“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.” – Henri Nouwen (heretic)
(John Lanagan – The Word Like Fire) In The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen explains contemplative prayer:
The quiet repetition of a single word can help us descend with the mind into the heart. …a word or sentence repeated frequently can help us to concentrate, to move to the center, to create an inner stillness and thus listen to the voice of God. (pg.81)
But Henri Nouwen was not hearing the “voice of God.” Contemplative prayer is essentially the same as Eastern or New Age meditation, and will take you into sweet deception. It will alter or addle your theology.
It is wrong to promote a practitioner of contemplative prayer. Henri Nouwen’s particular universalist understanding of God is the result of his contemplative practices; and yet his books continue to be recommended by seminaries and celebrity Christians alike.