I Would See Jesus: The Road Leading up to the ONE Project (Part 1)

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I Would See Jesus: The Road Leading up to the ONE Project (Part 1)

Labyrinth Prayers, Burning Candles, and Mystical Rituals

“Labyrinth prayer.” I can’t remember where I first heard the term, but in 2010, when I thought of it again, the picture that came to my mind was a maze containing a person praying for a way to get out of it. Knowing that it wasn’t the true definition of the term, I decided to Google it. From there, terms such as “Emergent Church,” “contemplative prayer,” and other similar terms began to fill up my computer screen.

 

I had never previously heard of the emergent church, but the concept intrigued me. I began to research the subject, and learned about some of the movement’s most famous individuals, such as Brian McLaren, Doug Paggit, Tony Jones, and Phyllis Tickle, among others. I decided that 2010 would be the year I learned about the Emerging Church. Throughout that year, I systematically read through the publications of the Emergent Church’s highest-recommended authors.

 

However, during this period of research and information gathering, I also discovered that there was a significant movement against the Emergent Church in the evangelical world, and thus I added some of the prominent opposition writers to my list as well. As 2010 transitioned into 2011, I began to gain a good sense of what the Emergent Church was and what they were trying to accomplish, as well as the main critiques of the movement.

I learned about the implications of their ideas, and what they meant for denominations that chose to embrace the movement. Most importantly, I identified the Emergent Church’s incompatibility with the Adventist Church’s beliefs, message, and mission. It was with great surprise, therefore, that I heard there was a movement within the Seventh-day Adventist Church that was advocating that we embrace the methodology and practices of the Emergent Church.

 

Adventists Embracing Emergent Theology?

A friend emailed me a sermon presented by Pastor Steve Wohlberg. The content of his presentation was on the emergent church. As I listened to the sermon, I learned about a ministry called the ONE Project. After watching the sermon, I googled the ONE Project and began to watch a few of their sermons. I read their description of themselves and their ministry, and noticed that I knew several of the individuals who had founded the ministry, as well as others who were involved in running it.

 

As I continued to watch the videos on the ONE Project website, I realized that Wohlberg had made a mistake in his characterization of the ONE Project as being emerging/emergent. His characterization of the ONE Project didn’t square up with any of the theology or methodology I had discovered in my own research of Emergent Church thought-leaders.

However, while I felt that I possessed a good understanding of the Emergent Church movement, I didn’t have an objective methodology with which to evaluate a ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and thus I dropped the subject and moved on with life.

 

Re-emerging Controversy

2013-2014 was a tough time in my life, as I was battling cancer. During that period of time, a good friend, Dave Fiedler, sent his regards to me and mentioned that he was working on a book that was to be published in a few months, a book on the Emergent Church and its inroads into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

I asked for a copy of the manuscript to read in the hospital while receiving treatment, and he graciously shared it with me. As I read Fiedler’s manuscript, it occurred to me that he, as well as others who were speaking about the ONE Project, would benefit greatly from talking directly to the founders of the ministry. “Had anyone talked to the ONE Project ‘guys’?’ I asked. “No,” replied Fielder. Would he personally be open to such a conversation? He was.

 

Three of the founders of the ONE Project live and work near me here in Southern California. I have worked alongside two of them, Pastor Terry Swenson and Pastor Tim Gillespie, on the campus of Loma Linda University (I as the associate director of Advent HOPE Sabbath School and President of Restoration Ministry on the LLU Campus, Gillespie as the pastor at Re:Live Sabbath School—both Sabbath Schools are part of the Loma Linda University Church—and Swenson as the LLU Chaplain). One of the ministry’s leaders, listed on the ONE Project website, was Pastor Paddy McCoy, whom I had worked under as a student in Campus Ministry at Kettering College of Medical Arts from 2000 to 2003.

 

I contacted Gillespie on Facebook and asked him if he would be open to talk with Fiedler. Gillespie was cautious in his reply. In our conversation on Facebook, he denied that he and the ONE Project were emergent/emerging, and stated that the Emergent Church philosophy was incompatible with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Unfortunately, my impending third major surgery prevented me from following up with him, and the conversation between Fiedler and Gillespie never came to pass.

