Jon Dybdahl

Jon L. Dybdahl (1942-) is considered one of the Seventh-day Adventist church’s foremost experts on world mission and a adjunct professor for the Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University. He teaches the Spiritual and Theological Foundations for Ministry module, a major component of all DMin projects.

Dybdahl earned a bachelor's degree in theology from Pacific Union College in 1965.  He received a master’s degree in systematic theology in 1966 and a master of divinity degree in 1967, both from Andrews University. Following his study at Andrews University, he served the Northern California Conference as an associate pastor. In 1968, Jon were called to work in Thailand. In the Thailand Mission, he was a pastor and evangelist and also founded an adult education center and Chiangmai Academy. After six years in Thailand, Dybdahl spent two years at Singapore's Southeast Asia Union College serving as the college church pastor and a professor of theology. Dybdahl returned to the United States in 1976. In 1981, he completed a doctorate in Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jon accepted an appointment at Walla Walla College as Associate Professor and then as Professor of Theology until 1989. During another year of mission service he helped launch Mission College near Saraburi, Thailand (1989-1990. In 1990, Dybdahl returned to Andrews University and the Institute of World Mission/Department of World Mission where he was a director. 1996-2002 Dybdahl spent six years as a pastor and evangelist in Thailand, where he founded an adult education center and Chiangmai Adventist Academy. In 2002 he was called to be WWC’s president. From 2002-2006, Dybdahl served as president of Walla Walla University. In 2006, the Andrews Study Bible Project Committee named Jon Dybdahl general editor of the Adventist Study Bible project.

In 2006, Jon Dybdahl was the sole Seventh-day Adventist representative on the planning committee for Edinburgh 2010, a World Council of Churches proposed hub for an international round of initiatives and events geared toward finding direction for Christian mission in the 21st century and challenging global missionary movements. The world church appointed Dybdahl after a request was made for Adventist Church participation in the event.

Jon Dybdahl is an adjunct professor for the Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University. He teaches the Spiritual and Theological Foundations for Ministry module, a major component of all DMin projects.

Jon Dybdahl was president of Gospel Outreach 2014-2017 - an all-volunteer organization that works closely with the Seventh-day Adventist Church to provide support for more than 2,000 indigenous Bible workers in North Africa, the Middle East, India, China, the Philippines and other countries in the 10/40 Window.

In 2015, Jon Dybdahl still teaches in the Spiritual and Theological Foundations for Ministry in the Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University.

Dybdahl has authored five books and numerous articles on the topics of mission, spiritual formation, and Old Testament. Jon Dybdahl strongly supported the appointing of Alex Bryan as president of WWU.

From Adventist New Network, 2004, feb 03: Spiritual formation is not a new idea or concept, and “a lot of Protestants are in the same boat—we are rediscovering it,” says Dr. Jon Dybdahl, president of Walla Walla College (University 2002-2006), an Adventist institution in Washington State. And, he adds, the Adventist Church has some work to do.

“Traditionally the Adventist Church has emphasized intellectual truth and accepting certain facts and ideas about God,” Dybdahl says. “At least in many places it has not talked so much about the importance of directly experiencing God. The difference is between knowing about God and knowing God. Sometimes what we teach people is knowing about God ... That’s part of the nature of things. It’s much easier to communicate a fact than it is to wield people to experience.”


