Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Is Rick Warren Quoting Universalist Henri Nouwen?

"For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough." (2 Cor 11:4)
Roman Catholic priest Henri Nouwen, who was deeply influenced by mystic Thomas Merton, taught what the Bible warns us about: "another Jesus."  This false "Jesus" that Nouwen taught was a Jesus of universal reconciliation.  But for some reason, Nouwen has become the darling of the Emergent Church movement as well as many in the Evangelical camp.  Who were these men (Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton), in their own words?
"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." (Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen's last book, my emphasis) 
"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)
 "I am going to become the best Buddhist I can." (Thomas Merton, Hiroshima Day Speech)
Henri Nouwen's teaching became part of something called the "Wider Mercy Doctrine" that has become very widely accepted in the world today, especially among missionaries.  The Wider Mercy Doctrine is a teaching that has been the cornerstone of Universalist belief for centuries.  It teaches that people can be saved whether or not they know about Jesus.  But this is in direct contradiction to Scripture which clearly teaches an exclusive, narrow gospel:
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
So why is Saddleback pastor Rick Warren quoting Henri Nouwen and pointing the sheep of his flock toward an apostate Universalist?

 Additional Resources 

Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic Priest

Roman Catholic Mysticism and the Emergent Church Movement

How Not to Speak of Christ and His Work

Henri Nouwen and Buddhism

Rick Warren Wants Us To Learn From Henri Nouwen

The Wider Mercy Doctrine

The Need for Elders Who Guard Their Flock