Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dr. James P. Danaher Puts Down "Sunday School Truth" for "Postmodern 21st. Century Truth"

Dr. James P. Danaher Puts Down "Sunday School Truth" for "Postmodern 21st. Century Truth"

On the Christian Post: CP Newsroom Program topic: "Will Christians Who Doubt Their Faith Inevitably Become Atheists?"   on May 6, 2014, Nicola A. Menzie interviewed Dr. James P. Danaher, Philosophy Professor, and Department Chair at Nyack College, and author of the new book Second Truth

"Sunday School Truth" Vs. "21st. Century Seminary Truth:"

Former Nyack student Nicola Menzie opens the interview asking how a Christian loses faith.  Danaher answers that in higher education many lose faith because they cling to their "first truth" or "Sunday School truth," and this doesn't fit with a twenty-first century conceptualization of truth.  And if we are to continue in faith, asserts Danaher, we'll need to re-conceptualize the truth of the gospel to fit into this postmodern world.

Yesterday and Today, and Forever Truth:

Danaher relates that truth is always changing because we are on a journey.  But the Bible says, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8 KJV)  He never changes!  Whereas, this truth Danaher describes is fleeting, unknowable, and as II Timothy 3:7 says some are
"ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth."

The Mathematical Model of Truth:

Danaher states he has always written against the modern idea that truth can be certain, and objective or as he calls is "A Mathematical Model of Truth."  Now, Danaher advises we move away from this "absolute truth" model to "Truth from Your Perspective Model."   But Paul warns of such men in II Timothy 2:17 that have erred from the truth and taught false doctrine so as to overthrow the faith of some.  And this is exactly what Danaher does when he denies the absolute truth of the Word in favor of a "second truth."

Mother's Knee Truth:

But, repeats Danaher, we must keep an "open mind" to change always remembering that truth is an ongoing journey.  However, he says, many are locked into their primary understanding or concepts they learned at their mother's knee.  While this truth may have seemed certain then, it later becomes mythical and propels us on to search for a second truth.

Re-conceptualized Truth:

Instead of reinventing truth our Bible says to keep the faith, stand for truth, and not to turn away from it as some do.  Danaher asserts those who are stuck in that primary knowledge of truth find openness and change threatening.  So, he teaches, we must re-conceptualize and rethink truth.  We must ditch  obsolete doctrine to fit into today's world.

A Knowledge of Truth:

I and II Timothy speak a lot about truth, and doctrine.  In I Timothy 2:4 Paul wrote, "Who will have all men to be saved (a term Danaher doesn't mention), to come unto the knowledge of truth."  Notice this says "truth"--not the first or second truth.

The First Truth:

Danaher admits he is often hard on people who are at the point he was twenty years ago- still stuck in that "first truth," old-fashioned thinking.  Bless their hearts. History shows us, he goes on, that Christians are always whacking and torturing other Christians because of their different understandings.  Danaher asserts that this is so na├»ve in this twenty-first century when we realize our experience is an interpretation based on our continuously changing understanding.

No Objective Truth!

Menzie queries if there is objective truth.  Danaher replies he doesn't believe there is; and if there is, only God knows this.  We, relates Danaher, are always trying to throw in doctrinal and theological understandings.  Danaher then explains we need to take on Jesus' perspective as his follower.  We need to conceptualize the world as he did.

The Virus of the Gospel: Another Truth:

Danaher said we should be made in Jesus' likeness, particularly when it comes to mercy and forgiveness.  People, he says, have been trying to become righteous for thousands of years so God will love them.  He further stated, one doesn't have to become righteous just merciful and forgiving; for mercy and forgiveness are what the gospel is all about.  And he emphasized if only "the virus of the gospel" would spread we'd take over the world tomorrow.

The True Gospel: Biblical Truth:

Danaher's gospel doesn't mention sin, repentance, the cross, or salvation.  His gospel says we don't have to become righteous.  But the true gospel says we are sinners in need of a Savior.  It says that when we've become new creatures in Christ all things will be new, and we'll desire to live holy, righteous lives.  I Peter 1:6 tells us to be holy even as he is holy.  I Timothy 5:11 says to follow righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.  In fact, II Timothy 3:16,17 says all scripture is given for "instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

The Only Truth:

Nicola brings up how popular pastors as Rob Bell have come out with a "new understanding," as opposed to John Piper who said, "Farewell, Rob Bell!"  Avoiding any mention of his Oneing Journal
fellow writer, and Rohr Institute master teacher rebel -Rob Bell- , Danaher says there are those, who like John Piper, are still defending their "first truth understanding," while others have entered the twenty-first century intentionally re-conceptualizing truth.   Regardless of where you are in your understanding of truth, Danaher stresses, we just all have to get along for it really about having a Jesus' perspective.  And adds Danaher, when Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: ..." that was Jesus' "Second Truth."  No, Dr. Danaher, that is the only truth!

We Can Know Truth!

The feeling I got from this interview was those simple souls, who cling to their old "first truth" ideas, and have the audacity to say there are certain things one can know for sure will just have to throw that overboard, for there's nothing any where that is certain.  There is no objective truth.  It always just ahead, ever changing.  There's nothing firm about it.  We can just chase it.  But, the Bible says much the opposite--that truth can be known.  It says, "And ye shall know the truth, and truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)  It says, too, " ... thy word is truth."  (John 17:17)  But like those described in II Timothy 4:4, Danaher, the postmodern professor, has" turned his ears from the truth, ..."

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  II Timothy 3:7, 8

In the last days Paul writes about men who will be "Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so these also resist the truth..."

Important Note!

Please peruse my previous blogs if you're unfamiliar with Danaher's relationship to heretical Catholic priest Father Richard Rohr, and his "Center for Contemplation and Action" in New Mexico; Danaher's use of Father's Rohr's book endorsements; Danaher's sabbatical as an intern at Rohr's center; Danaher's teaching of Rohr's The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See  
in his Nyack classroom on You Tube; Danaher's writing with Rohr's radical followers for Rohr's journal; and Danaher's being an advisor for Rohr's heretical journal Oneing.

Read these three pieces that tell about Danaher:

Update: Nyack features Danaher and the above program.