Saturday, July 14, 2012


One of the latest issues of the Critical Issues Commentary (by Bob Dewaay) carries the title "Romantic Panentheism: A Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp". 1.One Thousand Gifts is a popular devotional book with a primarily female audience and is reminiscent of the secular book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, which was made popular on the Oprah Winfrey Show about five years ago, and which I purchased for myself in a effort calm the storms in my busy life. It appears that Voskamp is a Christianized form of Breathnach's book, and DeWaay has done an excellent job of describing it in his book review, which I recommend reading in its entirety.

Prior to 2006 I became (temporarily) enamored with the concepts in Breathnach's book, which later led me to be involved in christian mysticism, aka contemplative spirituality, when I was required to take a seminary course called "Spiritual Formation". The similarities between the principles of Breathnach's book and Voskamp's , and other "Christian" mystics are startling. The principles in Simple Abundance are gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty and joy. 2 The similarities between their styles and their practices is also startling, so much so that I easily made the transition from secular mysticism to "Christian" mysticism and was happy to find an outlet that I thought was more in line with my Christian faith. Little did I know, it would gradually lead me away from the solid foundation of my faith in God's Word into a spiritual realm that had no biblical basis whatsoever, although Scripture is cleverly and dishonestly used to justify the practices and principles of the Contemplative Spirituality movement.

The latest issue of the MB Herald (July 2012) also carries an example of Romantic Panentheism in the article For the love of trembling trees3. by Jan Woltmann. Just as Voskamp has fallen into the error of leading her readers into Romantic Panentheism but would likely be horrified to think that her work resembles pagan earth worship, Jan Woltmann obviously does not understand that she has made the serious theological error of promoting God's immanence (accessibility) at the expense of His transcendence (His existence outside of and above His creation), and that she does not make a clear distinction between general revelation and special revelation, bringing much confusion to the reader who does not understand the dangers of the underlying beliefs of this movement. She merely hints that redemption is available, but that it is accessible through the beauty of nature rather than through the Word of God (Living and Written), which has been given to us as God's final word to mankind and contains the historical account of the death and resurrection of His Son, and its purpose. Her flowery and sensuous language is an attempt to enter into an intimate relationship with God through His general revelation (creation), and she fails dismally to point to the living Christ who is presently seated at the right hand of the Father, having paid for our redemption with His blood. Somehow the cross, in its full meaning, takes a back seat to all the glories of God's creation. Sadly, the full redemptive revelation of Jesus Christ is lost in Woltmann's article at the expense of her romantic, sensual style and her desire for a mystical union with God. 

I strongly advise you to read Bob Dewaay's article, as linked above, so as to understand the spiritual implications of the return to Romantic Panentheism (with its strong connection to Celtic Spirituality, also becoming popular in Christian circles) with its errors. If Woltmann hasn't already fully fallen into Romantic Panentheism she is, at the very least, well on her way.

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water, let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be though worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  Hebrews 10:19-29


Tuesday, January 18, 2011



MB Herald January 2011 prints an article entitled, "Ministry hosts radical prayer gathering" which contains the following information:
"Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals “makes it easier for us to truly live into what it means to be a priesthood of believers,” says Rachel Twigg-Boyce of HouseBlend ministries. With corporate and individual prayer as a core value of the Winnipeg-based MB ministry for the transformation of community, she jumped at the chance to host a launch party for the book, putting her emerging ministry on the leading edge of a worldwide network of gatherings...When registration on Common Prayer’s website exceeded what the house could comfortably accommodate, Twigg-Boyce decided to hold 2 parties, rather than cut off attendance or move to a less personal venue...At both events, guests read through selected prayers together, sang, and prayed for personal concerns...That evening included a Skype conversation with co-author Shane Claiborne, who said a group of Protestants and Catholics united over the book in Ireland that day as well. Dec. 1, more than 25 people attended a casual evening of learning about the book, HouseBlend, and each other. " 1.
Obviously this is a book which was published to foster unity between Roman Catholics and Protestants and/or evangelicals, a phenomenon which I have been concerned about for the past 4 years or so, because Roman Catholicism also fosters unity with pagan religions. (See: "The Two Faces of Roman Catholicism")

