The Occult in the late 19th, early 20th centuries

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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Does anyone know why these things became big at this time? I believe Wicca was 'codified' and structuralized in the late 19th century and the 1920's and 30's were big on the occult (Crowley's heyday). What I want to know is why then? What was the impetus for its popularity at that time? (Or am I off-base and it was pretty much constant? Just wondering...)
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Does anyone know why these things became big at this time? I believe Wicca was 'codified' and structuralized in the late 19th century and the 1920's and 30's were big on the occult (Crowley's heyday). What I want to know is why then? What was the impetus for its popularity at that time? (Or am I off-base and it was pretty much constant? Just wondering...)
Of course it was always in the background, but I think it came on strong then because people started sensing that the empirical enlightenment was not living up to its promise. The political positivists, posing as confident social engineers, had not managed to stop a huge war. Civilization was in upheaval. The modernists in general had abandoned anything resembling a "soul" or "spirit" and were trying to come up with a mechanical explanation for everything. But then came quantum physics and relativity, which messed up the neat and tidy machine big time.

Coinciding with that was the radical shift away from orthodoxy in the mainstream (caused in part by the confluence of skepticism and irrationalism). Mix the whole thing up, and people yearn for some sort of inside (gnostic) knowledge to see them through the shifting culture.

But if you reject Christianity and God's straigthforward creation, yet yearn for some kind of truth, you naturally will get sucked into the occult.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
I'm not sure there is a connection, but the ascent of the higher criticism, desupernaturalizing the Bible arose in Germany during that time. Immediately afterward, and I think causally connected, there was an increased interest in ancient German paganism which culminated in the Nazi regime. My own take on it--which may be wrong--is that there is a natural yearning in the human heart for a connection with the realm of the supernatural. The higher criticism made Biblical godliness unfashionable so people sought the alternative which was neo-paganism. That's my 2 cents.
 

puritansound

Puritan Board Freshman
The others are certainly correct. However, I think Spiritualism and Wicca (Witchcraft) were more popular with the general public than Ceremonial Magic (sometimes referred to as the Western Magic Tradition). Those who practiced this stuff were normally University educated. Crowley himself was a keen intellect who was really rebelling against his strict father who was a minister. The two competing groups were the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn (which Crowley was briefly affiliated with) and Crowley's OTO. The DG had Cabbalah as its base, but the OTO was heavy into Pagan Egyptian Dieties. It is all very difficult to sift through. When I was in my late teens I flirted with this stuff. Only by God's grace was I not pulled in. Praise Jesus.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
My recollection is that Spiritualism became very popular during and after the War Between the States.
I guess that's true too (seances, etc. became popular then). You've also got the Gothic movement in literature around that time - it's the perfect storm.

And to pull a bit from the other posts, it does seem that following war, it is indeed the accepted reaction to "search for meaning and truth". But those dead in sin will not seek out the gospel, they seek power, and the occult delivers a shadow thereof in spades.

Interesting...

Mary, I've always thought that the rise of Nazism/paganism in Germany was the right message at the right time. Telling uneducated streetsweeper Hans that he, who due to hyper-inflation cannot buy even a loaf of bread with a month's salary, is an 'ubermensch' by virtue of his ethnicity, is quite a neat trick. You have instantly empowered the economic underclass and brought them in line with your dogma. Add Nuremburg rallies and general mass hysteria over the 'little corporal' and voila, you have a new religion all made up and ready to go. I've seen photos of an SS officer having his children baptized by a priest under a swastika - the synthesis of all that is mind-boggling. But Nazism plays to paganism and the occult like few other things. I've actually got a Discovery Channel DVD on Nazis and the occult and it is truly chilling.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
There is a fascinating book, The Occult Roots of Nazism which elaborates on all of this in detail. Also the classic, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich goes into this somewhat. Interestingly, the first Reich was the Holy Roman Empire. The second Reich was the latter part of the 19th century (I think--may be wrong on this). The Third Reich was supposed to last 1000 years; it was supposed to be the millennium. There is a minority opinion amongst premills that the antichrist and last days will be a rejuvenation of the Third Reich. I don't buy into it but can't really rationally argue against it either.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Another interesting topic. And here is another aspect of it, not often spoken of. This initial part of the post I have lifted from a paper I wrote on the Authorized Version, from a section concerning its background.

