When Pastor Chuck Smith was alive, the CC Men’s Conferences, held annually at the Anaheim Convention Center, were a bastion of Christian strength, spiritual edification and biblical spirituality, centered on God’s Word… apparently this is now no longer true.
(Brian Brodersen’s) Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa’s 2018 Men’s Conference [Sat. 5/12] is featuring the emergent, contemplative Kyle Strobel. Strobel is not affiliated in any way with CC, and his inclusion in the CC Men’s Con18 is highly irregular. Strobel is the author of several books and created a contemplative group called “Metamorpha”. Strobel is currently Associate Professor at Talbot School of Theology – Being well versed in church history, but also in the practices of Catholic contemplatives. [See https://mensconference.calvarychapel.com/]
While his teaching career may pay the bills, Strobel’s real passion seems to be contemplative mysticism. He has been a featured speaker at more than a few contemplative conferences – not the least of which is Richard Foster’s Renovare – Where in 2014, he spoke besides top contemplatives Larry Crabb, Ruth Haley Barton, Eugene Cho and Richard Foster himself. Make no mistake about it, these conferences are about one thing, and one thing only – Contemplative mysticism and it’s practices.
Strobel’s 2007 book “Metamorpha” has some very telling endorsements: See http://metamorpha.com/resources/books/metamorpha/ >> Dan Kimball author, The Emerging Church; Contemplative guru Chuck Smith Jr., and Leonard Sweet, author of the (heretical) Jesus Manifesto, and others.
A book review of Strobel’s  “Formed for the Glory of God” tells us: “Many Protestants are now quite happy to read Catholics… Strobel himself is young and profoundly aware of the hungers of the post-modern generation, and is [NOTE] well grounded in the scholarly study of church history and various sorts of thinkers who taught contemplation and meditation. In fact, he explores exactly some of this sort of mystery in this very volume.”
Formed for the Glory of God reveals the books contents, as chapter 4 is entitled “Spiritual disciplines as a means of Grace”. Spiritual Disciplines virtually always is referring to contemplative mystical practices. Chapter 6 is entitled: “Meditation and Contemplation”, etc.
In the 2013 book, Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics, co-authored by Strobel and his Metamorpha partner Jamin Goggin, the “Suggested Reading” section includes: John of the Cross: The Collected Works of...; Julian of Norwich: Showings; Thomas Merton: The Wisdom of the Desert, and many other “classic” contemplatives.
Strobel’s Metamorpha website is careful to disguise words and phrases that are instantly recognizable as being contemplative. They claim that they: “Serve the local church by offering *training resources that cultivate [NOTE] *doctrinal reflection (Lectio Divina), the life of (contemplative) prayer, and compassionate (Social gospel) community.”
Metamorpha also regularly promotes contemplative gurus Dallas Willard and Richard Foster. A 2011 article on Metamorpha by Dallas Willard was titled: “Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation, and the Restoration of the Soul”, wherein Willard advocates becoming “active in spiritual growth by *utilizing (‘spiritual’) disciplines such as [NOTE] solitude, silence and fasting… Spiritual formation through spiritual disciplines is emphasized.”
Summary: It should be quite clear from the above evidence that Kyle Strobel is a dyed-in-the-wool emergent/ contemplative who should have absolutely no place in Calvary Chapel, let alone at the premier annual event for CC men. Yet it appears Brodersen has taken yet another step off the precipice into the contemplative abyss. Although Strobel may not even discuss contemplative mysticism directly at the conference, you can be sure his books will be on the merchandise tables, and thus his impact at the CCMC18 could have great and lasting consequences. Sadly, rather than protecting the sheep, the CC leadership are feeding them to the wolves.