Books by Jon Dybdahl

  • In Search of a Mission -- How to Be God's Ambassador -- Audio Series: 360 minutes (The Bible Explorer Series) (2013)
  • Andrews Study Bible: Light, Depth, Truth (2010)
  • Glimpses of God -- Seeing The Sovereign One in Scripture -- Great Chapters in the Bible -- Audio Series: 560 minutes... with Jon Paulien Ph.D., George Knight and Don Pate (2009)
  • Hunger: Satisfying the Longing of Your Soul, Old Testament Grace (2007)
  • A Strange Place for Grace: Discovering a Loving God in the Old Testament (2006)
  • Emergency Exits -- Finding Our Way Into God's Presence -- Exodus -- Audio Series: 360 minutes (The Bible Explorer... (2005)
  • Introducing the Bible: The Old Testament and Intertestamental Literature (Volume I) with Douglas R. Clark, John C. Brunt and Jerry A. Gladson (1997)
  • Hosea-Micah: A Call to Radical Reform (The Abundant Life Bible Amplifier) with George R. Knight and B. Russell Holt (1996)
  • Exodus: God Creates a People (The Abundant Life Bible Amplifier) (1995)
  • Exodo La Biblia Amplificada (1995)
  • The Abundante Life Bible Amplifier 4 Book Set (Matthew, Hewbrews, Exodus, Timothy & Titus, Geoge R Knight) (1995)
  • Old Testament Grace (1989)
  • Missions: A Two Way Street (1986)



How to Still the Hunger of the Soul: A Critique of the Book, Hunger, by John Witcombe

E-mail:

mailto@sayyesor.no


http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=2136

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Integrating Contemplative/Emerging Spirituality Into Degree Program

December 31st, 2009 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

In 2007, Lighthouse Trails posted an article titled Church, Congregations Increase Focus on “Spiritual Formation.” The article, released by Adventist News Network, showed how the emphasis of contemplative/ spiritual formation was moving into the Seventh-day Adventist organization. The article stated that “this subject [spiritual formation] is receiving serious emphasis in Adventist institutions, as well as in local congregations.” The following Lighthouse Trails research reveals that Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan is promoting contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation) through a new concentration in their Doctor of Ministry degree program. An October 2009 Andrews newsletter, put out by Kenley D. Hall (Andrews DMin Project Coach) explains that ”Discipleship & Spiritual Formation” and ”Youth and Young Adult Ministry” will begin in February 2010.

According to the syllabus of one of the courses in the Andrews spiritual formation program, contemplative mystic proponents will be used to teach students this coming February. In CHMN 705 Theological and Historical Perspectives on Spiritual Growth, professor Jon Dybdahl is using a number of contemplative authors to ”Demonstrate a continuing maturity in Christian formation, personal growth and ministry.” This maturity in Christian formation is typical language by contemplatives, who teach that true maturity can only come through spending time in contemplative silence. Richard Foster has been a pioneer in laying out this “maturity” doctrine. So it is not surprising that Dybdahl is turning to Foster for guidance. Other contemplatives being used in the class are: J.P. Moreland (Kingdom Triangle) and Peter Scazzero. A “short spiritual retreat” will also take place during the course. Scazzero’s book, Emotionally Healthy Spiritually (the book being used at Andrews), is a who’s who of contemplative mystics and panentheists; some of those he points readers to are Basil Pennington, Tilden Edwards, Henri Nouwen, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and several others.

In J.P. Moreland’s book, Kingdom Triangle (also used in Dybdahl’s class at Andrews), Moreland talks about a maturing process that takes place through “spiritual formation.” Moreland tells readers that a “treasure of deep, rich knowledge of the soul” can be found in the writings of the Desert Fathers, Henri Nouwen, and Richard Foster, (p. 153). Of course, all three of these sources ultimately point followers to eastern-style meditation (i.e., mantra-style). A four-part series Moreland did for Focus on the Family  substantiates that Moreland is embracing contemplative spirituality where he suggests that “Catholic retreat centers are usually ideal for solitude retreats.”

Jon Dybdahl’s contemplative propensities are strongly presented in his 2008 book, Hunger: Satisfying the Longing of Your Soul. In Hunger, Dybdahl favorably instructs on contemplative practices such as lectio divina, visualization (p. 64), the Jesus Prayer, and breath prayers (p. 52). Dybdahl explains in his book that in his “not-so-secret quest for God,” he turned to Quaker Thomas Kelly’s book A Testament of Devotion. It is Kelly, a panentheist, who said that within every human being is a “Divine Center,” a “secret sanctuary” (from A Testament of Devotion). This “secret sanctuary” Kelly is speaking of is what he calls “abiding Light behind all changing [life] forms.” He says: “In that Current we must bathe. In that abiding yet energizing Center we are all made one” (p. 38).” Dybdahl says in Hunger that Henri Nouwen “intensified” his ”craving” for “God’s presence.” (p.12) But the presence that Nouwen is speaking of is the same as that of mystics, and it is this mysticism that led Nouwen to reject Jesus Christ as the only path to God at the end of his life (Sabbatical Journey). Dybdahl’s book is brimming with references to contemplative mystics: David Benner, Morton Kelsey, Adele Alberg Calhoun, Tilden Edwards, Richard Foster, Ken Boa, and Brother Lawrence.

Another person who will be teaching at Andrews DMin in spiritual formation is Ben Maxson, pastor at Paradise Seventh-day Adventist church in Paradise, California and adjunct professor at Andrews University. Maxson will be teaching Mentoring for Discipleship & Spiritual Formation. In an article by Maxson titled “Renewing our Minds,” he says that the “spiritual disciplines” (the tools of spiritual formation) help one develop “intimacy with God,” and he encouraged practicing ”the presence of God.”

One of the other spiritual formation courses in Andrews Theological Seminary’s DMin program on spiritual formation, taught by Allan Walshe, is The Personal Practice of Spiritual Formation. While the course’s syllabus is not currently posted online, we can partly identify Walshe’s contemplative propensities elsewhere. In an article featuring Walshe at a New Zealand conference, Walshe quotes contemplative pioneer Dallas Willard in referring to “intimacy with God.” This intimacy with God to the contemplative can only be obtained through going into the silence through meditation.

The DMin program on spiritual formation isn’t the only avenue through which contemplative is being implemented at Andrews. The youth ministry degree program is also involved with contemplative spirituality and emerging spirituality. In CHMN 720 Current Issues in Youth and Young Adult Ministry, professors Steve Case and Allan Walshe are using emerging church figure Shane Claiborne as well as emergent Youth Specialties author Chap Clark’s book, Deep Justice in a Broken World. The book is about the emerging kingdom on earth theology and turns to such figures as liberal/emerging theologians Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo.

Thus, as is usually the case, when a college or seminary begins to incorporate contemplative prayer, eventually they begin to open up to emerging church ideas – it is virtually inevitable. And this is the vehicle that drives our concerns. Those who practice contemplative prayer will move more and more toward an interspiritual outlook. Contemplative prayer (i.e., mysticism) is not just some obscure subculture – it is exploding across the Western religious spectrum.


  • Dybdahl invited Ryan Bell to come and share with the students about the theology and practice of ministry in Hollywood early May 2007. He was teaching for half a day in a Doctor of Ministry class for Dr. Jon Dybdahl, his friend and mentor.

  • Adventist Review, Vol 174, No. 22, May 29, 1997, special Issue: One on One With GOD

  • Louder and Clearer -Using study and meditation to help recognize God's voice, by Jon Dybdahl

    The methods used in Christian meditation are many and varied. Communication with God is enhanced as we find new ways to hear His voice.* *For those wanting to know more, start with Foster, pp. 29-33, and Toon, pp. 69-123.

    Eleven Gems for Spiritual Growth:

    I. Classic

    • Book of Common Prayer (a number of prayer books from the English Reformation used in the Anglican churches)
    • The Journal of George Fox, by George Fox (Founding Quaker)
    • The Spiritual Exercises, by Ignatius Loyola (Founding Jesuit)
    • The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence (Catholic mystic)
    • Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis (Catholic)
    • Steps to Christ, by Ellen White (Founding Adventist)

