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Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church/
Mysticism In The Church

 

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Contemplative Prayer Ch. 1 - An Introduction
What it is, how it is practiced, its claimed importance, the introduction to evangelicals, the spread, and the million dollar question.

Carol Brooks

YOU ARE HERE 001orange Chapter I -  An Introduction to Contemplative Prayer: What it is, how it is practiced, its claimed importance, the introduction to evangelicals, the spread, and the million dollar question.

Chapter II -  The Source of The Tradition: Many Christian mystics claim that Contemplative Prayer as it is taught and practiced in the modern church is rooted in the tradition of the Desert Fathers. This is as far from the truth as it gets.

Chapter III - Alpha - An Altered State of Consciousness: Alpha, the "resting state" of the brain, often associated with the transportation to a "higher realm of consciousness" or mystical experience, is harnessed by Buddhist meditators, Hindus, New Agers, Shamans, Witches and 'Christian' mystics alike.

Chapter IV - Summary and Conclusion: Contemplative Prayer is unsupported by Scripture regardless of how many out-of-context verses supporters pull up in the effort to bolster their claims. Besides which, silence is not God's first language, God does not dwell in us, we cannot decide how to approach the Almighty, and Christians may be transformed by pagan practices, but it is a transformation not for the better Finally, if the teachings of the mystics is true, God has been remarkably negligent.

Chapter V - Eastern Meditation Vs Biblical Meditation: Since the words meditate, meditation etc. are not exactly unknown in the Bible, it is imperative that we are aware of the difference between Contemplative Prayer and Biblical meditation.

Chapter VI - Experiencing God: Unfortunately, in this world of 'warm fuzzies' people are obsessed with how they feel. Thus they assume that since they don't feel the presence of God, He must not be there or is simply ignoring them.

Chapter VII - Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, and Thomas Keating: These four influential and very popular teachers of contemplative prayer fraternized with Eastern mystics, embraced the spiritual philosophies and religious practices of Buddhism, Hinduism etc. incorporating them into Christianity. They also endorsed various pagan 'spiritual' books that flatly contradict the Bible. Yet, multiple thousands of people all over the world, including many well known church leaders, have seen fit to suspend all common sense, ignore the many, many warnings in Scripture, and blindly follow the teachings of these wolves.


ON THIS PAGE

Introduction to Contemplative Prayer
Mysticism in The Modern Church:

Contemplative Prayer
 About
The Importance
The Why
The How
Through The Ages
The Introduction to Evangelicals
The Spread
The Million Dollar Question

 

An Introduction to Contemplative Prayer
To paraphrase Kenny Oliver of http://thinkerup.blogspot.com

If you are one of the many modern Christians who stands in awe of what is commonly seen as the deep 'spirituality' of ancient Catholic mystics like the Fathers and Mothers of the desert, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, etc. 

If you envy the connection with the Divine that modern mystics like Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, and Brennan Manning claim to have, chances are you have not taken the time to find out what is behind these people and the practices they endorse and teach.


Mysticism in The Modern Church:

The word mysticism is a combination of mystic and ism. Mystic (Greek mystes) originally referred to an initiate of a mystery religion - one of many secret cults in the Greco-Roman world that offered religious experiences largely unknown in the official public religions.

In today's world, mysticism usually refers to an ecstatic or altered state of consciousness that is often understood as being a religious or spiritual experience. This belief system is wrapped in Christian terminology but rooted in mysticism and the occult.

Very many modern believers are being re-introduced to ancient practices such as Lectio Divina (Latin for 'Divine Reading'), Contemplative Prayer, walking labyrinths etc. as ways to get closer to, and communicate with, "God".

Lectio Divina,
(Latin for Divine or holy reading) is a practice derived from the ancient Roman Catholic monks and hermits called the Mothers and Fathers of the Desert. It is an ancient method of slowly reading the scriptures in a repetitive fashion not, as one might suppose to gain understanding and knowledge through the plain meaning of the words, but in order to (supposedly) open one's mind to what God may be telling the person through the text.

