t get that larger story without Dowd’s concept of “God” as an impersonal force i.e. Reality evolving as the universe. Do I think Doug Pagitt has become a evolutionary pantheist like Michael Dowd; no, at least not yet. But I will say, it’s well past time for evangelical leaders to grow a spiritual spine and start pinning down these leaders in the Emerging Church like Doug Pagitt—published by evangelical publishing houses—as to what they actually believe.

If not, then their own reality is going to involve sailing upon some very rough spiritual waters…

September 19, 2010 Segment 5 – Universalism is too small Doug Pagitt Radio

September 19, 2010 Segment 6 – Universalism is too small Doug Pagitt Radio


[1] Gordon Clark, In Defense of Theology [Milford: Mott Media, 1984], 58, 61.

[2] John Bohanon, Preaching & The Emerging Church: An Examination of Four Founding Leaders: Mark Driscoll, Dan Kimball, Brian McLaren, and Doug Pagitt [Seattle: CreateSpace, 2010], 88.

[3], accessed 9/23/10.

See also: