Contemplative prayer (also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation or listening prayer) is one of the most esteemed spiritual disciplines taught in spiritual formation. In both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer. Practitioners believe that one must clear the mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may more easily be heard and that one may be united with the “divine spark” within.
Advocates of contemplative prayer believe and teach that it is a necessary practice if one desires to become more like Christ. In claiming this, however, they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.
Contemplative Prayer is a prayer of silence, an experience of God’s presence as the ground in which our being is rooted, the Source from whom our life emerges at every moment…. Contemplative Prayer is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. We open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing – closer than consciousness itself.1
Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is prayer in which you still your thoughts and emotions and focus on God Himself. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God’s presence, and it makes you better able to hear God’s voice correcting, guiding, and directing you…. The fundamental idea is simply to enjoy the companionshp of God, stilling your own thoughts so you can listen should God choose to speak. For this reason, contemplative prayer is sometimes referred to as ‘the prayer of silence.’2
At a glance
|Contemplative Prayer||Biblical Prayer|
|Practice & Technique||
Seeks to empty the mind and enter an altered state of consciousness by:
Instructs one to sit in silence, waiting and listening to hear from God:
“Yet God speaks in many ways. We need to learn to listen for His voice. Normally, His voice is not audible … but I wouldn’t want to exclude that possibility. Who am I to say how God will choose to speak?”5
Prays according to the Scriptures. Micah 7:7; Ps. 4:3; 1 John 5:14, 15
Prays with both spirit and mind, not one or the other. 1 Cor 14:15
Talks to God the Father (Phil. 4:6) through Jesus Christ (John 16:23) in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Understands that what God has revealed in His Word is sufficient; new revelation is unnecessary. 2 Tim. 3:16–17
Seeks to experience God in an inexplicable way, often describing the believer’s relationship with God in erotic or romantic terms.
“There are many terms that seek to capture this dynamic … they all are attempts to capture the same thing: the movement beyond words to an intimacy that requires no words. This intimacy is the kind that lovers know when they give themselves over to the act of lovemaking.”6
Desires to achieve a “God-consciousness” and a unity with God:
“He [God] wants to bring us further, to a transformation of consciousness, to unity-consciousness, to a full possession of our divinization.”7
[T]he place to which we are going is one in which the knower, the knowing, and that which is known are all one. Awareness alone remains. The one who is aware disappears along with whatever was the object of consciousness. This is what divine union is.”8
Expects to hear from God, usually through an inner voice or prompting:
“Growing intimacy requires that I pay careful attention to the other person. When that other is God, it’s necessary to still my own voice and listen in quietness. Then I can detect the gentle whispers of the Spirit. Too often we fail to hear God speak because we are not attentively listening.”9
Understands that prayer is ultimately a form of worship. It should glorify God alone. John 14:13, 14
Understands that prayer is an act of reverence, approaching the very throne of God to receive mercy and find grace. Heb. 4:16
Acknowledges and humbles oneself before the holy God of the universe. Prayer should affirm God’s sovereignty and majesty. Matt. 6:9
“Everything in prayer revolves around who God is, what God wants, and how God is to be glorified. That is the sum and substance of proper praying.”10
The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2–4) offers a model of how Christians ought to pray as it “emphasizes the glory and supremacy of God.”11
Purposes to confess sin and acknowledge our position before God as rebellious sinners (e.g., Dan. 9:5–11; Matt. 6:12): “We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment.”12
Desires to align and submit our will to God’s. Ps. 86:11; Matt. 6:10; John 15:7; John 16:23; 1 John 5:14
“While God communicates to us through the Bible, we respond to Him in prayer.”13
Effects of Contemplative Prayer
As noted in the Spiritual Formation research article, the spiritual disciplines are rooted in unbiblical origins. In his book The Sacred Way, Emergent theologian Tony Jones acknowledges that “Centering Prayer grew out of the reflections and writings of the Desert Fathers.”14 These Desert Fathers, however, did not appear until the third century AD, long after the time of Jesus and His Apostles.