Lectio Divina is supposed to cultivate the ability to listen deeply or, in the words of Benedict - founder of the Benedictine order, to hear "with the ear of our hearts" in order to enter into a conversation with God. As said by the Trinity Episcopal Church.

    The diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart....

    The passage itself is not as important as the savoring of each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the "still, small voice" of a word or phrase that somehow speaks to the practitioner. [01]

Although one or more Biblical passages are used as a starting point, practitioners tend to disconnect these passages from their natural meaning and context and apply them in a subjective and very individualistic way. In other words, the same passage can mean different things to different people which was never how the Bible was intended to be used.

Besides which, as will be shown later in this article, born of the great desire to hear God's voice, the dangers of "listening for the still, small voice" is that what one hears may not be of God at all. Certainly some Hindus believe God speaks when we meditate. See Footnote I


Contemplative Prayer - About
Differing from Lectio Divina only in methodology, Contemplative Prayer or meditation (also known as centering prayer, listening prayer, breath prayer etc.) is one of many mystical practices taught as part of the Contemplative Spirituality movement. It is a belief system that is rooted in mysticism and the occult  wrapped in Christian terminology. It uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness.. The basic premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all).

The word 'prayer' is rather misleading since it does not resemble any prayer in the New Testament. In fact, it is not prayer at all, but a supposed mystical encounter with the Father. In fact the word 'contemplation' is equally misleading. The dictionary meaning of 'contemplation' is to look at attentively and thoughtfully; to consider carefully and at length; to ponder; to view or consider with continued attention.

 However, contemplative prayer teaches practitioners to do exactly the opposite.

Although not meant to replace other kinds of prayer, the basic idea behind Contemplative Prayer is to curtail one's imagination/thought process and totally center one's mind on God - not by conscious thought, but by simply feeling God within. This stillness or "resting in God" as it has been described, is supposed to lead to profound inner peace and tranquility. As said by T.A. McMahon, president and executive director of the Berean Call ministry...  (Emphasis Added)

    "Whereas contemplation normally means to think about something intently or to study it carefully, practitioners of the various contemplative methods do the opposite. The movement's goal is to get people beyond thinking and understanding and into the realm of experiencing. [02]

In the words of author Jan Johnson.

    Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is prayer in which you still your thoughts … this puts you in a better state to be aware of Gods presence, and it makes you better able to hear God's voice correcting, guiding, and directing you. Instead of coming with a "to do" list for God, you come with no agenda. The fundamental idea is to simply enjoy the companionship 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". [03]

The following analogy given by the Catholic Encyclopedia may prove helpful in understanding what is meant.

    Thus it is that in mystical union we feel God within us and in a very simple way. The soul absorbed in mystical union that is not too elevated may be said to resemble a man placed near one of his friends in an impenetrably dark place and in utter silence. He neither sees nor hears his friend whose hand he holds within his own, but through means of touch, he feels his presence. [04]

In other words, Contemplative "Prayer" that promotes the emptying of the mind and the suspension of critical thinking is not prayer at all. It is completely different from Biblical Meditation where one is encouraged to use one's mind to meditate on God, His attributes or His word  (Joshua 1:8; Luke 10:27).  I

In any case, what exactly a "divine union" means is anyone's guess. 


Contemplative Prayer - The Claimed Importance
One cannot understate how important proponents of Contemplative Prayer consider it to be in one's relationship with God. "Adherents are taught that while reason has some value, truly knowing God can only come through experiencing Him" [05]

The Cloud of Unknowing is a 14th century manual on contemplative meditation written by an anonymous English monk in the late fourteenth century, has inspired generations of mystical searchers including John of the Cross and, in more modern times, Teilhard de Chardin, Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Basil Pennington, Abbot Thomas Keating etc. In chapter 23, the author wrote that "although you may not understand why"

    This form of prayer is more pleasing to God than any other form, and it does more good for the church, for the souls in purgatory, for the missionaries than any other form of prayer. [06]

And, in more modern times, the late Brennan Manning, best selling author and once ordained Franciscan priest, went as far as to state (Emphasis Added)

    "Intimate knowledge of God only comes through centering prayer." [07]

Quaker minister Richard J. Foster was not far behind when he stated that the "masters of the interior life" (as he called them) were the only ones who had discovered the true path to spiritual growth.

