Quotes and Excerpts

 Merging Religion and Mystical"Science"

The Templeton Foundation


Skip down to Rick Warren | Fuller Seminary | The Lilly Endowment | Pew Trust & Rick Warren


John Templeton dies in Bahamas: "Templeton... graduated from Yale University and became a Rhodes scholar, earning a master's degree in law at Oxford University.... Templeton was influenced by the Unity School of Christianity, which takes a non-literal view of heaven and hell.... The philanthropist also was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a board member of the Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1987, he established the John Templeton Foundation to fund projects that could reconcile religion and science. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit has an estimated endowment of US$1.5 billion....Grants have been awarded to studies ranging from evolutionary biology and cosmology to love and forgiveness. Templeton was knighted in 1987 for his philanthropic accomplishments."  


Unity School of Christianity: "The Unity School of Christianity is a classic new age cult. It has the appearance of being Christian; however, it holds pantheistic or new age beliefs at its core. Unity was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889, and was later incorporated as a church in 1903 by the Unity Society of Practical Christianity.... The Unity School of Christianity began as a quest for physical healing by its co-founder... Even before their marriage in March of 1881 Myrtle had already developed an eclectic theology. Charles had a background in Hinduism, Buddhism, Rosicrucianism, and Theosophy."

Grants to Association of Unity Churches from John Templeton Foundation: "$3,509,971 for [1999-2004]."


Sir John Templeton, founder of the Templeton Prize, dies aged 95: "Templeton was known for starting mutual funds' annual meetings with a prayer. He explained that the devotional words were not pleas for financial gain... but rather meditations to calm and clear the minds of managers and stockholders.

      "The annual Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion grew out of the philanthropist's belief that honors equivalent to Nobel Prizes should be bestowed on living innovators in religious action and thought. Mother Teresa of Calcutta received the first prize in 1973. Other winners include evangelist Billy Graham.... Hindus, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims have been on the panel of judges and have been recipients. The multi-faith framework of the prize calls for 'a clearer acceptance of the diversity of gifts within the major religions of the world,' Templeton said in 1972... 'Alive today are other persons to whom God is revealing further holy truths.' ...

       "In 1968, Templeton renounced his American citizenship to avoid taxes.... Templeton contributed a sizable amount of his fortune to his foundation, the Templeton Foundation. In 1972, the Templeton Foundation began awarding the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities."



A Bridge over other Waters : "Few have done as much to promote a sense of unity among the world's religions than John Marks Templeton....

      "The Council for a Parliament of World Religions promotes inter-religious dialogue and plans for the world's 'spiritual future by having government institutionalize a global ethic.' Sir John Templeton serves on the Parliament of World Religions board of trustees. ...

      "Christianity Today introduced Templeton’s book, Discovering The Laws of Life, to a Christian audience in 1994. They assigned the entire back cover of its April 24, 1994 issue with an ad promoting it.... The ad contained the endorsements of Norman Vincent Peale (who also wrote the foreword), Robert Schuller, Billy Graham... and J. Peter Grace (head of the Knights of Malta). Templeton's beliefs are clearly expressed in his numerous writings: He is an evolutionist, pantheist, universalist, and has occultic views. His writings display a rejection of the God of the Bible, Christ as the only way to God. He claims that heaven and hell are states of mind we create here on earth that truth is relative, and that Christianity is no longer relevant today as it was in Christ’s day." See Templeton: Merging Religion & Science



Patrons of the Evangelical Mind: "Other major foundations with mainline Protestant roots, though not specifically targeting evangelicals, have funded the work of evangelical scholars. One is the John Templeton Foundation. Born in 1912 in Tennessee, Templeton was raised a Cumberland Presbyterian. But he was also influenced by the Unity School of Christianity, which teaches that all great religions embody part of ultimate truth and move toward the same goal. He made his fortune as a Wall Street financier, but his deeper interest was trying to get Science and Religion to sit in the same room without throwing things at each other. [See Indigo Children and Conversations with "God"]

      "He set up the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1972. The $1 million-plus prize—by design, always more than the Nobel Prize—has been religiously evenhanded. In good Unity fashion, it has been awarded to preachers, activists, and scholars of many religions, including evangelicals. ...

