In contending against the two most influential nature schools of thought, the Greek Epicureans (atheist pagans) and Stoics (atheist mystical pantheists), the Apostle Paul set the resurrection of Jesus Christ the Word Incarnate in the context of the sovereign decree of the God of Revelation and the inescapable fact of God's judgment on sin. The reaction of the pagan sages was either to scoff and mock Paul or to brush him off with, "We will hear thee again of this matter." Acts 17:32(The Word of Flux, Rousas John Rushdoony, p. 48)
By challenging the pagans concept of the unknown god in relation to the gods they claimed to know and by asserting the sovereignty of the revealed God of Scripture (Acts 17:22-31) Pauls' challenge seriously threatened their corpus of nature science, evolutionary cosmogony, and philosophy. This threat was taken seriously for Paul had in effect declared that if there exists an unknown god of the gods which pagans claim to know yet which is wholly unknown despite exercising influence for good or evil on that which they say and know, do they really know anything at all? If this unknown god of gods exists then why not destroy all the altars to the gods you say you know since they are inventions in the minds of men, absurd idols, useless for salvation, the work of man’s hands:
"They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them..." Psalm 115:4-8
In other words, men who worship the inert, unknowing things of creation (i.e., matter, energy, time) become ignorant, absurd and stupid, unable to account for either the origin of life or man's thought-life, will, and conscience.
By contrast St. Augustine (AD 354-430) easily affirmed that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent Triune God of life then it logically follows that each person is a trinity of being, — of soul and its citadel spirit (thought-life, will, conscience), and body:
"The essence of the human is not the body, but the soul. It is the soul alone that God made in his own image and the soul that he loves....For the sake of the soul...the Son of God came into the world...." (Incomplete Work on Matthew, Homily 25, Ancient Christian Devotional, Oden and Crosby, p. 153)
In Christian thought, a person is a spirit and personality is the total individuality of the spirit. Without spirit there is no person.
The key to individual liberty in the temporal sphere is man's spiritual liberty contrasted against a genetically programmed animal-like orientation. Animals do not have spirits, which are linked to intelligence, imagination, sensitivity, self-consciousness, reflection and the capacity for truth and moral goodness.
A human being is uniquely free because his inner person can spiritually transcend matter to access the supernatural dimension as Paul affirms:
"Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Cor. 3:17)
Cornelius Van Til, the most profound writer in apologetics in the twentieth century points out that on the basis of naturalism it is impossible to know anything unless everything can be known, and since it is impossible to know everything then the whole of nature religion, science and philosophy is irrational because it cannot account for life, man's soul/spirit, truth and moral law. Therefore nature worship is of ignorance,
"...of ignorance far deeper than (naturalists) are willing and able on (their assumptions) to own." On the basis of naturalism, "there is no knowledge at all; there is nothing but ignorance." (ibid, p. 48)
In "The New Spirituality: Dismantling and Reconstructing Reality" Dr. Peter Jones cogently argues that since the Sixties we have entered a new, yet ancient world. The intellectual pride of secular humanism (atheist paganism) and of its religious sister, "Christian" liberalism, has been exploded by the radical critique of postmodern deconstruction. The objectivity of sovereign human reason as a means to truth is now seen as pure fiction, so the world must be reconstructed on other grounds. Postmodernism has brought an end to secularism and ushered in a triumphant form of ancient religious paganism that now claims,
"... to put the shattered Humpty Dumpty back together again-not by reason but by unreason, not by the conscious mind but by the subconscious psyche, not by logos but by mythos, not by faith in the Lord of heaven and earth but by faith in the Goddess, mistress of divinized Nature. Having exorcized the demon of secular humanism, modern culture now sees seven more very spiritual ones rushing in to take its place." (Modern Reformation)
As this "new" oneness ideology dominates the campus and the popular media, rising generations are losing all sense of the antithesis (right or wrong, true or false, male or female), and are placing their faith in the pagan synthesis of "both/and" monism. This is also true for young Christians if Mark Ostreicher, head of the largest evangelical training resource (Youth Specialties), has anything to do with it. He proposes to his youthful wards,
"a path out of our bi-polar morass of left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, mainline vs. evangelical...[away from] all the rhetoric, entrenchment and warfare-positioning of modern-day Christianity." Thusthe Church Militant becomes the Church Imitant, adopting "a new Christian worldview' that, devoid of theological biblical clarity, apes the pagan culture and concludes that "the body of Christ is queer, is man, is woman, is straight." The "new Christian" employs spiritual techniques borrowed from pagan mysticism and imitates the self-justifying moralism of liberal social action."