However, one unfortunate outcome of these teachings is that, as people become more and more immersed in the subjective experiences of these mystical practices, they seem to become less interested in the objective spiritual knowledge found in the Bible. In some circles, studying the Bible, fasting, or praying no longer seem to be considered necessary prerequisites for spiritual growth.


Contemplative Prayer - The Why
I have absolutely no doubt of the truth of Martyn Lloyd-Jones' statement that "Mysticism is also a protest against rationalism and a tendency to over intellectualise the Christian faith..." [08]

A Newsweek article entitled Talking To God said the following

    In "Varieties of Prayer," a study published last year with pollster George H. Gallup Jr., University of Akron sociologist Margaret M. Poloma found that what mattered most to respondents was not frequency of prayer but whether those who prayed experienced inner peace, a feeling of being led by God or other forms of "divine intimacy." [09]

In other words, many people who learn and practice these methods are motivated by a genuine desire to get closer to God. They feel a dryness or barrenness in their spiritual lives that they do not know how to deal with. They are told that these mystical practices and techniques will lead them to an experiential union with the Father and, all too often, what they experience during these practices cause them to believe that this is indeed what occurred.

 It is unfortunate that so many Christians think their relationship with God is only validated by feelings and emotional experiences, which makes them prime targets for the enemy who can easily use experiences to deceive. We forget that the one thing roaring lions cannot do is change the Word of God which is why it alone is the litmus test for all things spiritual.

Our once functioning brains now tell us that as long as we 'feel' right or good about something, it has to be okay. Of course, when our entire culture is obsessed with gratifying self, a 'feeling' of peace or intimacy with God is what matters most. We don't seem to care that the Father Himself said that He always hears the prayers of a righteous man and doesn't hear the prayers of the unrighteous.

A few minutes of clearing our minds and we fondly imagine that any of us can step into His presence.


Contemplative Prayer - The How
 One of the most common Biblical verses cited in support of Contemplative Prayer is Psalm 46:10, "Cease striving and know that I am God" (see next chapter)

The "cease striving" part is supposedly achieved by learning to ignore all exterior distraction and, at the same time, clearing one's mind of all interior distraction so that God's presence may be felt and His voice more easily heard. Practitioners are instructed to follow the following four steps, preferably for twenty minutes - twice a day. Pay close attention to the methods  - they will come up later in the article.

    1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of intention to consent to Gods presence and action within. This 'sacred' word could be something like God, Jesus, Abba, Love, Peace, Faith, Trust, etc. Note some claim that these sacred words are not constantly repeat as mantras, but as a reminder of ones intention to remain open.

    2. Sit comfortably with closed eyes and silently introduce the sacred word. Closing one's eyes is symbolic of letting go of what is going on around and within us.

    3. If distracted by thoughts, feelings, images, memories, etc. gently return to the sacred word. The word "gently" is used to stress using a minimum of effort. Do not try to analyze the experience which is also a distraction.

The goal is to keep practicing until all thoughts and feelings disappear. In his book Open Mind, Open Heart Thomas Keating abbot of St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, CO. says "All thoughts pass if you wait long enough."  Eventually, the practitioner reaches a state of pure consciousness in which the thinking process is suspended. This is supposed to put the person into direct contact with God. As Keating says a little later in the book "As you go down deeper, you may reach a place where the sacred word disappears altogether and there are no thoughts. This is often experienced as a suspension of consciousness, a space".  (Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition. Pages 100 and 126)

    4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence for a couple of minutes with your eyes closed giving yourself time to readjust to the external senses and bring the peacefulness and stillness into your daily life.

