ONE Project San Diego, Day Two

(Spectrumbot) #1

Monday morning at the One Project in San Diego, session speakers concluded the sequential examination of Jesus "Manifesto on the Mount." There were four presentations (Reflections) in all, with two half-hour discussions around the attendees' tables (Recalibrations) – after every two Reflections.

The afternoon was different. John Ortberg, Senior pastor of the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and author of multiple books on Christian living, presented two reflections, with the individual tables having discussions after each one.

Karl Hafner, senior pastor of the Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church, spoke first.

What is the Prescription for Worry? Jesus gives a three step program:

1. Trust God: He knows what we need. We forget that and trust ourselves. 2. Seek first the Kingdom: Self-seeking, even if adulation comes to us, is not sustainable. 3. Live one day at a time: Karl asked everyone at the close to “write a letter to God,” where we hereby resign as general manager of the universe. God will surely accept our resignations. ☺

Michela Lawrence Jeffery, chaplain of Advent House at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, spoke next. Disagreement is not the equivalent to rejection. This section of Jesus’ sermon has the famous illustration of the speck vs. the log in one’s eye. We like to “speck”-ulate, to seek the speck in others. We hear Jesus talk about plank removal so, even if we conceded it might apply to us, once the plank is out we’d then be free to judge, right? But planks aren’t that simple. We have plank buildup. We can even think that a plank in one eye still lets us see. But the depth perception is lost with only one eye. And we minimize such partial blindness until it feels just about normal. Jesus calls us to focus on Him. If our objective is instead to “do right,” to “win” the sin battle, we will live with a fake sense of righteousness.

Dilys Brooks, associate chaplain at Loma Linda University, continued after the first of the Recalibration breakout session concluded and we had a half hour break. Can God be Trusted? She began by singing “Sweet hour of Prayer.” Soon all 1000 listeners in the room joined her – a capella. “Jesus,” Dilys said, “was a contemplative.” The room erupted with laughter. People know The One Project has been accused of heresies such as Eastern mysticism. Of course, “contemplative” here is totally different. Jesus was connected to the Father. But those hearing his sermon thought they needed an intermediary. Intermediaries existed back as far as Moses. God was not approachable, not personal. Now Jesus tells them to: ask, seek, and knock.

Ask: Well, we all know about asking. Our “ask” prayers are like a national hierarchy of need. About us! But instead we need to ask God – for God. Prayer isn’t something you do; it’s someone you are with.

Seek: In our world too many of us have “daddy” issues. Our father images often are terrible. Daddy is an epithet not an endearment. We have a big trust problem.

Knock: what if that door is a barrier that we have erected? God doesn’t ask us to open the door – He opens it.

Dwight Nelson, senior pastor Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University, provided the final reflection of the morning. 2 Ways, 2 Trees, 2 Groups, 2 Builders. Matthew 7: 13-27 concludes the sermon. Jesus saves the punch line for the end. There will always be exactly two choices – a bold challenge to post-modernism with its many options. There is a lot of “Lord, Lord” calling among Christians. We have the “in your name” part down cold. But is the name enough? Apparently not. There’s something deeper. Only the one who does the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom. This is Radical Obedience. And Jesus chooses this idea as climax. Maybe He knows our hearts – what we really need to take away. Dietrich Bonheoffer wrote: “only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.”

The majority of the afternoon was spent with John Ortberg. Open Doors. How do we become an “open door” person? When God opens a door He is often fuzzy about the details. Abraham was just told “Go … to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Trust me. Leave your comfort zone. An open door is never about just us. We are all blessed to be a blessing. The purpose of an open door is to go through and bless, which means to add, to enhance life. This is not optional for a Christian.

Open doors are about opportunities, not guarantees. God is more concerned with the person I become than the specifics of the path, so decision making is an indispensable part of the journey. We don’t like this. We sometimes pray for guidance to put the burden of choice – on God. We want to be spared the anxiety.

It’s also a mistake in decision making to obsess with whether we “feel peace” about the choice. When in the Bible did the doors God opened result in peace for the one He led? We also tend to think about Big Doors. But we need to practice on small ones. Every moment can be a potential door.

There is a myth: if you choose the wrong door you will then be on God’s “Plan B.” No. We can be distracted by regret for what we didn’t do. The series of doors doesn’t end at retirement. There is no retirement in the Bible. If you’re not dead, you’re not done!

