Denominational Leaders’ Day

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On Friday, November 25th you are invited to attend a seminar session on the subject:
Maintaining Spiritual Vitality in Ministry

This will be hosted by Gary Thomas, bestselling author of Thirsting for God, Pure Pleasure and Sacred Pathways.

Cost is $30 per person which will cover supplies and lunch.

All the details are available by clicking here.

17 replies
  1. Chad Eddy
    Chad Eddy says:

    Hey guys. It’s a great thing you have planned here! I think it will go very well! Unfortunately, I can’t come because I’ll be at work. Any chance of these types of events happening on Saturdays in the future?

  2. Dick Leppky
    Dick Leppky says:

    Why would you invite a guy who promotes the COUNTER reformist Romanist mystics? Just another emergent move?

    • Communications
      Communications says:

      Hi Dick,

      Perhaps you could be a little more specific? What is the essence of your concern?

      I watched some of the videos Gary has posted to Vimeo. While they don’t go deep (they’re basically promos for the books in which I presume he would go deeper), I don’t see anything controversial presented there, particularly in an emergent vs. resurgent dynamic.

      You can see them here:

  3. Baker
    Baker says:

    I think we need another reformation Dick… from the papacy of extreme Biblicism. If that is what emergent is than I guess I’m on the bus. LOL

    I have heard a lot about Thomas I wish that I could make it.

    • Communications
      Communications says:

      Great suggestion, Jack!

      At this time, I don’t think that’s been a consideration for the event. I will pass it on to TWS.

  4. Dick Leppky
    Dick Leppky says:

    Re ‘Hi Dick’ & ‘Baker’ Maybe you can ask Gary but it seems to me he has already revealed himself (and Dr Young/SBC) a contemplative mystic promoter in his previous books (Sacred Pathways/Sacred Marriage). Referring to RC mystics as “sacred brothers and sisters” is just the edge of the wedge.(ie; McPherson Oliver’s book, Conjugal Spirituality is considered a primer on tantric sex etc.) Furthermore, recommending people to repeat a single word for twenty minutes (as a mantra) borders on the various Hindu/New Age nonsense that is the ’emerging’ movement of new liberalism clawing it’s way into (what use to be) the Evangelical churhes.
    For Baker’s sake, I’ll refrain from the dozens of Scriture that warns of this kind of ‘Ambiguous Gospel’ before He returns.

  5. Kevin Corbin
    Kevin Corbin says:

    We don’t need —another— reformation, even the reformer’s cry of semper reformanda tells us that we should always be reforming. The process is never finished we just forget that sometimes we are called to be part of it.

  6. Scott Myers
    Scott Myers says:

    Dick is right on in his assessment.

    Gary Thomas advocates contemplative prayer in his book Sacred Pathways. On page 185 Gary writes about contemplative prayer, stating:

    “It is particularly difficult to describe this type of prayer in writing, as it is best taught in person. In general however, centering prayer works like this: Choose a word (Jesus or Father, for example) as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing.

    Yikes, if this doesn’t contradict Jesus Christ when he states: “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose they will be heard for their many words,” (Matt 6: 7 NASB) I don’t know what does.

    Thanks Dick for your discernment and willingness to speak up about this issue.

    • Communications
      Communications says:

      Wow, Scott. What you have actually said here is that “Jesus” repeated over and over is meaningless. Thus you are implying that the name Jesus does not contain sufficient meaning to make repeating it, meditating on it, a valuable exercise. Surely you don’t really believe that?

      Furthermore you’ve applied the admonishment against “meaningless repetition” and “many words” to Gary’s one word containing perhaps the profoundest spiritual significance.

      Meditation is mentioned several times in the Bible, and is clearly presented as something we should do. I can’t see that concentration on Jesus or the Father could ever be seen as a bad thing. I would love to have you take another crack at expressing your opinion, because I cannot understand your perspective or your concern.

  7. Scott Myers
    Scott Myers says:

    Hi Brad –

    Thank you for your response to my post. Meditation is clearly something we as believers are called to do. However, a repetition of one word, no matter how significant or powerful it is, eventually makes the word meaningless.

    I believe that from your response, you clearly understood my intended concern with Gary’s ministry. In fact, your response clearly indicates your position and opposition to mine. As a consequence, I do not think that there is a need to ‘take another crack at expressing [my] opinion.”

    Blessings,

    Scott Myers

    • Communications
      Communications says:

      Thanks for clarifying, Scott.

      It appears that we just have a different perception of the power of repetition. I can certainly see how rote repetition of something could leech out its meaning. I think that you and I would agree that an unconsidered tradition that’s just going through the motions is soon meaningless. But then again, not every tradition is empty just because it’s repeated, right?

      Repeating something with a profound intent generates a very different effect.

      For example, there is a trend in advertising to repeat the name, brand or company of a product as much as possible in the smallest amount of time. It’s an ugly manipulation tactic, but advertising exists because it works, so it’s worth examining. In this case, memory is reinforced through repetition which becomes meaning. In fact, one theory of how memory works is that the things stored in it are being subconsciously repeated. Back on a conscious level, I certainly see this in me. I head into the distracted world of a supermarket repeating over and over: “Don’t forget to buy milk. Don’t forget to buy milk.” When successful (which is often though, admittedly, not every time), keeping that in the front of my mind serves to focus me and enable me to accomplish the task I’m there for.

      Doesn’t it stand to reason: it would be so much more true and powerful if it involved intentional repetition of our most loved Saviour’s name in private concentration and reflection?

      This seems to be something that Gary has written about from his experience, which has come to him from obedience to Scripture. I’m saddened and still curious: What in this warrants such a harsh reaction towards him?

  8. Baker
    Baker says:

    Scott you said… “Yikes, if this doesn’t contradict Jesus Christ when he states: “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose they will be heard for their many words,” (Matt 6: 7 NASB)”

    I think we are missing the fact that our bibles are not composed of western thought from a westernized world(we do impose western thought on our bibles). God spoke and moved in eastern minds and cultures where serious not “empty headed” repetition was an important aspect of worship. Jesus would surely be familiar with Psalm 119. Logically Jesus was speaking about mindless prayers where repetition is contractual and not heartfelt.

    Psalm 119
    God, Lord (24x)
    Word, Words (58x)
    law, laws, precepts, command, commands (119x)
    I, me, my(307x)

    Meditation is eastern practical is western.

  9. Baker
    Baker says:

    Dick you said “For Baker’s sake, I’ll refrain from the dozens of Scriture that warns of this kind of ‘Ambiguous Gospel’ before He returns.” Thank you for refraining. :)

  10. Dick Leppky
    Dick Leppky says:

    Thanks Scott. My responsibility ends with the warning to ‘mature’ Christians who may or may not make further discernment on the warnings. Failing that, only hiSTORY will reveal the rest of the STORY. Thanks for considering.

    • Communications
      Communications says:

      Excellent comment, Dick!

      It looks like your initial concern opened a wealth of discernment here, so thank you for sharing it.

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