Incidentally,Open Mind, Open Heart has sold over half a million copies in English and has appeared in 10 foreign-language editions (Croatian, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesia, Italian, Korean, Polish, and Portuguese).


Contemplative Prayer - Through The Ages
This attraction to mystical practices, which once occupied a tiny corner of the Christian subculture, has moved into the mainstream. More and more organizations, colleges, seminaries and authors are proclaiming the superiority of mystical Christianity [Paraphrased from Mysticism by Gary Gilley]. And they believe that their opinion has deep roots, because Contemplative /Centering Prayer can be traced from and through the earliest centuries of 'Christianity'.  (All Emphasis Added)

    A form of contemplative prayer was first practiced and taught by the Desert Fathers of Egypt, Palestine and Syria including Evagrius, St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great in the West, and Pseudo-Dionysius and the Hesychasts in the East.

    In the Middle Ages, St. Bernard of Clarivaux, William of St. Thierry and Guigo the Carthusian represent the Christian contemplative tradition, as well as the Rhineland mystics, including St. Hildegard, St. Mechtilde, Meister Eckhart, Ruysbroek and Tauler. Later, the author of The Imitation of Christ and the English mystics of the 14th century such as the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Walter Hilton, Richard Rolle, and Julian of Norwich became part of the Christian contemplative heritage.

    After the Reformation, the Carmelites of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of Lisieux; the French school of spiritual writers, including St. Francis de Sales, St. Jane de Chantal and Cardinal Berulle; the Jesuits, including fathers De Caussade, Lallemont and Surin; the Benedictines, like Dom Augustine Baker and Dom John Chapman, and modern Cistercians such as Dom Vital Lehodey and Thomas Merton, all cultivated practices in their lives that they believed led to the spiritual gift of contemplation. [10]

Finally, Contemplative Prayer

    .... was distilled into a simple method of prayer in the 1970’s by three Trappist monks, Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. [11] See Footnote II - How Centering Prayer Began

Largely due to these three men, the ordinary person believes that by learning certain 'techniques', he (or she) to personally experience union with God.


Contemplative Prayer - The Introduction to Evangelicals
Although classical mysticism survived for centuries within small pockets of Roman Catholicism, it went largely unnoticed by evangelicals. That is, until the later 20th century when one man, virtually single handedly, introduced it into the church. In 1978, Quaker minister Richard J. Foster (founder and past president of Renovaré) published Celebration of Discipline, the Path to Spiritual Growth that was "... hailed by Christianity Today as one of the ten best books of the twentieth century and voted by the readers of that magazine as the third most influential book after the Bible".

With this book, Foster introduced the church to the beliefs and practices of the medieval mystics and, in doing so, completely changed the evangelical's understanding of spirituality. He went so far as to declare that the "masters of the interior life", as he called the ancient mystics, [Celebration of Discipline, the Path to Spiritual Growth. Pg. 98] were the only ones who had discovered the true path to spiritual growth.

Over the next few years, Foster managed to convince hundreds of thousands that he was right, assuring them that these practices are "classical" forms of Biblical meditation . (Section paraphrased from "Mysticism" by pastor Gary Gilley.


Contemplative Prayer - The Spread
Once upon a time mystical spirituality was almost the exclusive domain of Catholics, Quakers, and some Orthodox Christians. However, over time, as modern believers became aware of Contemplative Prayer, it infiltrated virtually every corner of the church - rapidly spreading across denominational lines. This is hardly surprising since so very many popular leaders have taken every opportunity to tout Contemplative Prayer as an improved way of communicating with God, and the average believer rarely takes the time and trouble to investigate anything for themselves.

In fact, the pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction that...