    II. Contemporary

    • Celebration of Discipline, by Richard J. Foster (Quaker)
    • A Testament of Devotion, by Thomas R. Kelly (a Quaker who taught and wrote on the subject of mysticism)
    • Making All Things New, by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Catholic priest)
    • Space for God, by Don Postema (Donald Postema is an minister in the Christian Reformed Church and a member of the adjunct faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary in the area of Christian Spirituality. In 1988, he went on a spiritual journey visiting monasteries, retreat houses, Buddhist centers, and Hindu ashrams in the United States.)
    • The Best of A. W Tozer, by Aiden Wilson Tozer (a Protestant Evangelical author)
  • From Adventist New Network, 2004, feb 03: The Adventist world church created the International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education (IBMTE) in September 2001, designed to provide overall guidance and standards to the professional training of pastors, evangelists, theologians, teachers, chaplains and other denominational employees involved in ministerial and religious formation, or spiritual formation, in each of the church’s 13 regions around the world.
  • In an attempt to alleviate concerns, the class "Spiritual Formation", has subsequently been renamed "Foundations of Biblical Spirituality" - a class that all incoming M.Div students at Andrews University are required to take at the very beginning of their seminary training.

  • http://www.worldslastchance.com/for-sdas-only/qsaying-and-doingq.html

    Jon Dybdahl, just recently, spent a month or two in a Benedictine Monastery ! ... This is not just gossip, it has been verified by Dybdahl's Father in Law.


  • Jon Dybdahl in Hunger, p. 12: God used Quaker Thomas Kelly's [a Mystic] story in A Testament of Devotion to warm my heart and instruct me. Henri Nouwen (Making All Things New) intensified the craving, Through them and many other Sources I slowly began to recover a sense of God's presence and to transform a devotional life that had once been dry and almost nonexistent, even though I had served as a missionary and pastor.
  • Jon Dybdahl in Hunger, p. 126: I regard the work of psychiatrist M. Scott Peck as very helpful for the average person seeking to understand the spiritual Journey.
  • Jon Dybdahl Hunger, footnote 1 on p. 138: M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie, gives an in-Depth look at this issue.
  • Jon Dybdahl Hunger, p. 136: Reading the stories of spiritual pilgrims from old classics such as The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence, to more recent works, such as Thomas Kelly's Testament of Devotion and Garth Maclean's On the Tail of a Comet (about the life of Frank Buchman) have inspired and transformed me.
  • Jon Dybdahl Hunger, p. 136: I have included a bibliography for the various topics covered in this book. While I could have cited more titles, I have deliberately tried to select what I believe are some of the best. I hope you'll read some of them.
Here is the list of the recommended books in Hunger ( Den store lengselen):

Chapter 1. General:

  • Surrender to Love, by David G. Benner (Dr. Benner is a faculty member of the Rohr Institute’s Living School of Action and Contemplation as a master teacher. From http://www.drdavidgbenner.ca/my-journey/:"Within a few years, my wife and I were blessed to be invited to spend several extended periods of dialogue with Buddhists and Taoists at the Tao Fong Shan Centre for Christian Spirituality and Interfaith Dialogue in Hong Kong. Once I tasted the richness of meeting people of other faiths in this sort of sacred place there was no turning back. I quickly discovered that I had more in common with those on a spiritual journey within others religious traditions than I had with Christians who had allowed faith to be reduced to beliefs and counted the holding of these beliefs to be their journey. It remains so to this day.")
  • Conformed to his Image: Biblical and practical approaches to spiritual formation, by Kenneth Boa. (Theologican and a leading proponent in mystical and contemplative practices) In The Trinity he recommends incorporating the Spiritual Exrecises of Ignatius Loyola for meditation.
  • Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. (Acknowledgement's page: I would be remiss not to mention the spiritual tutors that I know only through books: Dorothy Bass, Eugene Peterson, Gerald May (co-founder of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation), M. Basil Pennington, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle, Fredrick Buechner, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr, Jonathan Edwards [not a contemplative], Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius Loyola, St. Benedict, Julian of Norwich and many more. Their ideas, voices and examples have shaped my own words and experience of the disciplines.)
  • Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life, by Simon Chan (Pentecostal) "It (meditation) is like bringing the diffused rays of the sun to a focal point with a convex lens so that the heat can be felt in all its intensity." The book draws on several of the Catholic mystics and practices.
  • Living in the Presence: Disciplines for the Spiritual Heart, by Tilden Edwards
  • Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster (Quaker)
  • Wasting Time With God, by Klaus Issler (Dallas Willard has significantly impacted his perspectives in key matters of reality and formation the past two decades,)
  • Encounter With God, Morton Kelsey (mystic Episcopal priest)
  • Experiencing God: Theology as Spirituality, by Kenneth Leech (Anglican priest) Leech was influenced by Thomas Merton and wrote the book Thomas Merton as a theologian of resistance. Leech endorsed The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality, by Carl McColman.
  • Spiritual Traditions for the Contemporary Church, by Robin Maas (a former Methodist who converted to Catholisism in 1987) and Gabriel O'Donnell (Catholic priest and professor)
  • A Work of Heart, by Reggie McNeal (Baptist theologian, Missional Leadership Specialist for Leadership Network. He is listed among Emerging Church Authors and Ken Blanchard wrote the foreword in his book Practising Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders.)
  • Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation, by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. (Methodist professor. On the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation& Leadership's list of Faculty presenters and retreat leaders he is listed together with Jesuit Bernie Owens, Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Dallas Willard and Richard Foster)
  • Making All Things New, by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Catholic priest)
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, by Eugene Peterson (former Presbyterian priest)
  • Steps to Christ, by Ellen G. White (Adventist founder)
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald S. Whitney. (professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky)
  • The Spirit of Disciplines, by Dallas Willard (mystic philospher)