 

A Closer Look at the ONE Project

At the end of 2015, Compass Magazine asked if I was interested in attending the ONE Project and writing a “few articles” on my experience at the Gathering. The then managing editor, Rachel Cabose, had attended a 1:1 event, and had written a brief report on it. The magazine was interested in a more in-depth look at the ministry. I figured that I had watched enough of the symposiums against the ministry, and read enough books and papers by the ONE Project founders, that the next best step to learn more about the ministry was to attend a Gathering myself.

 

In addition to the original assignment I accepted from Compass Magazine, I thought it best to attempt to interview the founders of the ministry while attending the Gathering. Much has been said, written, and published about the ONE Project, but I decided that it would be of interest to people, when I wrote my articles for Compass Magazine, to find out what the founders actually believed theologically and how they arrived at their points of view.

 

How does one evaluate a ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

 

Depending on whom you speak to, the ONE Project is:

 

“The beginning of the Omega Apostasy”

 

“A blessing”

 

“The next best thing in Adventism”

 

“A beautiful expression of Christ”

 

“The Emergent Church in the Adventist Church”

 

It is difficult to reconcile such a wide disparity in views. I asked several people who expressed their views on the ONE Project how they had evaluated the ministry and come to the conclusions they now hold. Again, I received a vast and disparate flurry of answers. These are just a few of the responses I received…

 

“Look at the founders”

 

“By their fruits”

 

“Watch this sermon”

 

“Ellen White said…”

 

“Read this book”

 

“Use the Bible”

 

“Attend a Gathering”

 

“Watch this Symposium”

 

…and the ever-popular…

 

“Study the history of the Jesuit infiltration into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

 

“Adventism” or “Adventisms?”

In Loma Linda, just as with potluck cuisines, there is a wide range of “Adventisms” that are both practiced and preached. Most of my spiritual experience from 2004 till 2010 revolved around Advent HOPE Sabbath School, South West Youth Conference, Restoration Ministry, and being in charge of recording seminars at GYC for AudioVerse. I was thoroughly immersed in what some would call “conservative circles.”

The only exception was when I would occasionally attend a young adult Sabbath School at CrossWalk SDA Church. One of my “progressive” friends, Ron Osborn, ran a discussion-style class, and I would occasionally drop in to join the “conversation” which mostly consisted of me holding one “unique” (read: “traditional Adventist”) view, and the rest of the class holding another view on the subjects discussed. Overall, though, since my days at Kettering College, it had been a while since I had attended what I would term a “progressive” ministry event.

 

At The ONE Project: Live and In Color

When I arrived at the ONE Project Gathering in Seattle, I set up all my interviews with the five founders of the ministry. Pastor Japhet De’Olivera was the first person I talked to about sitting down for an interview. Pastor Sam Lenor agreed as well, and seated next to him was the head of the European ONE Project, Dr. Tom DeBruin, who also agreed to join in.

A few hours later, I ran into both Pastor Alex Bryan and Pastor Tim Gillespie having a conversation outside the main Conference Hall. They both agreed to be interviewed, but requested their questions in writing, “So that I can give precise answers,” said Bryan. I ran into Pastor Terry Swenson during one of the breaks between the sessions, and he agreed as well. With all five founders agreeing to talk on the record for The Compass Magazine, I felt I had secured a good opportunity to gather first-hand data for my yet-to-be-developed framework for evaluating the ministry.

 

As I settled into my chair at the Gathering, I noticed a few changes from my previous liberal Adventist experiences at Kettering College, as well as what conservative Adventists typically expect at progressive convocations. Gone was the emphasis on feelings and emotion; in its place was a minimalist style approach to worship. There was a simple song service—yes, with guitars and drums—but also sermons that possessed actual Biblical content and frequent use of the Spirit of Prophecy.

 

As I listened and participated in the conversations held after the sermonettes, I was impressed. The attendees at my table ranged from a young pastor and his wife to some high school and college students. All of them used both the Bible and Ellen White’s writings (and not in a general way, but quoting specific verses and passages from both).

 

Granted, I have friends who would have been deeply offended by the drums and Christian Contemporary Music, but there wasn’t anything being preached or discussed at my table that was remotely un-Adventist, let alone emergent. As I walked out of the Conference Hall after the last event, a radical thought struck me:

 

“Has God moved on from GYC and decided to start something with the ONE Project?”