John Ortberg, in his second presentation talked about: The Soul. What does a soul consist of? John suggested that the ancients understood soul like a set of 5 concentric circles:

1. Innermost – our will, the core of ourselves, the ability to choose. 2. Surrounding the will – our mind: thoughts, feelings. 3. Surrounding mind – our body. This is our little kingdom. But here is where there is appetite. If sin invades then the will no longer controls the body but becomes ensnared by it. Will is important but limited. Habits can eat willpower for breakfast! And it can be a terrible struggle to overcome embedded habits. 4. Surrounding the body – the social sphere: family, friends, community. 5. And the final outside surrounding circle – the soul. The full package, that which integrates all functions into a single life. Soul meant – to live in harmony with myself, others and God. This is why the word “soul” in the Bible is often referred to in the third person (e.g. Psalms 103:1).

Sin dis-integrates the soul. We use our bodies to hide what is going on in our minds. Children haven’t yet learned to do this, but adults have acquired these masks. J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings named his character Gollum for a word in the Bible that means: a soulless slave serving his master with resentment. And the ring--his “precious”--does not bring satisfaction to a lost soul. Souls are needy – they need rest. The one act a soul can do without being exhausted is surrender. Jesus leads, I follow. God renews my mind and transforms my body. I humble myself and He heals my soul.

One Last Activity The presentations and discussions done, there was one more part to our experience together – communion. Japhet de Oliveira provided context and led us in partaking the emblems. Then, around every individual table, each of us in turn gave a blessing to the one adjacent: May Jesus bless you with gentleness and a heart that is tender. May Jesus bless you with strength against all principalities. May Jesus bless you with compassion and care. May Jesus bless you with courage, daring to be who you are. May Jesus bless you with openness, understanding and respect. May Jesus bless you with power to make Jesus. All.

Photos: Jared Wright / Spectrum

Rich Hannon is the Spectrum website Columns Editor and a member of the Association Forum board.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(k_Lutz) #2

See, I’m not the only one.

Trust God.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #3

I view project One as a direct confountation to the Ted Wilson agenda. A much needed corrective. none the less in its own way, Project One falls victim to its own check listing of behavior. It demonstrates an ecumenical longing which should be encouraged in the theme of inter varsity Fellowship. I hope it succeeds. Tom Z

(Nannette Thacker) #4

I have a copy of this year’s One Project Facilitator’s Guide “Vision for Recalibrations.”

It lists “Further Resources” for facilitators. Only one is written by a Seventh-day Adventist. Nine are not. Here are some of concern to me.

A Celtic Model of Ministry by Jerry Doherty

pg. 130,131 "There needs to be regular classes in techniques of meditation as well as contemplative prayer. Congregations should have spiritual directors… Seminaries need to teach future clergy people prayer but also mystical theology… Mystics, those people who acutely feel the presence of God, need to be accepted and encouraged until everyone feels their true mystical calling… Small groups… serve to promote spiritual formation… Mysticism simply means to feel acutely the presence of God. A person who is a mystic is someone who knows God exists because they feel it."
pg 83.
“God is on earth and we are in heaven. God is not just close; God is in our hearts, the place where we believe. … Believing with the heart relationship makes you a mystic. In believing this way you can experience God firsthand.”

World Café by Margaret Wheatley
I could not find the actual book, just this on her website reprinting the book’s Preface:

“To those of us raised in a linear world with our minds shrunken by detailed analyses, the sudden appearance of collective wisdom always feels magical. I am fascinated by the descriptions given by Café participants of this emergence. Here are a few quotes from them:
• the magic in the middle
• the voice in the center of the room
• the magic in experiencing our own and other people’s humanity around whatever the content is.
• something coming to life in the middle of the table
• what joins us together—a larger whole that we always knew was there, but never really appreciated.
• a spinning sphere or ball suspended above all the tables, which is the spirit of the whole community or the spirit of whatever the project is. It gets more colorful and brighter as more people touch it.

For me, the moments when collective wisdom appears are always breathtaking. Even though I know such wisdom is bound to appear, I’m always stunned with delight when it enters the room. And the appearance of such wisdom is a huge relief.”

Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens by Neil Cole, with forward by Leonard Sweet. This is emergent church with organic church. Much like the Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.

