(420) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY: POSTMODERNISM & MYSTICISM AT C&MA’s SEMINARY& NYACK COLLEGE

POSTMODERNISM & MYSTICISM AT ALLIANCE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY & NYACK COLLEGE.

Most of this commentary is not original from me but taken from various sites as referenced below including Nyack College at http://nyack.edu/blog/CASNews/1512, specific books listed on Amazon, Learn to Discern Granny, and various other websites including several New Age sources –

It continues to amaze and cause deeper concern to see at a high level in the C&MA (ATS Seminary and Nyack College along with several other Bible colleges within the C&MA) the extent and promotion of mysticism – including both ancient ROMAN CATHOLICISM and CONTEMPLATIVE EASTERN MYSTICISM, which both share similarities to what is commonly referred to as NEW AGE.  

At this level, it is becoming more and more apparent of the future direction of the C&MA denomination as more and more pastors, authors, missionaries, workers….etc. go through Bible college and seminary to become leaders in local churches and organizations across the world.

To put it bluntly – the C&MA, in its inclusion of ancient and contemporary mysticism in its education program is displaying syncretism at a minimum.  This is very serious!  Just open your Bible to either the Old Testament or the New Testament to see clearly how God views dabbling in any other religion, belief system, occultic practices….etc.  In the Old Testament, there are several, I repeat, several occasions where God warns the Israelites not to dabble in these foreign beliefs.  Entire groups of people are restricted from mixing in with the Israelites to protect them from following after anything other than God’s word.  In the New Testament, the warnings to several churches are for the leaders in the churches to proactively be on the look out for false teaching that in many cases enters and is promoted from WITHIN THE CHURCH itself. (Jude)

Have you read from 1 and 2 Timothy lately – It won’t take long, maybe try reading it now to get a sense of how Paul warns the church to “TEACH NO OTHER DOCTRINE” and to stick to following after God’s word which comes directly from God (2 Timothy 3:16).

=> If we continue where we left off in the previous posting on Nyack’s professor, Dr. Danaher, the following information shows how the C&MA, both implicitly and explicitly, is promoting a syncretic mixing of doctrine and practices from ROMAN CATHOLICISM and CONTEMPLATIVE NEW AGE / EASTERN MYSTICISM

Nyack’s Dr. Danaher Does it Again with Another Rohr Endorsement!

Front and center on the “Nyack’s College of Arts & Sciences January 2014 Facebook Page & Blog” is Dr. James P. Danaher’s newest book: The Second Truth complete with Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque,1512 New Mexico endorsement.

Note also that Danaher’s new book is also endorsed by one Maggie Ross.  Ross, a mystic Anglican solitary, is the author of several books including Writing the Icon of the Heart, which in turn, was endorsed (no surprise) by James P. Danaher, author of Contemplative Prayer: A Theology for the Twenty-first Century;  Fr. Richard Rohr, Founding Director, Center for Action and Contemplation; and John H. Armstrong, President, ACT3 Network.  (See previous blog: “The Naked Now at Nyack.”)

For more Rohr scroll down the Nyack Arts & Sciences Facebook Page to find a prominent photograph of the Oneing: An Alternative Orthodoxy (The Perennial Tradition)  explored by 21st. century thinkers including:   Richard Rohr, Mark S. Burrows, Ilia Delio, David G. Benner, John L. Esposito, Diana Butler Bass, Mary Beth Ingham, James P. Danaher, Robert Sardello, Jamie L. Manson, James D. Kirylo, Cynthia Bourgeault, and James Finley.

Exactly who are these other authors?  What do they share in common?  What do they each contribute to Oneing?  Why would Richard Rohr select them as contributors?  For some answers go to Amazon.com books to Oneing  and click on “Look Inside.”  Notice the “Contents” which lists articles written from Rohr’s “Introduction,” to Benner’s “Ancient Wisdom for Contemplative Living,” to Danaher’s “What’s So Perennial About the Perennial Philosophy?” to Finley’s “Epilogue.”  See the listing of each contributor with personal web sites.

While researching these authors, whom I’d dub: “Rohr’s Radicals,” I’ve found most of this group to be the cream of the crop of vocal liberals who’ve embraced Rohr’s “we are all one” mantra.  And just who are the “who’s who” of Rohr’s ardent admirers? 

  • To begin there’s Mark S. Burrows, mystic poet and scholar, who translated Rilke poetry from German to English. 
  • There’s Sr. Ilia Delio OSF, an outspoken theologian scientist and author, who reimagines Christ by teaching evolutionary Catholicism or cosmic Christology. 
  • There’s David G. Benner, an ex-evangelical depth psychologist and soul care author, who left his former faith for mystical practices (contemplative prayer, lectio divina, icons) and interfaith dialog (Buddhists, Taoists)
  • There’s John L. Esposito, once a monk, who now is an expert on world religions and a spokesperson for Muslim & Christian understanding. 
  • There’s Diana Butler Bass, Episcopalian feminist, who is a contributing editor for the very liberal Jim Wallis’ Sojourner Magazine, and a friend of such Emergents as Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and Tony Jones. 
  • There’s Sr. Mary Beth Ingham CSJ, philosophy professor and author of a book with Richard Rohr, as well as numerous books on Franciscan theologian John Duns Scotus
  • There’s James P. Danaher, Nyack College Philosophy Chair, postmodern and contemplative author of four Rohr-endorsed  books, and advisor to and writer for Rohr’s Oneing journal. 
  • There’s Robert Sardello, a leading philosopher of the soul revered by authors James Hillman and Thomas Moore, who as co-founder of the School of Spiritual Psychology has authored such books as Steps on the Stone Path:  Working with Crystals and Minerals as a Spiritual Practice and Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness
  • There’s Jamie L. Manson, a Catholic feminist and defender of the homosexual agenda, and columnist for The National Catholic Reporter
  • There’s James D. Kirylo, professor of education and defender of “Liberation Theology,” who authored the book Paulo Freire: The Man from Recife. 
  • Finally, there’s James Finley, once a monk mentored by Thomas Merton, now turned clinical psychologist who teaches such retreats as: “The Four Noble Truths of the Buddha for Us All,”  “The Interior Castle of St. Theresa of Avila, ” and  “Zen as a Path of Spiritual Fulfillment.”

