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Saturday, April 14, 2007
Transfiguration by Fr. John Dear
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Two days ago I started reading "Transfiguration" by Fr. John Dear, published by Double Day in 2007. After completing 20% of the book, I had to put it down. I was excited to read the book because in the first few pages, Fr. Dear describes the Transfiguration of Jesus and his experience with visiting Mt. Tabor, the place where the Transfiguration took place. Unfortunately, the book hit rock bottom after this point.

After reading 55 pages and scanning the remaining parts of the book, Fr. Dear is concerned only about anti-war messages and social work. The entire book is meant to the peace movement, elimination of nuclear weapons, end of the death penalty, protection of the environment, etc. He wants the Just War Theory removed from Church teaching. Fr. Dear makes no mention of the need to receive the Sacraments. He seems so concerned with the world that he is neglecting the purpose of the priesthood - saving immortal souls!

I decided to find more information, so I visited Fr. John Dear's website. And what did I find? I found pictures of a man dressed in laypeople's clothing. Yes, Fr. John Dear is one of the Catholic priests that doesn't teach the Catechism well or dress like a priest with a Roman Collar. I was even more disappointed. In fact, anti-war was the only message I saw on his website. I saw nothing about the need for Confession, Eucharist, Mass, etc. While Jesus certainly did preach peace (Matthew 26:52), Our Lord still used the rope to drive thieves from the Temple (Matthew 21:12-17). I politely suggest that Fr. John Dear needs to read that part of the Gospel again.

Concerning the book, I did enjoy some parts like his inclusion of Mother Teresa and her total dependence on God. Unfortunately, there were some parts that I did not like at all. For example, on page 11 it states, "Through contemplative prayer, Gospel study, and shared community, we can learn to walk with [Jesus]..." There is no mention of the Sacraments, the Mass, the Rosary, or anything genuinely Catholic. Furthermore, page 19 states, "Jesus was determined not to play God, but to be as human, as real, as possible". Jesus Christ is God! Fr. Dear is very wrong and appears close to blasphemy with that statement. And finally, Fr. Dear writes, "Jesus would dedicate His life to justice for the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, the oppressed and the homeless..." (Page 21). Again, wrong - Jesus dedicated His life to saving our immortal souls by dying on the Cross. While He did heal and preach, His mission was to die for our salvation.

If you want a book on the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt. Tabor, this is not your book. If you want a book about the Transfiguration and how it promotes a radical message on total pacifism from a priest that can't even wear a Roman collar, this is the book.

I do not recommend this book.

Note: Another priest reviewed the book and gave it the letter grade: F


18 comments:

del_button April 14, 2007 at 8:51 PM
Anonymous said...

Oh my. Truly terrible.

del_button April 15, 2007 at 6:04 AM
Mark said...

Bah; what a shame!

del_button April 17, 2007 at 11:38 PM
Deo Juvante said...

Notice, how priest nowadays don't put the title 'Rev. Fr.' on books. I think ecumenism is largely to be blamed for the content. I have a large collection of TAN Books, you should purchase those books too.

God bless.

del_button April 17, 2007 at 11:41 PM
Deo Juvante said...

I reccommend 'The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass' by Redemptorist Father Michael Muller (author of 'Prayer-The Key to Salvation', 'The Blessed Eucharist', 'The Sinner's Return to God') by TAN Books.

del_button April 19, 2007 at 10:35 AM
Ma Beck said...

Deo,
That's the first thing I noticed.
"John Dear", not "Father John Dear."
I second your plug of Tan Books - you can't go wrong with them.
Funny how these peacenik Christians fail to realize that the ultimate act of violence and murder does not occur on the battlefield or in the high schools or anywhere else but rather occurs FOUR THOUSAND times A DAY in abortion mills in the US ALONE.
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil."

del_button February 19, 2008 at 7:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Because of priets like John Dear, catholics are loosing their faith, leaving the Catholic Church and maybe joining neo-protestant congregations where is preached the Word of God (I am talking here about how accurate the Word is preached).

People are coming to Church not to hear the priest preaching liberal ideaologies (global warming, anti-war, save the enviorement, etc), but to hear the Good News which should change their lifes.

John Dear is talking on his site and other sites where he posts articles that Jesus was non-violent. This is totally fals. He (I hope not intentionally) is making a confusion between being a peacemaker and being non-violent.