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But there was more in the air of the times then than liberalism, Catholicism, and love of the classics. Although Westcott and Hort were nominal members of the Church of England, they evidently had no fear of God in the Biblical sense. In 1845, as an undergraduate, Westcott and some of his friends founded a club at Cambridge which eventually took the name Hermes Society[1]. That of itself might not be so bad, even though Hermes is widely known, not only as a god in Greek mythology, but a major figure in the occult, from notorious occultist H.P. Blavatsky’s equating of Hermes with Satan[2] (this latter entity not being evil in her eyes) to Carl Jung, as editor, including in a book of his, “Hermes is Trickster in a different role as a messenger, a god of the crossroads, and finally the leader of souls to and from the underworld.…Hermes recovered attributes of the bird life [wings] to add to his chthonic [underworld] nature as serpent.”[3] Occultism and spiritualism were exploding into manifestation in 19th century England, and Hermes was esteemed in these groups. What leads us to think Westcott’s Hermes club was not innocent of occult involvement are the name and the activities of his next club, founded in 1851: the Ghostly Guild.

James Webb, a secular historian of the occult, notes in his book, The Occult Underground, in the section, “The Necromancers,”

In 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was founded. In effect it was a combination of those groups already working independently in the investigation of spiritualist and other psychic phenomena (telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.). Of these the most important was that centered round Henry Sidgwick, Frederick Myers and Edmund Gurney, all Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, and deriving its inspiration from the Cambridge University Ghost Society, founded by no less a person than Edward White Benson, the future Archbishop of Canterbury. As A.C. Benson wrote in his biography of his father, the Archbishop was always more interested in psychic phenomena than he cared to admit. Two members of the Ghost club became Bishops, and one a Professor of Divinity.

…The S.P.R. was a peculiar hybrid of Spiritualistic cult and dedicated rationalism; the S.P.R. fulfilled the function of Spiritualist Church for the intellectuals.[4]​

We learn from Hort himself who some of the members were:

Westcott, Gorham, C.B. Scott, Benson, Bradshaw, Laurd, etc., and I have started a society for the investigation of ghosts and all supernatural appearances and effects, being all disposed to believe that such things really exist, and ought to be discriminated from hoaxes and mere subjective delusions; we shall be happy to obtain any good accounts well authenticated with names. Westcott is drawing up a schedule of questions.[5]​

The Society For Psychical Research, in its history written by one of its presidents, acknowledges its origins in “The Cambridge ‘Ghost Society’ ” and says, under the section of that title,

Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort were among its members…Lightfoot and Westcott both became bishops, and Hort Professor of Divinity. The S.P.R. has hardly lived up to the standard of ecclesiastical eminence set by the parent society.[6]​

The believing church, however, does not consider this “ecclesiastical eminence”! There is more that can be said about their continued occult involvement, including other secret societies they founded or were part of, having others be the officers in (and “founders” of) these clubs while they remained generally unnamed and (to public scrutiny) in the background, but this is not the place for a thorough exposé. That they were practicing spiritualists – “necromancer” is the Biblical word – is beyond dispute. It is enough to note the Lord’s judgment on this matter:

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire [i.e., to be burned as a child sacrifice], or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD… (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred…murders, drunkenness…they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers… (Revelation 22:14, 15)​

Another secular historian looking at this time in English history says,

In this same period a group of young dons from Trinity College, Cambridge, were also turning to psychic research as a substitute for their lost evangelical faith…spiritism as a substitute for Orthodox Christian faith.[7]

It should be clear that these men were not Christians, although they were baptized when infants in the Church of England. These were worldly men, unregenerate.

