Skip to content ↓

Book Review – A Time of Departing

Book Reviews Collection cover image

The silence. This book is all about the silence. Whether that silence is part of the religious practice of Buddhists, Hindus, Sufi Muslims, New Agers or Contemplative Christians, Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing argues convincingly that it is all one and the same. As the subtitle suggests, a universal spirituality is changing the very face of Christianity. This universal spirituality is born from the religions of the East and is slowly infiltrating the Christian church, primarily through the New Age movement. Ray Yungen has studied this religious movement extensively and writes this book in response. It is an alarm sounded by one with a deep love for the church. “This book is not just another attempt to explain the New Age, but rather, an alert to the church of how and through whom New Age thinking is currently creeping into our pulpits, Sunday school classrooms, prayer groups, and Bible studies.” The primary way the New Age has joined with the evangelical churches is through mysticism and contemplative prayer.

Contemplative prayer has been practiced by professed Christians since the early days of the church. Once a practice known only to a few Catholic mystics, today it is quickly gaining popularity in both Catholic and Protestant circles. Many prominent Protestant leaders have endorsed the practice, either explicitly or by declaring their respect for those who teach it. Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and Robert Schuller, leaders of the church growth movement have all spoken favorably of it and have been involved in conferences where it is taught and practiced. The leaders of the Emergent church endorse the practice as a way of drawing closer to God. Many youth leaders and organizations have begun teaching it to children and teens. Catholic teachers such as Henri Nouwen and Brennan Manning, following in the footsteps of Thomas Merton, teach the value of the practice and are respected by Protestants and Catholics alike. Because of its increasing popularity, Christians need to educate themselves about the meaning and source of this practice.

In the introduction Ron Comer writes, “like two rivers merging together, Easter and Western religious thought are joining together, thus gaining momentum towards a one world religion in which all paths lead to God. A person who understands the unfolding of this new paradigm is Ray Yungen.” (Page 15) Sure enough, contemplative prayer is a practice derived from the Eastern religions and is entirely foreign to Scripture. Those who practice it, allowing their minds to enter the silence of contemplation or meditation, open themselves to a practice that is foreign to the Bible, and even more serious, is completely opposed to biblical Christianity.

These words are from the author’s conclusion. “Let us be mindful that deception is subtle, and we must be alert. All of life and truth are resting on what God has proclaimed in the Scriptures. Any teaching not supported by the Bible is not of God. May you know in your heart and mind that you are not one of the deceived, and may you, with all your heart, show your love for God by loving His Living Word. And finally, may you press on towards the upward call of God and be found ready – for there will indeed be a time of departing! This book will prepare you to avoid deception and will sharpen you, that you may not be one who departs from the faith. It is short, at 137 pages, and is easy to read. Perhaps its greatest quality is that it is biblical, continually turning to the Scriptures to allow God’s Word to bear witness against Contemplative practices. It is alarming without being alarmist. I recommend it to all believers – those involved in these practices and those who would like to know more about the dangers.


  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (June 14)

    A La Carte: 3 steps to find your voice / 7 things good dads say / One day leads to another / Let’s stop hyper-spiritualizing counseling / Enjoying the many flavors of the Word / What I wish you understood about the ethnic-specific church / and more.

  • A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    Every month I put together a roundup of new and notable books for grownup readers. But I also receive a lot of books for kids and like to put together the occasional roundup of these books as well. So today I bring you a whole big batch of new books for kids

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (June 13)

    A La Carte: Were the earliest Christians illiterate? / Our new religion isn’t enough / Why do evil and suffering exist? / The missing ingredient in too many marriages / Is Genesis literal or allegorical? / The death of fear / and more.

  • Tear Down Build Up

    It’s Easier to Tear Down than Build Up

    In my travels, I encountered a man whose work is demolition. When buildings are old and decrepit, or even when they just need to be removed to make way for others, his job is to destroy them and haul them away. New or old, big or small, plain or fancy—it makes no difference to him.…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 12)

    A La Carte: Does Bach’s music prove the existence of God? / Living from approval, not for approval / A surprising test of true faith / Do you have the support you need to grow? / Who was the “black Spurgeon?” / and more.