Under the worldly wisdom of arrogant evolutionary Secular Humanism, instead of declaring of the God of Revelation, "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17), autonomous pagan naturalists declared of themselves, "our word is truth." Pagan man's fiat word was truth and together with his nature science(evolutionary cosmogony and evolutionary biology) the only source of allowable knowledge. Pagan man was the new Ultimate and his word and his science rather than the God of Revelation and His inerrant Word the benchmarks by which all things were judged.
Now, as Dr. Jones pointed out, it is no longer the worldly wisdom of pagan naturalists (Secular Humanists) but even worse, the mystical irrationalism of the subconscious psyche, the supposed realm of the god force within.
The Force is the ancient universal life force worshipped by ancient and modern mystical pantheists and pagans under a variety of names such as Serpent Power, Zoe, Vril, kundalini, and Evolution. It was the evolutionary scientist and Hindu-pantheist heretic Teilhard de Chardin who said that after millions of years of evolutionary progress, evolution was becoming aware of itself, meaning "the Force is awakening."
After more than eighty years of nearly unopposed evolutionary evangelization in the schools, media, seminaries, academia and elsewhere mystical evolutionary pantheists are finally at liberty to declare that mystical evolution is a living "mind,"
"....enlarging its domain up the chain of species." The god evolution is the "universe...a mind that oversees, orchestrates, and gives order and structure to all things." (Algeny, Jeremy Rifkin, 1983, p. 188)
Now that arcane scientism and mystical evolution reign supreme, occult pagan "god-men" no longer feel like guests,
"..... in someone else's home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of pre-existing cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever." (ibid)
Under the influence of a Transcended Master (fallen angel), according to Robert Muller, the father of World Core Curriculum, now that evolution is "mind" highly evolved men are free to spiritually evolve into higher and higher forms, to become one with the 'divine:'
"Once again, but this time on a universal scale, humankind is seeking no less than its reunion with the 'divine,' its transcendence into ever higher forms of life. Hindus call our earth Brahma, or God, for they rightly see no difference between our earth and the divine. This ancient simple truth is slowly dawning again upon humanity. Its full flowering will be the real, great new story of humanity as we are about to enter our cosmic age..." (New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality, Robert Muller, father of Core Curriculum, 1984, p. 84)
Man's Willful Choice of Ignorance, Absurdity, Stupidity
The reason for Western man's willful choice of ignorance is not ignorance about the existence of the Triune God of life but of sin. Men and women of today desire suppression of the knowledge of their own sin which they hope will stifle the gnawing pain of a guilty conscience:
"The epistemological problem has roots in a false metaphysics, but both alike stem from a moral choice, man's sinful desire to be his own god....In reality, sin is man's rebellion against the law of God and man's attempt to be his own god, to replace God's Word with man's word." (The Word of Flux, p. 51)
Man the sinner denies he is a sinner under the judgment of God. He seeks escape from the moral law requirements of the Holy Triune God through establishing his own evolutionary cosmogony (anti-creation account), religion of nature, philosophy, and law to control the whole of reality by his fiat word exercised through the instrument of science:
"He therefore excludes the sovereignty of God and the authority of His Word, because man cannot allow such a God to exist in his world and to speak with authority to man." (ibid, p. 53)
Though he may concede that such a God is possible, though only as First Cause of the Big Bang and life, as is the case with evolutionary theism and progressive creation, the basic reality for modern naturalistic man is his autonomous existence.
The world as the creation ex nihilo of the sovereign God of Revelation first gave way to the world as an evolving aspect of autonomous man's experience and now to an Eastern-oriented mystical pantheist illusion created by the will of the man-god:
"Man, at the same time, has stopped regarding himself as the vice-regent of God, created in His image, and (now sees) himself as a fragmented being ruled by ancient urges and lusts which control him and reduce his reason to a façade for rampant irrationalism. Not surprisingly, T.S. Eliot saw modern man in a waste land of his own making." (ibid, p. 54)
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 "..... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life..." Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Isaiah lays out the only two responses to the Lord: obedience or the false light of man's worldly wisdom. To those who choose the latter Isaiah said:
"Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment." (Isaiah 50:11, ESV)
Like its' secular pagan twin, the New Spirituality is a corpus of ignorance and absurdity. It is a strange fire unable to account for the origin of life and utterly useless for salvation. Like its' twin it emerged from the void (hell) and back into the void it will go taking with it all unrepentant sinners who "shall lie down in torment."