Contemplative prayer presupposes that the Christian must seek outside of Scripture to hear all that God is saying, thus Scripture loses its position as the final, authoritative Word from God. The following quotes are from Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, respectively, who are both leading teachers of contemplative prayer:
Many discussions about hearing God’s voice speak of three points of reference, also called ‘three lights’ that we can consult in determining what God wants us to do. These are circumstances, impressions of the Spirit and passages from the Bible. When these three things point in the same direction, it is suggested that we be sure the direction they point is the one God intends for us.15
Only the Bible as a whole can be treated as the written Word of God…. In any case we must certainly go beyond, though never around, the words of the Bible to find out what God is speaking to us.16
Yet, Scripture itself informs us of its sufficiency (2 Tim. 3:16–17), and of God’s final word and revelation to us in Christ (Heb. 1:1–2).
While one may indeed “hear” from an entity in the spiritual realm, the voices heard, or impressions received, may not always be from God:
There are other ‘spiritual voices,’ too…. Satan … too will speak in our heart once he sees he no longer holds us in his hand. Only if we learn to recognize this voice as well can we … correctly identify and firmly resist him and make him flee from us (1 Pet. 5:9; Eph. 6:11).17
I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.18
The Christian, however, is told to resist the devil (Jas. 4:7). This would necessarily include rejecting any practice which may engage one in direct communication with the Enemy and his servants.
Commonly Misused Verses
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Ps. 46:10
It is the first half of this verse that is most commonly abused by advocates of contemplative prayer. Psalm 46:10a may also be rendered as “Cease striving and know that I am God…” as it is in the NASB. The context of this verse is one of war and conflict.
“The verb ‘Be still’ (Hebrew, rapah) is used 46 times in the Old Testament with meanings everywhere from describing laziness to ordering relaxation…. In no biblical usage or context does the Hebrew verb enjoin God’s people to meditate or contemplate. Rather, believers are to rest and trust in God.”19 “This is not a contemplative call for reflection but a redemptive call to surrender and to know God personally and intimately before his swift judgment is unleashed (Hab. 2:20; Zeph. 1:7; Zech. 2:13).”20
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. Ps. 62:1
This verse is used by contemplatives to support the practice of silent waiting before the Lord. However, understood in context, this verse offers a picture of submitting oneself to the Lord, trusting in and waiting patiently for Him to act according to His will. “Only to God did [David] look with complete calmness.”21 “Psalm 62 is not a call to unexpressed contemplation, but rather a song of expressed confidence…. The psalmist is not providing an example for retreating into silence. Rather he is telling fellow believers to go to God.”22
The “Divine Spark”
Practitioners and teachers of contemplative prayer often maintain that inside all humans there is a “spark of the divine.” Hence, the purpose of contemplative prayer is to become aware of – and connect with – this inner divinity:
Although God lives in the souls of men who are unconscious of Him, how can I say that I have found Him and found myself in Him if I never know Him or think of Him, never take any interest in Him or seek Him or desire His presence in my soul?23
Contemplative prayer is a process of inner transformation, a conversation initiated by God and leading, if we consent, to divine union. One’s way of seeing reality changes in the process. A restructuring of consciousness takes place which empowers one to perceive, relate and respond with increasing sensitivity to the divine presence in, through, and beyond everything that exists.24
This teaching of a “divine spark” existing in all humans contradicts both the biblical doctrine of original sin and the fact that, without Christ, all men are dead in their trespasses and sin (Rom. 3:10–18; 3:23). Pastor Larry DeBruyn teaches:
Absent birth by the Holy Spirit from above, any mystical assumption that the human heart possesses a divine essence, a resident kingdom of God within, does not accord with Jesus’ teaching and is therefore, heretical (Compare Mark 7:14-23.). In order to either “see” or “enter the kingdom of God” a person must be born from above. In his teaching, Jesus spoke of persons entering the kingdom. But He did not speak of a kingdom of God residing in people. The New Birth, the requirement for entering the kingdom of God, comes from without a human soul, not from within it.25
Parallels to Practices of Eastern Religions
While contemplative prayer mirrors the practices of the Desert Fathers, as noted above, it may also be viewed as a “Christianized” version of what is known as Transcendental Meditation (TM). TM has its roots in Hinduism,26 and was brought to the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1959.27 Maharishi states:
Through Transcendental Meditation, the mind unfolds its potential for unlimited awareness, transcendental awareness, Unity Consciousness.28
This is strikingly similar to several of the quotations cited above, wherein proponents of contemplative prayer would have the practitioner still himself so as to become more aware of God within.