      "Then in 1987 Templeton set out to focus on establishing connections between religion and science, but also to explore the relationship between religion and health and promote character development."


Rick Warren & Templeton's Power of Purpose

The next five excerpts describe a global contest judged by five authorities -- including Rick Warren -- on the "Power of Purpose." All the links were changed, and the obsolete links have been replaced with functional ones.

The Power of Purpose Awards - A worldwide Essay Competition: "Many religious traditions, both Eastern and Western, subscribe to the idea that there is something of God’s presence in each of us. Even for the growing number of people who describe themselves as spiritual, but not necessarily religious, there is a certain attachment to this concept of the divine spark....

      "...if purpose in its purest form is something greater than individual human beings or even groups of people, then surely purpose can be found elsewhere in the world. The 19th Century Romantics looked at nature itself and found this 'divine spark.

      "...it could be said that part of man’s purpose is to learn nature’s purpose. Finding evidence of purpose in our fellow human beings as well as in nature and the cosmos can help us to see the benefits of purpose, understand its origins and, perhaps, even broaden its reach."

      Notice that the emphasis is on the power or motivating force of purpose, not the actual purpose. As long as facilitators can design a strategic vision or purpose statement, they can manipulate the feelings and behavior of the group they lead. And their subjects won't even know that they are being controlled.

      This is a global strategy, conceived by devious men in the early 1900s, and developed by psycho-social visionaries at Tavistock Institute, Frankfurt Institute, SRI, MIT, Columbia University and Educational Laboratories across America. Now the churches have caught their vision of power, rewrapped the manipulative strategies in misleading Biblical terms, and are distributing the "tools" and "teachings" to churches around the world. See Deception and Steps toward Global Mind Control


The Power of Purpose Awards - The Judges: "The award-winning essays in this competition will be selected by this distinguished panel of judges, all of whom have exemplified throughout their lives and careers a strong and unmistakable understanding of The Power of Purpose. ... Nancy Brinker... Hugh Delehanty Editor in Chief, AARP Publications, Rick Warren... Paul Davies... Hugh Delehanty... Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President, Children's Defense Fund." (To learn more about Marian Wright Edelman, see Character Training For Global Citizenship)."

Meet the winner they selected:

August Turak: "Working toward this miraculous transformation, re-birth, or inner alchemy is the true purpose of life. This transformation is what the West calls 'conversion' and the East 'enlightenment,' and is the fruit of our commitment to the authentically purposeful life."

What is Purpose? "In day-to-day life, we encounter men and women who seem driven by something outside of themselves, whose commitment to their profession or volunteer activities, their community, or their cause seems to rise above the necessary, above the possible, above even the human. Indeed, we say that in such people we see 'the divine spark.'

     "Many religious traditions, both Eastern and Western, subscribe to the idea that there is something of God’s presence in each of us. Even for the growing number of people who describe themselves as spiritual, but not necessarily religious, there is a certain attachment to this concept of the divine spark. It is the sense that our lives can be guided from within by something more important than our simple survival, something not merely intellectual either, something in our souls." http://www.powerofpurpose.org/about.html



Rick Warren (as introduced on Templeton's Power of Purpose website): "Rick Warren is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold over 13 million copies and has ignited a spiritual movement in countless communities around the world. He is also the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, one of America’s largest and best-known churches....

    "Rick is also the author of The Purpose Driven Church, which has sold over one million copies in 21 languages. Winner of the Gold Medallion Ministry Book of the Year in 1996, it is used as a textbook in many universities and seminaries and was selected as one of the 100 Christian Books that changed the twentieth century. ...

    "Rick is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community that serves and mentors those in ministry. Currently 110,000 pastors subscribe to Rick’s Ministry Toolbox, a weekly email newsletter, and Pastors.com attracts between 60,000 to 100,000 pastors daily with news, chat forums, sermons, and other resources. ...Rick was born in San Jose, California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist College, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary."

