Archive for April 29th, 2008

This podcast breaks from our new format. Its just me on it, and I take some quotes from the character Angela from the television show The Office and apply what we see there to the American evangelical church. I think this is instructive because this character is the only evangelical Christian on the show and though, like all the characters, she’s over the top, it does give us a little peek at how those outside the church view us.

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icon for podpress  Justice and Mercy #34 - The Angela Project: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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The myth of the American church of the 50’s blown up:
A taste:

It was what more sober church people might have expected. The church of the fifties had generally identified itself with civic purposes such as patriotism and moral respectability, along with national recuperation and prosperity. As those purposes began to wear thin, like a good-luck coin fingered too long in the pants pocket, could one doubt that a broad search for new purposes would commence? And not merely at the national or hierarchical level?

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Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).




Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.


I am convinced that the ODM’s can be likened to the Political Correctness movement that has become so popular (and abused) in liberal circles and on college campuses.  Political correctness on its good side brings awareness to the things we say and how they may affect others.  On the greater down side, or the manner in which it has been abused is the manner in which it is a form of censorship.  We’ve all heard the stories.


Above are two statements from Lighthouse Trails Research – an ODM site.  Both of which serve as an example of ODM’s abusive tactics of PC.  In the former quote, a definition of Contemplative Spirituality is offered with the stated goal of inducing an altered state of consciousness.  The case seems closed – except for that fact that none on the list that I saw encourage an altered state of consciousness in the same manner as Eastern Mysticism.  “Silence” is not tantamount to an altered state.  It is a classical example of inserting all manner of meanings into words that were never intended thus.  Are there those who employ contemplation as a way to induce an altered state? – Yes.  Is it therefore axiomatic that any who encourage contemplation or contemplative methods do the same – of course not.  Contrary to their definitive statement:  Contemplative Spirituality MAY be pantheistic/panentheistic… to say it IS, is incorrect, sloppy, and probably misleads many who think the site inquestion site employs accurate definitions.


This leads to the second quote, which builds on the false definitions of the first – the result is to outlaw spiritual formation in the church.  ODM Correctness in action.

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he actually has a sense of humor!


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