Richard Rohr's The Naked Now at Nyack
At Nyack Christian and Missionary Alliance College in Nyack, NY in the fall of 2011 Dr. James P. Danaher, professor and chair of the Philosophy Department, taught Father Richard Rohr's The Naked Now to his Nyack students. Not only did he teach this heretical book, but Danaher dared to do it on You Tube for the whole world to see.
Clutching the book in his hand, Danaher read aloud sections of The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See to his students. Stopping to discuss each part he continuously endorsed all Rohr wrote. He especially wanted to emphasize to his students that they rid themselves of all or nothing thinking, and let themselves be open to the "Yes!" He tells the students they are "now here, (New Age for "nowhere") or in the past" but where we want to go "is to get out of our minds" so we can "just be present." And how can one "be in the moment?" Danaher answers: "Through contemplative prayer."
To enable the reader understand who Danaher is, and why the above scenario is so frightening the following facts will help paint the picture:
Dr. James P. Danaher, Chair Philosophy Department, Nyack College
Wrote: Eyes that See, Ears that Hear: Perceiving Jesus in a Postmodern Context (2006)
* Published by: Roman Catholic Liguori Publications/ Redemptorists
* Endorsed by: Father Richard Rohr
* Quoted by: Dr. John H. Armstrong, Wheaton College
In his article "Our Perception of Reality" (February 16, 2011) Armstrong glowingly praises Danaher for abandoning the structure and the authority of modernity, and seeking to be freed of its rigidity of knowing exact truths to truth that is found in beauty and story. He wrote, "If you are confused ...
if you are a student... a 20 or thirty something who wonders if you can remain a Christian based upon how you were taught to perceive the world... if you older ... read Danaher." Armstrong continues on answering the question as to why everyone should read this book. He says, "You have heard ... how bad postmodernism is for the Christian faith, equating the word with liberalism, denial of Christ and rejection of Biblical authority. Question that premise with all your mind ..." He then emphatically says he has read the book twice, and he will read it again. It has become, he emphasizes, one of the most important books in his library. He underlines the words: "I cannot encourage you too strongly to get this book."
Wrote: Article: "The Postmodern Gospel" (January, 2006)
Interview: "My Conversion to Life in Christ" (2006)
* Critiqued by: Robert N. Wilkin, author and editor of Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
* Comment about: Wilkin's paper "The Gospel According to Evangelical Postmodernism"
In his article intro Wilkin wrote: "Evangelical Postmoderns embrace doubt. They aren't sure God exists. ... the Bible is God's Word, ... Jesus is the Savior...there is life after death, ... that they have everlasting life ... Evangelical Postmoderns put a high premium on experience. ..."
About Danaher's article Wilkin commented: "Note that there is no mention here at all of any benefits of the Postmodern gospel beyond the grave. What Danaher talks about is "an ever greater opportunity to order our lives." Wilkin continued: "Note too that Danaher denies any universal or objective truth. If our truth is not universal, this implies there is another truth out there that allows other religions to find a way to order their lives around a different person, maybe a Mohammed or Buddha.
About Danaher's interview Wilkin said: "Note what is missing here: no reference to faith in Christ, no reference to eternal life or justification, and no reference to anything related to eternity."
Wilkins also wrote: "Note what is present here: a repeated emphasis on 'experiences with God,'
repeated discussion of 'a transformed life,' 'a radically new and different life' is the aim, and surrender is the condition of this new life."
Wrote: Jesus After Modernity: A Twenty-First-Century Critique of Our Modern Concept of Truth and the Truth of the Gospel (2011)
* Published by: Cascade Books
* Endorsed by: Father Richard Rohr, Dr. John H. Armstrong, and Dr. Ronald Walborn
* Back Cover Summary: During modernity we came to believe truth as objective, certain, and precise. Mathematics became the model. This then led to how we saw truth when we presented the gospel. Jesus' teachings, on the other hand, were often vague, ambiguous, and contradictory.
Fortunately, says Danaher, now our understanding of the human condition has debunked this once held notion of truth. As a consequence this has freed us to rethink truth more in line with what Jesus said, and in line with what we now know as truth given the limits of our human condition.
* Reviewed by: Armstrong, on Amazon.com, once more strongly recommends this book.