The Templeton Foundation & Fuller Seminary

John Templeton Foundation: "Twenty distinguished neuroscientists, psychologists, biblical scholars, theologians, and educators will gather at The Lee Edward Travis Institute for Biopsycho-social Research, at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, on October 5 and 6 for a research symposium on the Science of Wisdom and the Laws of Life.

      "'It is our hope this symposium will help to stimulate increased international interest and research on the study of wisdom and 'laws of life', stated John M. Templeton Jr., M.D., President of the Foundation....

      "'The Travis Institute and the Foundation are bringing together an international group of senior scholars to examine, discuss, and explore three distinct areas of wisdom research: the source, the science, and the learning of wisdom." Fuller Seminary President Richard J. Mouw, Ph.D., will give the keynote address on Monday evening, October 5. ... Keynote speaker on Tuesday evening will be Mr. Dennis Prager....

       "Travis Institute at Fuller Seminary... fosters interdisciplinary research into the relationships between social systems, mental and affective states, core beliefs and religious values, neurobiological systems, and physical and mental health....

       "Previous symposia have been held on the science of forgiveness and on the science of optimism. John Marks Templeton founded the Foundation in 1987 to encourage progress in the moral and spiritual dimensions of life."



Human Sciences: "From stimulating new research to unlock the mysteries of spirituality in the human mind using recent advances in neurobiology to generating empirically based insights on the trends, patterns, and principles of spiritual growth during the college years, this area of the Foundation focuses on the human person and Sir John Templeton's unyielding optimism that there is much to learn from examining scientifically the nature and benefits of such spiritual principles as creativity, gratitude, altruism, and purpose."



Science eager to study spiritual change (Registration required): "When the Metanexus Institute on Science and Religion solicited research proposals for studying 'spiritual transformation,' its officials didn't expect to be inundated with 500 applications.... Scientists proposed examining changes in the brain during prayer and the effect a religious CEO can have on corporate culture....

     " Metanexus, a scholarly organization funded by the John Templeton Foundation,will award 20 grants of between $75,000 and $150,000 to specialists to study the process of spiritual transformation in a variety of contexts.... Spiritual transformation is a dramatic change in world and self views, purposes, religious beliefs, attitudes and behavior....      "'Traditionally, transformation happens because of suffering, love and beauty,'...

     "The gulf between science and religion remained until about 25 years ago. Since then, significant research has included studies described in The Transformed Self: The Psychology of Religious Conversion, a 1989 book by Chana Ullman. Ullman compares 'conversion processes' across different religious groups."

Metanexus' connection to [New Age] Foundation for Global Awakening

"What Is Enlightenment? is committed to radical new ways of thinking. Through asking the hard questions-in print, in an extensive online audio and video library, and via an international speakers forum-WIE engages with leading thinkers and visionaries to tackle the greatest challenges of our time, in science, spirituality, business, politics, social change, and more....

     "To participate in this unique forum for inquiry, take advantage of this special Free offer now (http://www.wie.org/consciousness/). 'WIE covers what I believe to be of the utmost importance to humanity at this time." - Alex Kochkin, Point Reyes Station, CA, USA


Foundation for Global Awakening (FGA) - Founders (and Directors): A series of commentaries from the founders and friends concerning crucial questions for a global awakening. ...  Tish Van Camp and Alex Kochkin (Quotes Teilhard de Chardin)



Positive Future Consulting -- The Authors: "Alexander S. Kochkin & Patricia M. Van Camp – social architects, innovators, and philanthropists.... sought to provide a scientifically viable instrument that would highlight the commonalities among Americans." The next link shows the book they wrote:



A New America: An Awakened Future on Our Horizon: "...new concepts are put forward – such as 'discernment with compassion' – to bridge the illusory gulf between people. This book is dedicated to everyone who is an agent of higher purpose and positive change ... and to everyone who has ever wondered about their own true nature....

     "...a publication by Global Awakening Press and released for distribution in April 2005."