 

Back in my hotel room, a friend called me. She wanted a full report of the day’s events. We talked for over two hours, and at the end, I said, “You have to come next year! Buy your ticket now!” “Okay, I will,” she promised. The next day, she did.

Click here to read the rest of this series on the One Project

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About the author

Adrian Zahid is a senior partner at a management consulting firm in southern California. A recent survivor of advanced-stage cancer, he is trying to make the most of the second lease on life that God has given him. He is the cofounder of Intelligent Adventist and in his free time enjoys helping nonprofits be sustainable and the Seventh-day Adventist Church succeed in fulfilling the Great Commission.

  • Anthony Bosman

    Interesting reflections. I appreciate your willingness to promote conversation between members of the different “Adventisms”. We need more of it.

    I was struck by the reflection: “Has God moved on from GYC and decided to start something with the ONE Project?”

    I have heard individuals compare the two often, I suppose for obvious reasons, but I am not sure how productive this is. After all, they have distinct stated purposes. For that reason, I am less interested in comparing conferences and more interested in analysis of what that stated purpose is for each, how well the conference/organization is fulfilling that purpose, and if that purpose is in harmony with the mission Christ has entrusted to us.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. I will share a couple of interviews, later in the series, where the founders address the comparisons between GYC and the ONE Project.

  • Doug Yowell

    “Study the history of the Jesuit infiltration into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

    That’s my personal favorite. It generally ends the conversation without the need for further inquiry. I appreciate your willingness to investigate the One Project before arriving at any conclusion. Thanks for the article. When’s the next install?

  • Brenda124

    Adrian, this is very interesting promotion of One Project, especially with this last thought about God maybe moving from GYC to T1P.
    I am surprised that after reading all emergent authors you have not been able to recognize the similarities and influence of the Emergent Church. There are many forms of the Emergent movement and not all need to be present at the certain gathering. Insistence on emotional worshipping and contemplative disciplines are just some of the characteristics of this movement. Maybe one of the most important is that the truth is not objective, but relational. Another important thing is that the primary mission of the EC is to reinvent traditional Christianity and redifine (the gospel) the story of Christ in order to reach today’s postmodern culture.
    T1P is certainly not shy when it comes to idea of reinventing Adventism and emphasis on everything relational.

    Here is the example of that in the speech of Tom de Bruin in Utrecht 2014. You can listen to it yourself, but here are some highlights.
    “Gospel is not a set of teachings, the old school truth of my grandmothers’ generation, the Revelation. It is the truth 2.0 of our generation – relation. Gospel is relationship.” (Typcal emergent idea.)
    Then there is gentle mocking of traditional Adventism through the story of dear old grandmother we love but not take seriously when it comes to theology.
    Finally, obsession about relationships through relational view of the Trinity, that warns participants of Christo-monism that ends up sounding suspiciously like anti-trinitarianism that denigrate Jesus Christ.
    “We say Jesus All but what do we mean? Think about the names Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace… Now these names are not Jesus’ names they are God’s names. Jesus is not the Counselor or the Father or the Mighty God or the Prince of peace. These names do not describe Messiah nor do they make Messiah God. The names here are attributed to Jesus from not what we call ontological statement saying who Jesus is, but historical statement what Jesus does… God is these things and Jesus is not. Christ is not God or God’s work, he is the center of God’s work.
    Christ brings peace on earth on behalf of the Prince of peace like, he is not the Prince of peace. Christ deals the mighty blow against God’s adversary as a mighty warrior of God, but He is not the Mighty God…
    (Jesus is not Prince of peace and Mighty God?)

    And Christo-monism restricts revelation only to Jesus Christ and in that case Jesus becomes quite literally all. And this is not only danger in devotional expression as we sing hymns and pray our prayers, it is a danger in sophisticated theological statement as well. Because God is greater than Christ and if we try to express God only through Christ we make God smaller than He is…

    As Adventists we are followers of American flavor of Christianity… (here is inserted distasteful joke that everyone understood very well)
    The Adventist theology that saved us from this horrible, terrible theological desert of Calvinism also gave us Charismatics and snake handlers. And in our church we see it mainly in sentimentality and emotionality in famous hymns What a Friend we Have in Jesus, Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine, And He Walks with me… (those are emotional hymns as opposed to contemporary Christian worship songs that repeat two lines??) They are not anti-trinitarian, but they are very Jesus focused.

