Friday, September 22, 2006

CAUTION: S.H.A.P.E. Book May Actually Spell T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

This is an interesting article from the Lighthouse Trails Research blog. It seems like every time you turn around more christians are getting involved in Comtemplative Spirituality and promoting mystical-leaning authors. What is going on? Why does this continue to happen?


S.H.A.P.E., the new book written by Erik Rees (with a foreword by Rick Warren) and published by Zondervan as a "Purpose Driven Resource," is now released. In Rick Warren's e-newsletter this week, he highlights the book in an article titled Why Must I Understand My S.H.A.P.E.? The book is sold on Rick Warren's website with the following description: "Rick Warren's bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life, described God's five purposes for every Christian. Now Erik Rees helps you discover God's unique purpose for your life based on the way God has shaped you. He made you marvelously unique for a reason."

However, the book has serious flaws. Rees admits that he looks to Peter Drucker for guidance in leadership (p. 156) and tells readers they must find their "Kingdom Purpose" and their "Kingdom Dream" (p. 167) (Bruce Wilkinson's God's Dream - see Deceived on Purpose), both of which fall within the parameters of heretical theologies such as Kingdom Now or Dominionist theologies. Rees says we must activate our "Sweet Spot," a term borrowed from Max Lucado (often quoted in Rees' book) in his book Cure for the Common Life. This sweet spot Lucado refers to is a divine spark that his book says resides in everyone.

On the back cover of Rees' book, New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard has planted a hearty endorsement saying this book is a "true gift" to those who "long to uncover God's specific purpose for their lives." We know from our past research that Blanchard had signed on to help implement Rick Warren's peace plan. It looks like he will be helping with the S.H.A.P.E. program too - his endorsement will be read by many. Also on the back cover is meditation proponent John Ortberg, whom Rees quotes in a section of his book called "Silence Your Heart." In this section, Rees says: "The practice of being silent is not easily learned ... We need to ... be still before God." Rees then quotes Ortberg and later explains how he gets "to a state of inner silence" (p. 213). He adds: "Whatever it takes for you to learn to slow down and silence yourself before God, do it."

In spite of the red flags that go up on a "Christian" book that Ken Blanchard endorses (because of his Buddhist and New Age sympathies), it is more important to look at those who the author is favorably quoting in the book. Aside from quoting Rick Warren, Rees also quotes Max Lucado, who was featured recently on Fox Home Entertainment's Be Still DVD with Richard Foster, Erwin McManus, John Eldredge, John Ortberg, Bruce Wilkinson, and David Benner. Benner, the author of Sacred Companions clearly promotes contemplative spirituality in that book. S.H.A.P.E. also quotes Mark Batterson of the National Community Church. A recommended reading list on his website includes some of the most prominent New Agers and New Age sympathizers out there: Laurie Beth Jones, Eckhart Tolle, Paulo Coelho, James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy), Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup author), Anthony Robbins, and Leonard Sweet as well as numerous contemplatives and emergents: Brian McLaren, Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard, Brother Lawrence and many others. Tolle, Coelho and Redfield are like world-class Alice Bailey level New Agers. Rees also quotes from Dallas Willard and meditation proponent Jim Collins.

With a line up like that, we hope discerning believers will stay far away from S.H.A.P.E. by Erik Rees. This type of book with it's heavy promotion of contemplative authors will only lead to T.R.O.U.B.L.E.
[Purpose Driven]

This article or excerpt is from Lighthouse Trails on September 22, 2006


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