Evangelism Without Additives by Jim Henderson.

Pg. 123
"I’m stuck following the Jesus who, while functioning in a league above us mere mortals, nevertheless displayed some reassuring traits of ordinariness and humanity, such as the inability to always control his circumstances, not always getting his own way, moments of not completely understanding what was going on (think of…the Garden of Gethsemane), and admitting his vulnerability to his three closest disciples.“
Pg. 57
"Celtic Christianity viewed human nature not as being radically tainted by sin and evil, intrinsically corrupt and degenerate, but as imprinted with the image of God, full of potential and opportunity, longing for completion and perfection…people would be receptive if…treated…that way.” (Hunter quote.)

The Search to Belong: Rethinking Intimacy, Community, and Small Groups
By Joseph R. Myers

It opens with “If there is one conversation with which the emerging church must wrestle in new ways…”
The promoted books inside the book are all emergent church books: “The church in Emerging Culture,” The Post Evangelical,” “Stories of Emergence,” “Emerging Church” – with the URL to emergentvillage.

Reimagining Evangelism: Inviting Friends on a Spiritual Journey
By Rick Richardson

p. 62
“Moody’s awareness that “God blessed him with the conscious incoming to his Soul of a presence and power of His Spirit such as he had never known before.” “…consider…Pete Greig… emerging culture…. He goes on to tell of an infilling of the Holy Spirit and a vision…”
p. 63
“… seeking God’s filling through a laying on of hands.”
(note: Pete Greig teaches contemplative spirituality and New Age thought. He directs readers to Brennan Manning’s book, Abba’s Child. Red Moon Rising teaches lectio divina. He cites Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren and Henri Nouwen.

Anyone else concerned about this list of books being promoted at by The One Project and considered as resources for how to conduct a Recalibration?

(efcee) #5


I’m concerned about the autocratic, dictatorial tone of the quote from Doherty.

I’m annoyed by the overall use of buzzwords and jargon which clearly have different meanings to different people. Words such as mystic, magic, etc. The author might give his/her own definition of these words within that text, but outside of the text, these words may have entirely different meanings and ultimately cause confusion.

I can understand a traditional Adventist suspicion of Lectio Divina given that the practice was mentioned in the constitution for the Second Vatican Council as a practice to be recommended to the general public. Adventists who have been taught to be wary of Roman Catholic dogma have used this general warning as a broad brush to dismiss anything with a Roman Catholic origin. But to look at the actual practice (which originated in the church prior to the reformation, so it can’t very easily have originated anywhere else), it is confined (in it’s original practice) to the reading and meditation on scripture and the taking-to-heart of that scripture. Unless particular people are twisting the concept of Lectio Divina into something other than that, I see no cause for alarm regarding Lectio Divina.

I am somewhat concerned by the impression given (in the chosen quotes mentioned above) as to the general direction away from reason and toward emotion as a basis for the christian experience - along with the apparent encouragement of persons to crave those experiences. Those persons in scripture who experience “mystic” events are frequently depicted as unwilling participants (Moses “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”; Paul on the Damascus road, etc.). There are some who have a burning desire for a “mystical, magical” experience with God whose psyche is such that they will eventually invent one of their own, or perhaps be influence by any sort of spirit.

I’m alarmed that the definition of the One project that is given to the public makes no mention - or even hints toward - the incorporation of mystical, magical, emotional, practices into one’s christian experience. The soundbites were all about “Making Jesus Central”, "Jesus…All, etc. I find this to be disingenuous. I do understand the general suspicion that is caused by a perceived move toward emotional experience and away from the simple teachings of Jesus and the scripture that he quoted—teachings we now refer to as “doctrine”. I can’t say that the quotes that joshuaoneeightnine has offered here are enough to cement an outright rejection of the One project, I suppose in time we will be able to see the fruit of the project and then determine whether or not it can be called, “good.”

Overall I’m not too concerned (afraid) of the One project. I’ve placed my faith in a God who cares for us and will guide us into truth as He has promised.

(jeremy) #6

it’s this ecumenical aspect of the one project that causes so many people to worry…

(Steve Mga) #7

I liked the quotes from John Doherty, and Jim Henderson.
IS THERE SOME REASON you did not finish the phrase of Joseph Myers?

