The New Age Movement -- By: Norman L. Geisler

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 144:573 (Jan 1987)
Article: The New Age Movement
Author: Norman L. Geisler


The New Age Movement

Norman L. Geisler

Professor of Systematic Theology
Dallas Theological Seminary

Background: A Shift in World Views

On Mars Hill the Apostle Paul faced the Epicureans and the Stoics (Acts 17:18). The Epicureans were the atheists of the day and the Stoics were the pantheists. Today Christianity again stands between the materialist and the mystic. Present-day “Epicureans” are secular humanists, and contemporary “Stoics” are proponents of what has come to be known as the New Age movement.

Western society is experiencing an ideological shift from an atheistic to a pantheistic orientation. The basic difference between these two views is that atheists claim there is no God at all, but pantheists say God is all and all is God. Atheistic materialists believe all is matter, but mystics hold that all is mind.

The shift from secular humanism1 to New Age pantheism has occurred gradually over the past few decades. It has been a relatively smooth transition because of the commonalities of these two world views. Both atheism and pantheism hold in common a basic naturalistic approach to the world. (1) Both deny an absolute distinction between Creator and creation. Both deny there is

any God beyond the universe. (2) Both deny that a God supernaturally intervenes in the universe (by miracles).2 (3) And in the final analysis both believe that man is God (or Ultimate), though not all atheists admit this.

Western atheism and Eastern pantheism also have a common enemy. They are both diametrically opposed to Judeo-Christian theism. As Alice Bailey clearly declared, New Agers are committed to “The Gradual Dissolution of Orthodox Judaism.”3 Benjamin Creme is just as emphatically anti-Christian. “To my way of thinking,” he says, “the Christian Churches have released into the world a view of the Christ which is impossible for modern people to accept: as the one and only Son of God, sacrificed by a loving Father to save us from the results of our sins—a blood sacrifice, straight out of the old Jewish dispensation.”4

Other New Age sources are equally emphatic in their rejection of biblical theism. Pantheism does not reject a God in nature. “It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic religions [such as Judaism and Christianity], gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the ev...

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