What Your Church Needs to Know Before Doing a Priscilla Shirer Study

We have warned our readers about popular speaker, author and Bible study teacher Priscilla Shirer a number of times (here) for the reason that some of her teaching is dangerous. For one thing, Shirer is a proponent of unbiblical contemplative prayer. In a piece over at Lighthouse Trails, we learn that she’s promoting Jan Johnson who also encourages her followers to adopt practices that stem from Roman Catholic mysticism.

According to LHT: In her book, Invitation to the Jesus Life: Experiments in Christlikeness, Johnson shows her resonance with a number of contemplative figures with quotes by and references to them.  One particular name that jumps out is New Age sympathizer Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

LHT begins with these quotes:

Roman Catholic mystic Teresa of Avila

The repetition [of a word or phrase] can in fact be soothing and very freeing, helping us, as [Roman Catholic mystic] Nouwen says, “to empty out our crowded interior life and create the quiet space where we can dwell with God.”—Jan Johnson, When the Soul Listens, p. 93

Years ago, I got a chance to meet Jan Johnson. . . . I was encouraged and redirected in so many ways. As a young woman trying to navigate the ins and outs of my relationship with the Lord, Ms. Jan spoke wisdom into my life that was extremely pivotal in my life—personally and in ministry.—Priscilla Shirer (emphasis added; http://www.goingbeyond.com/blog/wisbits; quoted in 2010 and still up on Shirer’s website)

This week, our office received a call from a woman who was concerned that her church is going to be doing a study using material by Priscilla Shirer. Our caller wanted to get some information she can show her pastor as to why her church should not be doing a Priscilla Shirer study. Because Priscilla Shirer is a contemplative proponent, we concur with our caller’s concerns. In John Lanagan’s booklet,  Beth Moore & Priscilla Shirer – Their History of Contemplative Prayer, Lanagan shows how both Moore and Shirer have been advocates of contemplative spirituality for quite some time. In that booklet, and this is what we want to focus on in this article, Lanagan discusses a woman named Jan Johnson. Because Priscilla Shirer embraces and has gleaned spiritually from Johnson, we need to take a closer look at what Johnson believes.

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