Quotes and Excerpts




Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture, by Leonard Sweet (Zondervan, 1999). In his endorsement on the front cover, Rick Warren praises the message: "Soul Tsunami shows us why these are the greatest days for evangelism since the first century."

CHANGE OR BE CHANGED — In the old ecology of nature, change was seen as abnormal. In the new ecology of nature, change is life’s natural, normative state.... What works today won’t work tomorrow.
     "One book on 'change management' theory opens with this quiz: 'Try to think of a major industry that is not experiencing profound upheaval.' The wonder is that churches are not in more disarray. ... They are standing pat, opting to uphold the status quo rather than undergo the upheaval....Postmodern culture is a change-or-be-changed world. The word is out:
Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die." (p. 74-75)

 From Quantum Spirituality by Leonard Sweet

"A quantum spirituality challenges the church to bear its past and to dare its future by sticking its big TOE into the time and place of the present. ... Then, and only then, will a New Light movement of 'world-making' faith have helped to create the world that is to, and may yet, be. Then, and only then, will earthlings have uncovered the meaning... of the last words poet/activist/contemplative/bridge between East and West Thomas Merton uttered: "We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity." (page 10)

"Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center. In pram, the physics of David Bohm and Fritjof Capra are ways of responding to culture's having pushed it there. In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, 'The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing.'... Mysticism... is metaphysics arrived at through mind body experiences. Mysticism, begins in experience; it ends in theology." (page 76) 

Note: Yes, mysticism leads to new belief systems -- but the spiritual guides behind those beliefs are the enemies of God and tormentors of humanity.

Stuck in a closet with Leonard Sweet: "Rain pelted the campus of the small Baptist university where futurist, historian and author Leonard Sweet... was speaking at a regional pastor's conference. ...  There, with only a few interruptions, we discussed pop culture....

      "[RELEVANT magazine:] You've said a bit in the past about the church needing to use the medium of pop culture as a vehicle for the Gospel. Why is that?

      "[Leonard Sweet:] Because it's the Roman road; it's the road people are traveling on; it's the dominant global culture. For the church not to speak to pop culture, not to use images that come from it and sounds that come from it, smells that come from it, well ... that's not being very incarnational ... In order to incarnate Christ into the culture that is there, then we have to look to redeem pop culture.....

     "[RM:] But the church in the last hundred years hasn't changed much.

     "[LS:] And that's the reason it's been dying. It's been feeding off fruit that's decaying and rotten; nobody wants to touch it except for a few die-hards that have grown used to the rancid odor."


Now Ready for Prime Time Players: "The Emergent church is carried by its mission for change -- for Christians and the church.  ...a new leadership that is focusing on our youth is intent on changing the church, updating it for our times. Many of the youth are on an active search to experience their faith. While we cannot fault them for wanting this to be more real, they are listening to leaders who are apt to lead them astray by the simple fact that they are using other religious practices for the answers to their searching, not just the Scripture...

     The youth are often more than willing to reject the old doctrines and redefine what Christianity is. In this process of discovery, we see a deconstruction and what emerges is a reconstruction of their Christianity...  Thus, they believe they are making their faith their own, personal and in some cases unique, even to what the Bible presents.

     "Others have adopted a wider openness for other beliefs, that are originating in other religions and alternate spiritual beliefs and practices indicative of the new age movement (Leonard Sweet has this in his book Quantum Spirituality). ....We hear that we are out of touch with the times, the culture, and the consciousness change. All these sentiments are echoed by mystic universalist Matthew Fox who has said “Christianity has been out of touch with its `core,' its center, its sense of mystical practice and cosmic awareness." (The Cosmic Christ, p. 7, by Matthew Fox) ...

      "As Dan Kimball says “we must rethink virtually everything we are doing in our ministries.” On Rick Warrens internet site Dan Kimball writes “So, the emerging church is about is a re-imagining: re-imagining our preaching, our evangelism, and our worship services. A re-imagining of new types of churches and an opportunity to be rethinking all we do because we recognize that the next generation is at stake if we don't. (Ministry toolbox Issue #110 7/9/2003 Three Things to Know About the Emerging Church by Dan Kimball) ...

     "Henri Nouwen, a promoter of contemplative prayer and a universalist is referenced by Rick Warren in his book Purpose Driven Life (page 269). Henri Nouwen - “Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen to the voice of love ...

    "For Christian leadership to be truly fruitful in the future, a movement from the moral to the mystical is required” (In the Name of Jesus, p. 6,31-32). We should expect more Biblical discernment from national leaders. ...Leonard Sweet in his book Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture says: “Postmoderns want a God they can feel, taste, touch, hear and smell--a full sensory immersion in the divine.”

Since Leonard Sweet often quotes David Bohm, this quote is significant to church transformation:

Bohm Dialogue : "...it is proposed that a form of free dialogue may well be one of the most effective ways of investigating the crisis which faces society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness today. Moreover, it may turn out that such a form of free exchange of ideas and information is of fundamental relevance for transforming culture and freeing it of destructive misinformation, so that creativity can be liberated." David Bohm

Karl Rahner: A Brief Biography: "Rahner argued that we can know of God by attending to the movement of our knowing itself towards its objects.... Hence, the movement of our knowing, and the ultimate goal towards which it reaches, can be grasped only indirectly (or "transcendentally") as our thinking turns back on itself. Rahner identified the elusive and final "term" of this dynamism with God and contended that the same movement towards God is entailed in freedom and love. By conceiving God, who always exceeds our reach, as the horizon presupposed in the movement of knowing, freedom and love, Rahner provided a way for talking and thinking about God as "mysterious," that is to say, as a reality who is known, but only reflexively and indirectly—and perhaps not even consciously—as the ever receding horizon of the human spirit.

     "For Rahner, we are 'spirits' (oriented and able to know God) only through our being 'in the world.'... Conversely, God is rejected to some extent in every refusal of truth, freedom and love. In these cases, since the affirmation or denial is of a particular being and not necessarily directly cognizant of God or Jesus, it is quite possible that the true nature of the 'fundamental option' implicitly taken toward God’s self-communication (at the tacit or transcendental level) might be hidden or even denied (at the explicit or categorical level) by the person taking it."

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