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Footnotes

1 Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, by his son Arthur Westcott (Macmillan, London, 1903) Reprint by the Bible for Today, Vol. I, p 47.
2 The Secret Doctrine, by Helena P. Blavatsky (the Theosophical Publishing Society, 1893), Vol. II, page 30.
3 Man and His Symbols, Edited by Carl G. Jung (Dell Pub. Co., 1964); “Part 2: Ancient Myths and Modern Man,” by Joseph L. Henderson, page 155.
4 The Occult Underground, by James Webb (Open Court Pub. Co. 1974), page 36.
5 Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, by his son, Arthur Fenton Hort (Macmillan, London, 1896) Reprint by the Bible for Today, Vol. I, page 211.
6 The Society For Pyschical Research: An Outline Of Its History, by W.H. Salter (President, 1947-8), (London, Society For Pyschical Research, 1948), pages 6, 7.
7 The Fabians, by Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1977), page 18.

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It was the academic attainments and so-called “ecclesiastical eminence” of Westcott, Hort, Lightfoot, and Benson (who was to become the Archbishop of Canterbury) which gave a “respectability” and credence to occultism in England heretofore unknown.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, an occultist and co-founder of the Theosophical Society (with Henry Steel Olcott), also popularized occultism and spiritualism. After her came Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater, and others who widely promoted their teachings. While Aleister Crowley exemplified the demonic aspects of magic and the occult, Blavatsky and the Theosophists held themselves up as “white” magicians in alignment with ascended Masters and divine truths.

By these people, who – each in their own way – belittled the Christian faith and held up contrary teachings, the public awareness of spiritualism and occult practices grew.

Today such beliefs and practices are part of the postmodern spiritual buffet banquet, all meals declared equal, according to one’s taste.
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Steve, I have to add a written thanks... Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant, and the Theosophical Society, did also figure largely in the drive in the mid- to late 19th century to "revise the Bible." This is what I've been trying to say, but you said it much better! Compare the biographies of Westcott and Hort; look at some of their correspondence re: the 1881 revised English bible, from which followed the ASV, from which came all of those other higher critical text versions... Not that I want anyone else to do what I did (sit up until 4 a.m., comparing thousands of verses over the course of 10 years)... A much shorter comparison and a consideration of the Westcott-Hort-Blavatsky agenda should suffice.

Thanks.

Margaret
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Margaret,

I should note that Madame Blavatsky did not, to my knowledge, directly have any part in “revising” the Bible, although Gail Riplinger alleged that Westcott and she had dealings, and she referred to him in one of her books, though GR could not substantiate these. It is such unsubstantiated allegations that backfire upon the KJV defenders and discredit them. (GR, however, does much more to discredit herself than this.)

I do know that in her interpretations of Scripture Blavatsky departed from sound exegesis, as when talking of the Lord Jesus coming to “judge and make war” in Revelation 19:11-21, she said that the same event was referred to (if my 42-year-old [or so] memory is correct) in Hindu “Scriptures” depicting the end of the Kali Yuga age (“age of the bad ace”) and a heavenly “avenger”, and was in other religions’ writings as well. This was one of her trademarks, the attempt to reduce all religions to a common denominator of wisdom teachings and “divine truth” having their basis in a denial of the unique revelation of the God of Israel through His infallible word.

Perhaps it was here at PB I was steered to this link: The Nineteenth Century Occult Revival

I try to be very careful what I say concerning Westcott and Hort (W&H), that it be documented by reliable sources. Doing a search on related discussions here at PB I found a thread from 2005 (I think) thoroughly condemning assertions of W&H’s spiritualist involvement, but I stand by what I have said. After a long search I finally obtained their biographies by their respective sons, as well as the works mentioned earlier documenting such involvement, and that by “friendly” witnesses.

The most damning thing as regards these two men and their critical Greek NT – and the resultant English translation – was their prior prejudice against the Byzantine text even before they started their NT studies (having first studied the Greek classics under teachers antagonistic to the evangelical faith). It was a hatchet job even before conception, given the progenitors: the aforementioned prejudice, and the bitter enmity of the world to the Biblical God, His Book, and His people.

Unbelievers have put their hand to the tasks of Scripture, yet with a view to impartially handling the material despite naturalistic methodologies, and have not done the damage W&H did; with W&H they were driven by animosity toward the (then) Universal Text of the believing Church. It is indeed a weird phenomenon, the progress of textual criticism, to where we do not now have a settled and sure Bible – if one is to take the word of said critics.

