In September 21 and August 10, 2006 posts I had written articles warning about "contemplative spirituality" coming into the church. To get a feel for the teachings and an example of what is taking place please listen to Crosstalk's interview with Brian Flynn from November 1, 2006 here. Brian, as a former New Ager, is well equipped to see the mystical and contemplative inroads that have been made into the "evangelical" community. I was made very aware of this incredibly subtle influx back in 1981 as I graduated from seminary and entered into the ministry. It was right about this time that "Celebration of Discipline" was making a big "splash" in many churches and with many church leaders. (You should see my side comments in the book that I have!) I wrote a review here were I attempt to warn the Body of the mysticism of Richard Foster, the author, who has his roots deeply embedded in Quakerism.
The fountainhead, to various degrees, of this mysticism having entered into the church are the charismatic movement, Vineyard/signs & wonders, river revival, Promise-Keepers, the Third Wave, and currently the New Apostolic movement and, yes, the Emergent Church, and even has an "amen" from Rick Warren. But we must understand that it is already entrenched in the church and that is why it is "popping up" all over the place, per the Crosstalk interview. And, in my opinion, it is the underlying "teaching" issue in many of the "worship" issues - we probably just don't quite yet realize it. And although I enjoy talking about issues of Cessationism versus Continuationism I believe this to be what I would call a "surface" debate. Because lurking under the waters of many (not all) who hold to continuationism is mysticism. Please be aware of this.
As we plummet toward the end result of the current great apostasy taking place in the visible church - we should make sure we completely understand mysticism/contemplative spirituality. Because this is more than likely the thing that will move Protestantism (if you can call it that anymore) into the "Great Rome Death Embrace." Mysticism/Contemplative is like the small bubbles that slowly begin to form at the bottom of a pan of water just before it starts to boil like crazy!
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Colossians 2:8-10 ESV