In their book Finding Grace at the Center, Roman Catholic monks Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington write:
We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and “capture” it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible…. Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to find inner form and meaning to the resulting experiences.29
Persisting in such practices as transcendental meditation invariably will lead to universalism, as pastor-teacher Ken Silva demonstrates in his article Meditating on Contemplative/Centering Prayer.
Furthermore, Scripture unambiguously instructs the Christian to refrain from pagan practices (Lev. 18:3; Deut. 18:12; 1 Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8). The Christian has been called out of the darkness of the sinful world and its man-made religions, and is called instead to be set apart in Christ (1 Pet. 2:9–12; Phil. 3:20).
On the Dangers of Contemplative Prayer
- Contemplative Prayer
- Who Goes There? Encountering Voices in the Quiet of Contemplative Prayer
- Meditating on Contemplative/Centering Prayer, Part 1
- Meditating on Contemplative/Centering Prayer, Part 2
- On Theosis, or Divinization
- Sacred Reading (Lectio Divina)
- A Time of Departing
On Biblical Prayer
- “The Lord’s Prayer” in Luther’s Small Catechism
- When You Pray, Say…
- For Thine is the Kingdom
- The Disciples’ Prayer
- The Theology of Prayer: What is Prayer?
- Center for the Contemplative Mind in Society. ↩
- Jan Johnson, When the Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer, (NavPress: 1999). ↩
- Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, (InterVarsity Press: 2006), 76. ↩
- Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel, (Continuum International Publishing Group: 2002), 45. ↩
- Richard Foster, 5 Misconceptions That Hinder Prayer. ↩
- Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, (InterVarsity Press: 2006), 68. ↩
- M. Basil Pennington, Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form, (Random House Digital: 1982). ↩
- Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel, (Continuum International Publishing Group: 2002), 74. ↩
- Bruce Demarest, Satisfying Your Soul, Restoring the Heart of Christian Spirituality, (NavPress: 1999), 108-109. ↩
- John MacArthur, Steps to Successful Prayer, Part 2. ↩
- John MacArthur, Steps to Successful Prayer, Part 4. ↩
- Martin Luther, The Small Catechism. ↩
- Gary Gilley, Contemplative Prayer↩
- Tony Jones and Phyllis Tickle, The Sacred Way, (Zondervan: 2005), 70. ↩
- Dallas Willard, Hearing God, (InterVarsity Press: 1999), 170. ↩
- Dallas Willard, Hearing God, (InterVarsity Press: 1999), 167. ↩
- Dallas Willard, Hearing God, (InterVarsity Press: 1999), 181. ↩
- Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (HarperCollins, 1992), 157. ↩
- Larry DeBruyn, Be Still. ↩
- Steven J. Lawson, Holman Old Testament Commentary: Ps. 1–75, ed. Max Anders, (B&H Publishing: 2003), 246. ↩
- Walvoord, John F., Roy B. Zuck, and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, (Victor Books: 1985), vol. 1, 839. ↩
- Larry DeBruyn, Should We Wait in Silence?. ↩
- Thomas Merton and Sue Monk Kidd, New Seeds of Contemplation, (New Directions Publishing: 2007), 43. ↩
- Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel, (Continuum International Publishing Group: 2002), 4. ↩
- Larry DeBruyn, The Essence Within: Divinity or Depravity? ↩
- Hinduism Worldwide, “Creator of Transcendental Meditation – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi”. ↩
- Koppel, Lily. 2008. “Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Spiritual Leader, Dies.” New York Times, February 6. ↩
- The Transcendental Meditation Program, accessed 6 June 2012. ↩
- Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington, Finding Grace at the Center, (Skylight Paths Publishing: 2007), 31. ↩
Spiritual formation is the process of apparent spiritual development through engaging in a set of behaviors, termed disciplines. Advocates believe these disciplines help shape the character of the practitioner into the likeness of Christ.
