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May 4 - Major Christian conference accused of 'pushing mysticism'
Article: Emerging Church
The event, called “Catalyst Dallas,” was sponsored by Atlanta-based Catalyst and featured speakers Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv, filmmaker Ryan Leak, corporate management expert Patrick Lencioni and author Jen Hatmaker, among many others.
In a workshop Tuesday afternoon, Phileena Heuertz led the audience in a “centering prayer,” which detractors argue opens the door to altered states of consciousness and possibly occult influences.
The critics say that centering prayer, in contrast to meditating on Scripture and on God, is a non-thinking, emptying of the mind in pursuit of knowledge that cannot be perceived through the natural senses and the mind. A common theme throughout Catalyst Dallas was the work of Roman Catholic mystics Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating and Henri Nouwen.
According to author Phyllis Tickle, there are “seven ancient disciplines,” including centering prayer, or “fixed-hour prayer,” that are making a comeback among younger Christians. Included in these disciplines is the practice of solitude and “centering prayer.”
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