MetaNexus to Host Science & Religion Conference: "Spiritual Capital: Global Perspectives on Economics and Religion.... June 3. ... This interdisciplinary forum will explore the economic and societal consequences of religion and spirituality as part of the emerging social science of 'spiritual capital.' Featured speakers include Theodore Malloch (the Roosevelt Group), Timur Kuran, (University of Southern California), and Robert Putnam (Harvard University; the author of Bowling Alone).

     “'We live at an extraordinary moment in the natural history of our planet and the cultural evolution of our species,' said William Grassie, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Metanexus Institute. 'The domains of science and the domains of religion, however understood, stand at the center of our hopes for a healthier and safer future. This is a moment for integrating the best of religion and the best of science in service of humanity and the world. This conference is an important opportunity to pursue this multifaceted, multidisciplinary, and multifaith challenge.'...

    "Metanexus Institute is an international organization based in Philadelphia that advances research, education, and outreach on the constructive engagement of science and religion through a variety of projects and opportunities for dialogue. Metanexus supports nearly 300 projects in 37 countries. The annual conference is, in part, a gathering of representatives of Metanexus’ Local Societies Initiative (LSI) members, who have established science-and-religion dialogues in their communities, networked with the global programs."



Believers go on rack to prove God relieves pain: "People are to be tortured in laboratories at Oxford University ... to determine whether belief in God is effective in relieving pain. Top neurologists, pharmacologists, anatomists, ethicists and theologians are to examine the scientific basis of religious belief and whether it is anything more than a placebo. ...

    "A central aspect of the two-year study, which has $2 million (£1.06 million) funding from the John Templeton Foundation, the US philanthropic body, will involve dozens of people being subjected to painful experiments in laboratory conditions. .... The aim is to develop new and practical approaches 'for promoting wellbeing and ultimately maximising individual human potential'.... 'We will simulate a burn sensation to see how people, through distraction or by accessing different strategies, can modulate and reduce the levels of pain.”



Religious New Summary, April 11, 1997 (no link): "The power of prayer will be tested in an experiment carried out at three American hospitals over two years. Out of three groups of 600 patients awaiting heart surgery, two groups will be told they may be prayed for; one will be prayed for, and the other will not. A third group will be aware they are being prayed for, and will be used to determine if that knowledge has an effect on their symptoms. The research is funded by the John Templeton Foundation, a charitable organization whose goal is to promote progress in religion. Results could be skewed by the patients themselves, or by others praying, a researcher said. In addition, God might 'decide not to cooperate,' the researcher said.”

John Templeton Foundation - Character: "Recognizing the importance of character and virtue in a free society, the Foundation supports a broad spectrum of programs, publications, and studies that promote character education from childhood through young adulthood. The goal is to encourage schools and colleges to reinforce such positive values as honesty, compassion, self-discipline, and respect, and to foster widespread conversations about character development and values."

Understanding Wisdom: "Evidence of wisdom can be seen in both perception and performance, in sacred scriptures and in brain images. An eminent group of scholars from fields as diverse as theology, philosophy, medicine, biology, psychology, and linguistics were brought together by the John Templeton Foundation to bring focus to this understudied area of scientific research."


Lilly Endowment


Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox: "The American Religion Data Archive (ARDA) is a project funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. and acts to preserve quantitative data on American religion, to improve access to this data, to increase the use of the data, and to allow comparisons across data files. The ARDA collection includes data on churches and church membership, religious professionals, and religious groups (individuals, congregations and denominations)."

The Lilly Endowment: "Gifts of stock in Eli Lilly and Company remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment.... In keeping with the wishes of the three founders, Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector."

