Charles Hodge on Pantheism

Relevance for today:  basically the same as Hinduism or New Age (connection to Alice Bailey, Lucis Trust).

My pagination is from the 2011 Hendrickson Reprint, vol. 1. These theses can double as both explanation and expose.

  1. Preclude the idea of creation, as the Infinite, which is eternal, could be either matter or spirit or both (301).
  2. Denies the personality of God (302).  “Personality as well as consciousness implies a distinction between self and the Not Self.”
  3. Man is not an individual subsistence or person, but only a moment in the life of Geist.
  4. As man is “only a mode of God’s existence, his acts are the acts of God, and as the acts of God are necessary, so are man’s.  This means no freedom of choice (303).
  5. It deifies evil (307ff).  Here Hodge quotes (but does not translate) some German pantheist.  He then remarks, “Such a sentence as the foregoing has never been written in English, and, we trust, never will be.”  If God be everything, and if there be a Satan, God must be Satan.
  6. As it denies the distinction between virtue and vice, only power in religion is left (314; here Hodge is speaking of Hindu pantheism).
  7. It renders rational religion impossible as it denies that the Supreme Being can be a person, and denies the distinction between subject and objecct (338).

 

 

Texe Marrs’ Book of New Age Cults

The title of this book is not *New Age Cults and Religions.* Rather, it is *Texe Marrs Book of New Age Cults and Religions.* The author thought you should know that. It reads like a mini-encyclopedia. Marrs is not a sophisticated thinker by any stretch, but to his credit, he is bold and willing to connect the dots (whether they are there or not). I enjoyed it.

He does a good job in showing while there are thousands of New Age movements, they all roughly hover around Hindu pantheism (with Gnostic and Tibetan Buddhist elements thrown in). Indeed, there are repeating themes throughout the book. One is the “Maritrea” figure (I have no clue on the actual spelling). There is even overlap between M. and the Jehovah’s Witness.

The book, while informative, is often lurid. Some of the more revealing:
*Joseph Smith was a Freemason.
*The Lucis Trust is involved in the highest levels of American government and business (circa 1990).
*We can place Alice Bailey and Swami Vivekananda as leading early pioneers.
*Almost all New Age religions preach One World Government. That’s not too concerning until we see some at the top of world governments (Lucis Trust –> United Nations).

Criticisms:

~Marrs’s dispensationalism is usually under control, but every now and then it breaks look–as when he equates Moon-ism with Dominion Theology (326).
~He comes close to guilt-by-association regarding rejecting modern-day Israel. Be careful you don’t align with Armstrong’s Church of God (337)