Incidentally, for the MB Herald readers who may never have heard of the host of this "radical prayer gathering", Rachel Twigg-Boyce is the director of House Blend Ministries, an initiative of Mennonite Brethren Church in Manitoba. Twigg-Boyce is also in the process of completing her training as a spiritual director at the very contemplative and Roman Catholic retreat in Winnipeg called St. Benedict's Retreat and Conference Centre, where she appears on their 2010-2011 schedule of "Spirituality Programs". She appears in a photo on their web-schedule with three Roman Catholic Benedictine Sisters as a part of their "Spirituality Team". ((HERE, in the back row wearing red, she is photographed with her "Shekinah Class" with others training to be spiritual directors). It is quite apparent that she is very involved with this Retreat Centre. The Retreat and Conference Centre provides events which include taize, centering prayer (based on the teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating), walking the labyrinth (photo of St. Benedict's), lectio divina, the enneagram, implementing the psychology of occultist Carl Jung, Rieki, participating in the Eucharist, and focusing on the "monastic life" in general.

The St. Benedict's Retreat Centre 2010-2011 Schedule also contains the following information at the bottom of the brochure:
  • "St Benedict’s is an area resource center for Contemplative Outreach Canada(*). Trained presenters are available to offer Centering Prayer Introductory workshops for your group either at St. Benedict’s or at your location." 2.
  • "Oblates of St. Benedict are women and men who desire to live the spirit of the monastic rule of St. Benedict and who associate themselves with a Benedictine community for support." 3.
  • "Reiki(**), a gentle hands-on therapy for relaxing, balancing and bringing peacefulness to body and spirit. By appointment $50." 4.
  • "Spiritual Direction is a ministry to persons of any age and every denomination who want a guide on the spiritual journey. Spiritual direction is a relationship whose prime focus is the nurturing of personal communion with Divine Mystery(***)." 5.
*Contemplative Outreach Canada is an organization dedicated to unity in "silence, solitude and service". On their website they state: "We affirm our solidarity with the contemplative dimension of other religions and sacred traditions, with the needs and rights of the whole human family, and with all creation." 6. This reveals their affinity for interspirituality and interfaithism, the ideology that truth is found in all religions.

**Reiki practitioners channel spirit guides to perform "healings".

***The "Divine Mystery" is a name for God which has occult connotations.

To the Mennonites cavorting with Roman Catholicism, contemplative prayer and Reiki: Why are you playing with fire and spiritual deception? These are all parts of the same puzzle, and they don't make a pretty picture!

For further reading about the MB Herald "radical prayer gathering" article:
MB Herald promotes Ecumenism, New Monasticism by "the olives"

Another article of interest: The Labyrinth Journey: Walking the Path to Fulfillment? by Carl Teichrib

3. ibid
4. ibid
5. ibid

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The January 2011 MB Herald published an article (in "People and Events") entitled "Missionaries retreat to listen to God", which is a Mark Centre release, reporting:
"At the new MARK Centre (MC) on Pender Island in B.C., participants from Mexico, California, India, and Canada gathered in fall for a leaders’ training session on “Listening to God.” Seated next to directors Evy & Steve Klassen (at centre with son Malakai) are (l) Joan Godard with MBMSI in Mexico and (r) Michele Berry. Standing (l–r): Trever Godard (with MBMSI in Mexico), Dorothy Siebert (MC host on Pender Island), Theresa Schroeder (outgoing staff at MC), Rick Berry (MC board member, California), Modam Dini (Baptist missionary in India), Harold Siebert (MC host on Pender Island), four former TREK team workers: Petra & Joel Martin, Steve & Ginny Klassen, and Nadine Frew (former YWAM missionary taking study leave)." 1.
The Mark Centre, a spiritual retreat, has two locations: one in Abbotsford, BC and the other on Pender Island, BC. It is described as being "an interdenominational agency with Mennonite Brethren roots" that "partners with MB Mission and Service International (MBMSI) to provide facilities for training young missionaries with the TREK program".