Patrons of the Evangelical Mind -- Why has evangelical scholarship soared in the last few decades? "...several academic fields—most notably, sociology of religion, history of Christianity, and several areas of philosophy—are well-developed because of top-drawer scholarship by evangelicals. ...
       "Eli the younger also became the family philanthropist, and in 1936 pushed for creation of the family foundation called the Lilly Endowment. He was serious about Christianity but mainly for its utilitarian role in helping form better character. He was fond of books that repackaged the ethical teachings of Jesus in the psychological ideas of the day....
       "Today, the Lilly Endowment's wealth depends largely on the fortunes of the pharmaceutical company. These soared after 1988 when its biochemists invented Prozac.... By 1997 Lilly supplanted Ford as the richest foundation in the nation (...passed by the Gates Foundation in 2002). ... In order to fulfill their mandate to marshal religious resources to make society more humane, directors Robert Lynn and Craig Dykstra developed a strategy of underwriting scholarship, mainly in theology and in the sociology and history of American religion....
      "In 1979 Lynn arranged a Lilly grant of $15,000 to Noll and Hatch for a conference on the Bible in American history at Wheaton College.... Harold Lindsell... a Wheaton trustee, objected that some of the invited scholars weren't true evangelicals.... But Wheaton vice president Dave Johnston told Lindsell that scholarship did not demand ideological purity.... Lynn was pleased with the outcome and followed up with $200,000 that launched the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals (ISAE). ... Since then, Lilly has spent over $2 million on the work of the ISAE."

Lilly Endowment - religion: "The Endowment has focused on supporting programs and projects that address four broad questions: How do we identify, recruit and call forth a new generation of talented Christian pastors? How do we best prepare and train new ministers for effective and faithful pastoral leadership?...  When well-prepared, thoughtful, imaginative, able and caring pastors lead congregations, these communities of faith tend to thrive....

     "In summary, the Endowment supports efforts ... to support scholars and educators who seek to help the American people better understand contemporary religion and the role it plays in our public and personal lives; and to strengthen the contributions that religious ideas, practices, values and institutions make to the common good of our society."

Note: The Lilly Endowment has also helped fund the Drucker Foundation. But more recently, it has shown its support for Baptist leadership and pastoral training. Strangely enough, the two -- Druckers communitarian vision for the "social sector" and seminary training in community-building -- fit together. The article, "Golden Gate Seminary Receives $300,000 Lilly Endowment Grant tells us that the funds would provide "hardware, software, renovations and training needed to fully integrate up-to-date technology" with the seminary's training program. This grant makes all the more sense in light of a new partnership between Golden Gate Seminary and Saddleback Church. The Baptist seminary will build a new branch on the Saddleback campus to train church leaders to use the digital data tracking technology needed to meet and monitor community needs around the world. ["Saddleback, Golden Gate Launch Partnership for Educating Laity"]

To clarify the connection between Lilly Endowment and the Purpose-Driven movement, go to Social Change and Communitarian Systems.

Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation: "Discuss how the projects shape vocational imagination and impact student lives;
Make connections between young adults who are leaders, oriented toward service, and attuned to faith and the church.... Model collaborative conversation as a tool for continued leadership development...."
See Reinventing the World Part 2: The Mind-Changing Process

Readings and Resources for Lilly Faculty Seminar: "Readings.... Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.... Inter-religious Dialogue on Meaning and Vocation Readings Diana Eck, Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banarus (Chapter 7). Beacon Press, 1993. Rita Gross, Meditating on Jesus (pages 32-51). Continuum, 2000. Steve Hagen, Buddhism Plain and Simple (Introduction & Chapter 1). Broadway Books, 1997. Thich Nhat Hanh and Daniel Berrigan, The Raft Is Not the Shore (Foreword & Chapters 1, 7-8). Orbis Books, 2001.

     "Writing assignment: Narrate one of your encounters with religious difference... then reflect on the following questions: Is Eck’s approach to religious diversity compelling? Is it realistic? That is, is it humanly possible to remain 'distinctly ourselves' while positively embracing religious others? Which of the following is most threatening to you? ... The Buddhisppalachia? Religiously conservative students?"


What is the Lilly project? "EMU received a five-year, $2million grant from the Lilly Endowment, a private family foundation that supports many Christian endeavors. This grant provides funding for the theological exploration of vocation. ...

     "EMU defines vocation as an invitation or call to partner with God in God’s creative, liberating, sustaining work in the world. Following one’s vocation involves more than just choosing the right career; it involves placing one’s total life into the service of God and our neighbors. ...