You can not be non-violent against evel! And we have so much evel in this world because there are not enough to stand by the side of good and protect it.

What would be the world today if nobody would have stand against the Nazi in 1939? It is hard to say. But you can compare and extrapolate with the victims of the communist regimes, an evel ideology too, which made HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of victims around the world in the last 80 years.

I am coming from an east-european country that was under a communist regime for 50 years (this is the reason why my english is not perfect - I am sorry), and they used the same stereotypes to indoctrinate us: when the whole world will be communist, there will not be wars anymore, there will not be poverty, etc. The communists and socialists in US and Europe are using now the Jesus's name to preach their ideologies. They, the biggest criminals in the history of mankind.

For priests like John Dear the Catholic Church is suffering today for short of vocations. Nobody would be willing to put their lifes in line (celibacy, obidience, etc) for an institution represented by people like Fr. John Dear.

I am sorry to say this about a brother in Christ, but it is the truth.

Fr. Chris

del_button February 19, 2008 at 9:24 PM
Seminarian Matthew said...

Fr. Chris, I completely agree.

del_button August 10, 2008 at 5:34 AM
Anonymous said...

it is a pity that you will be a priest with this kind of mislead already to God's people. May God bless John Dear and his work. May you and others talking bad of John Dear be transfigured to bring the reign of peace and justice to our wounded world. hopefully by now you have understood the gospel well.

del_button May 10, 2010 at 9:15 PM
Anonymous said...

I beg to differ...because of priests like Fr. John Dear many people remain Catholics. He truly understands the nonviolent message of Christ Jesus. Oh, by the way, contemplative prayer can include the Adoration of the Eucharist, the rosary, the Breviary, etc. He never said it didn't.

Fr. Chris, it is because of people like Fr. John that I am proud to call myself a Catholic. May God continue to bless Fr. John and may God transform you into a loving being that follows the nonviolent Christ.

del_button October 11, 2010 at 8:15 PM
Anonymous said...

I thought it was a beautiful book. Yeah, I'd like to see him in a collar as well. Still, did Catholic Social Teaching disappear with Vatican II? Give the man a chance. Pax Christi

del_button November 14, 2010 at 4:23 PM
Efrain Cortes said...

Want to know the shocking truth about Fr. John Dear? Try this link:

http://againstallheresies.webs.com

You will not be disappointed - or maybe you will.

del_button February 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
del_button March 20, 2011 at 5:35 PM
I_AM_NOBODY said...

Funny how posts show they are deleted if they don't all agree with the side everyone's prior comments sit on. True spiritual oneness with God doesn't have room for judging outward appearances like if a priest is wearing a collar or if he doesn't include the great traditional rituals of Catholicism (which I agree are wonderful!). IMO it's about reaching a state of nonjudgment and being driven with love for anything other than urself and ur thots. In fact, Ima post this on my twitter - twitter.com/twitwithgrace. I was born and raised Catholic and I find it is easy to be lost in ritual without true love for its purpose within those rituals. I am still Catholic and proud but I am also many other religions - metamorphosized uniquely into a flexible fit to my vibe. May we all not judge and be defined with rules of how we think things should be lest God show u otherwise. Adapting to the times leaves no room for gay stereotypes and superiority, a potentially long detour to oneness with God in the spiritual journey. You have inspiried me with this topic to publish it in my book about different religions' viewpoints. Praise God and much love for you.

del_button August 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM
Anonymous said...

Let's see, actually living out the message of Jesus of Nazareth, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King,'d say Rev Fr. John Dear is quite a man.

del_button August 27, 2011 at 3:11 PM
Matthew said...

Ghandi was a pagan. Martin Luther King was a heretic. Both of them can not be saved.

John Dear did not live the life of our Blessed Lord.

del_button August 28, 2011 at 9:43 PM
Anonymous said...

Both exemplified the teaching of Jesus who was sent by the God who created all people. I'm sure they are with their creator.

del_button August 28, 2011 at 9:46 PM
Anonymous said...

and your right FR.John Dear did not live the life of our Blessed Lord, he's "Living it" now.And with great Passion. Something all of us should do.

del_button June 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Frank Lane said...

After reading Fr. John Dear's writing, this lost Catholic has come back to attend the Church and has taken communion.

In my eyes a great priest, really doing God's work.

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