Wrote: Contemplative Prayer: A Theology for the 21st Century (2011)
* Published by: Cascade Books
* Foreword written by: Dr. John H. Armstrong, Wheaton College
* Endorsed by: Father Richard Rohr
* Endorsed by: Dr. Ronald Walborn the Dean of the Alliance Theological Seminary, Nyack, NY
* Acknowledged: Michael Scales (President, Nyack College); David Jennings (VP College); David Turk (Provost of Nyack); Ronald Walborn (Dean of Seminary); & Fernando Arzola (Dean of Nyack's Arts and Sciences).
* Thanked: "For Richard Rohr, 'His words always made me feel I was not alone.'"
* Nyack NYC Scholars Symposium, Feb. 3, 2011: Danaher presents his book.
Update November 2013:
Writing: The Second Truth: A Brief Introduction to the Intellectual and Spiritual Journey that is Philosophy (To be published: March 2014)
* Published by: Paragon House
* Endorsed by: Father Richard Rohr
* Endorsed by: Maggie Ross
Enraptured by Rohr:
* Danaher spent eleven weeks at Rohr's "Center for Action & Contemplation" (CAC) in 2008.
* Danaher was an intern at CAC working on Special Projects/Stillpoint.
* Danaher's summer session mentioned by Nyack's The Path (p.22).
* Danaher used Rohr to endorse all his books.
* Danaher taught a Nyack College Small Group "Jewish Prophets & the Enneagram" (Tuesdays,
2PM, Simpson 200A in Fall 2011.)
* Danaher used Rohr's book The Naked Now for a You-Tube Course from Oct-Dec. 2011.
* Danaher told You Tube students he is so full of Rohr that he isn't aware when Rohr's thoughts leave off and his take over.
What Interns do at CAC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Jl6la8OBI
More About CAC:
Another Intern's CAC Story:
To know Rohr is to know where Danaher is coming from. When you truly find out who Rohr is you'll understand why the deception Danaher teaches is so dangerous. If possible get Rohr's book/s; look up all the web pages; and check out the critiques and you'll
know why one should "run from Rohr!"
More about Rohr:
* Rohr has founded the Center for Action &Contemplation (CAC) in New Mexico.
* Rohr has held a conference at CAC with Emergent leaders (e.g. Brian McLaren) in 2008.
* Rohr has taught such topics as "God as Us! The Sacred Feminine & The True Masculine;"
"Enneagram Intensive;" "Following the Mystics;" "Jesus & Buddha;" "The Great Chain of Being;"
and so much more.
* Rohr has been on Oprah & Friends; and has been interviewed by Dr. Mehmet Oz.
* Rohr has been criticized for his heretical doctrine by Catholic apologists.
Criticism of Rohr by Catholic Bryce Andrew Sibley:
Criticism of CAC by "The Catholic Media Association:"
Spirituality & Practice: About Rohr:
November 2013 Update: Danaher contributor to Rohr book: Oneing: The Perennial Tradition
James Danaher, along with Richard Rohr, Mark Burrows, Ilia Delio, Mary Beth Ingham, David Benner (Books used by College, Seminary, Empower Program), John Esposito, Robert Sardello,
Jamie Manson, &James Finley, writes article for Oneing. See: http://www.amazon.com/Oneing-Perennial-Tradition-Richard-Rohr-ebook/dp/B00EVXACBE
This page is from the "The Contemplative Book Store." Notice the MANDALA in the upper left hand corner. Scroll down to see the heretical books here.
Danaher Endorser: Dr. John H. Armstrong:
* Armstrong is an adjunct Wheaton College professor.
* Armstrong is the President of ACT3: Equipping Leaders for Unity in Christ's Mission.
* Armstrong is heavily into Roman Catholicism being a personal friend of once Protestant -now prominent Catholic- Scott Hahn.
* Armstrong is the person who arranged for Chicago's Cardinal George to be his guest in March 2012 at Wheaton's Edman Chapel.
* Armstrong is also an admirer of Richard Rohr.
Danaher Friend: Dr. John H. Armstrong:
* Armstrong, through Eyes that See, Ears that Hear, wrote to Danaher.
* Armstrong telephoned Danaher; and sent him his book: No Church Is Too Small.
* Armstrong later endorsed two of Danaher's books.
* Armstrong subsequently met Danaher in person.
How Armstrong & Danaher Met:
* Armstrong introduces Danaher to another contemplative brother-Dr. Craig Higgins.
Higgins, a Presbyterian Pastor, teaches "Contemplative Meditation" at Wainwright House,
a Spirituality Center.
Danaher's You Tube Classes: Danaher Teaches Father Richard Rohr's Book: The Naked Now: Learning to See As the Mystics See
Danaher's You Tube Class: Oct. 4, 2011-"Mysticism the Other Logic:"
* Danaher begins this session discussing the modernity belief that truth can be certain; he says that's "ego" or "that's orthodoxy." Postmoderns use "orthopraxy."
* Danaher reads The Naked Now stopping to explain about "All or Nothing Thinking;" and "Left Brain, or Dualistic Thought."
* Danaher challenges anyone not to think they can believe the whole Bible; everyone is in the middle.
* Danaher says the "ignorant masses" are impressed with those who never change their minds.
* Danaher refers to Rohr's comments on "Jesus lived personally" while "The Buddha lived experientially."
* Danaher notes Rohr visited a Buddhist monastery ("this is really neat") where he observes their
"consequentialist debates." (Note: the book says a friend "Thomas William" visited the monastery.)
* Danaher reiterates the fact that he and various colleagues do not see eye to eye, but they are learning from each other and learning how to "smile" at the end of their debates as the Buddhists do. (See chapter five "A Lesson from the (Tibetan) Monks.")
* Danaher tells a tale from his youth where he glorifies the Catholic traditions.
* Danaher uses bad language in this lecture.
* Danaher mentions folks ask him: "Why he is still at Nyack? Why he hasn't been run off?"
* Danaher also tells how he delivered his new contemplative prayer book to President Mike Scales, and how Scales said this type of prayer was something he needed personally. And Danaher says: "So you have a president that's into contemplation, and looking for that deeper journey. Pretty cool stuff!"
Danaher's You Tube Class: Oct.6, 2011-"Mysticism the Other Logic:"
* Danaher continues reading and teaching from The Naked Now.
* Danaher listens as student asks about the internet Vatican warning about Rohr teaching "New Age" ideas. The student says: "I guess he's (Rohr) not the average Catholic."
* Danaher response is to wax eloquent on the various orders of the R.C. church as the secular priest, the Dominicans, the Franciscans... and liberty, under Roman Catholicism. that they have each having their own prelates.
* Danaher alludes to his three-month internship with CAC, and priest he met.
* Danaher reads more; then mentions "theology heads" are a "six" in the "Enneagram" system; a student mentions his number was a "six" too when he began these studies.
* Danaher quotes one of Rohr's most remarkable quotes between Rohr says this, and Rohr says that.
* Danaher uses bad language about 7:25 into lesson.
* Danaher talks with lady who tells she wants out of a church she attends; that she is especially (bad language) about those folks who say: "They know for certain!" But, she like Gandhi, is trying to be the change and she is teaching "contemplative prayer;" she's getting it in.
* Danaher says the beauty of Nyack is that at one point (just like he once was) people need a foundation; but that they aren't ready for the "deeper" things he's teaching. At Nyack, he says, there's
"conservatives" they can go to; and there's "liberals" too.
Danaher's You Tube Class: Oct.11, 2011- "Mysticism the Other Logic:"
* Danaher continues his Rohr indoctrination.
* Danaher teaches religious, judgmental people begin with the "No!" Rather, they should step back, wait, and then stand in the moment.
* Danaher jots the New Age term "now here" on the board; and he asks the class what this means.
The answer is "nowhere!"
* Danaher goes over the idea how active our mind always is either being in the past, or the future; but we want to quiet that and just be in the present moment--not in our mind. We want to be in "liminal space!"
* Danaher once again tells how he awakens, and attempts to pray using a mantra "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"
* Danaher reiterates "the mind wears you out" so you use a "mantra" to focus, or even Catholics use a "rosary" to focus. We need this contemplative "discipline of prayer."
* Danaher says we need to be a Mary, not a Martha. He then references "Brother Lawrence."
* Danaher, next, shares how Father Rohr takes a yearly retreat to "Monk Thomas Merton's Kentucky Hermitage."
* Danaher tells he did a talk on contemplative prayer to the Manhattan Campus, and the evaluation
was not what he wanted as people preferred he talk on "intercession." He puts that idea down in a condescending voice.
* Danaher uses a Rohr-like term "doing religion;" he also adds some not-so-nice language.
* Danaher tells the students they can order Rohr videos through the internet, and names one they might like to purchase.