Though superficially similar to discipleship, spiritual formation is not merely concerned with biblical exhortation and instruction in orthodox doctrine, but also with the teaching of “many practices that opened [the believer] to the presence and direction of God, and nurtured the character traits of Christ into fruition”.1
The Renovaré website states:
Spiritual formation is a process, but it is also a journey through which we open our hearts to a deeper connection with God. We are not bystanders in our spiritual lives, we are active participants with God, who is ever inviting us into relationship with him.2
William Menninger discovers the book, The Cloud of Unknowing:
In 1974, Father William Meninger, a Trappist monk and retreat master at St. Josephs Abbey in Spencer, Mass. found a dusty little book in the abbey library, The Cloud of Unknowing. As he read it he was delighted to discover that this anonymous 14th century book presented contemplative meditation as a teachable, spiritual process enabling the ordinary person to enter and receive a direct experience of union with God.3
Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington and others who were students of Menninger disseminate these teachings.4
Richard Foster writes The Celebration of Discipline.
This book launched spiritual formation into mainstream evangelicalism, and continues to be used today.
In The Celebration of Discipline, Foster shares the practices of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches that originated with the Desert Mothers and Fathers.
The Celebration of Discipline presents spiritual formation as attainable through the “spiritual disciplines.”
These disciplines are seen as a means of growing in spiritual maturity and depth. “In fact, the implication was that without the use of these ancient contemplative methods true ‘spiritual formation’ was not possible.”5
Dallas Willard, a close associate of Richard Foster, writes The Spirit of the Disciplines. This book “reveals how the key to self-transformation resides in the practice of the spiritual disciplines, and how their practice affirms human life to the fullest.”6
The Spirit of the Disciplines is based on Willard’s understanding of Matt. 11:29–30. Willard teaches that the “yoke” spoken of by Jesus in this passage is to attempt to emulate the life of Christ in every way possible. Willard teaches that this emulation occurs through the practice of the disciplines.7 (For a comprehensive teaching on this passage in Matthew, read or listen to Dr. John MacArthur’s sermon, Jesus’ Personal Invitation, Part 2.)
Richard Foster founds Renovaré. This organization seeks “to resource, fuel, model, and advocate more intentional living and spiritual formation among Christians and those wanting a deeper connection with God. A foundational presence in the spiritual formation movement for over 20 years, Renovaré is Christian in commitment, ecumenical in breadth, and international in scope.”8
- The ideas presented by Foster and Willard continue to be propagated through the works and teachings of others.
Spiritual formation is a primary teaching found in what has come to be known as the emerging church. Brian McLaren, a key leader in that movement, has acknowledged that both Foster and Willard are considered “key mentors for the emerging church.”9
According to proponents of spiritual formation, various “spiritual disciplines” must be practiced in order to experience true spiritual growth:
Christian spiritual formation is a God-ordained process that shapes our entire person so that we take on the character and being of Christ himself.
Properly employed…these disciplines help us attain increasing levels of spiritual maturity so that we respond to our life circumstances with the mind of Christ.10
In his book, The Celebration of Discipline, as well as on his Renovaré website, Richard Foster lists these disciplines as:11
- Entering into a “listening silence” in order to “hear God’s voice.” Similar to the meditation of Eastern religions.
- An “interactive conversation” with God. Practiced as contemplative prayer.
- “The voluntary denial of an otherwise normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity.”
- “The mind taking on an order conforming to the order of whatever we concentrate upon.”
- “The joyful unconcern for possessions we experience as we truly ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness’ (Matt 6:33).”
- A “state of mind” for one to be “found by God and freed from competing loyalties.”
- Letting “go of the burden of always needing to get our own way.”
- “A pattern of service as a lifestyle…At the center is found a contentment in hiddenness, indiscriminancy.”
- Confession of sin to other professing believers.