Margaret, I don’t know if it was the Greek or the English versions you were comparing. If the Greek, Pastor Jack Moorman has produced just such a comparison:

8,000 Differences Between the N.T. Greek Words of the King James Bible and the Modern Versions

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Beth, I have it in PDF, though in my view it is now – after my sojourn here at PB – rather primitive and quite incomplete, given what I have learned and written while here.
 

holyfool33

Puritan Board Freshman
I would say these things became popular in the 19th and 20th century do to the fact that occultism seemed more "scientific" then traditional religion. Also it feeds into man's innately depraved desire to think he is "god." :2cents:
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
The huge number of untimely deaths in the Great War is said to have been a major driver behind spiritualism and other occult beliefs, Arthur Conan Doyle being a prime example of one such adherent trying to contact his lost son. This also ties in with the other poster who mentioned a similiar growth after the American civil war, presumbably for similiar reasons.
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Steve, please excuse my delay in replying to your post above; I've been pretty busy the last few days and I think I've been remiss in looking at all threads in which someone may have posted a reply to me. Sorry!

Yeah, you probably did see that "Nineteenth Century Occult Revival" article on here, for I've posted the link to it more than once.

Well, I stand corrected if I implied or if it can be reasonably and/or naturally inferred that I said Madame Blavatsky worked with Westcott and Hort in revising the Bible, the one that came out in England in 1881. I know she did not. However, Westcott and Hort were "fellow travelers" of hers.

I guess what I've concluded over all these years is that as you have said, unbelievers have put their hands to revising the Bible. I probably have looked at Jack Moorman's 8,000 revisions article in the past; if so, I will need to revisit it.

The following is something I've had bookmarked for years and I've wanted to share it with ministers, but I've been reluctant because, well, as I said before, I've been ushered out of three Reformed churches for bringing up the Bible versions issue. Here's the article, though: Dear Brother in Christ. . .. It's really a letter, a nice one. You may have already seen it.

In the church of which I'm now a full communicant member, I've been warned to be careful about what I say about Westcott and Hort, to make sure everything I say about them can be substantiated. I take that warning very seriously, and if I sort of tipped over some tables here and violated that warning, I'm sorry and I will refrain from doing it in the future. If I discuss W. and H. again, that is... :D

Margaret
 

holyfool33

Puritan Board Freshman
Steve, please excuse my delay in replying to your post above; I've been pretty busy the last few days and I think I've been remiss in looking at all threads in which someone may have posted a reply to me. Sorry!

Yeah, you probably did see that "Nineteenth Century Occult Revival" article on here, for I've posted the link to it more than once.

Well, I stand corrected if I implied or if it can be reasonably and/or naturally inferred that I said Madame Blavatsky worked with Westcott and Hort in revising the Bible, the one that came out in England in 1881. I know she did not. However, Westcott and Hort were "fellow travelers" of hers.

I guess what I've concluded over all these years is that as you have said, unbelievers have put their hands to revising the Bible. I probably have looked at Jack Moorman's 8,000 revisions article in the past; if so, I will need to revisit it.

The following is something I've had bookmarked for years and I've wanted to share it with ministers, but I've been reluctant because, well, as I said before, I've been ushered out of three Reformed churches for bringing up the Bible versions issue. Here's the article, though: Dear Brother in Christ. . .. It's really a letter, a nice one. You may have already seen it.

In the church of which I'm now a full communicant member, I've been warned to be careful about what I say about Westcott and Hort, to make sure everything I say about them can be substantiated. I take that warning very seriously, and if I sort of tipped over some tables here and violated that warning, I'm sorry and I will refrain from doing it in the future. If I discuss W. and H. again, that is... :D

Margaret
It seems like your promoting KJV onlyism this is dangerous ground. Also the Westscot and Hort spiritualist argument was used by Gail riplinger possibly one of the most extreme advocates of KJV Onlyism. This can all very easily turn into Ruckmanism the people who's arguments your using are ruckmenites by association or profession and argument.
 

holyfool33

Puritan Board Freshman
Steve, please excuse my delay in replying to your post above; I've been pretty busy the last few days and I think I've been remiss in looking at all threads in which someone may have posted a reply to me. Sorry!