* Danaher also puts down true Christian internet apologetic web sites who explain what "contemplative prayer" actually is.
* Danaher, as in other lessons, refers to the occult practice of using an "Enneagram."
Enneagram Memo: If you aren't aware of what "The Enneagram" is please read "The Enneagram GPS: Gnostic Path to Self" by Marcia Montenegro a former New Ager.
Danaher's You Tube Class: Oct. 13, 2011- "Mysticism the Other Logic:"
* Danaher continues with more Rohr.
* Danaher stresses we have never arrived, therefore we are always seeking forgiveness enabling us to be merciful and forgiving.
* Danaher relates during a nightly prayer time he used a mantra over and over "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!" to keep from being distracted.
* Danaher reteaches again that we're trained in the "Left Brain," and we need to get out of the "Left Brain" and just "let go" and "be present!"
* Danaher often alludes to such Catholics as "Mother Teresa."
* Danaher again and again hammers the idea of our needing forgiveness continuously so that we in turn can give "mercy and forgiveness."
* Danaher praises Nyack for having liberal viewpoints, and providing all kinds of professors so students can get the right fit.
* Danaher tells of an old head of the Bible Department who took him to task. A students quizzes him as to who that was. Danaher does not name him because he says we're on You Tube!
* Danaher tells of students who avoid his class as they have labeled him a heretic.
Danaher's You Tube Lecture: November 8, 2011- "Mysticism-Class Discussion:"
* Danaher teaches in the twenty-first-century we think about knowledge differently.
* Danaher says our goal is to have a "Jesus Perspective."
* Danaher cautions, "Don't trust your own understanding; struggle with it!"
* Danaher instructs, "Do violence to your understanding!"
* Danaher shares he no longer takes "Honor Students" because they just can't get with these ideas.
* Danaher says during "modernity" mystery was eliminated for rational reasoning. And after modernity we want to taste mystery and forgiveness. "Open your head!" he advises.
* Danaher once more drives home the point that contemplative prayer is being "present to God."
* Danaher gets on his "soap box" about our continual sinning and being forgiven, so we can show "mercy and forgiveness" to others.
* Danaher refers to Tony Campolo, a very controversial 'Christian' Eastern University professor, who used a bad word to describe a sad situation; to emphasize the word Campolo used Danaher repeats this several times.
* Danaher says ( a few sentences later), "I was going to drop the F-bomb."
* Danaher says "patriotism" is a form of "idolatry"; the then mocks the flag salute.
* Danaher follows, soon after, with a sentence using still more unacceptable language.
* Danaher believes the Bible is a "progressive revelation."
* Danaher interjects the only answer is to get "The Jesus Revelation."
* Danaher reiterates "contemplative prayer" means "being present" rather than "in our head" with its thoughts of the past and the future. Saints like mystics Catherine or Genoa or Meister Eckert, he says, felt a "conscious union with something deeper." With one last expletive, and a few more words he ends the session.
Note: I listened to all of these "You Tube Lectures" sometimes several times; they speak for themselves.
Update January 2014: After sending a copy of this article, and other information to Dr. Stumbo all of these videos have been taken down. Hopefully, it wasn't just to hide them, for as I write in my most recent blog Danaher's book/article are still being touted on Nyack's web pages. Please research Rohr to know why this continues to be a true travesty.
What's Wrong With Rohr? The Naked Now?
* Rohr refers to "the Buddha," and to "Buddhism" and "Hinduism" throughout his book.
Consider these quotes! Notice Rohr often puts "Jesus" on the same plane as "the Buddha."
P.33 "It is the primary form of 'dying to the self' that Jesus lived personally and the Buddha taught experientially. The growing consensus is that, whatever you call it, such calm, egoless seeing is invariably characteristic of people at the highest levels of doing and loving in all cultures and religions. They are the ones we call sages or wise women or holy men. They see like the mystics see."
p.35 "The fact that nonpolarity thinking is at the core of three of the world's great religions--Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism--demands that we give it at least a 'Gamaliel hearing.'"
p.39 "A Lesson from the Monks" (Buddhist Monks!) "Do not plunder the Mystery with concepts."