- “Entering into the supra-natural experience of the Shekanyah, or glory, of God.”
- Learning to “heed the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus.” “It is the perception that we have heard the Kol Yahweh, the voice of God.”
- Celebrating God in all facets of life.
Since the disciplines are not defined in Scripture, no concrete, definitive list is available. Consequently, Willard notes that we should not “assume that our particular list will be right for others.”12 This confirms the subjective nature of these practices.
Despite assertions that the spiritual disciplines are “God-ordained,”13 they are in fact derived from the practices of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox mystics.14 These practices are contrary to the biblical theology fought for in the Reformation.
Gary Gilley asks:
Do we, as believers in Sola Scriptura, take our marching orders from the written Word, or do we look to the ‘white spaces’ in Scripture to determine how we live?15
In other words, are we to turn to mystical, subjective ascetic practices, or do we rely upon the objective truth of God’s Word?
Bob DeWaay contends:
The Bible nowhere describes an inward journey to explore the realm of the spirit. God chose to reveal the truth about spiritual reality through His ordained, Spirit-inspired, biblical writers.16
Unbiblical view of man’s condition
Spiritual formation teaches that man possesses innate goodness, but that his fallen state of sin is a result of “deprivation” or “spiritual starvation.” Thus, the disciplines help to feed, mature and grow man’s spirituality. In his Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard states:
The evil that we do in our present condition is a reflection of a weakness caused by spiritual starvation. When Jesus prayed on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” he was not just being generous to his killers; he was expressing the facts of the case. They really did not know what they were doing. As St. Augustine so clearly saw, the deranged condition of humankind is not, at bottom, a positive fact, but a deprivation. It is one that results in vast positive evils, of course, yet depravity is no less a horror because it stems from a deficiency, and people are no less responsible for it and its consequences.17
Rather than having an innate ability for good, Scripture teaches that, due to the Fall, man is innately depraved (Rom. 3:11–18, 23, 5:8; Eph. 2:1) and his heart is wicked (Jer. 17:9).
Invented practices made binding upon Christians
Spiritual disciplines are not commanded in Scripture. To impose practices not commanded in Scripture as necessary for spiritual maturity is to undermine and deny the sufficiency of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
In spite of the absence of an explicit command in Scripture to practice these disciplines, leaders like Dallas Willard continue to assert their necessity:
The disciplines are activities of mind and body purposefully undertaken, to bring our personality and total being into effective cooperation with the divine order. They enable us more and more to live in a power that is, strictly speaking, beyond us, deriving from the spiritual realm itself, as we “yield ourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness unto God,” as Romans 6:13 puts it.
The necessity for such disciplines comes from the very nature of the self in the image of God, discussed earlier. Once the individual has through divine initiative become alive to God and his Kingdom, the extent of integration of his or her total being into that Kingdom order significantly depends upon the individual’s initiative.18
Though Dallas Willard admits that the Bible does not command that these disciplines be followed, he nevertheless argues that they were practiced among members of the early church. Bob DeWaay summarizes Willard’s argument regarding Paul’s silence as being that he “did not write about the spiritual disciplines because everyone was practicing them.”19 He further states:
Spiritual disciplines are man-made, amorphous, and not revealed in the Bible; they assume that one is saved by grace and perfected by works.”20
The Apostle Paul writes against such ascetic practices. In Col. 2:20–23, Paul rebukes the idea of relying on fleshly practices to grow in holiness. Gal. 3:3 reads: “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected in the flesh?”
Though proponents like Richard Foster and Dallas Willard claim that spiritual formation has been practiced since the early days of the church, Foster admits that the term “spiritual formation” did not appear in evangelical vocabulary until he ushered it into the mainstream in the 1970s with The Celebration of Discipline:
By now enough water has gone under the Christian Spiritual Formation bridge that we can give some assessment of where we have come and what yet needs to be done. When I first began writing in the field in the late 70s and early 80s the term “Spiritual Formation” was hardly known, except for highly specialized references in relation to the Catholic orders. Today it is a rare person who has not heard the term. Seminary courses in Spiritual Formation proliferate like baby rabbits. Huge numbers are seeking to become certified as Spiritual Directors to answer the cry of multiplied thousands for spiritual direction. And more.”21
Possibility of real spiritual experiences not from God
Richard Foster himself has offered warnings when it comes to practicing some of the disciplines. In regard to the practice of contemplative prayer, which is a type of meditation, Foster, in his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, writes:
I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way!….
