Apprising Ministries now brings you a follow up to More Questions Concerning Dr. John Piper where I reminded 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 initially received a tip from a source; and 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 Emergent Church aka the 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 although 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 seems a bit evasive in the video, the following books in the BBC library Online catalog would seem to sow some confusion as to what Dr. Piper’s position actually is. Now, when I wrote the initial articles concerning Dr. Piper he was still on his much talked about sabbatical. However, he is back from it now, and a couple of the mystic books I pointed out in the earlier pieces are no longer in the BBC online library. More questions do remain though because what you’ll see below shows you what has been removed and what is still available; as such, we now have sufficient reason to assume that the ones still online are approved, while perhaos the others are not.

A couple of quick questions would be: Why were they available in the first place; and why are the others still there? Remember my question concerning apostates considering apostates apostate; well, originally Madame Guyon’s ode to CCP, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ was available, but has since vanished:

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 for more information. I can’t help but wonder what Dr. Piper felt his congregation needed to learn from her. Next from the library Online catalog of BBC we once found two books by Brennan Manning, a leading contemplative teacher of CSM. First his magnum opus, Ragamuffin Gospel, which also now has vanished:

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

(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. Also 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; not once, but twice. First under his actual name and the second time with his monk moniker:

(Online source)

(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?

There’s few more peculiarities in the Online catalog of the BBC library; why would Dr. John Piper have the pitiful Message paraphrase available by CSM advocate Eugene Peterson:

(Online source)

Christian researcher captures my concern about Peterson’s work in What kind of message is The Message?:

I realize that Peterson’s intent was “to recapture the tone” and subtleties of the Greek language. Whether or not he achieved that (personally I believe that his language reflects neither the heart of Jesus nor His followers’ fiery devotion to a holy sovereign God and the integrity of His Word), this noble goal can never be an excuse for “dumbing-down” Scripture to match our culture’s downward trends. The fact that essential Biblical terms are no longer part of our everyday conversation doesn’t give us license to soften God’s message.

Shouldn’t we rather aim to use Scriptures to lift our communications to the level where our language reflects the eternal perspective of God’s revealed truth? That seems to be the exhortation of Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and 2 Timothy 3:16. When we simplify Scripture by removing its mysteries, controversies and exhortations toward God’s highest, we demean our Lord and misinform believers. (Online source, bold in original)

Then in the BBC library Online catalog under prayer we find The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life by Bruce Wilkerson:

(Online source)

In Praying like Jabez?, his review of Wilkerson’s seriously flawed book of wishful thinking, Christian apologist Mike Oppenheimer hits the heart of the matter when he informs us:

This has turned into quite a phenomenon with Jabez prayer circles and clubs, newsletters. On one website it represents how many are now thinking, it had this to say. “In the best way it is selfish prayer.  (For a long time I have neglected myself, not loved myself, nor have I prayed for myself. Jabez loved himself enough to ask God to bless him. Charity begins at home, God’s blessing begins with blessing me! If God does not extend our own boundries then he cannot extend the boundries of his Kingdom.”

Is God limited by man? There seems to be the problem. Those who have not prayed consistently or correctly are those who can have a flawed view of God and their relationship to him. Is the problem that we have not loved ourselves enough? Is this what the Bible teaches us to do, love self more? Jesus said we already love ourselves, our love is suppose to be directed to others. In this way this book is being misused because of Wilkersons interpretation.

We should not be surprised at the acceptance and success of this small book after all numerous Christians already  practice prayer models as spiritual incantations and many are looking for keys to success. I would presume that Wilkinson intentions are not the same as word faith teachers, but they seem to arrive at the same place.

Is it Bibl[ical] to accept that one could repetitiously pray the same thing over and over for a month and God would be obligated to bless them. Not according to Jesus (Mt.6). God’s purposes for our lives are woven in time and outside our immediate sight. Can we know the mind of God or we coerce Him into blessing us now by a certain prayer?  What kind of God responds in this way, not the God who is to be our Lord. (Online source)

And in closing this, for now, we also find C. Peter Wagner again; this time under prayer with his supposed Prayer Shield:

(Online source)

I pointed this out last time, but it bears repeating here: Christian apologist Sandy Simpson has collected some informative articles concerning C. Peter Wagner at his fine Deception In The Church website[9]; so for now I’ll just tell you that “C. Peter Wagner [has been] Convening Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles”[10], one of the spiritually nefarious Kansas City Prophets, and “has long held to the heretical Latter Rain position.”[11] Again it would seem rather odd for Dr. Piper to appeal to a false prophet for teaching concerning “spiritual warfare”[12] and to actually encourage his flock to read his warped works[13]. Sadly, since Dr. Piper made his error of inviting Rick Warren to DG 2010, more questions will be arising.

Once again, let’s consider that both Dr. John Piper and C. Peter Wagner were each quite taken with the late “mission engineer” Ralph Winter[14]; each associated with Fuller Theological Seminary, and as you can see in Influences: Rick Warren And C. Peter Wagner Of New Apostolic Reformation, it was Wagner who was Rick Warren’s mentor when Warren “wrote his doctoral dissertation at Fuller Seminary on his church growth ideas.” Now we remember when 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.”[15]

And we’re told that Dr. Piper met Rick Warren at Ralph Winter’s funeral; as we stop and consider all of the above, another question comes emerging: Could it be they all already had much more in common than we even knew?


[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 1/11/11.

[3]  http://tinyurl.com/28l8eq5, accessed 1/11/11.

[4]  http://www.brennanmanning.com/, accessed 1/11/11.

[5]  http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/brotherlawrence.htm, accessed 1/11/11.

[6]  Ursula King, Christian Mystics [Mahwah: HiddenSpring, 2001], 149, 150.

[7]  http://tinyurl.com/n8wxjx, accessed 1/11/11.

[8]  http://tinyurl.com/387e677, accessed 1/11/11.

[9]  http://tinyurl.com/2fxqqon, accessed 1/11/11.

[10] http://tinyurl.com/2b7rlnp, accessed 1/11/11.

[11] http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain33.htm, accessed 1/11/11.

[12] http://tinyurl.com/klrtxa, accessed 1/11/11.

[13] http://tinyurl.com/34l5chm, accessed 1/11/11.

[14] http://tinyurl.com/n8wxjx, accessed 1/11/11.

[15] http://tinyurl.com/387e677, accessed 1/11/11.

See also: