Captured by Grace
David Jeremiah's New Book, Captured by Grace
Captured by Grace Discusses Henri Nouwen and includes endorsement by Ken Blanchard
summer, Lighthouse Trails issued a report about David Jeremiah's
promotion of contemplative and New Age authors through his book, Life
Wide Open, in which he favorably quoted New Agers, Buddhist
sympathizers, mystics and contemplatives. The report also showed
Jeremiah's affiliation with New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard
and Lead Like Jesus.
In Jeremiah's newest book, Captured by Grace, Jeremiah discusses contemplative Catholic author, the late Henri Nouwen, in his chapter, "The Converting Power of Grace." Nouwen, who said he was uncomfortable with those who say that Jesus is the only way of salvation and that he felt it was his calling to help people find their own path to God, promoted mantra style meditation. Yet, Jeremiah speaks in glowing terms of Nouwen. In referring to Rembrandt's painting of the prodigal son, Jeremiah states:
"The resulting masterpiece, The Return of the Prodigal, reached through the centuries to change the life of the Christian writer, Henri Nouwen, who spent days silently meditating upon the spiritual resonance of the scene. As a result, Father Nouwen wrote a masterpiece of his own, a book named after the painting, The Return of the Prodigal."
idea that Jeremiah is once again giving favorable attention to
someone who believes in mystical meditation and who points people
away from the biblical gospel message is absurd at best. In addition,
inside the front of the book sits the name and endorsement of Ken
Blanchard, presented by many (including Rick Warren), as a Christian leader, has for many years promoted eastern meditation, Buddhism and the New Age and has long been and still is involved with The Hoffman Institute, an organization that promotes mystical meditation and a pantheistic view of God (god in all).
The question must be asked, Why would Jeremiah quote Henri Nouwen, knowing that many Christians will read Jeremiah's book and be caught unaware, perhaps even going out and buying a book by Nouwen, and why would Jeremiah allow his publisher to put Blanchard's name in the book, knowing this will give recognition and promotion to a man who sits on the board of a New Age organization and is a promoter of mystical meditation?
Many may wonder if Jeremiah even knows about these connections; the answer to that is yes—he has been informed. So we conclude that he either doesn't believe the information or is indifferent to the spiritual implications behind these facts. It would seem appropriate that a major Christian leader, if there was even a remote possibility that he had misled people, would make every effort to correct this through public discourse, warning those who had read his book and making sure such material was pulled from the market. To this day, Life Wide Open remains in print (with a new edition out last summer), and to our knowledge, there has been no public statement by Jeremiah. And now, because of Captured by Grace, many readers will consider the teachings and writings of Henri Nouwen and Ken Blanchard to be credible material.
On a personal note, I find Dr. Jeremiah to be very confusing. Aside from his references to contemplatives and those of New Age persuasions, in his new book, Captured by Grace, he speaks warmly and favorably of John Newton who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. Yet just last summer, in the release of the latest edition of Life Wide Open, Jeremiah scolded those who liked hymns such as A Mighty Fortress is Our God and Rock of Ages, referring to such hymns as "comfort music for weak-kneed saints" (pp. 164-165).For more information on Life Wide Open