Chapters 2. Autobiography - Devotional:

  • The Way of a Pilgrim: And the Pilgrim Continues His Way, translated by Helen Bacovcin. In the foreword of the R. M. French translation: The pilgrim visits churches and monasteries to try and understand how to pray without ceasing. His travels lead him to a starets (a spiritual father) who teaches him the Jesus Prayer—"Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me"—and gives him practical advice on how to recite the prayer uninterruptedly, as a type of mantra: French's translation, p. 8: “Here is a rosary. Take it and, to start with, say the Prayer of Jesus three thousand times a day. Whether you are standing or sitting, walking or lying down, continually repeat -Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.’ Say it quietly and without hurry, but without fail exactly three thousand times a day without deliberately increasing or diminishing the number. God will help you.”
  • The Doubleday Devotional Classics (journals of George Fox (a founder of the Quakers), David Brainerd and John Woolman (Quaker preacher), by E. Glenn Hanson (church historian, contemplative & advocate of strong, disciplined practices of spiritual formation, ecumenist and advocate of the liberal strand of Baptist theology)
  • A Testament of Devotion, by Thomas R Kelly (a Quaker who taught and wrote on the subject of mysticism)
  • The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence (Catholic mystic)
  • Of the Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis (Catholic priest from the late medieval period)
  • You Are My God: A Pioneer of Renewal Recounts His Pilgrimage in Faith, by David Watson (priest in the Church of England)

Chapters 3. Temperament and Spirituality:

  • Knowing Me, Knowing God: Exploring Your Spirituality With Myers-Briggs, by Malcolm Goldsmith. He cites Catholics and mystics like Augustine, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Eugene H. Peterson and Charles J. Keating favourably.  Myers and Briggs extrapolated their MBTI theory from Carl Gustav Jung's writings.
  • Who We Are Is How We Pray: Matching Personality and Spirituality, by Charles J. Keating (catholic mystic) Here Charles Keating uses the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator to various kinds of spiritual life and practice. The book guides the Reader through ancient and New Schools of spirituality. p. 21: "there is a common Christian spirituality, perhaps embodied in the acceptance of purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways. St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis de Sales, St. Teresa of Avila, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin approach Our common spirituality in quite different ways, but they are fundamentally of our Western spiritual tradition." p. 22: "we enter into dialogue With the Father, Jesus or the Blessed Mother." The Ignatian Spirituality gets its endorsement on the next pages followed by other Catholic mystics. (Francis Sales, Teresa of Avila, Chardin etc. Myers and Briggs extrapolated their MBTI theory from Carl Gustav Jung's writings.
  • Please Understand Me, by David Keirsey (psychologist)
  • Personality Type and Religious Leadership, Roy M. Oswald and Otto Kroeger (mystic Catholics) p. 91: "St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, was a great teacher of this way of praying."
  • Four Spiritualities: Experiencing of Self, Expression of Spirit, by Peter Tufts Richardson (Unitarian minister) In this book he contends that it is important to pay attention to the Works of religious , spiritual , and philosophical Teachers in traditions that are different from Our native one.  The Teachers who might be helpful to us is i.e. St. Francis, Mohammed, Confucius, Mother Theresa, Lao-Tzu, Thich Nhat Hahn (Buddhist Master), Thomas Merton, The Buddha, Thomas Aquinas and Carl Jung.
  • Experiencing the Enneagram, by Richard Rohr (mystic Catholic priest)

