Something new about “Listening Prayer” and Brad Jersak…

I was refered to this, which is an article where Brad Jersak describes his view of the “word of God” in relation to the Bible.  Very enlightening.

Let’s just say that Jersak writes about sola scriptura and and defines it as “the belief that Scripture stands as our soul authority [contra either the Catholics with their Pope or the Charismatics with their prophecies] and that the Bible = the Word of God.”

That’s in the first hundred or so words, and a definition that is that bad makes him comically suspect as an authority on anything theological.  If you think the reformers ever thought of sola scriptura in relation to charismatics, or that sola scriptura means “The Bible is the Word of God”, you’re so far out in left field you’re in the parking lot.

W. Robert Godfrey explains sola scriptura here, and William Webster shows that it’s always been part of historic orthodoxy hereThis is also a great article on the subject by John Frame, explaining how it relates to the great commission and deals with 3 misunderstandings of sola scriptura.

Interestingly, Jersak admits that he used to be a bibliolater (one who worshipped the Bible) and he overcame that with exorcism.

Yup.  When I read the scriptures, I must always seem to miss “love for the word of God” as a mark of demonic possession…?!?

The more of his writing I read, the further from Christian orthodoxy he gets.

He never mentions repentance or anything involving sin and a changing of the heart.  Just exorcism.  I wonder why Jesus never tried that with the Pharisees?  You’d think that, you know, being God and all he would have known…oh, never mind.

Interesting article.



accademic liberalism (read the commentary by Sean Davidson)


emergent drivel


Bart Ehrmans understanding of inerrancy (if there’s doubt regarding any apparent contradiction, it’s not inerrant!)


some of the ingredients of Jersak’s theology of the word.

No wonder he’s into prophecy.  If I regarded the scriptures as truthful and authoritative on the same level as the yellow pages, I’d abandon it too.

Sad to see names I recognized as friends in the article though.  Got some new people to pray for.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “The Armchair JEPD-mocking, sola scriptura trumpeting, Historical Christ-worshipping Inerrantist” Unger

UPDATE – December 2010 – I checked the link to the Clarion Journal article.  It’s been removed from the website, removed from the index, and extracted from the Wayback machine.  In fact, the entire clarion journal archives have been removed from the Wayback machine.

I wonder why that happened?  That’s not something that someone normally does for giggles; it takes a bit of work and seems rather unneccessary…

…unless those archives are somehow incriminating.  Hmmm…

I wonder if I write some critiques of Jersak’s other writing, will that writing all of a sudden disappear too?  I wonder if such an miniscule and harmless blog such as this one has been noticed?


13 thoughts on “Something new about “Listening Prayer” and Brad Jersak…

  1. Pingback: B.C. Mennonite Church Allowing Contemplative Spirituality to be Taught « Menno-lite

  2. Lyndon, love it! Too funny! Seriously, I would like to dialogue more about this with you. Man I’m new to a bible study where this is being presented. Everyone is soaking this up and I’m wondering if I’ve gone mad. I find it to be utterly subjective and unbiblical. The leader had asked a man who needed prayer to think about someone who Jesus could personify: it ends up it’s Rusty his best friend, his dog.

  3. “This” link at the top is broken. I’m not buying into the listening prayer business. From a world’s standpoint how is it any different then a yogi’s meditation? My understanding of being still and know God is God is precisely this: God speaking “Boy, let go of that; I know what I’m doing.”
    I think of an old southern man steeped in wisdom speaking to his son.
    Any ways, I’m going over the John 10:4 passage Psalm he uses to illustrate his position. What disturbs me is the complacency and willingness to be duped into believe every new fad.
    I mean I’m sitting in a Bible study and the guy confessing his pain of the pending separation, is asked to go to a place in his imagination where he loves to go in person. Then allow God to meet him there. And who do you see? His dog. Jesus meets him as his dog. How does Jesus love him? Well, by licking his hand and face. Seriously? You know, I’m all for loving someone where they are at. But I found it so very troubling. He’s holding Jesus in his lap. Go, fetch, Jesus. Good boy. Good boy.
    What else do you know of Brad Jersak?

    Any chance you can remove my surname from the previous post?

    Thank you.

    • 1. Link fixed. You can take down an article, but if one knows how to use the Wayback machine, the article is still there to be found. There’s little chance of hiding things on the internet once they’re said.

      Read the link now and make your own evaluation.

      2. When it comes to practice, you can approach crazy practices one of two ways:

      2a. You can fight about visualization and argue about where it comes from, what it is, what the character of the people teaching it are, etc.

      I find this to be a difficult way to battle since it always ends up being a “I read this book that you didn’t read” or “my friend who likes this is smarter than you” kind of mud slinging fight.

      Besides that, most people don’t have a clue how to think logically and don’t usually think logically in the first place. Logical argument isn’t compelling to people who don’t understand the form or power of logical argument.

      2b. You can simply toss them a Bible and say “Show me”. Ask them to show you where in the world Jesus, any apostle, or any prophet exemplifies or directly teaches what they are suggesting.

      When they actually can pull out some sort of biblical support, you interact with that biblical support and ask:

      – Is this what the original author was saying?
      – Is this how the original audience would have understood this?
      – Does this make reasonable sense in the flow of the context? (subject, argument, language and grammar)
      – Is this pulling a meaning out of the passage or shoving a meaning into the passage?

