Recent best-selling books assert that a number of Christian leaders have been unduly influenced by the Eastern philosophy of the New Age movement. Two of the most popular titles expressing such reservations are Constance Cumbey’s The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow and Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon’s The Seduction of Christianity.
In our May 16, 1986, issue, Robert Burrows detailed the complicated ins and outs of the New Age movement. Writing about certain practices sometimes considered New Age, Burrows addressed the concerns of Cumbey, Hunt, and other critics. “Is it possible to use guided imagery and relaxation exercises as aids to worship?” he asked. “Is it possible to use them to communicate with God or receive revelations from him? Or do those who use these techniques inevitably fall into magical manipulation and spiritual idolatry?”
Any number of writers—including John and Paula Sandford, Morton Kelsey, and Ruth Carter Stapleton—have been criticized for their apparent affinities with New Age ideas. No single treatment can deal with all these writers and the serious concerns raised about their work. Consequently, CHRISTIANITY TODAY chose to discuss the matter with two evangelical writers who have been involved in the New Age controversy. Richard Foster, the author of several books, including Celebration of Discipline, has come under fire for his recommendations concerning Christian meditation and the use of the imagination in spiritual exercises in general. David Seamands, whose books include Healing of Memories, has been criticized for using the therapy of inner healing and relying heavily on imaginative scenarios to rid counselees of trauma from past incidents.
Also participating ...1
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