Why Christian Leaders Should Not Promote Henri Nouwen

Thomas Merton & Henri Nouwen: Sacrificing Truth for Mystical Experiences

Rick and Kay Warren Promote Henri Nouwen's Contemplative Book

Living Spiritual Teachers Project - Nouwen Favored mystic Andrew Harvey

Complete listing of Nouwen's published works: books, articles, etc.

Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tracts

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WHAT DID HENRI NOUWEN
REALLY BELIEVE?
 
Did Nouwen believe Jesus was the only way to God?

"Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God."
—From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen's last book
page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition

Henri Nouwen and Buddhism

Henri Nouwen and His Buddhist Sympathies
 Seminaries, Bible-studies and churches use his materials and quote from him. What did he really believe?

by Ray Yungen

An individual who has gained popularity and respect in Christian circles, akin to that of Thomas Merton, is the now deceased Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen. Like Merton, Nouwen combines a strong devotion to God with a poetic, comforting, yet distinctly intellectual style that strikes a strong and sympathetic chord with what could be called Christian intelligentsia. Many pastors and professors are greatly attracted to his deep thinking. In fact, one of his biographers revealed that in a 1994 survey of 3,400 U.S. Protestant church leaders, Nouwen ranked second only to Billy Graham in influence among them.

Nouwen also attracts many lay people who regard him as very inspirational. One person told me that Nouwen’s appeal could be compared to that of motherhood—a warm comforting embrace that leaves you feeling good. Despite these glowing attributes, several aspects of Nouwen’s spirituality have earned him a place in this book.

Unfortunately, this widely read and often-quoted author, at the end of his life, stated in clear terms that he approached God from a universalistic view. He proclaimed:

 

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.

Nouwen’s endorsement of a book by Hindu spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran, teaching mantra meditation, further illustrates his universalistic sympathies. On the back cover, Nouwen stated, "This book has helped me a great deal."—Read Entire Article, Henri Nouwen and Buddhism 

 
A Time of Departing, by Ray Yungen, speaks on Henri Nouwen

"The doctrines (instructions) of demons (no matter how nice, how charming, how devoted to God they sound) convey that everything has Divine Presence (all is One). This is clear heresy, for that would be saying Satan and God are one also. If what Henri Nouwen proclaimed is true when he said,'We can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is,' then Jesus Christ and Satan are also united. That, my friend, is something only a demonic spirit would teach!"
Did Nouwen believe
all is one?

Prayer is soul work because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one, ... It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is. (From Bread for the Journey)

"a place for everyone in heaven"
(Life of the Beloved - p. 53)

"to become the Beloved, we must claim it" Nouwen says we are all the chosen ones. (Life of the Beloved)
Did Nouwen believe
God dwells in all humans?
"The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being." Here and Now by Henri Nouwen; page 22
Is Nouwen Accepted by Evangelicals?

"Many pastors and professors are greatly attracted to his [Nouwen's} deep thinking. In fact, one of his biographers revealed that in a 1994 survey of 3,400 U.S. Protestant church leaders, Nouwen ranked second only to Billy Graham in influence among them." (A Time of Departing,
p. 61)
Who Did Nouwen Promote?

Thomas Merton

Taoist Philosopher Chvang Tzu

Desert Fathers

Teilhard de Chardin
(Catholic priest who believed Jesus would not return in
person but rather as a cosmic Christ)

Hindu Spiritual Writer
Eknath Eswaran

 

 
 

Featured Resources

 
     

Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all). Common terms used for this movement are "spiritual formation," "the silence," "the stillness," "ancient-wisdom," "spiritual disciplines," and many others.

Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.