Larry Crabb and
the American Association of Christian Counselors

Leading Christians Into
Contemplative Spirituality and Danger


50,000 Members,
But Where Are They Heading?

In the AACC Code of Ethics, a clear connection to Richard Foster (and his spirituality) has been determined:

"Although rooted primarily in an orthodox evangelical biblical theology, this Code is also influenced (according to the paradigm offered by Richard Foster) by the social justice, charismatic-pentecostal, pietistic-holiness, liturgical, and contemplative traditions of Christian theology and church history." p.3, American Association of Christian Counselors, Code of Ethics


The AACC website promotes the following authors:

In addition to this list, the AACC World Conference 2005 had the following speakers:

Larry Crabb and
Contemplative Prayer

Does Larry Crabb and the AACC endorse, promote and encourage contemplative prayer?

YES, WE BELIEVE THEY DO.

"He (Larry Crabb) also recites insights from an eclectic group of thinkers he drew on to come up with his model of direction: Thomas Merton, Eugene Peterson, Francis Schaeffer, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, John of the Cross, G. K. Chesterton, Michael Card, Peter Kreeft, Augustine, Copernicus, and James Houston."
from A Shrink Gets Stretched.


The Papa Prayer
The book, The Papa Prayer (Integrity Publishers, 2006), boasts that this new kind of prayer will "shatter your view of prayer as it used to be" (back cover). The author, a board member of the Spiritual Formation Forum, does not hesitate to let readers know that, while his Papa Prayer is something new and different, he also currently practices both contemplative prayer and centering prayer (which are really one and the same):
I've practiced centering prayer. I've contemplatively prayed. I've prayed liturgically....I've benefited from each, and I still do. In ways you'll see, elements of each style are still with me (The Papa Prayer, p.9).
And then on page 22, Crabb says, "Other forms of relating to God that have unique value in connecting us to Him include contemplative prayer and centering prayer." Some may say that Larry Crabb doesn't mean actual contemplative prayer or centering prayer, that this is just a mix up of definitions. But in a 2003 Christianity Today article, it reveals Crabb's sympathies towards contemplative spirituality:
Christian counselor and popular author Larry Crabb took the trouble to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. But now he believes that in today's church, therapy should be replaced by another, more ancient practice--"spiritual direction."

This "ancient practice" is the same ancient practice that Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating teach - contemplative prayer. A year before the Christianity Today article came out, Crabb wrote the foreword for David Benner's book, Sacred Companions: "The spiritual climate is ripe. Jesus seekers across the world are being prepared to abandon the old way of the written code for the new way of the spirit." Benner's book is clear about what that "new way" is when he talks about a "Transformational Journey" needed in the Christian's life, which includes the teachings of Meister Eckhart, Thomas Merton, Martin Buber, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Basil Pennington and several others, all of whom promote a panentheistic, New Age view of God. For Crabb to write the foreword of Benner's book, it leaves no speculation of his affinity towards this same spirituality. His book, The Papa Prayer, is no exception; and he comes right out and says so! The Papa Prayer is nothing more than a union of mysticism and psychology, and the insights of this "revolutionary" prayer spring from Crabb's contemplative experiences. Excerpt from, Trusted Evangelical Leaders Endorse The Papa Prayer by Larry Crabb!

 

Quotes of Importance

"Christian counselor and popular author Larry Crabb took the trouble to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. But now he believes that in today's church, therapy should be replaced by another, more ancient practice—'spiritual direction.' This is one of the classical Christian spiritual disciplines Crabb and others from a wide variety of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox backgrounds are examining and recommending anew in a biannual journal, Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Transformation"
Chris Armstrong and Steven Gertz

Larry Crabb
—Connected to the contemplatives:
"Brennan (Manning) is my friend, walking ahead of me on the path toward home. As I watch him from behind, I am drawn to more closely follow on the path, to more deeply enjoy Abba's love.
Thanks, Brennan."
—Dr. Larry Crabb see
A New Code for an Emerging Profession
AACC Code of Ethics


see page 1 "Although rooted primarily in evangelical theology, this Code is also influenced by the social justice, charismatic-pentecostal, pietistic-holiness, liturgical, and contemplative traditions of Christian theology and church history."
 
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