Chapters 4. Worship:

  • Worship: Rediscovering the Missing Jewel, by Ronald B. Allen (Baptist professor)
  • Prison to Praise, by Merlin Carothers (Methodist minister)
  • Worship His Majesty, by Jack W. Hayford (Pentecostal minister) He endorsed Schuller's 1996 autobiography Prayer: My Soul's Adventure With God. He praised Richard Foster for his efforts in bringing together all the streams of the church. He spoke for Renovaré at its 1991 Los Angeles Conference. Hayford: "The Message is certainly destined to become a devotional classic - not to mention a powerful pastoral tool."
  • Hayford also spoke at the PK "1996 National Clergy Conference" (2/13/96-2/15/96) in Atlanta's Georgia Dome stadium. Actual attendance was 38,914, which represented all 50 states and more than a dozen foreign countries; 600 in attendance were Roman Catholic priests. At the beginning of the conference, Hayford was speaking and trying to influence everyone to "dance in the Lord". Hayford said he learned the dance in Africa, and later the Lord spoke to him directly saying, "May I have this dance?" He then began doing an African folkdance around the podium.

    Hayford also writes: "Redeeming worship centers on the Lord's Table. Whether your tradition celebrates it as Communion, Eucharist, the Mass, or the Lord's Supper, we are all called to this centerpiece of Christian worship" (Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, p. 19)

  • >Up With Worship, by Anne Ortlund (Presbyterian)
  • >Worship Is a Verb, by Robert E. Webber(mystic)

Chapters 5. Confession and Repentance:

  • Helping People Forgive, by David W. Augsburger (minister in Mennonite Church and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary)
  • To Forgive Is Human: How to Put Your Past in the Past, by Michael E. McCullough (Director of Evolution and Human Behavoiur Labratory (the EHB Lab's approach to psychology integrates the principles of evolutionary biology to explain human behavior), Steven J. Sandage, Everett L. Worthington Jr.
  • A Hunger for Healing: The Twelve Steps as a Classic Model for Christian Spiritual Growth, by J. Keith Miller (Episcopal)
  • Healing of Memories, by David A. Seamands (Methodist pastor) He endorsed Gregory Boyd's Seeing is Believing "... Tracing from the early church right up to present day writers (the book included Ignatius Loyola), it is scholarly, biblical, and thoroughly Christ-centered."

Chapters 6. Prayer:

  • A Diary of Private Prayer, by John Baillie (Church of Scotland minister)
  • Power Through Prayer, by E. M. Bounds (pastor in the Methodist Episcopal Church)
  • Mighty Prevailing Prayer, by Wesley L. Duewel (Methodist? missionary)
  • Whatever it Takes Praying: How Our Yes to What God Asks Brings His Yes to What We Ask, by Joe Engelkemier (Adventist)
  • Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, by Richard Foster (Quaker)
  • Prayer, by Ole Hallesby (Lutheran pietist, famous for his speach about hell in 1953).
  • Practical Pointers to Personal Prayer, by Carrol Johnson Shewmake (Adventist)
  • Prayer Course for Healing Life's Hurts, by Dennis Linn (Jesuit untill marriage with Sheila in 1989), Matthew Linn and Sheila Fabricant. Their Message is grounded in Ignatian spirituality and almost always related to healing.