    "Mystical practices are now widely embraced and taught in secular and professed Christian seminaries, colleges, universities, organizations, ministries and seminars, etc. throughout the United States. Academic promoters have introduced these practices into the fields of medicine, business and law while countless secular and Christian books, magazines, seminars, and retreats are teaching lay people how to incorporate them into their daily lives. Promoters promise physical, mental and spiritual benefits desiring to bring about positive social change". [12]

Recent books and articles on spirituality are replete with quotations from a large number of Catholic mystics and, of course, Quaker Richard Foster. It is an extremely regrettable fact that whenever well known and respected church leaders directly or indirectly quote teachers of mysticism, it immediately promotes them to the position of legitimate Christian teachers - models to be emulated.

As a very tiny example,

The Evangelicals: Rick Warren promotes "Breath prayers" (No surprises here). In his book The Purpose Driven Church, he says that Richard Foster and Dallas Willard (among others) have "underscored the importance of building up Christians and establishing personal spiritual disciplines" [13]. Rick Warren's wife, Kay Warren, endorses Henri Nouwen's book In the Name of Jesus, saying that she "highlighted almost every word."

The Southern Baptists: David Cloud reported that on a February 2000 research visit in to the Golden Gate Theological Seminary in San Francisco, a Southern Baptist school, he found that

    "most of the required reading materials for the course on "Classics of Church Devotion" are books by Roman Catholic authors. These included Spiritual Exercises by Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits), The Cloud of Unknowing (by an unknown 14th century Catholic monk), New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton (a Catholic convert from Anglicanism), Confessions of Saint Augustine (one of the fathers of the Roman Catholic Church), The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, Selected Works of Bernard of Clairvaux, and The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. [14]

The Emerging Church: Emerging church leader Spencer Burke, founder of the aptly named theooze.com, said

    "I stopped reading from the approved evangelical reading list and began to distance myself from the evangelical agenda. I discovered new authors and new voices at the bookstore-Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and St. Teresa of Avila. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Contemplative spirituality seemed to open up a whole new way for me to understand and experience God. I was deeply moved by works like The Cloud of Unknowing, The Dark Night of the Soul and the Early Writings of the Desert Fathers." [15]

Youth Specialties: Nor have our youth escaped. Organizations like Youth Specialties promote mysticism in a very big way thanks to their co-founder Mike Yaconelli who came across one of Henri Nouwen's book during a spiritually dry time in his life. From a very small beginning in the 60', Youth Specialties has grown to the point that every year they "serve more than 100,000 youth workers worldwide" through their training "seminars, conventions, resources, and online communities". [16]

    "Each conference now offers courses on how to develop a contemplative youth ministry, pray the Lectio Divina (an ancient four-step form of contemplative prayer) and walk the prayer labyrinths". [See "Mysticism" by Gary E. Gilley]

But I have no idea how anyone can trust anything Mike Yaconelli says (See Footnote III)

In an article published on the Youth Specialities web site Mike Perschon, part-time associate pastor of Holyrood. Mennonite Church in Edmonton, Alberta says he was 'captivated' by the concept behind Dallas Willard's Spirit of the Disciplines and "felt a profound sense of joy and excitement" on reading Richard Foster's "spiritual classic" Celebration of Discipline. When working as a high school ministry intern, he conducted a spiritual disciplines retreat that was repeated the following year. He later built himself a prayer room "- a tiny sanctuary in a basement closet filled with books on spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and Christian mysticism". 

    In that space I lit candles, burned incense, hung rosaries, and listened to tapes of Benedictine monks. I meditated for hours on words, images, and sounds. I reached the point of being able to achieve alpha brain patterns, the state in which dreams occur, while still awake and meditating.  [17]

The Seventh Day Adventists have been as susceptible. As one Adventist writes

     It is no secret that some of our scholars, chaplains, and leaders have been trained in the schools of contemplative spirituality. Neither is it a secret that some of those promoting mystical spirituality continue to be invited to our national conferences to speak to our ministers... Books and articles are also being published from our own denominational publishing houses that also promote some practices of contemplative spirituality. [18]


Contemplative Prayer - The Million Dollar Question
While there is little doubt that something does transpire during these mystical practices - the million dollar question is what?