Yeah, you probably did see that "Nineteenth Century Occult Revival" article on here, for I've posted the link to it more than once.

Well, I stand corrected if I implied or if it can be reasonably and/or naturally inferred that I said Madame Blavatsky worked with Westcott and Hort in revising the Bible, the one that came out in England in 1881. I know she did not. However, Westcott and Hort were "fellow travelers" of hers.

I guess what I've concluded over all these years is that as you have said, unbelievers have put their hands to revising the Bible. I probably have looked at Jack Moorman's 8,000 revisions article in the past; if so, I will need to revisit it.

The following is something I've had bookmarked for years and I've wanted to share it with ministers, but I've been reluctant because, well, as I said before, I've been ushered out of three Reformed churches for bringing up the Bible versions issue. Here's the article, though: Dear Brother in Christ. . .. It's really a letter, a nice one. You may have already seen it.

In the church of which I'm now a full communicant member, I've been warned to be careful about what I say about Westcott and Hort, to make sure everything I say about them can be substantiated. I take that warning very seriously, and if I sort of tipped over some tables here and violated that warning, I'm sorry and I will refrain from doing it in the future. If I discuss W. and H. again, that is... :D

Margaret
It seems like your promoting KJV onlyism this is dangerous ground. Also the Westscot and Hort spiritualist argument was used by Gail riplinger possibly one of the most extreme advocates of KJV Onlyism. This can all very easily turn into Ruckmanism the people who's arguments your using are ruckmenites by association or profession and argument.
I don't think you've read any of my other posts on this subject, in which I have consistently, totally and explicitly repudiated Gail Riplinger and Peter Ruckman. Peter Ruckman is, In my humble opinion and after observing him for years, a flaming idiot and I see no evidence, in anything he's ever written, of any "fruit of the Spirit." (It's okay if you didn't know that I've already denounced Ruckman and Riplinger - I don't expect that anyone should have read all of the other posts in most other threads. Simply no one has the time to do that.)

If I have to say 500 times that I am not in the Riplinger or Ruckman camp, I'll say it. :banghead:

I have never said on this board or anywhere else that I'm KJV-only. I have said that I am Textus Receptus-only.

If that puts me on "dangerous ground," then I need to rethink a whole lot of things... One thing I won't rethink, though, is my Bible versions position. I admit an absolute passion for the real Word of God and also an antipathy towards arbitary alterations of it for the sheer purpose of making merchandise of it. That's been done over and over again for the past 127 years.

This might be kind of interesting to some people: SermonAudio.com - What's Wrong with the ESV?. I've been sandbagging it, but it's worth listening to.

Margaret
O.k.my mistake and my apologies but it seems like your just playing semantic word games. Also I never said you where a rcukmanite you where using arguments promoted by ruckmenites or extreme KJV Onlyists. If you wanted to argue that the Textus Receptus is most accurate fine. But don't make it the be all and end all of textual criticism. Many Godly men and women have worked on both The NIV and New American Standard bibles. To say that you trust only The Textus Receptus in my opinion frankly is shallow bigotry and favoritism toward a particular text. :offtopic:
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
O.k.my mistake and my apologies but it seems like your just playing semantic word games. Also I never said you where a rcukmanite you where using arguments promoted by ruckmenites or extreme KJV Onlyists. If you wanted to argue that the Textus Receptus is most accurate fine. But don't make it the be all and end all of textual criticism. Many Godly men and women have worked on both The NIV and New American Standard bibles. To say that you trust only The Textus Receptus in my opinion frankly is shallow bigotry and favoritism toward a particular text. :offtopic:
Holyfool, I'm not perfect, and I don't want to criticize, but I don't find your tone very edifying. First you "apologize" and then you accuse a sister in Christ of "shallow bigotry and favoritism." I do not hold to the Textus Receptus only, but Margaret has proved her position to be one of careful study and prayer. I respect her for that. I would only hope that God's children can agree to disagree on some matters without resorting to name-calling and false guilty-by-association accusations.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Aaron,

Is it possible you have been “wound up” by some of the anti-KJV & anti-Textus Receptus literature and proponents? I ask that because of the sharp words you have said, and the condemning judgment meted out. Have you arrived at your position regarding the King James and Textus Receptus through consideration of the respective arguments, or reading only the opposition?