Chapter 7. Meditation:

  • Silent Fire: An Invitation to Western Mysticism, by Walter Holden Capps and Wendy M. Wright. (Wendy is a professor at the the Jesuit Creighton University in Nebraska)
  • Sadhana: A Way to God - Christian Exercises in Eastern Form (1984), by Anthony DeMello (1931-87, an Indian Jesuit priest who ended his days as a virtual Buddhist) Sadhana in Hinduism means sorcery/spiritual exercises. De Mello melded his psychotherapist’s training with Eastern and Western spiritualities. In 1998, his writings were condemned by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, wrote: "But already in certain passages in [his] early works and to a greater degree in his later publications, one notices a progressive distancing from the essential contents of the Christian faith. … With the present Notification, in order to protect the good of the Christian faithful, this Congregation declares that the above-mentioned positions are incompatible with the Catholic faith and can cause grave harm." This Vatican scolding only seems to have encouraged De Mello’s popularity, and his books continue to sell steadily.
  • From Introduction to Sadhana: A Way to God: “A Jesuit friend once told me that he approached a Hindu guru for initiation in the art of prayer. The guru said to him, " Concentrate on your breathing ." My friend proceeded to do just that for about five minutes. Then the guru said, "The air you breathe is God. You are breathing God in and out. Become aware of that, and stay with that awareness. "My friend, after making a slight theological adjustment to that statement, followed these instructions - for hours on end, day after day - and discovered, to his amazement, that prayer can be as simple a matter as breathing in and out.”

    and from page 36: Think of the air as of an immense ocean that surrounds you … an ocean heavily colored with God’s presence and God’s bring. While you draw the air into your lungs you are drawing God in.

    Among De Mello's books we find Seek God Everywhere: Reflections on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

  • >The Joy of Listening to God, by Joyce Huggett (a founding director of Richard Foster's Renovaré UK movement)
  • Finding God: A Handbook of Christian Meditation, by Ken Kaisch (an episcopal priest and founder of OneHeart, an ecumenical group teaching contemplative Christian meditation Methods. He is inspired by Thomas Keating, Father Lawrence Freeman, Henry Nouwen and Father George Maloney, whom he calls "God-touched elders--people who have experienced the divine."
  • Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide, by Aryeh Kaplan (He utilized the meditative form of Kabbalah on a daily basis.)
  • Finding Grace at the Center, by Thomas Keating (Catholic monk)
  • Meditation: A Practical Guide to a Spiritual Discipline. Quiet Times for Forty Days, by Thom McCormick (jesuit) and Sharon Fish Mooney
  • >Space for God, by Don Postema ("Postema draws upon his own rich experiences as a Christian pastor and from the writings of John Calvin, Thomas Merton, Henri J. M. Nouwen, C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, and others.")
  • From Mind to Heart: Christian Meditation Today, by Peter Toon (priest in the Church of England. 'In part 2 he lays out the methods practiced by Reformers, Catholics, and Puritans, and then presents models of meditation designed to encourage the reader "to adopt one or another of these methods and thus to begin" the practice of meditation.)

Chapter 8. Bible Study:

  • >Contemplating the Word: A Practical handbook, by Peter Dodson (Theistic evolutionist)  He has co-authored Exploring Contemplative Prayer with the Anglican priest Martin Tunnicliffe.
  • Life Journey and the Old Testament: An Experimental Approach to the Bible and Personal Transformation, by Conrad E. L'Heureux (Catholic)
  • Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation, by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. (Methodist professor. On the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation& Leadership's list of Faculty presenters and retreat leaders he is listed together with Jesuit Bernie Owens, Tony Campolo, Shane Caiborne, Dallas Willard and Richard Foster)
  • Bible Reading for Spiritual Growth, by Norvene Vest (Episcopal laywoman) She is deeply committed to Benedictine values.
  • Experiments in the Bible Study, by Hans-Ruedi Weber (Reformed theologian, staff member in World Council of Churches and director of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey)
  • Transforming Bible Study, by Walter Wink (Methodist and Progressive Christianity)

Chapter 9. Journaling:

  • Journaling With Jeremiah, by Elizabeth Canham (priest in the Episcopal Church). She lived for 6 years in a Benedictine Monastery as Program Director. She is director of Hospites Mundi; Workshops are offered on such themes as Dreams, Meditative dance, Biblical studies (LectioDivina,) Creativity, Celtic Spirituality, Prayer and Spiritual Guidance.
  • Keeping a Spiritual Journal, by Harry J. Cargas (Catholic) and Roger J Radley (Catholic)
  • Alone With God, by Ron Delbene (Episcopal priest) and Herb Montgomery (Adventist) From http://www.delbene.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=links: "There are many ways to pray. And each world religion - whether it be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu-has slightly different variations. However, there is a common core that unites all these traditions: the mind has to quiet, the heart hopefully opens and we can listen to and respond from the deepest, inner most part of ourselves that knows Wisdom."
  • Adventure Inward: Christian Growth Through Personal Journal Writing, Morton T. Kelsey (mystic Episcopal priest)
  • How to Keep a Spiritual Journal, by Ronald Klug. Klug lists some of the classics ("great books in which Christian thinkers have shared their wisdom about the Christian life") as follows:
    • the Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence (Catholic monk)
    • Confessions, by Augustine (Catholic bishop)
    • The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis (Catholic)
    • Testament of Devotion, by Thomas Kelly (Quaker)
    • School of Charity, by Evelyn Underhill (Christian mystic)
    • Christian Perfection, by Francois Fenelon (Catholic archbishop)
    • Introduction to the Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales (Catholic bishop)

Chapter 10. Lifestyle / Simplicity:

  • Ideas for Social Action, by Tony Campolo (mystic pastor)
  • Freedom of Simplicity, by Richard Foster (Quaker)
  • The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, by M. Scot Peck (mystic)
  • Rich Christians in an age of Hunger, by Ron Sider (Christian left Baptist)
  • The Mustard Seed Conspiracy, by Tom Sine (Founder of Mustard Seed Association (a Kingdom Now organisation) and an adjunct at Fuller Theological Seminary). His book The New Conspirators:Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time is endorsed by Brian McLaren, Scot McKnight and a lot of other Emerging Church profiles.

Chapter 11. Spiritual Guidance and Mentoring:

  • Psychoterapy and the Spiritual Quest, by David G. Benner (Dr. Benner is a faculty member of the Rohr Institute’s Living School of Action and Contemplation as a master teacher. From http://www.drdavidgbenner.ca/my-journey/ "Within a few years, my wife and I were blessed to be invited to spend several extended periods of dialogue with Buddhists and Taoists at the Tao Fong Shan Centre for Christian Spirituality and Interfaith Dialogue in Hong Kong. Once I tasted the richness of meeting people of other faiths in this sort of sacred place there was no turning back. I quickly discovered that I had more in common with those on a spiritual journey within others religious traditions than I had with Christians who had allowed faith to be reduced to beliefs and counted the holding of these beliefs to be their journey. It remains so to this day.")
  • Traditions of Spiritual Guidance, by Lavinia Byrne (former nun)
  • Spiritual Passages: The Psychology of Spiritual Development, by Benedict J. Groeschel (Catholic priest)
  • Compamions on the Inner Way: The Art of Spiritual Guidance, Morton T. Kelsey (mystic Episcopal priest)
  • Soul Friend, by Kenneth Leech (Anglican priest) Leech was influenced by Thomas Merton and wrote the book Thomas Merton as a theologian of resistance. Leech endorsed The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality, by Carl McColman.
  • Writing on Spiritual Direction: by Great Christian Masters, by Jerome M Neufelder (Catholic priest) and Mary C. Coelho

Categorical Summary:

This is not an exact science. Quite a lot of the books are written some decades ago. Therefore Mysticism and Emerging Church-like books are one category and the borders are sometimes vague. The 77 books are distributed in categories like this:

  • 33 % - Catholic and Jesuit authors
  • 44 % - authors that draw on Catholic mysticism / Emerging Church
  • 5 % - Adventist authors
  • 15 % - other Protestant authors
  • 3 % - seemingly non-Christian authors (evolutionist and psychologist)


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