    Jesus is the present truth but he is not all the truth. Jesus is much but not all. We want Jesus and that Jesus focus thing but we don’t want to lose God.”
    (I suppose that by God he could mean Father but he doesn’t qualify that so we keep hearing that Jesus is not God and that he is lesser than God.)

    Imagining Christ creating people puts Christ too high… because then there is no place for God because God becomes superfluous.

    It is interesting to watch confused faces of the people who came to hear that Jesus is all. But that’s what emerging theology is – confusing.
    I understand that Compass Magazine wants to find a middle ground, but that is becoming very difficult. I would definitely rather stay with GYC.

    https://youtu.be/jjKBMTAo7Hs

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I was just sharing my initial reactions as I experienced them. Please keep coming back as the series will continue to progress. We want to be fair and charitable to everyone regardless of their individual belief while still holding true to Scripture and God’s Calling for us as individuals and as a Church. 🙂

      • Brenda124

        I agree that we should be fair and charitable, but we should also be discerning. Thank you.

  • torre1492

    Hey Adrian! Long time no talk bro! An excellent start to what I perceive will be an excellent series. Looking forward to the rest!

    Also, I am pleased to hear you are in good health. Praise God!

  • after seeing who has been tasked to speak this year at one project…yeah, it’s emergent. Look up crosswalk church of Gillespie…NOTHING ADVENTIST about it. My first thought was to look up C.D. Brooks sermon on youtube of “I Want My Church Back”…it is more than applicable when it comes to one project or Gillespie of crosswalk….

    • pagophilus

      I see they do yoga at Crosswalk. Fits in perfectly with emergent spirituality.

      • I deal with the ‘yoga’ issue later in the series, although it isn’t directly related to The ONE Project.

        • pagophilus

          I’ll be interested to see where your series heads, because it is exactly issues like this that are not directly related to the One Project but involve the personalities that need to be addressed.

          When politicians go electioneering people look at what the politicians get up to outside of politics, what groups/clubs they belong to, where they invest their money, which foreign dictators they spend time with etc. This is important because it tells you more about the person you are potentially voting for and their mindset. The peripheral issues actually are important.

          Hence, where the leaders of the One Project studied, what goes on in their churches, what books they recommend (without disclaimers), their recent history, the books they write, the music they play etc are all very relevant.

          It goes for any organization conservative, liberal or otherwise (even GYC), that they tell you what they want you to know. Thus, relying only on what the founders and leaders tell you is not enough.

    • C.D. Brook’s sermon is a classic and one of my all time favorites. 🙂

  • Fredy A Reinosa

    Thanks , Adrian ! I will keep looking for the next .

  • Ted Burc

    Just look up Leonard Sweet. He is a self-proclaimed mystic that the one proj endorses and has had as a main speaker many times and looks up to him like a savior…. That says it all. And please don’t ever compare it to GYC. It’s like night and day. Especially if you have never attended a GYC.

    • Thanks Ted. I have not only looked up Sweet but read through his books as well. I discuss him later in the series. You are welcome to respond to my analysis on him then. As for GYC, I’ve attended it many times and have each time volunteered in various roles including running the first Total Church seminar series at GYC in 2010. There are significant differences between the two movements and similarities as well. The key is knowing why the difference exists. 🙂

  • Skhu Dube

    Adrian, interesting article. I’ve looked into the One Project myself when it started up, and I have made my conclusions about the ministry. I am interested in your analysis of them, I always like to learn more from other people’s perspectives on topics that I am interested in. You did mention that based on your study of the One Project, you believe that Steve Wohlberg mis-characterized them as emergent/emerging, I have seen that same presentation and i am curious to hear more on this from your point of view, I hope you will address it in your series.

    Had I not gathered from the comments here that this is the first installment in a series, I wouldn’t have known that this was not an endorsement :). I enjoyed reading this, and I’m looking forward to more. Thanks brother, and praise God for preserving your life and restoring you to good health.

    • Thanks! Keep reading as the articles come out.