…But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.22
When seeking to “hear from God,” there is no biblical guidance as to how one may determine exactly who or what is communicating. Foster himself notes that not only could one be deceived by Satan, but one may also mistake one’s own imagination or “human voices” for the voice of God.
Learning to distinguish the voice of God…from just human voices within us…comes in much the same way that we learn any other voice. Satan pushes and condemns. God draws and encourages. And we can know the difference.23
Though Foster provides criteria for determining just who or what is speaking, there is no biblical support for the specifications he provides. He implies that God will always speak in a positive manner, yet there are multiple instances in Scripture when God speaks negatively to His people. About Foster’s comments in the above-referenced Be Still DVD, Pastor Larry DeBruyn writes:
Assuming that God speaks Soul to soul today, what if Foster’s paradigm for determining “the voice” were reversed; that the negative voice is God’s, and the positive is Satan’s? It happened that way in the Garden. God warned Adam and Eve that for disobedience to God, “you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17), but Satan reassuringly told Adam and Eve, “You surely shall not die!” (Genesis 3:4). The point is that when engaging meditative spirituality, the contemplator can never be certain who will speak, and as a consequence, the experience can become the spawning ground for myriads of flashy ideas based solely upon, “he heard this,” or “she heard that.” And at that juncture, Christians and the church will have turned aside “to myths” (2 Timothy 4:4).24
Deception is rampant, and unbiblical, mystical practices may offer people an actual spiritual experience, though not one that originates from the true and living God. To ignore the boundaries of Scripture is to open oneself up to danger.
On Richard Foster
- Who Is Richard Foster?
- Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
- Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster
On Dallas Willard
- The Spiritual Disciplines of Dallas Willard Destroyed
- Delusions of Dallas Willard
- Book Review: Hearing God, by Dallas Willard
On sola scriptura
- The Nature and Sufficiency of Scripture
- The Sufficiency of Scripture, Part 1
- The Sufficiency of Scripture, Part 2
- Sola Scriptura
- Introduction to Mysticism
- Contemporary Christian Divination: The False Claims and Practices of Christian Mystics
- Understanding the New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind
- Bruce Demarest, Satisfy Your Soul: Restoring the Heart of Christian Spirituality (NavPress, 1999), 24. ↩
- http://www.renovare.us/SPIRITUALRENEWAL/WhyBecomeLikeJesus/Whatisspiritualformation/tabid/2572/Default.aspx, accessed 16 May 2012. ↩
- ContemplativePrayer.net. ↩
- Gary Gilley, Spiritual Formation. Dr. Gary Gilley is pastor of Southern View Chapel in Springfield, IL. ↩
- Gary Gilley, Spiritual Formation. ↩
- http://store.renovare.us/p-27-the-spirit-of-the-disciplines.aspx, accessed 16 May 2012. ↩
- Bob DeWaay, The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines. Bob DeWaay is a Christian apologist and founder of Critical Issues Commentary. ↩
- http://www.renovare.us/WHOWEARE/WhatisRenovaré/tabid/2475/Default.aspx, accessed 16 May 2012. ↩
- Brian McLaren, “The Emergent Mystique,” Christianity Today, November 2004. ↩
- Richard J. Foster and Gayle D. Beebe, Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion (InterVarsity Press, 2009), 15, 16. ↩
- All quotations within these definitions are from http://www.renovare.us/SPIRITUALRENEWAL/PracticingLikeJesus/WhyPracticeLikeJesus/tabid/2518/Default.aspx and linked pages, accessed 16 May 2012. ↩
- Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines, 157. ↩