There is, I know, a lot of rough and mean rhetoric coming out of both camps, the KJV/TR and the Critical-Eclectic Text. In the discussions I take part in I seek to avoid such – what I would call – abusive language and ungracious tone, as it violates the commands of Scripture at a number of points. I suppose I am toughest on people from my own camp as we have suffered greatly from ungodly and unscholarly diatribes aimed at our godly but differing brethren, which gives us a bad name.

I’ve been listening closely to what Margaret has said and find no “semantic word games” or shallow bigotry” in her remarks.

If you would care to elaborate somewhat concerning your disapproval of the Textus Receptus (or the King James) I would weigh what you say, and consider it.

Please understand that here at PuritanBoard, and in the discussions of translations and manuscripts – where perhaps we may move this discussion if it continues – we seek to be scholarly, and godly. If you’d like to get into an extended discussion, why not start a new thread on the Translations and Manuscripts Forum? I’d be glad to join you there.

In Christ,

Steve
 

holyfool33

Puritan Board Freshman
I haven't read any anti Textus Receptus or anti KJV Literature. I simply said what I said because to value one particular manuscript to the exclusion of all others or use argumentation by known radical King James Onlyists. Not to mention recycling the same arguments Gail Riplinger has used to atack Wescot and Hort is begioted. If that comes of as stronglly worded or insenstive so be it I would rather be thought harsh and insenstive then be weak or unwiling to speak up for what I consider right or wrong. With all that being said this is my last post on this subject I have said what I have said take it or leave it I stand by everything I said. What evednce I could show has been laid out far better by far better men then I. So with that this subject is :tombstone: to me:2cents:
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Aaron,

If “radical” folks use certain arguments, does that make the arguments invalid? Or do the arguments stand or fall on their own merits, regardless of who uses them?

It was I, actually, and not Margaret, who first brought up W&H and their spiritualist activities, so it is me you are asserting is “bigoted” for using this information. The point remains, was it true or not – not who has previously used the same data.

Bigot: “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

“a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own”​

Now, if I have documented my sources, and these sources have no doctrinal axe to grind, and their testimony is corroborated by other unprejudiced observers, and if I am tolerant of those who differ with my views, whence do you drag in the slur “bigot”?

I repeat, the use of facts by persons who – for whatever reasons – are disliked or disreputable, does not of itself render the facts untrue.

As for valuing one manuscript (text-form, actually) over others, to the exclusion of those others, this you say is bigotry? But what if said text-form has qualities which distinguish it from the others, and show it to be more accurate and trustworthy? And this is the crux of the matter – what are the respective merits and demerits of the various text-forms? Below are examples of arguments on these matters which seek to examine the merits, without throwing around labels having no bases in facts.

I do also examine the evidences of others, and interact with them.


http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/what-authentic-new-testament-text-15134/

http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/answering-alan-kurschner-aomin-24839/

http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/defending-lords-prayer-1-a-27974/

Steve
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
Another thought on the OP: It seems that the default religion of the entire human race is animism. Perhaps the reason for the occult revival is analogous to the reason for flood waters when the answer is "because the upstream dam broke".

Hinduism, Confuscianism, and Buddhism are all various forms of animism. Classical Is is not but most adherents practice folk Is. There is also the tendency for Christanity and Judaism to syncretize with animism--extreme forms of charismatic health-and-wealth and the kabala.

Until the late 19th century with the crucial event of the rise and acceptance of the higher criticism, genuine Christianity was the dam that held back the torrent of animism. The higher criticism created a leak in the dam which then widened until now there is a flood of back-to-nature animism.

That's my theory--does it make sense?