  • Jerrod Boling

    Wow this author speaks just like The One Project… He walks to close to the line of saying sin is ok… The author okays the worship music, shoves Pastor Wolhberg to the side without any real issues being addressed. But because the author is supporting The One Project I’m sure he will get to keep his job… 2017 is it the time of the Great Shaking to shed light on the darkness of His end time church while the NAD chooses to cause division. All the more reason to be looking towards the cross instead of TOP for spiritual direction. For a fair a balanced article of a first hand experience with The One Project I encourage everyone to read this article. http://www.fulcrum7.com/blog/2016/9/9/a-day-at-the-one-project

    • I invite you to keep reading through the series and then decide for yourself using God’s Word as your guide. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Your projections of Adrian’s thinking is almost as sad as your upvoting your own comment, Jerrod.

      • Jerrod Boling

        earlysda their are multiple reasons one would vote up a comment. Agreement, saying amen, showing an importance. “You shall know them by their fruits”. Looking at which side of the pendulum the compass sways to along with the authors background and how he chooses not to talk about certain topics give me great amounts of concern.

        • Agreeing with yourself.
          Saying “amen” to yourself.
          Showing importance to yourself.
          .
          Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
          .
          You need to repent and learn of our humble Saviour – Jesus Christ.

  • Hi from a GYC Ambassador. I have watched a few T1P presentations and,
    frankly, hadn’t find anything really worrisome. One of the speakers is even my
    personal acquaintance, whom I regard very highly as a person and a thinker and
    who, I know from private discussions, holds a very high view of Scripture’s
    authority, is wary of academic and cultural overridings of it, and holds a
    strict non-pluralistic view of truth – in many ways, a typical „mainstream“
    SDA. Thus, I agree alarms about T1P are largely exaggarated. Don’t buy into
    others’ fear-mongering, but see for yourself.

    However, what bothers me is that some Conferences add sermons from T1P to their
    official youtube channels, while at the same time denying GYC the same
    privilege, telling others it’s dangerous and even discouraging them to attend
    it. That’s also fear-mongering. Discussion needs to open on both ends, free of
    prejudice and labeling.

    • You bring up a great point in your last paragraph: one of fairness. I think the Conferences in question, feel that The ONE Project is an ‘official’ part of the Church. They think that GYC is an ‘independent’ or perhaps a ‘supporting’ ministry of the Church. That is why they feel it is okay to feature The ONE Project in their official stream while denying GYC the same ‘air-time’. The other aspect is perhaps they may feel that The ONE Project is more in line with their theological beliefs and view GYC from a different lens…Support for both ministries is uneven in my experience across the North American Division but tilted perhaps towards The ONE Project.

      • I’m interested in why those Conferences feel T1P is an ‘official’ part of the Church and GYC isn’t?

        • Will be part of my series/analysis

          • Ok, looking forward to it.

          • Btw, this came into my mind:

            “It’s a privilege to strongly endorse GYC as it champions faith in the
            Bible, heeds the counsels of the Spirit of Prophecy, promotes service to
            others, and engages in evangelistic outreach. I wholeheartedly support
            any youth initiative, denominationally-organized or otherwise, that
            strives to maintain such wonderful ideals. What a privilege for the
            Columbia Union, the Alleghany East Conference and the Chesapeake
            Conference to have the GYC annual convention meet here in their
            territory” (http://perspectives.adventist.org/en/sermons/sermons/go/2011-01-01/generation-of-youth-for-christ/)

            Pretty strong endorsement for a GC president. Now, it doesn’t make it ‘official’, but it should make us pause before we dismiss it as ‘independent’ and unworthy of support (or worse, worthy of actively opposing it). Hate and shunning I’ve been experiencing simply because I’m a GYC ambassador doesn’t do my liberal friends a favor. All the more because they’d be surprised I’m rather quite liberal on some issues. GYC is not a monolith, it has a spectrum (yes, I said that word) of different people and views (e.g you may be surprised by this vlog by GYC’s GVP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72T4Qj3ze8E) gathered around the desire for a more intimate relationship with Jesus, Word-based spirituality, Adventist identity, authentic missional life, and academic/professional excellence (see the Spirit of GYC). And ironically, GYC is the place where I first learned about the supremacy of Jesus, the living Christ, beginning to see Him in the whole of Scripture. So… Engagement before judgement, transparency, fairness and grace is what I’d like to see more on all sides.

            And I’d like to see all of us participate as ONE generation of youth for Jesus in GYD this Sabbath. 😉 I believe that when we seriously come together for mission, we’ll see the pettiness of our disagreements, and will be led to pray together for resolvement, rather than pray against the other, deeming the church will be better off when liberals leave, or vice versa. “They were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1) – how I long to see that day!