(Zen Masters) and "My religion is kindness." (The Dalai Lama)
p.43 "He told me that during the young novice's training, he or she is presented over a period of three years with each and every one of the Buddha's teachings."
p.44 "The concern in Tibetan Buddhism is not to achieve a conceptually perfect answer, which has to be defended, but to call forth a happy, loving, aware, and perceptive human being. Is that not one type of 'salvation?'"
p.49 "Almost all spiritual teachers say something to this effect: 'Do not judge.' There is Jesus in Matt. 7:1 and Luke 6:36-38; there is the Buddha in the Dhammapada, 4:7. Do not judge."
p.52 "In all situations, ... the all-important question is 'Is it true?' Not: 'Is it from my group?' 'Does it please me?' ... Who cares? the saint would say. 'Only the ego cares,' the Buddhist would say; and the ego is not interested in truth or in God, only in control."
p.53 "As Rumi (Sufi) said, "There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.' ... Buddhists called it meditation, sitting, or practicing.... Sufi Islam called it ecstasy. ... Vedantic Hinduism ...
spoke of it as nondual knowing or simply breathing."
p.59 "Knowledge is the gathering of information. It consists in knowing about "the ten thousand things," as the Buddhists poetically call it."
p.60 "We already know far more than Jesus or Buddha ever knew, but the great difference is that they knew what they did know from a different level and in a different way".
p.63 "Good religion, however, is always about seeing rightly. ... And to see rightly is to be able to be fully present-- without fear, without bias, and without judgment. ... this wisdom has been kept a huge secret, even though Jesus, perhaps Moses, and surely Buddha taught it to their followers."
p.75 "... I would like to point out one teaching in Luke's gospel that I think is pivotal-- one that, some would say, sounds almost exactly like the saying of a Zen Master, Jesus is addressing both the Pharisees and the disciples, therefore both outsiders and insiders at the same time."
p.77 "In both of these passages (Luke 17) Jesus is exactly repeating the Sanskrit neti, neti of ancient Hinduism. 'Not this and not that' was taught by ancient sages to protect the final unpronounceability
and full knowledge of the Holy."
p.85 "Lonergan (Jesuit) taught that the only real way to find objectivity today was to help people clarify and heal their subjectivity! These words might remind us of the Buddha. ..."
p.99 "Ancient Hinduism actually painted a third eye onto the forehead. The tika, which originally was a sign of this new seeing or enlightenment, eventually became a cosmetic decoration for women, as it is today."
p.100 "Some call it (alternative consciousness) by the various names of light, including enlightenment (Hinduism, Buddhism, John's Gospel), some call it conversion (the falling of scales from Paul's eyes in Acts 9:18-19), Jesus calls several people who see correctly and act on it quite simply saved (see Luke 8:48, 17:19, Mark 7:28); or in words almost too simple, 'Do this and life is yours.'" (Luke 10:28)
p.134 "Religious teachers, including Jesus, the Buddha, as well as many Hindu sages, are always telling us to wake up--to be alert, alive, awake, attentive, or aware."
p.138 Summary/paraphrase of Romans 14-16 "Mediators and Buddhists would call this the 'Stable Witness,' which is attained by discipline and practice, leading to 'realization' of union with Being Itself."
p.153 " ... I am impressed that all three of the great Asian religions-- Hindu Vedanta, Mahayana Buddhism, and Chinese Taoism-- build upon a worldview of nonduality and paradox."
p.159 "Be the change you want to see in the world." --Mohandas Gandhi
p.171-172 Christian Tantra: The "Welling Up" Exercise: "It is really quite similar to what the Hindus discovered in tantra, where you hold the powerful gift and do not express it, so that it can be deepened and refined. I think it is also what Jesus is offering the Samaritan woman when he says to her: 'The water that I shall give you will turn into a spring inside you, welling up into limitless life."
Check out "Christian Tantra" on the internet to see why this is not "Christian" at all!
p.177 "In India they have the notion of the darshan: The Hindus go to the temple, not to see God, statues, or rituals, as much as to be seem by God."
You can go through the book choosing "dualistic thinking," "the ego," "the third eye," or any other reoccurring theme and your results will be the same; Rohr is not teaching Biblical doctrine in any form or fashion. Instead, he is weaving in all sorts of other deceptive and destructive teachings. To think that Danaher has the liberty to teach such a book at a Christian college is a travesty. How very far we've fallen!
In summary, although Dr. Danaher may appear knowledgeable to his students, and even very funny at times, his conduct as well as his teachings leaves one absolutely flabbergasted as to how this man ever would be teaching future Christian leaders.
Learn to Discern Granny Verse from II Timothy 1:13: "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."