As a corollary I think that the reason animism is the default religion of the whole human race is that there is truth in it. Evil supernatural forces CAN be manipulated for one's own, short-term personal advantage at some times and places. Although there is much deception by practitioners, it works often enough to keep people trying. In the process they are brought into bondage that is very hard to break.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Until the late 19th century with the crucial event of the rise and acceptance of the higher criticism, genuine Christianity was the dam that held back the torrent of animism. The higher criticism created a leak in the dam which then widened until now there is a flood of back-to-nature animism.

That's my theory--does it make sense?
You betcha - I'll buy that for a dollar.

And now it's just haywire - what else is extreme environmentalism but animism writ large?
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
Until the late 19th century with the crucial event of the rise and acceptance of the higher criticism, genuine Christianity was the dam that held back the torrent of animism. The higher criticism created a leak in the dam which then widened until now there is a flood of back-to-nature animism.

That's my theory--does it make sense?
You betcha - I'll buy that for a dollar.

And now it's just haywire - what else is extreme environmentalism but animism writ large?
To what extent is environmentalism based on animism? Can't one make a Christian argument for protecting the environment? I know that environmental terminology is frequently animistic--I used to subscribe to Mother Earth News and the letters to the editor were "Dear Mother".
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
Until the late 19th century with the crucial event of the rise and acceptance of the higher criticism, genuine Christianity was the dam that held back the torrent of animism. The higher criticism created a leak in the dam which then widened until now there is a flood of back-to-nature animism.

That's my theory--does it make sense?
You betcha - I'll buy that for a dollar.

And now it's just haywire - what else is extreme environmentalism but animism writ large?
To what extent is environmentalism based on animism? Can't one make a Christian argument for protecting the environment? I know that environmental terminology is frequently animistic--I used to subscribe to Mother Earth News and the letters to the editor were "Dear Mother".

You can make an argument for almost anything, and a Christian argument for for nearly anything that is not explicitly stated in the Bible. I have always thought that the following passage was fairly clear.

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Gen 1:26 (ESV)

I think that we should noit destroy the enviroment but neither should we be ashamed of having dominion over creation. The earth is here for our use, we are not here to just look after it and certainly not to leave it unmarked by man.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
To what extent is environmentalism based on animism? Can't one make a Christian argument for protecting the environment? I know that environmental terminology is frequently animistic--I used to subscribe to Mother Earth News and the letters to the editor were "Dear Mother".
Yep, and I remember t-shirts with the planet earth on them that said "love your mother" - neither is a biblical concept. And when you get beyond stewardship (biblical) into the sort of rubbish that many mainline environmental groups espouse, it does degenerate into animism. All of it is froot-loopy but the "Gaia" bit really gets to me for some reason. (Below is a post of mine from another thread):

Elsewhere on the website it says that it is better to buy things made in China than Australia because it is more labor intensive and less fuel intensive. They figure that sweatshops are better for the earth than modern factories. Pleasant people.
Wow, that's moronic. If they could see the filth that goes into the environment from your average factory here, they'd hopefully change their tune. Also, no thought to shipping, etc. from another continent? I know that Australia uses a lot of "road trains" that bump up fuel usage per good delivered, but give me a break - reform the system, don't give up the ghost and roll over.

These people scare me. Add to this sort of rubbish things like the "Gaia" theory and you've got animism for the New Age all wrapped up.

Gaia hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
Kevin, interesting I never heard of Gaia until pursuing the link above. It makes sense, the descent of our whole culture into animism, various threads (environmentalism, New Age, abandonment of the scriptures as ultimate authority) all weaving together to make a hostile-to-Christians environment. Aren't you glad to be raising your family elsewhere? I'll never willingly move back stateside.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
This is also why, to the prevailing culture, unless you are a "non-judgmental, social justice/social gospel" kind of Christian, you are hostile to the status quo. However, Mr. Druid-in-touch-with-the-universe-and-mother-earth-enviromentalist is a perfect match to the 'wisdom' of the day - he loves mother earth, and in fact, actively worships her. He is an animist.

The world loves its own. (Please excuse the pun.)
 
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