One of the greatest promoters of the New Age and interfaith unity and global spirituality is John Templeton (b. 1912), the founder of the annual one and a half million dollar Templeton Prize for Religion.
Though he is a committed Presbyterian, he is also an evolutionist, pantheist, and universalist. His biographical sketch says, “Templeton’s goal has been nothing less than to change mindsets about the concept of divinity,” meaning that man is divine. He says that the Bible was written by men who “were limited by cosmologies long since discredited” and whose writings were “ignorant and primitive” (The Humble Approach, 1995, p. 135).
Templeton has also said:
“Evolution is accelerating ... traditional Judaism and Christianity are losing their powers to inform the contemporary mind. ... The main purpose of the Templeton Foundation is to encourage enthusiasm for accelerating discovery and progress in spiritual matters. ... THE NEXT STAGE OF HUMAN DIVINE PROGRESS ON THE EVOLUTIONARY SCALE NEEDS ... GENIUSES OF THE SPIRIT [WHO] CAN DEVELOP A BODY OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD THAT DOESN’T RELY ON ANCIENT REVELATIONS OR SCRIPTURE [such as the Bible] ... that is scientific ... and is not disputed because of divisions between religions or churches or ancient scripture or liturgy. ... To encourage progress of this kind, we have established the Templeton Foundation Prizes for Progress in Religion” (The Humble Approach, pp. 37, 38).
“Time and space and energy are all part of God ... God is five billion people on Earth ... God is untold billions of beings on planets of millions of other stars ... God is the only reality ... GOD IS ALL OF YOU AND YOU ARE A LITTLE PART OF HIM” (The Humble Approach, pp. 37-38.)
“Maybe one of the attributes of God is change” (The Humble Approach, p. 52).
“The doctrinal formulations of Christianity have changed and will change from age to age. ... Christians think God appeared in Jesus of Nazareth two thousand years ago for our salvation and education. But we should not take it to mean that ... progress stopped ... that Jesus was the end of change. ... To say that God cannot reveal Himself again in a decisive way ... seems sacrilegious” (The Humble Approach, pp. 48, 53.)”
“The basic principles for leading a sublime life ... may be derived from any religious tradition, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and others, as well as Christian” (Discovering the Laws of Life, pp. 6, 7).
The website for Templeton’s Power of Purpose worldwide essay competition stated: “Many religious traditions, both Eastern and Western, subscribe to the idea that there is something of God’s presence in each of us.”
Templeton’s books have been recommended by Norman Vincent Peale (he called Templeton “the greatest layman of the Christian church in our time”), Robert Schuller (he put Templeton’s picture on the cover of his Possibilities magazine, and Rick Warren (he is one of the judges of Templeton’s Power of Purpose worldwide essay competition).
In January 2012 it was announced that Biola University, which claims to be an “evangelical” institution, accepted a $3 million grant from the Templeton Foundation to establish a “Center for Christian Thought.” The objective is to bring “world-renowned scholars together to collaborate and engage others outside academia on important questions facing Christianity in the 21st century” (“Biola University,” Christian Post, Jan. 4, 2012). The inaugural semester will feature “visiting scholars” and “philosophers Alvin Plantinga from Calvin College, and Yale University’s Nicholas Wolterstorff.” The grant will also fund the publication of material produced by the great thinkers. Biola president Barry Corey envisions the Center for Christian Thought as “a leading source of scholarship on some of the most important issues facing the Church.”
I have a suggestion for these great thinkers, and that is to issue a warning about all of the heresy that is represented by John Templeton and his foundation. As we have seen, Templeton is one of the greatest promoters of the New Age thought and interfaith unity.
Next, Biola’s great thinkers can take on all the heresy that has permeated Biola University itself, such as Roman Catholic contemplative mysticism. But we won’t hold our breath for anything biblically sound to come out of these “evangelical” thinkers horribly compromised thinking. Like the church at Laodicea, who was rich and had need of nothing, in reality they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17).
New Evangelicalism begin with the “small” error of rejecting “separatism” and “negativity” for a more positive, respectable face on its Christianity, and look how far it has fallen in one mere lifetime.
Independent Fundamental Baptists are trooping down this same path by the multitudes and the result will be the same. (See Biblical Separatism and Its Collapse among Fundamental Baptists, which is a free eBook at the Way of Life web site - wayoflife.org.)
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