The "Listening Tools" taught at the retreat are practices of contemplative spirituality, cleverly disguised versions of Eastern-type meditation promoted by the Roman Catholic church, listed as: Lectio Divina, (Ignatian) Examin, Spiritual Direction, Community Listening Prayer, and Silent Prayer.

The practice of Silent Prayer is described in the following manner:
• Find a quiet place and sit comfortably.
• Review scriptures that invite you to silence before God.
• Choose a meaningful word/phrase that helps you focus on God. (For example, “ABBA Father” or “Creator”)
• Be absolutely still and quiet, focusing on the presence of God.
• As thoughts and concerns come to mind, let them go by mentally reciting your word/phrase.
• Perhaps picture the thoughts/concerns floating by like boats in a river. As they go by, you don’t stop them and analyze them, you simply release them to keep floating down the river.
• Continue this process for about 20 minutes. End with a prayer. 2.
The "meaningful word/phrase" recommended by the Mark Centre is used as a mantra (although they wouldn't dare to call it that), which supposedly helps you focus on "God"; but any word used repeatedly for a length of time (20 minutes) loses its meaning and merely becomes a tool to reach an altered state of consciousness (self-hypnosis), the same goal desired by those practicing Eastern meditation. The practitioner essentially enters the spirit realm, but in this altered state, has no way of discerning what type of spirit they will encounter. The Bible forbids these types of practices in both the Old and New Testaments. We are told to worship in "spirit and in truth" and to engage our mind as well as our spirit in our practices of worship. What the Mark Centre is teaching is therefore contrary to Scripture, and a potential entrance into the occult.

The following quotes are excerpts describing meditation and the use of a mantra from a Yoga website:
  • "Meditation is a mental discipline most commonly defined as a self-regulated altered state of consciousness or attention which is primarily directed to self inquiry. The practitioner seeks a deeper state of awareness and relaxation for a variety of purposes: spiritual growth, greater focus, heightened creativity, higher state of consciousness, peaceful frame of mind, and unfolding or expanding inner love, wisdom, power and light." 3.
  • "All the components involved in meditation - relaxation, concentration, self-observing attitude, suspension of logical thought and the altered state of awareness - affect the psychological, physiological and spiritual aspects of the practitioner." 4.
  • "Spiritually, meditation helps create peace of mind, discovery of the consciousness and power beyond the ego, discovery of a person's true being, heightened awareness of the inner self, self-actualization and ultimately spiritual awakening." 5.
  • "Concentrative meditation, used in many spiritual practices and religions, focuses the person's attention on an image, on the breath or on a sound or "mantra". By narrowing the focus in this manner, the mind becomes still allowing greater clarity and awareness to emerge...Using the focus (the breath, an image or a sound), helps the practitioner to remain in the here and now, avoiding cognitive thought." 6.
  • "Transcendental Meditation, or TM, is the most widely practiced and most researched form of meditation in the world. Introduced in India in 1955 by Maharishi Mahesh Hogi, it is taught in a seven-step course and involves the use of a mantra practiced for 15-20 minutes twice a day...TM has been shown to produce states that are physiologically different from sleeping, waking and dreaming. It is described as a technology for consciousness. Over time the practice of TM, allowing the mind to experience its deeper level, will allow the practitioner to become aware that thought itself can be transcended and thus will experience the "transcendental being" or "source of thought" - the ultimate reality of life." 7.
Sadly, and frighteningly, the "transcendental being"/"source of thought", which is "the ultimate reality of life" that is being encountered in this state is the god of this world, Satan himself.

Note to Mennonites: Stay away from this practice or you will open yourself up to demonic influence and may very well be deceived by one appearing as an angel of light!

**For further reading: Eastern Meditation Sneaks into the Church by
Prof. Johan Malan, University of Limpopo, South Africa


4. ibid
5. ibid
6. ibid
7. ibid

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Until now, I have purposely tried to avoid giving any type of commentary on the blog postings on this site. Rather, I have tried to let the facts speak for themselves. But it appears to me that the MB denomination is at a critical time in history, and I am compelled to speak about it.

