Over on evolutionarychristianity.com, America’s self-designated evolutionary evangelist Michael Dowd argues that a new breed of theist is emerging in nearly every denomination and religion. We are religious naturalists, said Dowd, and our God is not the supernatural Holy God of Revelation but rather Reality/Universe/Life..
Evidence is our scripture and integrity is our religion. We are not supernaturalists but naturalists:
“We are inspired and motivated more by this world and this life than by promises of a future otherworld or afterlife.” (The New Theism: Shedding Beliefs, Celebrating Knowledge, Dowd, evolutionarychristianity.com
New Theists are diverse:
“Many of us continue to call ourselves Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Hindu. We may also self-identify as emergentist, evidentialist, freethinker, neo-humanist, pantheist, panentheist, or some other label incomprehensible in a pre-scientific age.”
Because New Theists have a modern evolutionary understanding of emergence they know for sure that all theological ‘isms’ such as theism, deism, pantheism, and atheism are outdated, misleading, and unnecessarily divisive terms. Dowd argues this is because they came into being long before we had a modern evolutionary understanding, therefore these terms, and Christianity itself, must be reinterpreted in an evolutionary context.
There are people who are ignorant of God’s Word but willing to read, study, understand and come to love His Word. And then there are those who know His Word but because they dislike it then like Dowd reduce certain portions such as the first three chapters of Genesis to myth and allegory, thereby enabling themselves to reinterpret Scripture in an evolutionary context so that where the purpose of the Gospel is life eternal now it is death.
Dowd argues that reinterpretation of Scripture is necessary in order to harmonize it with the modern evolutionary understanding of emergence, or being created and/or changed continuously.
American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer Loren Eisely (1907-1977) explains that the ancient taproot of modern evolution and its’ constant companion emergence or continuous change, is the mystical doctrine known as the Great Chain of Being:
“All that the Great Chain of Being actually needed to become a full-fledged evolutionary theory was the introduction into it of the conception of time in vast quantities....It demanded, in other words, a universe not made but being made continuously. It is ironic and intriguing that the fixed hierarchical order in biology began to pass almost contemporaneously with the disappearance of the feudal social scale in the storms of the French Revolution. It was France, whose social system was dissolving, that produced the first modern evolutionists. As we look back upon the long reign of the Scale of Being, whose effects...persisted well into the nineteenth century, we may observe that the seed of evolution lay buried in the traditional metaphysic which indeed prepared the Western mind for its acceptance.” (Darwin’s Century, Eisley, pp. 9-10)
The Great Chain of Being is an ancient pantheist doctrine that in a primitive form first appeared in the pre-flood world when Lucifer persuaded antediluvians to believe that the original Creator God had emptied Himself into His creation, therefore no longer existed except as an impersonal eternal creative force making it possible for each person to evolve into god.
In its’ original post-flood conception the Great Chain of Being was a static system representing the mind of the Eternal Absolute (creative force), or Void with Buddhist and some Hindu systems.
According to this ancient occult metaphysic, the entire universe, all life, and even all of the gods and human beings and everything else came about by a process of emanation from the Eternal Absolute (also Void, Chaos, Nous, and Nu):
“Just as waves form across the surface of the ocean, so the Void forms upon itself successive waves (emanations) of entities that in turn emanate further entities and so on, with all of these entities interacting within an extraordinary network or great chain of being consisting of downward-sloping self-contained planes of existence, a top-down hierarchy of realities arranged vertically.”
“Each higher plane of existence emanates the one below it through a process of emanation, thus each plane stands in the position of ground of being (god) to the one below it. Therefore creation is not creation ex nihilo, as the Genesis account teaches, but emanation out of the Void, the ultimate ground of being.”
“Each plane of existence has its own specific characteristics, thus there can be a plane where spirit or thought forms exist; where the Gnostic demiurge, the evil Jehovah, god of material creation exists; the realm of the deities, demons, heavens, hells, angels, and so on, realm upon realm, all looking downwards to the physical realm and also looking upwards to the Void or quantum vacuum.”
The occult meaning of the Great Chain of Being or Scale of Nature is vested in the famous magic formula of Hermes Trismegistus, “As above, so below.” This means that the mind of the initiate who masters the secret occult rituals and seething energies becomes as it were, the mind of the Divine Absolute Mind (Void) above, hence ‘as above, so below.’
With respect to Darwin’s ‘modern’ theory of evolution/natural selection, it is well known that Darwin received the idea from his neo-pagan grandfather Erasmus Darwin. As for its’ important co-discoverer, Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913), research reveals that Wallace was a practicing spiritist, meaning he interacted with disembodied spirits.
Wallace was intensely obsessed by evolution, and while on a journey to the tropics contracted malaria and was ‘out of his mind’ with fever when Darwin’s theory, which he had been working on for twenty years, was suddenly revealed in its entirety to Wallace, a self-confessed, practicing spiritist halfway around the world, alone on a tropical island.
The connection between Wallace’s spiritism and the sudden revelation of Darwin’s theory was not lost on Loren Eisely:
“Suddenly it occurred to the feverish naturalist in a lightening flash of insight that Malthus’ checks to human increase....must, in similar or analogous ways, operate in the natural world as well...It was Darwin’s unpublished conception down to the last detail, independently duplicated by a man sitting in a hut at the world’s end.” (Alfred Russel Wallace, Eisely, p. 80)
Just as Friedrich Nietzsche’s evolutionary conception was preceded by two mystical encounters with a spirit called Zarathustra. Darwin received his idea from his grandfather, a pagan known to attend séances and Darwin’s co-discoverer Russell Wallace, a practicing spiritist, suddenly received Darwin’s theory in a lightening flash while ‘out of his mind’ with fever.
Evolution or Creation ex Nihilo?
Over eighty years ago, Rev. C. Leopold Clarke wrote that priests who embrace evolution (evolutionary theists) are apostates from the ‘Truth as it is in Jesus.’ (1 John2:2) Rev. Clarke, a lecturer at a London Bible college, discerned that evolution is the antithesis to the Revelation of God in the Deity of Jesus Christ, thus it is the greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration:
“It is a battering-ram of unbelief---a sapping and mining operation that intends to blow Religion sky-high. The one thing which the human mind demands in its conception of God, is that, being Almighty, He works sovereignly and miraculously---and this is the thing with which Evolution dispenses….Already a tremendous effect, on a wide scale has been produced by the impact of this teaching---an effect which can only be likened to the…collapse of foundations…” (Evolution and the Break-Up of Christendom, Philip Bell, creation.com, Nov. 27, 2012)
The faith of the Christian Church and of the average Christian has had, and still has, its foundation as much in the literal and historic meaning of Genesis, the book of beginnings ex nihilo revealed ‘mouth to mouth’ by the Angel to Moses, as in that of the person and deity of Jesus Christ. But how horrible a travesty of the sacred office of the Christian Ministry to see church leaders more eager to be abreast of the times, than earnestly contending for the Faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3). It is high time, said Rev. Clarke, that the Church,
“…. separated herself from the humiliating entanglement attending her desire to be thought up to date…What, after all, have custodians of Divine Revelation to do making terms with speculative Biology, which has….no message of comfort or help to the soul?” (ibid)
There are two ways that lie before us. We can choose to accept as true the Revealed Word of God beginning with the first three chapters of Genesis or we can accept as true the modern evolutionary emergence thinking of new theists together with Zarathustra and other powers and principalities.