          • SoCalJody

            I would prefer God’s analysis.

          • I’m using God’s Word as the foundation of my analysis. If God were to be analyze, I don’t think any one of us would still be here. He will share His analysis at the end of time with everyone present, on the last day. 🙂

          • SoCalJody

            Leonard Sweet, professor, mentor, and guru of several Project One founders, and Leonard’s hermeneutics in his own words:
            Leonard Sweet has launched his new website PreachTheStory.com where you can find free preaching resources, as well as premium sermons and preaching advice: PreachTheStory.com Are you ready for the Revolution? Embrace the 21st century with sermons that speak the language of your culture. Join the Homiletic Revolution and Preaching Renaissance. A revolution is a protest–against word-based exegesis. A renaissance is a positive expression of construction and creativity–founded on stories and images, narratives and metaphors (narraphors)—with a soundtrack. Join at $9 per month and login to get: A weekly sermon based on the traditional lectionary by Len Sweet. A weekly story lectionary. A weekly Image Exegesis based on the story of the week by Lori with comments section for your additions and discussions of the metaphor. A weekly story sermon, based on the scriptural metaphor of the week by Len Sweet and with comments section for your responses, ideas, and the ways you’ve used the material. Sweet Nothings – weekly 3-5 minute semiotic videos of Len Sweet –connecting scripture to the semiotics of everyday life The Commons – a preaching blog with ideas for interactive Story sermon writing and image exegesis (a la Giving Blood) *Coming Soon In the future: special creative sections on preaching and ministry by some of the country’s budding pastors FREE at preachthestory.com: Pastor’s Prayer – by Len The Open Table – an interactive Book gathering Sound Theology –a sound bite for your sermon writing Napkin Scribbles – words of wisdom from Len Sweet The Lectionary Readings The Story Lectionary Passage The Images of the Week “Tweetables” from each…

          • Ron Duffield

            Leonard Sweet is also “currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Madison, NJ and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, Portland, Oregon.” Who is E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), and why does he have a Foundation named after him which is dedicated to extend his legacy and teachings through many Professor’s of Evangelism like Leonard Sweet? E. Stanley Jones was a Methodist missionary to India, a prolific writer, but best known for his “interreligious lectures” where he sought to “yoke the Christian spirit and the Indian spirit” into one. He was what we could call today the emerging church guru of the 1920s to 1960s. His teachings were being promoted by certain teachers in our Seminary in the 1950s, which brought about a warning response from former GC President W. A. Spicer, and ministers Robert Wieland and Donald Short. In fact, the original manuscript/book “1888 Re-Examined” was written in in 1950 in response to the attempt to bring in false teachings about Christ and righteousness by faith into our seminary and into our church in contrast to the message God sent in 1888 (much of this is edited out of the 1987 edition). I cover this in-depth in a well documented PowerPoint presentation where I asked the question if The One Project is the new 1888 message for today as is claimed by some: http://thegreatcontroversy.info/11a-the-emerging-church.html There is more to this One Project than Adrian Zahid is stating. Buyer be ware.

          • Frances Fisher Cook

            Was just cruising some SDA sites and came across your writing. My heart rejoices to know there are young voices with experience, sound judgement, integrity, fairness and commitment in the church to come. I thank God for you.

          • SoCalJody

            Thank you. I am not born SDA, and been there, done that with Leonard Sweet types. It is new for SDAs, I guess. Homiletic revolution – preach the STORY. Most Sunday churches have story preachers to take off on one or two verses. Also, if you research these new prayer methods, they are old stuff — you do this and that over and over, and presto, God does this. Wow, sounds wonderful. Then, if you do this and that over and over faithfully and God does not, you throw away the bible and God — either you are a failure or God is not real/mean/does not like me. I was blown away by SDAs understanding/preaching of the Bible in its connected whole, acceptance of a different God than I knew — and EGW/3ABN. With Sweet’s sweet words, SDAs are drawn to where I came from . . . ugh. Just a warning — ugh-ville.