The terminology certainly sounds Biblical. However although Christian practitioners of Contemplative Prayer believe they are getting closer to the God they serve, what they experience is not exclusive to Christianity. In fact, people all over the world, regardless of personal belief, experience exactly the same thing.

Also See Choose Life That You Might Live
Many, if not most, non-Christians assume that Christianity is a "blind faith"... that Christians ignore reality and have unquestioning loyalty to an absolute belief system without proof or evidence. In fact, that they believe contrary to all evidence and facts. Much to the contrary, the Christian faith is a commitment based on evidence. The Judeo-Christian faith consistently stresses the importance of truth, and makes appeal to evidence to support it's truth claims. This evidence includes the Bible's humanly impossible authorship, it's candor about the faults and failings of it's main characters, fulfilled prophecy, and it's archaeological and scientific accuracy... none of which are seen in the books of other religions.

 
Footnote I. Listening Prayer
Sri Chinmoy, a well known Indian-born spiritual leader, once described the difference between prayer and meditation,

    "When I pray, I talk and God listens. When I meditate, God talks and I listen". Meditation is that listening, attentively and in silence, to the voice of the Absolute within us. There is a special way to listen to the Voice of God, and that is to meditate in silence" [19] [PLACE IN TEXT]


Footnote II - How Centering Prayer Began
The contemporary form of centering prayer was discovered, initially taught, and developed while Trappist monk Thomas Keating was serving as abbot of his order's mother house in Spencer. Keating had been very involved in reforms resulting from the Second Vatican Council's call for spiritual renewal in the Catholic Church. He had also observed that young Catholics were leaving the Church in droves to join Hindu ashrams and Buddhist sanghas. In 1971, he attended a meeting of Trappist superiors in Rome. Addressing the monks, the late Pope VI invoked the spirit of Vatican II. The pontiff declared that unless the church rediscovered the contemplative tradition, renewal couldn't take place. He specifically called upon the monastics, because they lived the contemplative life, to help the laity and those in other religious orders bring that dimension into their lives.

Keating came away from the meeting determined to make a contribution. He asked the monks at St. Joseph's to search for a method rooted in Christian tradition that would make contemplative prayer more accessible to those outside the monastery. The novice master at St. Joseph's Abbey, William Meninger, found a simple technique in the 14th-century Anglican classic, The Cloud of Unknowing

Meninger called it the "Prayer of the Cloud" and began teaching the method to retreat participants at the abbey guest house. Another St. Joseph's monk Basil Pennington began teaching it to religious men and women. At the very first workshop given to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Pennington frequently quoted his friend and correspondent Thomas Merton who often used the term "center" when describing prayer in his writings. By the end of the workshop, participants were referring to the technique as "centering prayer." [20]

    Note: The Cloud of Unknowing is widely regarded as a "hallmark of spirituality"and "a contemplative classic on the deep mysteries of faith. It was written by an anonymous English monk in the late fourteenth century and has inspired generations of mystical searchers including John of the Cross and the three men mentioned above. [PLACE IN TEXT]


Footnote III
Mike Yaconelli, co-founder of Youth Specialties, an international organization which trains and equips youth workers around the globe, once said Henri Nouwen's In the Name of Jesus, was one of the two most pivotal book in his life - the other one being When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd. In his words,

     I turned to the bibliography and with my high lighter marked all the books she kept referring to. Then I went out and bought them all until I had this huge stack of books. There were authors like Saint John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, and all these others.  [21]

The "she" he is referring to is Sue Monk Kidd - a well known New Ager who promotes worship of the goddess. In her book The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, she wrote,

    Today I remember that event for the radiant mystery it was, how I felt myself embraced by Goddess, how I felt myself in touch with the deepest thing I am. It was the moment when, as playwright and poet Ntozake Shange put it, "I found god in myself/ and I loved her/ I loved her fiercely" [22] [PLACE IN TEXT]


