The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue / the Way of the (Modern) World. or, Why It's Tempting to Live as If God Doesn't Exist

By Zahl, Paul F. M. | Anglican Theological Review, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue / the Way of the (Modern) World. or, Why It's Tempting to Live as If God Doesn't Exist


Zahl, Paul F. M., Anglican Theological Review


The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue. By John P. Newport. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 1998. xv + 614 pp. $35.00 (paper).

The Way of the (Modern) World. Or, Why it's Tempting to Live as if God Doesn't Exist. By Craig M. Gay. Foreword by J.1. Packer. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 1998. xii + 338 pp. $22.00 (paper).

John Newport has done for all Christian people an enormous service by writing a massive yet very readable survey of New Age movements in this country. In fact, the everyday reader will be amazed by the sheer number of New Age groups that have come to permeate our culture and by the depth of their penetration.

Retired from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Professor Newport has made his study of the New Age a life's work. We are the beneficiaries. Beginning with a profile of leading New Age ideas, the author goes on to describe with objectivity and abundant, fascinating information the range of New Age teachers and organizations that now contribute to almost every facet of thought. He covers channeling in its many forms, ecology and the New Age, health issues and the New Age, business and the New Age, also education, science, the arts, academic scholarship and finally modern Satanism! Newport's personal knowledge and experience of these movements from the 1950s to the 1990s is astonishing. I became glued to the page and actually had to read the whole long thing without skimming.

A strong unity of ideas characterizes the New Age: "All is One" or Monism, Everything is God (Pantheism), and God is within You (pp. 3-5). Reincarnation and Karma, together with the mandate to "Change your Consciousness" (p. 7), fill out the basic perennial philosophy that to greater or lesser degree links together almost all schools of thought that make up the New Age.

Professor Newport, who is coming from a conservative evangelical standpoint himself, uses the solid method of description then discussion. He gives a detailed and non-polemic description of a phenomenon, such as the Gaia Concept (p. 281), sets the concept within its broad historical context, then offers a critique, and not just a Christian critique. At the end of each topic, he presents a "Christian Response." He wishes to review the concept in light of the broad themes of the Bible, highlight (in most cases) its contrast with biblical ideas, and then ask the question: what can Christians learn from this teaching? To what questions is this teaching responding that Christianity needs to take seriously, or more seriously?

I found the book riveting. Its analysis of est (Erhard Seminar Training) alone (pp. 93-96, also pp. 385-386), which had such impact in American urban centers during the 1970s, is worth the price of the book. See also the revealing discussion of A Course in Miracles (pp. 172-1718). Episcopalians will be especially interested in Newport's analysis of Carl Jung's ideas (pp. 103-117) and their impact on "mainline" Protestant denominations.

Without ever actually saying it, this study suggests an undercurrent of occultism within many New Age projects. Newport is never hysterical, nor even alarmist. At the same time he describes the links of many New Age ideas to magic. This climaxes in the influence of writers such as Anton LaVey. (Did you know, by the way, about Jayne Mansfield's lethal encounter with LaVey in the mid-1960s? This is not tabloid stuff but thoroughly, unsettlingly documented.)

The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview is a home run and can be recommended to everyone, even if only for the sheer fascination of the human quest for fulfilment and happiness that fills, for better and for much worse, its every page. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue / the Way of the (Modern) World. or, Why It's Tempting to Live as If God Doesn't Exist
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.