On November 28, Pastor Paul Chappell of Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, California, published a glowing recommendation of a book by Rick Warren’s associate Lance Witt.
The book review begins, “If you are in Christian ministry and are looking for a refreshing (yet convicting and challenging) book--and especially if you are a senior pastor--I suggest Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul by Lance Witt. When I read this book on my kindle recently, I had eighty-two highlights that filled over eight pages. There were so many truths the Lord used from it to speak to my soul.” Chappell’s review does not contain even a hint of warning about Witt. I can’t imagine a more dangerous and spiritually ignorant recommendation for a fundamental Baptist pastor to publish.
Witt is the executive pastor at Saddleback Church, and more dangerous spiritual waters do not exist anywhere. Warren is closely affiliated with New Agers and universalists (e.g., Tony Blair, Mehmet Oz, Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman, and Leonard Sweet) and promotes Catholic contemplative mysticism. (See the “Rick Warren” section of the Article Database at www.wayoflife.org). Witt personally promotes contemplative mysticism and even recommends Richard Foster and Buddhist-Catholic Thomas Merton in his book Enjoying in Solitude.
It was via the path of Foster and Merton that Sue Monk Kidd traveled from being a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher to a goddess worshipper. And yet Pastor Chappell has the audacity to think that Witt is promoting healthy waters from which fundamental Baptist pastors should drink. (See “From Southern Baptist to Goddess Worship: Sue Monk Kidd” and “Richard Foster: Evangelical’s Mystical Sparkplug,” and “Thomas Merton: The Catholic Buddhist Mystic” under the Contemplative Mysticism/Prayer section of the Article Database at www.wayoflife.org). This is only the most recent of dangerous authors that have been recommended by Paul Chappell and his associates.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 28, 2012, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)