Spiritual Research Network

Thursday, January 04, 2007

American Family Association Includes Contemplative/Mystical Categories in Bookstore


The following article is from Lighthouse Trails Research Project

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American Family Association Includes Contemplative/Mystical Categories in Bookstore

This story is a follow up to our previous AFA articles that you may view here.
American Family Association's Resource Center is now including categories in their Spiritual Growth section (*see note below) titled: "Mysticism," "Contemplative Life," and "Spiritual Formation." As we have reported in the past, AFA has been aware that many of the books they sell on their site promote panentheism, altered states of consciousness (i.e., the silence), Eastern mysticism, etc. Emails to numerous customers from AFA staff, as well as AFA president Tim Wildmon, indicated that these books were removed. On the contrary, AFA now has categories specifically for these titles.

Under Mysticism, authors include mystics Jean-Pierre De Caussade, St. John of the Cross, Evelyn Underhill, Calvin Miller, and many, many others with panentheistic persuasions. In Miller's book, Into the Depths of God, he states:
Centering is the merger of two "selves" - ours and his [God's]. Centering is union with Christ. It is not a union that eradicates either self but one that heightens both." (A Time of Departing, p. 185)

On AFA's category Contemplative Life, they sell books by Phyllis Tickle (who recently said Brian McLaren was like another Luther), panentheist William Shannon (Thomas Merton's biography and author of Silence on Fire),Brother Roger of Taize, and titles such as The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, Silence and Stillness in Every Season by John Main, and the list is lengthy.

On the Spiritual Formation category, AFA lists emerging church leaders and writers like Rob Bell and Don Miller as well as C. Peter Wagner, Dallas Willard, Richard Rohr, Jim Wallis, and over 700 other titles in this category.

Other authors the AFA store includes are Henri Nouwen, Larry Crabb, Brian McLaren, Ruth Haley Barton, Brennan Manning, Thomas Merton, Rick Warren and countless others who promote contemplative spirituality.

AFA has made a bold statement by adding these categories. And just what does this statement tell us? Three things. First, AFA misled people, and quite frankly they seem indifferent to the consequences of that. Secondly, AFA is absolutely promoting heretical books and authors, and it doesn't look like they are going to stop. Thirdly, this illustrates very well that the concerns, which compel Lighthouse Trails and its authors, are not something obscure, on the fringe, or faddish. Christendom is without a doubt immersed in contemplative spirituality so much so that those who oppose it are standing on the outside of this mystical, contemplative church and being labeled divisive, false converts, resisters, leaders from hell and just plain old—standing in the way of progress. With that in mind, each of us must decide to which church we belong ... a church where the biblical Jesus Christ is the head or a mystical contemplative church that ultimately denies the Cross and replaces it with a panentheistic universal spirituality.
*Note: To find these categories on AFA Resource Center site,
1. Go to AFA main website.
2. Scroll down to bottom of left column and under AFA Support, click on AFA Products
3. Then at top of page, click on Resource Center
4. Then at top left of page, click on BOOKS.
5. Then see right hand column, Browse by Category, and scroll down to "Spiritual Growth," then open up "+" sign.)

Lighthouse Trails Research Project
P.O. Box 958
Silverton, Oregon
97381
Phone: 503/873-9092
Fax: 503/873-3879