Spiritual Research Network

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tony Campolo: On Being “Born Again” by Centering Prayer

News Source:   www.understandthetimes.org

Tony Campolo: On Being "Born Again" by Centering Prayer
Commentary by Roger Oakland

Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology of Eastern University in St. David's, Pennsylvania. He is founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education and the author of many books. He is a well-known conference speaker who is noted for his agenda to liberalize evangelical Christianity in order to make it acceptable for the twenty-first century. One of his recent books is titled Speaking My Mind: The Radical Evangelical Prophet Tackles the Tough Issues Christians are Afraid to Face. On the back cover, the following statement is made:

With his trademark shoot-from-the-heart style, Tony Campolo shatters the stereotype of evangelical Christians as a monolithic mass of social conservatives. In Speaking My Mind, this prolific author and university professor takes issue with the public image of evangelicals as right-wing hardliners and claims a place at the table for socially liberal viewpoints. [1]

Brian McLaren is also a well-known author and speaker. Many agree McLaren is the leading proponent for a rapidly developing trend within Christianity called the Emerging Church. Campolo's publisher, W. Publishing Group (a branch of Thomas Nelson Publishing), chose McLaren to write the only endorsement on the back cover of the book. McLaren, who has authored books such as A New Kind of Christian, The Church on the Other Side, More Ready Than You Realized, and The Secret Message of Jesus, states the following:

If you paid the full price for this book and only got chapter 8, you'd be getting a good bargain. The same is true for chapters 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11. At a time when the term "evangelical" is up for grabs, Tony's voice needs to be heard. [2]

Please notice Brian McLaren's reference to "a time when the term 'evangelical' is up for grabs" and the proclamation that "his voice needs to be heard." For those of us interested in Bible prophesy, such a statement causes us to pay attention. You see, there once was a time when an evangelical was a person who had a deep reverence and trust for the Scriptures. Further, that person had to believe the only way to heaven was by accepting the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross for our sins, and that hell was a literal place where the lost would spend eternity.

Not so today! As McLaren so clearly states, the definition of what it means to be an evangelical is now "up for grabs."

I have read a number of Campolo's books and listened to his messages. Yes, Campolo is a perfect example of someone who is influencing minds and producing "a new kind of Christian." I will quote Campolo on a number of issues so that you will be able to examine his ideas in comparison with what the Bible teaches.

As we will see, the words of Isaiah will be very appropriate when we compare what Campolo says with what God has said in His Word:

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. [3]