    "The third focus of the Lilly Project challenges students to consider pastoral ministry as a career. We provide resources that allow more students to participate in our Ministry Inquiry Program next summer."

Church of God Ministries Receives Lilly Endowment Grant to "Sustain Pastoral Excellence": "Has your home congregation encouraged you to consider pastoral ministry? Have you experienced that setting as a safe place to tests your gifts? Have others tapped you on the shoulder for possible church vocation involvement?....Our congregations and fellowships need gifted pastoral leaders to serve with passion, integrity and expertise. Creating a Culture of Call places congregational encouragement and discernment at the heart of the call as it partners with conferences to discern and equip our future church leadership."


The History of 'Faith at Work': "Smaller groups allowed greater openness and emotional intimacy. In that environment new procedures developed. These procedures were partly the outgrowth of the Human Potential movement and related behavioral principles and processes. Transactional Analysis with its emphasis on personal O.K.ness, the National Training Laboratories with their interest in honest and open encounter....
      "...the concept of Christian wholeness was made central to the relational life style.... Under the leadership of Faith at Work, and with some funding assistance from the Lilly Endowment, a series of clergy conferences was held in the spring of 1970 in six American centers.... The result was the Leadership Training (Development) Program which was launched with another grant from the Lilly Endowment.... The objectives of self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-delight, of group building, and of discerning gifts governed the institute program. Here as elsewhere there was an effort to fuse Biblical faith with insights from the behavioral sciences.
      "The Seminarian Program was a further effort to share the relational life style and the Faith at Work witness with denominations and local churches. ...
      "The matter of 'change' itself had changed. When Sam Shoemaker talked about 'getting changed,' he meant originally being converted.... Faith at Work... now saw conversion as initiating a series of changes in all areas of personhood: the conceptual, confessional volitional, physical, emotional and relational....
      "The newer order certainly deplored arrogance and egotism but saw these behaviors and attitudes as consequences of a lack of healthy self-love. Hence the emphasis was less on inducing guilt than on recovering the fact of God's awareness and acceptance of us in Christ."
Romans 12:2



Pew trusts


Patrons of the Evangelical Mind: "The Pew trusts were founded between 1948 and 1979 by the wealthy children of J.N. Pew, who made his money in oil. The son who succeeded J.N. as head of Sun Oil Company was J. Howard Pew, a lifelong mainline Presbyterian. J. Howard's main philanthropic interests were supporting free enterprise against big government and supporting America's free-enterprise form of Christianity, evangelicalism. He gave a lot of money to parachurch groups like the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, and Young Life. He also helped launch a couple of evangelical intellectual enterprises—Christianity Today in 1956 and Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary in 1969....

      "...the influence that the Pew programs have had can be seen in the discipline of philosophy, specifically metaphysics. Inspired by the pioneers of this movement.... a new generation of exceptionally talented Christians has now moved to the top of the field. One of these is Dean Zimmerman, who ... was diverted from literature when the local InterVarsity chapter brought philosopher Keith Yandell to campus. Yandell's powerful defense of Christianity, and the commotion it caused on campus, convinced Zimmerman that philosophy was an effective language for the Christian faith. Seeking to focus some of the new metaphysical energy, Zimmerman launched annual Metaphysical Mayhem conferences.


Rick Warren, 'America's Pastor': "Appearing before a small group of journalists at a Pew Forum conference in May, bestselling preacher Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life) presents himself as a working pastor with no aspirations to be a celebrity, who just happened to write a historic book: 'When you write the best-selling book in the world for the last three years, that changes your life,' he confides in passing.... He has chosen to address our small group 'because I only speak to influencers.... I read all of your stuff all the time,' he says in a hyperbolic appeal to our vanity....

     "Ten percent of America's churches have engaged in '40 Days of Purpose' programs, Warren notes, which have 'spread' to secular organizations, including sports teams and major corporations such as Ford, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola, not to mention the military."

  Home | Index | Seeking God in Harry Potter