- Richard Foster, Renovaré Newsletter, http://www.renovare.us/ViewNewsLetter/tabid/2404/Default.aspx?ID=71, May 2003. ↩
- Gary Gilley, Spiritual Formation. ↩
- Gary Gilley, Spiritual Formation. ↩
- Bob DeWaay, Richard Foster – Celebration of Deception. ↩
- Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines, (HarperCollins, 1990), 63–64. ↩
- Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines, (HarperCollins, 1990), 68. ↩
- Bob DeWaay, The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines. ↩
- Bob DeWaay, The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines. ↩
- Richard Foster, Spiritual Formation: A Pastoral Letter. ↩
- Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (HarperCollins, 1992), 157. ↩
- Richard Foster, Be Still, Fear of Silence (DVD © Twentieth Fox Home Entertainment LLC, 2006). Transcript courtesy of Larry DeBruyn, Who Goes There? ↩
- Larry DeBruyn, Who Goes There? ↩
CRN articles about Contemplative Spirituality
- Rick Warren gets bolder in promoting breath prayer
- IHOP – Feeding the Undiscerning
- Adult Coloring and Meditation – What Every Christian Should Know
- “Psst…Lectio Divina…Your Mysticism is Showing”
- The Passion of the Presence and the Purpose of the Passion
- Be Still
- The Origin of Contemplative/Centering Prayer
- The Dangers of Contemplative Prayer
- AWANA Now Teaching Children to Hear the Voice of God
- Brazil sees its first civil union — between three women
- Ignatian Spirituality Conference: Jesuits call for the contemplative silence
- Brian Brodersen Now Promoting Contemplative Mysticism?
- Biblical Discipleship vs. Right Now Media
- Hillsong Sponsoring Contemplative Alpha – Allows Catholic Mass at Conference
- Contemplative Prayer or the Holy Spirit – It Can’t Be Both
- Biola University – Going . . . Going . . . Gone As President Takes Sabbatical At Catholic Contemplative Monastery
- Revealing Quotes by Influential Contemplatives
- Taizé Worship – Growing in Popularity, But Roots Are in Mystical Monasticism
- Beth Moore Praises Brother Lawrence and Obscures the Reformation
- Spiritual Disciplines and the Appearance of Wisdom
- Kids at Risk: AWANA Continuing Down the Emergent Road
- The Mission of the Church is to Preach the Gospel
- What Your Church Needs to Know Before Doing a Priscilla Shirer Study
- Christian meditation: what’s Biblical and what’s not
- Mindfulness is the New Transcendental Meditation
- Remembering the enticing appeal of Richard Foster and Beth Moore’s Be Still film
- Is Mindfulness Christian?
- Finding God’s will is no deep dark secret
- The low-information evangelical, part 2
- The low-information evangelical, part 1
- Need help exchanging “whispers with God”?
- IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle: Powerful evangelist for contemplative prayer
- War Room’s Priscilla Shirer’s Contemplative History, and Why It Matters
- Tim Keller promotes Catholic mystic, rejects Genesis 1 as literal truth
- No Compromise Ever: Episode 2
- Reformed contemplative at Liberate 2014/One Way Love Conference
- Going Against God “Just for Fun”
- Christians Mystically Encountering God
- Mike Bickle Admits Catholic Contemplative Influence on IHOP-KC
- An Overview of Lectio Divina by Dr. Gary Gilley
- Jesus: The Illumined Illuminator
- M. Scott Peck: Community and the Cosmic Christ
- Got Meat? By Marsha West
- Can't Hear God Speak? Repent, says Henry Blackaby
- An Open Letter of Repentance To All Whom I Have Taught or Endorsed The Teachings of Henry Blackaby or Beth Moore
- Hello, My Name Is Amanda, and I Was a False Teacher
- Mindfulness For Children: Buddhism For Tots
- Beth Moore Entering the Silence
- Onward Followers of the Christ!? – Emerging into the light?
- Psalm 46:10 Does Not Teach Contemplative/Centering Prayer
- On John Piper Hearing from God
- More on Piper and Lectio Divina
- Christian-Yoga Studio Owner Claims No Compromise of Faith?
- Are Spiritual Disciplines the same as Spiritual Formation?