I have been following a blog called Menno-lite for quite some time now, and especially in the last two weeks as "the olives" have been exposing the contemplative spirituality found in the October 2010 MB Herald. This is a blog that has much the same emphasis as my own. I have grown to appreciate the candid writings of the author(s) of this blog. Postings are written in a manner which is warning and yet not offensive. This person obviously has a deep concern for their Mennonite Brethren brothers and sisters, even as I do.

This latest edition of the MB Herald contains six references to contemplative spirituality (the sixth is documented by myself as a comment on the Menno-lite article, "Unanswered Questions"). This is alarming! It is obvious that the Mennonite Brethren are moving full steam ahead down the contemplative, mystical pathway. Many people, including myself, have been in contact with various people in positions of influence in the denomination. For the most part I have received saccharine replies and poorly researched responses dismissing my concerns. Sadly, I finally had to follow the Lord's leading and my conscience, first of all, by withdrawing my membership from our local MB church and then leaving the church altogether when I was told, in a dismissive attitude, that the leadership didn't agree with my position. That had been obvious to me for quite some time, as it was evident in the MB Herald, on the USMB website, at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, and many other arms of the denomination. The majority of people are too afraid or too busy to take the time out of their days to understand what is going on and those in leadership are more concerned with their positions and their reputations in the world than they are with what God's says about how we are to practice our faith in this area; but this is just too important an issue to ignore, and to do so is at your spiritual peril.

You see, folks, the time has come to make a decision. The Mennonite Brethren denomination has demonstrated for an extended period of time that they are moving ahead with this type of spirituality. Unless those in leadership repent of their false teaching, God is going to judge them. Many, many MBs need to phone, write, or do something to speak out about what is going on here. This denomination is sinking to the depths of spiritual apostasy rapidly. In my opinion, the only choice now, is to speak out against this and get out of the boat. It will take some serious change of hearts and minds to turn this situation around. If it doesn't happen at this point in history, it will be too late, and you will be part of a denomination that no longer relies fully on the Word of God for its teachings.

Is it too late? I know that nothing is impossible with God, and I pray that those who are promoting contemplative spirituality will finally get what we have been saying; however, once involved in these practices for an extended length of time, they honestly believe that they can hear, feel, see and experience God through contemplative prayer. This is not how God has chosen to communicate with believers. It is, however, how the corrupt Roman Catholic church, apostate church fathers and desert fathers chose to communicate with God or have God communicate with them. The practice simply is not biblical, although many Christians will take Scripture out of context to defend it. If anything, it is a pagan concept designed to unite all of mankind in a spiritual exercise. Those who are already involved in this type spirituality have fallen for Satan's lies and will not hear (listen, but not hear) what is being said to them.

Listen, you don't have to take my word for any of this. But please take the time to study the movement further, to see what all the fuss is about. Honest, faithful believers do not sound the alarm for no reason. All of the people I know who have left their churches over these changes are faithful, God-fearing people with a deep love for God's Word. Don't you think they have good reasons for doing what they are doing, for saying what they are saying? Examine God's Word and see if you can find anything in it that would indicate that these practices come out of it? (And please do so without reading something into Scripture that is not there). Take the time to find out where these practices originate and where they lead those deeply involved. The fruit is not always obvious at first. It is important to examine those who have been involved for a lengthy period of time, who have come to full fruition. This website and others I have linked to have lots of information available to help you understand the movement.

The Father is preparing to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to come and call His children home any day now. If you will honestly look at the times we live in, you know without a doubt that this is so. So very many once faithful churches have left their first love in favor of a church that is run like a business with a human CEO at the helm. There are hardly any churches left that stick faithfully to God's Word to order their lives and their doctrine. The faithful remnant is getting smaller every day. Where will you stand spiritually when the day comes and you hear Jesus' voice like a loud trumpet calling us home? Will you be found faithful? Will you even hear the trumpet? I pray that it will be so!