On the opening page you can also find the meaning of the old English word “oneing” as used by mystic Lady Julian of Norwich.  It is defined this way: “Oneing  describes the encounter between God and the soul.  The Rohr Institute proudly borrows the word to express divine unity between all divisions, dichotomies, and dualisms in the world.  We pray and publish with Jesus’ words, ‘that we may be one.‘”  Ponder this statement!!  For “oneing’s” meaning unlocks the reason for Rohr’s purpose in promoting these mostly Roman Catholic, mystical, often radical writers.  Yes, “oneing’s” meaning is what Rohr and his cohorts are all about!
Think!  Dr. James P. Danaher, Philosophy Chair at “evangelical” Nyack is part of this group of writers promoting we are all one, and we are all divine.  And then notice the members that comprise “The Rohr Institute Advisory Board:”  James Danaher; David Benner; Ilia Delia, OSF; Sheryl B. Fullerton; and Marian Kustenmacher.  This “five some” includes: Danaher, the contemplative philosopher; Benner the mystical depth psychologist; Delio the evolutionist nun; Fullerton the mind, body, and soul literary agent; and Kustenmacher the occult enneagram specialist

=> Once again the question must be raised: “HOW CAN AN EVANGELICAL PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR BE ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH A BOARD?” 

At the CAC web site we additionally find the “Living School for Action & Contemplation” whose all-star teachers each bear witness to the Christian voice of universal awakening, grounded firmly within its mystical and transformational traditionHoping to open Christianity to more inclusive theological visions a core faculty (Rohr, Bourgeault, & Finley) and invited master teachers (ROB BELL, DAVID G. BENNER, Walter Brueggemann, Paula D’Arcy, Ilia Delio, Ruth Patterson, and Robert Sardello) will teach deep and grounded practices in contemplative prayer, chanting, and kenosis.  CAC writes:  “In the joined presence of these faculty, this School is at its heart a Mystical Christian Living School.

One can find Oneing  and many more Rohr products featured on the New Age “Contemplative-Life” page with a “Mandala” icon at the top left corner of its web page.  Read Rohr’s clear and concise definition of Oneing’s “Perennial Tradition Theme”, which is in ALL the world’s religions, is all about:

     *  There is a Divine Reality underneath and inherent in the world of things.
     *  There is in the human soul a natural capacity, similarity, and longing for this Divine               Reality.
     *  The final goal of all existence is union with this Divine Reality.

In conclusion, with the above description firmly in your mind, I would ask (“I” = Learn to Discern Granny is asking)

  • why Dr. James P. Danaher can continue to teach at Nyack College, and at the same time be part of this heretical organization? 
  • I would ask why Dr. Danaher’s newest book gets top billing on Nyack’s “Arts & Sciences” page and blog? 
  • I would ask why such a completely unbiblical and radical journal would be pictured as news worthy?  
  • I would ask exactly who it is that is responsible for allowing Danaher to be part of Rohr’s organization?  Surely, not just Danaher will be held accountable; for those over Dr. Danaher will also give account for their encouragement, their endorsements, and their allowing him to continue to spread Rohr’s teachings to CMA students as well as the CMA denomination and beyond.

Acts 20:28-30:
Paul wrote this warning in his day, and it still applies!  “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, sparing not the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.”

Look and see for yourself – 

*  Danaher’s book:  Second Truth 
http://www.amazon.com/Second-Truth-Introduction-Intellectual-Philosophy/dp/1557789126/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391694275&sr=1-1&keywords=James+Danaher%2C+The+Second+Truth

Oneing  Journal: Danaher Author:  Click “Look Inside!”  for much more information.
http://www.amazon.com/Oneing-Perennial-Tradition-Richard-Rohr-ebook/dp/B00EVXACBE/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391694651&sr=1-1-fkmr1&keywords=Oneing+Journal+Rohr

* “Spirituality & Practice:”  “Living Spiritual Teacher: Father Richard Rohr”
http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/teachers/teachers.php?id=212&g=

*  “Spirituality & Practice:”  “Living Spiritual Teacher: Cynthia Bourgeault”
http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/teachers/teachers.php?id=255&g=

*  School of Spiritual Psychology: Robert Sardello
http://spiritualearthschool.com/Store/silence/

*  Nyack Blogs: Nyack College Arts & Sciences News: Announcement of Danaher’s new book https://www.nyack.edu/blog/CASNews/1722

*  Nyack College Arts and Sciences Facebook Photos:  2014  Photo of Second Truth  second row; 2013 Photos:  Photo of Oneing  Journal about seventeen rows down on far left with caption “Dr. Danaher Examines Perennial Philosophy.”
https://www.facebook.com/NyackCollegeArtsSciences/photos_stream

*  Nyack Blogs: Nyack College Arts & Sciences News:  Announcement of Danaher’s piece in
Oneing  with CAC store address where you can purchase the journal.
http://nyack.edu/blog/CASNews/1512

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