      When you do that, the people will get frustrated with you because their hack-job usage of scripture will be exposed and they will be confronted with their own shallow and self-serving usage of the Bible that they claim to follow.

      It’s important to remember the warnings of 2 Tim 2:22-26 while this is ongoing and do your best to be caring, gentle and patient. Do your best to make it a “let’s look at the text of scripture” engagement and not a “me verses you” engagement. If someone gets mad, re-direct them back towards the scripture and ask them why they’re mad. If they accuse you of something involving bad exegesis, ask them to show you and critically engage their argument. If someone accuses you of something moral, ask them to point out your sin, take heed, repent if your conscience convicts you, and don’t let them side-track the argument for more than 90 seconds.

      Eventually they will either give up on you completely and condemn you to hell (or simply say that you’re “unteachable” and you’re too closed minded), or they’ll come around. Either way, your job is to be a faithful steward of the truth of God’s word.

  4. Thanks! I’m studying this movement. I’m not convinced this is the proper method to hear from GOD. Some are arguing from the ‘for me personally’ or ‘my heart’ positions. This alarms me even further as Jeremiah tells us our hearts are deceitful above all things.
    Um, that’s embarrassing. I should have known about way back machine.

    • No prob WG!

      1. God speaks through his word, which Hebrews 4:12 says is living and active, and Luke 16:27-31 suggest is more effective than any legitimate experience (let alone imaginary experience) to convict of spiritual truth. The scriptures are the word of God “inscripturated” (written down), and if God delivers new NON-inscripturated words (i.e. spoken revelation), he doesn’t do it in a way which his inscripturated word doesn’t tell me about.

      2. You’re right on the whole flippancy and untrustworthiness of the whole “for me personally” argument. I mean, how can someone read Galatians 2:2 and think that one’s own experience/heart is the only test of truth one needs? Paul records in Galatians 1:12 how he got his gospel by direct revelation from Jesus and 2:2 says that he still checked it with the known apostles to make sure that he was on the right track. If anyone knew the deceptiveness of the heart, it was Paul.

      3. No worries about the wayback machine. I try to keep it a secret as it’s a powerful ally against certain sneaky people who try to cover their tracks online. Few people know about the trillions of web pages cached in the wayback machine. Handy tool for those of us that are web savy.

  5. I do want to make a comment about the “one meaning” idea, from scripture. I am NOT for any type of guided visualization, by the way. But in terms of interpreting scripture, I have, for example, looked up OT quotations in Matthew that are applied to Jesus life fulfilling or being prophesied in scripture , to find that they do not apply to Matthew’s thesis, in their literal, historical context. In fact, they seem quite out there. However, if you take them in a “pattern” context of God’s plan , such as taking us out of Egypt, Jesus’ life mirroring what happened to Israel as a nation, the quotes do make sense.
    a second point: when Jesus speaks to the disciples on the Emmaus road after His resurrection, He tells them that ALL the law, prophets, Psalms, speak of Him. Therefore, when I read the OT, I am always looking for truth about Jesus. For example, every detail of the wilderness tabernacle has something to say symbolically about Jesus.the fact that God was so upset about the second time Moses struck the rock, or Aaron’s sons not following the sacrifice rules, are because they destroyed symbolism about Jesus that God wanted to be there.
    Third point. Paul makes an allegorical interpretation of the also historical story of Hagar and Sarah ( the difference between flesh and spirit).
    So these Biblical models of interpretation of the scripture show that historical context is ONE way of reading scripture ( and, I submit, the historical truth MUST be maintained) but that deeper metaphorical and allegorical truths through pattern and the revealed knowledge that God “wrote” Israel’s history in a way so as to reveal eternal truths are also present.
    Respectfully submitted.

    • 1. What your describing in your first point is what’s known as “typological fulfillment”. You would likely be interested in learning about biblical typology.

      2. On your second point, I’d say that you’re stretching Jesus’ words far beyond their reasonable reference. Luke 24:27 says:

      “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself”

      You said “He tells them that ALL the law, prophets, Psalms, speak of Him”, and if you mean that every single verse in the OT is about him, I’d say you’re headed in the wrong direction. Jesus isn’t the immediate subject matter of an overwhelming majority of the Old Testament. The OT does contain dozens of direct prophecies about him, as well as several dozen overt typological connections (i.e. Ps. 22) and I’m guessing that’s what Jesus was explaining to the disciples. Just as a point of probability, I doubt that Jesus would have hammered through more than 100 passages since even doing 100 passages with any amount of explanation would have taken several hours (i.e. with a minimmum of 2 minutes of explanation per passage, you’ve got 3.5 hours talking. I’m guessing Jesus did NOT spend 2 minutes explaining Isaiah 53 to them!)

      3. Paul makes no allegorical interpretation in Galatians. The greek word is “allegoreo”, but “allegoreo” did not mean “allegory” in the sense that we use it in english. “Allegoreo” means something more along the lines of “parable” or “illustration”. Paul uses the story of Sarah and Hagar as an illustration; he doesn’t say “the spiritual meaning of this passage is…” There is no allegory, in the 21st century meaning of the term, in the Bible whatsoever.

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