Sunday, March 23, 2008

Peter Jones on "Pagan Christianity"

Peter Jones reviews Viola and Barna's Pagan Christianity. Here's the conclusion:
The apostle Paul gives the best definition of paganism (and do we ever need it in today’s world!), namely, the worship and service of the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). Here is an explicit comparison of biblical theism and pagan monism, of the truth and the lie, of the truth of the Creature/creature distinction and of the lie of the divinity of Nature preached by the prophets of the New Spirituality. Of this true paganism, Viola seems dreadfully or naively ignorant. What could have been a significant book, as the title ambiguously suggests, by containing a solemn warning about the inroads of neo-paganism into the culture and the Church today, will alas succeed in doing the very opposite. By evacuating from the term "pagan" any real theological content, and by failing to identify the re-emergence of ancient idolatry in the form of modern mystical spirituality, this book, with the name Barna emblazoned on the front cover, will simply ensure that many will be inoculated from seeing the real thing, namely, the invasion of real "Pagan Christianity," which, as the next great impending apostasy, will threaten the Church to its very roots. From that, Viola’s "liver quiver" gatherings will not save us.