003white  Continue On To - Chapter II - The Source of The Tradition
Modern practitioners of Contemplative Prayer believe it to be unique to Christianity, largely because Christian mystical teachers claim that Contemplative Prayer is rooted in the tradition of the Desert Fathers. This is as far from the truth as it gets. The fact is that Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, & Sufism, as well as Occult/New Age devotees have long practiced an almost identical form of 'prayer'. Many 'Christian' centering prayer as taught and practised in so much of the church today was learned from Eastern and Occult meditation practitioners. Any differences are superficial at best.


End Notes. Chapter One
[01] Trinity Episcopal Church of Houston. Lectio Divina. http://www.trinitymidtown.org/Education.html

[02] Please Contemplate This by T.A. McMahon. The Berean Call Newsletter, 03/00
http://rejoiceforevermore.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/please-contemplate-this-by-t-a-mcmahon-the-berean-call-newsletter/

[03] Jan Johnson. When the Soul Listens. Publisher: NavPress; 1 edition (October 1, 1999) Pg 16

[04] Poulain, Augustin. "Contemplation." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 10 Jan. 2017. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04324b.htm

[05] Please Contemplate This by T.A. McMahon. The Berean Call Newsletter, 03/00
http://rejoiceforevermore.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/please-contemplate-this-by-t-a-mcmahon-the-berean-call-newsletter/

[06] Interview with Father William Meninger. US Catholic.
http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201311/sit-down-and-be-quiet-how-practice-contemplative-meditation-28077

[07] Brennan Manning, The Gentle Revolutionaries. p. 104

[08] Martyn Lloyd-Jones'. Life in Christ. Page 86 Publisher: Crossway (November 14, 2002)

[09] Kenneth L. Woodward. Talking To God. http://www.newsweek.com/talking-god-197774

[10] Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. Christian Contemplatives and Contemplative Practices Throughout History.
http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/christian-contemplative-tradition

[11] Fr. Carl Arico. Renewing Our Understanding of the Contemplative Tradition. Contemplative Outreach.
http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/article/renewing-our-understanding-contemplative-tradition

[12] Christine A. Narloch. Contemplative Prayer: Seducing Spirits And A Doctrine Of Devils. http://www.earnestlycontend.com/cp.html

[13] Rick Warren. The Purpose Driven Church. Pg. 126. Publisher: Zondervan (November 27, 1995)

[14] David Cloud. Way of Life Literature. Beware of the Ragamuffin Gospel.
https://www.wayoflife.org/reports/beware_ragamuffin_gospel.html

[15] Spencer Burke. From the Third Floor of the Gargage- The Story of Theooze. April 28, 2009
https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/from-the-third-floor-of-the-gargage-the-story-of-theooze/

[16] Youth Specialties . A Quick Look at YS.. https://youthspecialties.com/about/

[17] Mike Perschon. Desert Youth Worker: Disciplines, Mystics, and the Contemplative Life. October 8, 2009.
 http://youthspecialties.com/blog/desert-youth-worker-disciplines-mystics-and-the-contemplative-life/

[18] Samuel Koranteng-Pipim. Trojan Horses: The New Spirituality Movements..
 http://www.adventistsaffirm.org/article/241/previous-issues/volume-23-number-3/trojan-horses-the-new-spirituality-movements

[19] Alan Spence. Hindu meditation. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/ritesrituals/meditation_1.shtml

[20] How Centering Prayer Began. http://www.beliefnet.com/wellness/1999/12/how-centering-prayer-began.aspx

[21] A Conversation With Mike Yaconelli. Interviewed by Michael J. Cusick Copyright © 1995 Mars Hill Review 2 May 1995 · Issue No. 2: pgs 67-87. http://www.leaderu.com/marshill/mhr02/yacon1.html

[22] The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine. Publisher: HarperOne; Rev Upd edition (September 20, 2016) Pg. 158

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