Please take the time to read what has been written in October on Menno-lite. Click HERE to get there. I also urge you to read Roger Oakland's latest commentary entitled, "Is Your Denomination a Sinking Titanic?" Click HERE to go the the commentary.

There is a denomination at stake here. There are people's spiritual lives and the truth at stake. Don't brush off the warnings. And don't wait another day, or you too may be found sinking with the ship. Oh, my Mennonite Brethren brothers and sisters, let it not be so!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


It is with a heavy heart that I have to write this report since it hits very close to home.

The MB church I was a member of for approximately 25 years (until just a few years ago) is a supporter of Trever and Joan Godard who are operating the Matthew Training Center in Guadalajara, Mexico. In fact they were in our community several weekends ago attending the Thanksgiving Celebration at the local MB church.

The Godards attended The Mark Centre just this past September, which provides spiritual retreats where the stated mission is, "Leading people to intimate places with God where his voice can be heard", and the overriding goal, "Serving thousands who will inspire millions to embrace a lifestyle of listening to God". Two of the features offered at the center are "Spiritual Direction Opportunities", and a "Complementary Listening Experience" with the following description:
"We offer our guests a complimentary 30min listening experience. This is a session with a MARK Centre staff member who leads you through a "Lectio Divina", a scripture reading practice that invites you to meet God personally and receive from him."1.
Lectio Divina is a Roman Catholic practice of hearing from God using a mystical method, not the plain reading of Scripture. Please read the following article about the practice of Lectio Divina - Lectio Divina: Leading Sheep to a New Level of Consciousness.

To read about the roots of "spiritual direction", click HERE.

A movie posted on The Mark Centre website depicts a man reading Dallas Willard's book Hearing God. Dallas Willard is also part of the Contemplative Spirituality movement.

For more on Dallas Willard's involvement in the movement, click HERE.
For a book review of Hearing God, click HERE.

It is obvious that The Mark Centre is promoting an experiential, contemplative, mystical spirituality. I am sad to say that Harold and Dorothy Siebert, who also have connections to the community I live in, are now working there as resident volunteer hosts. As I predicted several years ago, the contemplative movement is spreading far and wide, and has taken deep root in the MB Conference. If you haven't encountered it yet, just wait a little while, you will! I am, however, still finding hard to believe it has come so quickly to our quiet little community. I considered the MB church here to be one of the final frontiers!

The influence of The Mark Centre appears to be rubbing off on MB missionaries. This is a key retreat center for Canadian MB missionaries. The Matthew Training Center in Mexico, operated by Trever and Joan Godard, Canadian MB missionaries who recently attended The Mark Centre, has included the statement, "We believe in cultivating a lifestyle of spiritual disciplines" in their core values on the page containing the Matthew Training Center Philosophy. The "spiritual disciplines" are just another name for methods of "growing closer to Jesus" which include contemplative practices.

When evaluating a movement, such as the contemplative/spiritual formation/spiritual disciplines movement, it is important to remember the obvious: movements have leaders, they have a background and they are heading somewhere (what I call roots, shoots and fruits, and those who plant, cultivate and water them).

These are the questions that every Mennonite Brethren needs to ask: "What is the background of this movement, who are its leaders, and where is it heading?"

There is enough evidence to be found amongst other groups who have been involved in this movement for a much longer time to show where it is headed - ecumenicalism, interfaithism and interspirituality - a dangerous spiritual path, to be certain. By examining these groups, and the commonalities between them and what is currently being accepted by the Mennonite Brethren Conference and MBMSI, it is clear that they are one and the same.

Additional reading on the topic (which also explains the link between contemplative prayer and lectio divina): Contemplating The Alternative by Carol Brooks



Friday, December 11, 2009




Spring 2009
Professor: Dr. Chris Erdman, O.S.B. Cam. Obl.
Location: University Presbyterian Church
At the center of human life is the longing of the heart for God. But in these days of turbulence and distraction, so many other things too often overwhelm this deep, inner longing. The busyness of life, even for those in active ministry, can bully the life of prayer out of us. This course seeks to provide resources and establish time-tested practices for a sustainable life of prayer in the midst of a busy life. The course surveys the fountainhead of New Testament spirituality as it flows through the early church and beyond into the experience and practice of the “prayer of the heart,” “interior prayer,” or “contemplative prayer.” The contemplative stream, as one form of Christian spirituality among many, provides students with historic resources and practices for a durable spirituality; it sustains a vibrant active life, nourished by the eternal spring which is unceasing, interior prayer.

