Ecumenical Christian Scandal: The Paganization/Gnosticization of New Testament Bible Studies.

Babel1

Pagan Gnosticism Is Modernist Christian Babel

Given the institutions where I have taught during my professional life, it is appropriate to begin my overview of the Paganization/Gnosticization of NT Studies with a quote from J. Gresham Machen, speaking of the inroads of Liberalism into the American church at the beginning of the last century:

“The truth is that liberalism has lost sight of the very centre and core of the Christian teaching. In the Christian view of God as set forth in the Bible, there are many elements. But one attribute of God is absolutely fundamental in the Bible; one attribute is absolutely necessary in order to render intelligible all the rest. That attribute is the awful transcendence of God. From beginning to end the Bible is concerned to set forth the awful gulf that separates the creature from the Creator. It is true, indeed, that according to the Bible God is immanent in the world. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him. But He is immanent in the world not because He is identified with the world, but because He is the free Creator and upholder of it. Between the creature and the Creator a great gulf is fixed.

To be sure, Machen does mention Gnosticism, but he does define the essence it religious belief. Gnosticism, which builds on the common pagan notion of humanity as divine. Plato taught that the soul “was immortal by its very nature.” This notion is integrated into Jewish thinking by Philo, and developed by later Gnosticism as the alien “divine spark” within humanity.

Hans Jonas defines Gnosticism as radically dualistic–a dualism between man and the world, “an anthropological acosmism.” “The essence of man is knowledge, of the self and God.”

As the famous Messina Colloquium on Gnosticism in 1966 clearly recognized, “the idea of divine consubstantiality” is a defining notion of Gnosticism. Such a notion effectively eliminates the uniqueness and transcendence of God.

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