Brian McLaren has a good book out – Why did Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World {Jericho Books:2012}.

Ellen White of the 1890s, 1900s, if she had been living back in the times of Central Europe in the 1300, 1400, 1500s, SHE would have been looked up to as a Mystic. She was an 1890s, 1900s Mystic. I hope that clarifies “mystic” better.

Paths of the Journey
The Simple Path of Mother Theresa
The fruit of silence is prayer
The fruit of prayer is faith
The fruit of faith is love
The fruit of love is service
The fruit of service is peace

“The Completeness of Christian Character. It is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within. It is the atmosphere of this love surrounding the soul of the believer that makes him and her a savor of life unto life and enables God to bless his and her work. Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another ---- that is the best gift that our Heavenly Father can bestow.”
---- Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, pg 551. [our Seventh day Adventist Mystic]

“But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”, 2 Peter 3:18
THIS is Lectio Divina. We get knowledge [read the word] and receive the Grace through Meditation and Contemplation of the Word — the written Word and the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

The Bonhoeffer Quote – Only those who obey can believe, and only those who believe can obey – comes from the book – The Cost of Discipleship, chapter 2: The Call to Discipleship, pg 70, Touchstone-Simon and Schuster. [The one with the picture of Jesus sitting on the mount with right arm raised. I like this translation the best. I have the other one titled just “Discipleship” [Fortress Press, Minneapolis], but it is not as easy to read or to hold.]

(Phillip Brantley) #8

Here is the Facilitator’s Guide:

None of the material you find objectionable in the Further Resources writings (page 16) is remarked upon or promoted in the guidelines set forth in the previous 15 pages.

It is a generally-understood convention that quoting an author or citing favorably an author’s work does not imply agreement with everything the author has written. See Bill Knott’s “Reclaiming the Library”:

(2nd Opinion) #9

Well, Nannette, I can’t say that I’m all that concerned. I’ve sat around the “recalibration” tables at earlier conferences and it’s no different than any other Sabbath School class I’ve attended. There is nothing secret or nefarious going on in the way these sessions are “conducted.” Having said that, it’s interesting to note the inclusion of Margaret Wheatley, who was raised Jewish and Christian but now also subscribes to Buddhist practices in an eclectic fashion. Actually, she has some very interesting points of view when it comes to leadership which would be very useful to leaders in the General Conference right now. Your assumption that the recommendation of these books represents a blanket support of everything contained in them is probably not correct. That’s not the way people who are independent, critical thinkers read books. If more Adventists were writing better books, there would probably be more Adventist material listed. A trip to any ABC will reveal the paucity of high quality Adventist writing.

(2nd Opinion) #10

Perhaps it’s because they DON’T incorporate mystical, magical, or emotional practices. Honestly, there is nothing going on at these gatherings that doesn’t happen in your average Adventist Sabbath School and Church - preaching and Bible-centered discussion. That’s all, folks. I guarantee it. I’ve been there, done that. If you can’t believe that, then go personally to one of these gatherings and see for yourself. Oh… but of course… “the public” is apparently not invited to what is clearly going on behind closed doors at these gatherings. We’re all being misinformed. There is a cover-up, a whitewash, a vicious sub-plot, a conspiracy, etc. Under all the Jesus soundbites must lie a terribly misguided agenda! Honestly. Whatever happened to this church, that we have resorted to such fear and suspicion of one another? Or has it always been this way?

(George Tichy) #11

And I am twice as much alarmed that you are making such a serious claim without offering us any, not a single one, example of this being happening at the One Project.

Don’t be alarmed now with my request, but if you do not provide any concrete proof for your claim, it’s time to apologize for your completely flawed, unsupported, and malicious statement.

You have only two options in dealing with your statement. Which one are you picking???


(Steve Mga) #12

Like you, I do not see any reading materials that would be objectionable.
The only objectionable thing I see is that groups in home local churches get to really know each other. This raises the Vulnerability of each individual, and that could be what is scary to Joshua***. Every person in the local church has to Become REAL.
One has to Become REAL in order to share Jesus with someone they know. Have to take off the masks.
Another Point.
We have to change the WAY that Church is done. No more of this sitting in a Theatre Seat being entertained by the Organist/Pianist [remember no guitars, no drums, no tote-about instruments], maybe a choir, the Welcome, Children Story, Offering music, Short Group Prayer, 30 minute preaching by the clock, Everybody leaving and saying two words of greeting — Happy Sabbath. Get in the vehicle, drive home fast to take of the Sabbath Clothes into something comfortable. See You Next Week with Bright Shiny Faces and All Of Us In Our REGULAR Places. [Dont you DARE sit in my seat!]