Note: This is an advanced course, and expects the learner to develop toward a habit of daily private prayer (from a minimum of 15 minutes/day beginning the first week to 60 minutes/day by week 9, and which is included as a homework assignment. This, of course, is for students taking the course for credit; audit students may set their own goals), and includes in-class prayer practices. It may build on a disciple’s existing prayer practice or it might require a total renovation. This course should not to be taken without genuine openness to a bold new invitation from the Holy Spirit to enter deeply into a life of prayer.
(Note:in the above the emphasis is in the original, change in text color - red - is mine. -BK)

Some of the Assignments:
Speaking of Faith Podcasts. For enrichment only. These exception world-class interviews are excellent to download and listen to while exercising or commuting. I highly recommend them. They will expose you to discoveries, values, and experiences from a wide array of disciplines and religious traditions that enrich your understanding of the practice of prayer.
  • Speaking of Faith podcast: “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” with Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz. (Note:Rumi is a Sufi Hindu)
  • Speaking of Faith podcast: “Obedience and Action” with Sister Joan Chittister. (Note: Joan Chittister is a Benedictine nun and the founder and current executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality)
  • Speaking of Faith podcast: “Quarks and Creation” with the Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne Phd. (Note: "quarks" is a term used in quantum physics and quantum spirituality)
  • Speaking of Faith podcast: “The Inner Landscape of Beauty” with Irish poet John O’Donahue (Note: "John O'Donohue was an Irish poet and philosopher beloved for his book Anam Cara — Gaelic for "soul friend" — and for his insistence on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God. Before his untimely death this year, he spoke with Krista in our studios. And so this hour has become a remembrance of him. But John O'Donohue had a very Celtic, lifelong fascination with what he called "the invisible world." And he would also surely see this also as a serendipitous continuation of his life's work — of bringing ancient Celtic wisdom to modern confusions and longings." 1.)
  • Speaking of Faith podcast: “Brother Thay” with Thich Nhat Hanh (Note: Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Bhuddist monk and Zen Master)
  • Speaking of Faith podcast: “Listening Generously” with Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen M.D. (Note:Rachel Naomi Remen is one of the earliest pioneers in the mind/body holistic health movement and the first to recognize the role of the spirit in health and the recovery from illness. She is Co-Founder and Medical Director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program featured in the Bill Moyers PBS series, Healing and the Mind and has cared for people with cancer and their families for almost 30 years. She is also a nationally recognized medical reformer and educator who sees the practice of medicine as a spiritual path. 2.)
Books form the backbone of our reflection. You are expected to change the way you read for this course. You are to read spiritually, that is, for the sake of prayer and encounter with God, and with an eye of enriching your practice not merely to master the field. Most of these books are available used through at reduced prices. You can buy these books for as little as $45 total, including shipping.
1. Streams of Living Water, Richard Foster, (408 pages). ISBN-10: 0060628227, $5 used.
2. Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way, Matthew the Poor, (292 pages), ISBN-10: 0881412503, $9 used.
3. Course Reader in Christian Spirituality. A packet of photocopied articles; available first day of class. $10 paid to MBBS.

