Gnosticism is an ancient heresy which Paul condemns.1 It is a syncretistic religious system, which means that it borrows bits and pieces from other world religions and melds them together into some sort of homemade theology. The modern New Age movement is an example of this approach. Another important element of Gnosticism, however, is its view that one cannot hope to know God without some secret knowledge, some mystical “higher knowledge” which is not available to the common man.

This element of Gnosticism is profoundly apparent in modern science. The common man cannot hope to fully understand the scientist’s theories of the age of the universe or the origins of life on earth, because they are clothed in esoteric jargon and premised upon highly technical hypotheses which the unlearned cannot hope to fathom. This is not a surprise if one keeps in mind that evolution is a religion, and it does not present any grave problems to the Christian other than sometimes appearing foolish in the eyes of the world.

The problem is that the church’s leading theologians today have devised their own syncretistic theologies, attempting to mix into Scripture bits and pieces of the Gnosticism of Darwin — each theologian selecting which bits and pieces he likes best, so that there is no universal consensus amongst them as to how these incompatible schemes fit together.2 The one point of agreement among our “higher critics,” however, is that the Bible needs to be reinterpreted and effectively rewritten in order to accommodate their own flavor of Gnosticism. The tricks that they play in accomplishing this theological adultery are clothed in high-flown jargon and invented terminology, and are based upon unspoken assumptions that the common man is not aware of.

The most basic assumption of most of these “higher critics” is that the Bible is not the inspired Word of God. These theologians are the modern descendants of a group of German philosophers who were influential during the mid-1800s. Those Germans rejected the idea that the Bible was a special book, and began to look for proofs that it was merely the work of men without any intervention from the Holy Spirit. Our modern commentators, of course, do not openly confess this tenet of their faith, yet it is the foundation upon which they have built their entire reading of the Bible.

This poison of Gnosticism has sickened the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century, and it threatens to rob us of our sacred text, the book upon which we build our understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ. To counteract this poison, we must study our sacred text — the Bible — to see whether it endorses the tenets of Darwinism. We must attempt, as best we can, to read it from an honest layman’s point of view, trying to leave behind our own agendas as we do so. On this blog, we will look more closely at the false teachings which these theologians espouse, and we will try to see through the many sleights of hand which these magicians of Pharaoh play with the text. Along the way, we must also examine Gnosticism itself, and look at its modern manifestations — including the ways that modern Gnosticism has crept into the teachings of the church today.

 

Notes:

1. See, for example, Colossians 2. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

2. This, incidentally, is true of the ancient Gnostics, as well, whose writings lack a unified consensus on their theological schemes. But all Gnostics, ancient and modern, agree that the Bible cannot be understood by the common man without some form of mystical “higher knowledge,” available only from its highly educated priests.

 

Portions of this post have been taken from Pharaoh’s Magicians: Evolution, the Bible, and Modern Gnosticism by Gregory C. Benoit, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011.

 

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