          • Ron Duffield

            Leonard Sweet is also “currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Madison, NJ and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, Portland, Oregon.” Who is E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), and why does he have a Foundation named after him which is dedicated to extend his legacy and teachings through many Professor’s of Evangelism like Leonard Sweet? E. Stanley Jones was a Methodist missionary to India, a prolific writer, but best known for his “interreligious lectures” where he sought to “yoke the Christian spirit and the Indian spirit” into one. He started what was known as “Christian Ashrams.” An Ashram in India was a place to go practice the Hindu religion, through yoga, sacrifices and penances. Here is how E. Stanley Jones summed it up in one of his books: “Our call, they say, is to share with non-Christian faiths,
            and this sharing means not only giving out what one has to non-Christians, but sharing what they have in their own faiths…. The sharing seems to mean not merely that our Church-life, our civilization and our Christianity, which has been built up round Christ and our creedal and devotional expression of Him, should be added to and supplemented by the non-Christian faiths; but it means that Christ Himself has deficiencies, which are to be supplied by other faiths. It means that Christ is not merely to fulfil the non-Christian faiths, but is to be fulfilled, or completed, by these faiths.” (E. Stanley Jones, The Message of Sat Tal Ashram, pp. 285, 291). So E. Stanley Jones was what we could call today the emerging church guru of the 1920s to 1960s. His books and teachings were being promoted by certain teachers in our Seminary in the 1950s, which brought about a warning response from former GC President W. A. Spicer (“The Spreading Cloud of Mysticism,” Review and Herald, April 6, 1950, p. 3; “Stand Fast in the Faith,” Review and Herald, Nov. 9, 1950, p. 12-13, 18-19), and by ministers Robert Wieland and Donald Short. In fact, the original manuscript/book “1888 Re-Examined” was written in 1950 in response to the attempt to bring in the false teachings about Christ and righteousness by faith of E. Stanley Jones and others, into our seminary and into our church, which was in contrast to the message God sent in 1888 (much of this is edited out of the 1987 edition). Now today, Leonard Sweet promotes E. Stanley Jones’ teachings in his DMin programs at George Fox University, where 4 out of the 5 One Project leaders received their DMin in “Leadership in the Emerging Culture” under Sweet’s tutelage.

          • Ron, Thank you for your comment. Please know that I have read every word you have written on the Emergent Church and The One Project including your presentation materials you reference in your comment. May God bless you.

          • Ron Duffield

            Sweet’s promotion of E. Stanley Jones Foundation can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjeV2EUG8_g

            Yes, the “presentation materials” I referenced on this topic are well documented in a PowerPoint presentation where I asked the question, is The One Project the new 1888 message for today as is claimed by some? Or is it just the resurrection of the Emerging Church teachings of E. Stanley Jones?
            http://thegreatcontroversy.info/11a-the-emerging-church.html

            There is more to this One Project, Adrian, than you are stating. And its not just what The One Project leaders are saying at the One Project gatherings, but also what they are not saying that matters, and how that all lines up with the books and authors they are promoting. I will be interested in what else you have to say on the topic. May God bless us both and give us that eye salve that helps us discern good from evil and evil from good.

          • Ron Duffield

            Leonard Sweet is also “currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Madison, NJ and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, Portland, Oregon.” Who is E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), and why does he have a Foundation named after him which is dedicated to extend his legacy and teachings through many Professor’s of Evangelism like Leonard Sweet? E. Stanley Jones was a Methodist missionary to India, a prolific writer, but best known for his “interreligious lectures” where he sought to “yoke the Christian spirit and the Indian spirit” into one. He was what we could call today the emerging church guru of the 1920s to 1960s. His teachings were being promoted by certain teachers in our Seminary in the 1950s, which brought about a warning response from former GC President W. A. Spicer, and ministers Robert Wieland and Donald Short. In fact, the original manuscript/book “1888 Re-Examined” was written in 1950 in response to the attempt to bring in false teachings about Christ and righteousness by faith into our seminary and into our church in contrast to the message God sent in 1888 (much of this is edited out of the 1987 edition). Now Leonard Sweet promotes E. Stanley Jones’ teachings in his DMin programs, such as “Leadership in the Emerging Culture” at George Fox University, where 4 out of the 5 One Project leaders received their DMin’s under his tutelage. https://www.youtube.com/wat… I cover this in-depth in a well documented PowerPoint presentation where I asked the question, is The One Project the new 1888 message for today as is claimed by some? http://thegreatcontroversy…. There is more to this One Project than Adrian Zahid is stating. Buyer be ware.

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