(The notes in the section above, regarding the "Speaking of Faith" podcasts, with bold emphasis are mine except those with a footnote, which come from an outside source. See the footnotes at the bottom of this blog posting for the sources. -BK)

The Rev. Karl E. Dietze
This course is intended to be a survey of the major convictions and concerns of Anglican theology from the Reformation to the present. This course will include readings from theologians in the Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic, Holiness and Liberal traditions, and will also include a discussion of Anglican identity today.
During the Sessions:
This course will require a good deal of selected reading on the part of the student, but that reading will enable the student to plug in to this survey of the theological and spiritual streams that make up Anglicanism. Lectures will involve some class participation and Prayer Book worship.
Identify leading Anglican thinkers, schools of thought and traditions. Gain an understanding and appreciation for the rich theological and spiritual heritage of Anglicanism. Develop the ability to engage in theological analysis and application.
(Note: emphasis mine -BK)



IS/TS-670 (3 Units)
Spring 2009
Professor: Mark D. Baker, Ph.D.
A survey of Old Testament Theology, New Testament Theology and Systematic Theology to provide the theological basis for the integration of psychology, counseling and theology.
- To be able to describe and evaluate four approaches to integration of Christian theology and psychology
Alter, Margaret. Resurrection Psychology. Wipf & Stock, 2004 or Loyola, 1994.
Hays, Richard. The Moral Vision of the New Testament. Harper, 1996.
Kraus, C. Norman. God Our Savior. Herald Press, 1991.
Longenecker, Bruce W. The Lost Letters of Pergamum. Baker Academic, 2003.
Martens, Elmer. God’s Design: A Focus on OT Theology, 3rd
Stevenson, Eck & Hill. Psychology & Christianity Integration: Seminal Works that Shaped the Movement, CAPS, 2007 ed.. Bibal Press, 1998.
Young, William. The Shack. Windblown Media, 2007.




MF - 610
Jan 28 to May 13, 2010, Thursdays 6:00-9:00 p.m. Delores Friesen, Ph.D.

There are many ethical and counseling issues in the area of human sexuality, for example: premarital sex, infertility, desire disorders, church discipline for "sexual sins", surrogate mothering, abortion, genetic engineering, gay rights, pornography, sterilization of mentally disabled persons. Choose an issue where you need to develop counseling skills or clarify your own thinking and convictions. Plan some kind of project that will get you in touch with the real life dilemmas behind this issue, e.g. visit the crisis pregnancy center, New Creation, AIDS Center, Rape Counseling Center; or talk with a person who does sexual counseling, prepare and present a Sunday School or youth group session on the issue, survey and critique books, resources, research, current debate, etc. Briefly describe what you did in your project to acquaint yourself with the various facets of the issue then write your position statement. It would be good to also briefly describe alternate positions.

(Note: one of the options for a required paper is a Project/Positional Paper in which Delores Friesen lists 'church discipline for "sexual sins"' as one of the ethical and counseling issues. I'm just a little curious as for the reason she places "sexual sins" in quotation marks, since it almost seems to indicate that sexual problems can't be sinful in nature, that sexual sin is a concept made up by man rather than God. Please do not get the wrong reason for my inclusion of this course on this blog posting. I am not a prude by any means; however, the Bible has all we need to really know about sexual conduct contained within its pages, and sex apart from marriage is always listed as sin, and the sexual act within marriage is pure if practiced according to biblical principles. Why do we need to psychologize sexuality? -BK)


PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries
For the link to the ebook Psychoheresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, click HERE.
Some quotes from the book from page 39:
Unscientific, unsubstantiated, unproven psychological opinions of men have now been leavened into the church through the semantic sorcery of “All truth is God’s truth.” The equating of psychology and theology reveals that the leaven has now come to full loaf.

The terms used for the hoped for hybridizing of the psychological way and the biblical way are integration or amalgamation. The goal is to integrate or amalgamate the truth of Scripture with the so called truth of psychology to produce a hybrid that is superior to the truth of each. However, there is an assumption that psychological “truth” is scientific truth. The faulty foundation of this amalgamation is ‘All truth is God’s truth.” This slogan seems to be the alpha and omega of the amalgamationists.
From page 40:
They talk about it but cannot demonstrate the connection between “all truth is God’s truth” and so-called psychological truth. The lack of uniformity in psychological theories and practices among those who preach integration should prove that theological-psychological amalgamania is in a sad state of confusion.

The use of psychotherapy in Christianity is not a testimony to science. It is a testimony to how much the church can be deceived.



