Herb Douglass on the “New Spirituality”

Herb is writing about the New Spirituality Movement in evangelicalism (and Adventism) at Adventist Today. He suggests “Seeker-friendly churches, such as Willow Creek and Saddleback, will join the New Spirituality wave or fade”–and the same for those Adventist churches that have modeled themselves on Willow Creek. He links to several Christianity Today articles and says, “the drift is palpable.”

I’ll wait until Herb is done before commenting more, but for now, I’d say I think he’s right. The “seeker-friendly” movement was all about dumbing down your worship to make it understandable and appealing to seekers. But that’s the problem–seekers want something more than what they already have in life. If you are just giving them what they already have, how would that be an answer to their quest? Both preachers and congregations are realizing that pablum isn’t filling. You need doctrinal and spiritual substance.

Where do you get this substance? Where do you find something that isn’t transient and market-driven? You might look to the past, and see what has lasted through all the ups and downs of history and human experience. But if you haven’t bothered to be well-formed in Biblical theology and spirituality, how will you evaluate the practices you come across in your search?

4 thoughts on “Herb Douglass on the “New Spirituality”

  1. Bravo! I have been on board with Dr. Douglass for a while on this, and I’m glad to see that you are of that mindset as well.

    Samuel Pipim has been beating this drum for a while as well.

  2. Bill if you think that Dr.Pipim beats the drum with too large a stick, what do you think of those who are beating the drum of Spirituality blog on Sepctrum website? Just wandering. . .

    I really like your post about Adventist spirituality.

    • Maybe I should say he uses a shotgun when he could use a rifle. He goes after the “Jesus Prayer,” for instance. It’s a Biblical prayer, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me a sinner.” Ellen White notes in Great Controversy that John Huss was singing it as he was burned at the stake.

      You may also be interested in my review of Jon Dybdahl’s book, Hunger: https://billcork.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/hunger/

      As to Spectrum … well, they’re a bit nebulous. And they seem to assume Adventists don’t have “spirituality,” as I note in the introduction to the Dybdahl review.

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