Index of FAQ about "Christian" Mysticism


Who Was Henri Nouwen?


Henri Nouwen,1 was a Roman Catholic mystic who was strongly influenced by Thomas Merton. He even received the Thomas Merton Award in 1985.2 Henri Nouwen denied the true gospel message by teaching that God is already within everyone. In his book Here and Now, he writes, “The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.”3 Nevertheless, a Christian Century magazine survey in 2003 concluded that Nouwen’s writings were the first choice for both Catholic and mainline Protestant clergy.4

In his book In the Name of Jesus, Henri Nouwen writes that Christian leaders must move from the moral to the mystical, saying, “Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen to the voice of love. ... For Christian leadership to be truly fruitful in the future, a movement from the moral to the mystical is required.”5

Any individual who holds such beliefs should not be one of the most influential voices for today’s pastors.


1. According to his biographer, Michael Ford, Nouwen acknowledged in his private journals and in discussions with friends that he was homosexual. Some have attempted to use this to slander his name. However, his priestly vows of celibacy and his devotion to Catholic doctrine prevented him from being an active homosexual.* 
(* Michael Ford, Wounded Prophet: A Portrait of Henri J.M. Nouwen.)
2. Thomas Merton Center, “Award Winners.”
3. Henri Nouwen, Here and Now, 22 (Crossroad, 1994), Source: Yungen, “5 Things You Should Know.”
4. Jackson Carroll, “Pastors’ Picks: What Preachers Are Reading,” Christian Century 120, no. 17, (August 23, 2003):31, Source: Wikipedia, “Henri Nouwen.”
5. Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus, 6, 31–32.

Works Cited

1. Ford, Michael. Wounded Prophet: A Portrait of Henri J.M. Nouwen. Darton, Longman and Todd, 2006.
2. Nouwen, Henri. In the Name of Jesus. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2000.
3. Thomas Merton Center. “Award Winners.” Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
4. Wikipedia. “Henri Nouwen.” Last Updated Februrary 8, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2014.
5. Yungen, Ray. “5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer,” January 21, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.


The above comes from our book Sinister Spirit. Check out this book to see how "Christian" mysticism is linked to the spirit of antichrist.


Author: Timothy Zebell, 2014