One of Ministry Quest's recommended study books:
  • Learn to Dance the Soul Salsa by Leonard Sweet
For an expose on Leonard Sweet (new age sympathizer) please read:
Leonard Sweet: Quantum Spirituality and a Christ Consciousness

Ministry Quest's recommended reading list:
  • The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney
  • The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
  • Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
  • Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas
  • In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
Guided Ignatian Reflection

Practicing Ignatian Examin

Lectio Divinia

(These last three "resources" are all Roman Catholic practices. Ingnatius of Loyola was a Jesuit priest)

For further reading about the mystical, contemplative spirituality practices:
The Issue of Other Religious Practices as Worship in the Church by Let Us Reason Ministries
Evangelicals Turning to Catholic "Spirituality" by David Cloud
Please Contemplate This by T.A. McMahon
Mysticism - Part 2 by Gary Gilley describes modern mysticism, its roots, its main players and how it came to enter the Christian church today

Friday, October 30, 2009


CURRENTLY IN SERMONS features emergent Rob Bell.

CURRENTLY in BOOKS features The Dark Night: A Gift of God by Daniel P. Schrock
From the review, advocating an unscriptural view of contemplation and meditation (where does scripture say we are to use images to meditate upon God?):
"Central to this work are the concepts of contemplation and meditation, and the difference between them. According to Schrock, we initiate meditation, using images and words, to learn more about God.
God, on the other hand, initiates contemplation and it’s our job to receive his “transforming presence.” By being open to and receiving God’s overtures, the suffering brought on by a dark night can lead to deeper intimacy with Christ."1.

BOOK NOTES features contemplative (author of The Message perversion) Eugene Peterson's book Tell It Slant

Kudos to Peter Hamm of Chilliwack, B.C. for his letter this month (titled "No resemblance") in which he explains why he believes the MB Church family has become disconnected. My sentiments exactly! I thank men of God who are willing to tell it like it is. Where are the Peter Hamm's of this generation?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


MB Biblical Seminary board appoints 8th president. (2nd article on the page)

Please note in the third paragraph that partnership options are being discussed with Fuller Theological Seminary. This shouldn't be any surprise since FTS has also been heavily promoting contemplative spirituality.

The board of directors of MB Biblical Seminary announced the appointment of Franklyn “Lynn” Jost as 8th president of the seminary, for a 2-year period, effective June 1, 2009.

Jost has served as acting president since September 2008. “Lynn is a proven and much-appreciated churchman and Bible teacher,” said Ed Boschman, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.

Jost will lead the seminary through the work of reshaping itself, exploring partnership with other institutions with the goal of strengthening the seminary’s mission while simplifying operations and expanding access to students. Talks have taken place between the seminary and denominational undergraduate schools (Fresno Pacific University, and Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kans.), and partnership options are being discussed with Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Cal.

Jost holds an MDiv from MB Biblical Seminary and a PhD in preaching and Old Testament from Vanderbilt Divinity School. He, with his wife Donna, served for a decade as pastor in California and in Kansas. From 1990–2006, Jost was professor of biblical studies at Tabor College. He has contributed to the life of the MB denomination through work on national and global boards.

“I am glad to lead a seminary that is strongly evangelical….I am pleased to lead a seminary that is also thoroughly Anabaptist,” says Jost.

“We are glad to have Dr. Jost’s leadership in this mission and ask for the strong support, faithful prayer, and generous giving of those the seminary serves to vigorously engage this mission,” said Jack Falk, MBBS board chair. A public inaugural event is planned for November 2009.1.


Emergent /Contemplative Books offered in the issue of the MB Herald:

Changing the Face of Leadership - The Leadership Jump: Building partnerships Between Existing and Emerging Christian Leaders (Book review by Mike Rea, program director for the pro-contemplative "Ministry Quest" program of MB Biblical Seminary)

Spirituality for the Disillusioned by Gayle D. Beebe and Richard J. Foster (Book review by Gerry Ediger, semi-retired professor at Canadian Mennonite University, currently teaching courses in Christian Spirituality)