(Martin Rohan) #13

Thanks for this list of books, many of which look interesting and that I hope to read. From reading the re-cap of the conference, it seems as if it was a positive experience with opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. That some books were suggested in order for some people leading out to be able to move discussions in a positive manner seems to me a good thing. I rarely find that I whole-heartedly agree with everything in any book, but frequently find something useful in just about any book that I read with an open heart.

(Pagophilus) #14

The first two pictures are enough for me. That “picture” of worship concerns me in that it appears to be a very pentecostal/emergent style of worship.

(Pagophilus) #15

What you have quoted is very concerning. I’m surprised more people (especially in leadership positions) do not see this as concerning.

Who has access to the Facilitator’s Guide? Who is it given to? Who is privy to its contents?

(Dee Roberts) #16

So @pagophilus just what is the biblical prescription of worship… How do you relate to David’s worship style as depicted in scripture… Or is it that you just aren’t comfortable with a worship style that does not conform to your tradition of worship?

As for the facilitators guide, it was provided to the facilitators I expect. But clearly there is no embargo on it’s distribution as there is a link to it in a previous post on this thread. I am sure that people of the ilk of TW would find the reading list “disturbing” but clearly five of the head pastors of our North American college and Universities churches didn’t… Nor did the NAD ministerial director… just to mention a few of the participants who presented.

Thinking people, don’t limit themselves as TW would prescribe… and people who are attending One Project gathering are just that, thinking people!

(Frank Peacham) #17

In general the average SDA church worship is working at a low level. This week I visited a central CA SDA, south of San Jose, the church that seats about 150-200 with only 65 present. A few youth mostly seniors, the man behind me snored during the service. Maybe this is why some are open to new approaches – Pentecostal or not. Other then normal greetings, people came to church quietly and left quietly. The church did not reject visitors but neither was I invited back. Their budget was monthly $12,000, with no visible community outreach. In a mostly Hispanic area there were only one or two Hispanic’s. What is missing in this all to common picture?

(George Tichy) #18

You are a very “concerned” person.

(George Tichy) #19

You are, indeed, a “very concerned” person.

I am starting to be concerned as well, with the judgmental style that you developed. Just by seeing a completely neutral and innocuous picture of a worship service you can “see through it” and make deductions. And pass judgment right away.

Fantastically ‘amazing fact.’ And very, very concerning…

(Steve Mga) #20

King David’s Style of Worship
If the SDA churches conducted Services in the Style of King David I can see the complaints on here.

  1. Noise Makers. NOT just “horns” and “trumpets” BUT Shofars [big and little] – horns of various sizes from various animals. Next come cymbals, both ringing and crashing. From tiny to huge. Wooden hand held instruments. Drums of various sizes and shapes. Tambourines. String instruments. Maybe even a Sitar. Hollow tubed blown instruments generally termed “flutes” of various sizes and lengths.
  2. Shouting! In addition to everyone singing.
  3. Dancing – choreographed group movements with or without music.[much like our modern dancing of Line Dancing, Waltz, Tango, Ballet.]
    QUESTION: If King David was the designated Worship Leader of an SDA church, would one accuse him of being Pentecostal, accuse him of being Emergent?
    Maybe we need to TEAR Psalm 150 from all the pages in all of the Seventh day Adventist Bibles!
    The way we “moderns” – which in some respects are carry overs from early Roman Catholic Traditions – do church, is not the way the Bible Jews did church, nor the way some of the Modern Jews do church. Let us be completely Honest about this.
    Let us NOT look down on Pentecostals or Emergents because they DO read Psalm 150 and attempt to follow some of Worship Leader King David’s suggestions, which are so much different from our worship practices that have Old Roman Catholic Church Traditions built into them.

PS: Now King David DID NOT list Sea Shell Horns [a hole in the end of a huge shell], but I HAVE heard them used in Synagogue service along with several sizes of Shofars. One of them from a very long horned African “antelope” of some sort.