Whether or not the New Age Movement is really a unified, global, open conspiracy as Peter Jones suggests that it is, the trends he identifies cannot be denied. Western civilization has become obsessed with Eastern mysticism, with hyper-environmentalism, with radical militant feminism, with homosexuality....all of which we tend to write off as symptoms of liberal politics. But are they?
In his short but immensely important book The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back, Jones argues that the whole liberal agenda is, in fact, simply the result of a much more widespread, subtle, and dangerous shift toward ancient Gnosticism. As the subtitle says of Gnosticism, it's "An Old Heresy for the New Age," revived by anti-Christians to break our ancient faith through ideology, propaganda, and action.
The single main idea behind Gnosticism can be reduced to the apostle John's concept of antichrist, that which is opposed to the true Gospel delivered once for all to the saints. Gnosticism turns everything on its head: male becomes female, the creation usurps the place of the Creator, Jesus is an idea rather than a flesh and blood reality, and salvation is through knowledge rather than through faith in the revealed Word of God.
Jones has filled his book with massive amounts of evidence, all of it backed up with hundreds of references. He shows how the Gnostic revival of the 20th century has led to much of the social dissolution we see around us, and he issues a solemn warning to Christians to guard true doctrine and faithful practice in the face of nearly overwhelming opposition, particularly to those called to active ministry.
One of the hallmarks of the new Gnosticism is its near-universal commitment to tolerance. Tolerance, however, has its limits, and Jones points out that the one thing tolerance can't tolerate is intolerance. If Christians faithfully refuse to tolerate sin and lies, how long will it be before we're persecuted for our perceived intolerance?
Yet The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back doesn't end on a despondent note. Jones reminds us finally that God is in control, that Jesus Christ will preserve His church, and that history ends in divine victory, not capitulation. To be strong and to overcome we need not trust in ourselves. In fact, we must not: we need only trust in the One who has called us and who promises to all His children eternal life in His glorious, true, life-giving presence. This book is a must-read for all Christians.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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