The great Christian teacher and apostle to the skeptics of our century, CS Lewis, singled out pantheism as the "permanent natural bent of the human mind" left to itself. He believed that pantheism has, "in the long run, only one really formidable opponent namely, Christianity."' This, of course, means that in the long run, Christianity has only one really formidable opponent namely, pantheism.
What so gloriously distinguishes Lewis from sundry other academics is that his Christian writings transcend mere scholarliness both by deliberately addressing laypeople without advanced or specialized academic background and by earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. An example of this biblical zeal is his attack upon pantheism early in his radio broadcast talks to the British public during World War II, later published as Mere Christianity
Pantheists usually believe that God ... animates the universe as you animate your body: that the universe almost is God, so that if it did not exist He would not exist either, and anything you find in the universe is a part of God. The Christian idea is quite different. They think God invented and made the universe like a man making a picture or composing a tune.
Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, "If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realize that this also is God." The Christian replies, "Don't talk damned nonsense."2 Lewis appends an important footnote after the words, "damned nonsense: "One listener complained of the word damned as frivolous swearing. But I mean exactly what I say nonsense that is damned is under God's curse, and will (apart from God's grace) lead those who believe it to eternal death."3
As C.S. Lewis notes, the fundamental difference between the damned nonsense of pantheism and the biblical Christian world view centers precisely upon belief or non-belief in God as the Creator of all things ex nihilo. Evolutionism is pan and parcel of pantheism and has been so from earliest antiquity. Because all systems of belief attempting to account for reality ultimately depend upon their view of origins, there are basically only two alternative world views: belief in biblical creation and belief in monistic-evolutionist pantheism. In the latter any distinction between atheism and pantheism is in the last analysis meaningless and irrelevant, for both atheism and pantheism deny the existence of the personal, transcendent God above and apart from the world. This is why we see today's pantheist "new age" mystics like Marilyn Ferguson, author of the 1980 bestseller The Aquarian Conspiracy, approving Marxist-atheist evolutionists like Stephen Jay Gould, and also religious evolutionists like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
Now Christians can boldly claim that pantheism is damned nonsense because it is unable to account for observed, factual reality, and is unable to do so due to its own chief presuppositions. We observe plainly today the collapse of the Darwinist branch of evolutionism. The multitude of impossibilities, inaccuracies, and sheer speculations within Darwinian models, long exposed by creationist scientists, is now admitted by increasing numbers of evolutionist scientists themselves. We also see them groping for neo-saltationist and neo-Lamarckist evolutionist models in their efforts to shore up their failing world view. However, attempts to undergird Such fancies scientifically are bound to fail. This is so because in actually observed, factual, true reality a complex organism does not arise by chance either by slow accretion (Darwinism) or by sudden mega-leaps (neo-saltationism); in either case its rise would be either too slow or too fast to be observed, and hence by definition outside the realm of science.
Man-engineered new strains of living organisms only show the making of a less complex organism by a more complex one by design and painstaking labor, and thus only confirm the absence of chance in genetic mega-change, as do experiments involving the transplant of embryonic tissue to produce inherited change Such engineering in no way substantiates evolutionism. What it does substantiate is the factual, true reality of man's awesome power of dominion over the rest of nature. But this is not a fact logically following from or predictable by atheist-pantheist evolutionism, which cannot even give advice about the direction or desirability of such engineering. From the evolutionist-pantheist foundation no logical conclusions can be validly drawn, nor can any predictions be made, nor can any advice be given, since in it all is supposedly flux and change continually. It is, however, a fact logically following from the biblical creation account of man's unique creation in God the Creator's own image and likeness, and entailed by man's dominion mandate over the rest of creation as steward under God. If God is God, that is, almighty and sovereign, then His will is bound to be done, and hence man's dominion established by God's sovereign creative fiat is of necessity, logically, a fact if not merely potentially, but actually). Not only because of its damnable confounding of good and evil noted by C.S. Lewis, but also because of its fundamental inability to provide a basis for observation and prediction of factual reality, monistic evolutionist pantheism is damned nonsense damned to perish not only in eternity but to be weighed and found wanting here and now.
In view of this situation it is laughable and indeed "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh" (Psalm 2.4) that some die-hard evolutionists, having encountered the backlash of the demise of Darwinism today, and unable to oppose factual reality and its agreement with biblical creation by observable facts of their own, pronounce as it were their own "creative fiat" in the words that "evolution is a fact." Of all the damned nonsense of monistic-evolutionist pantheism, this arrogant pronouncement flying in the face of both observation and the revealed truth about this created universe in the biblical creation account is surely the damnedest, and in the crumbling of Darwinism we may discern the revelation of the wrath of God. Almost two thousand years have gone by since the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold down the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest to them; for God has showed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-201 The claim that "evolution is a fact" cannot be made by informed evolutionists in good conscience. Gregor Mendel's and August Weissmann's scientific work exploded the notion of inheritance of acquired characteristics. The great Louis Pasteur's work scientifically established the fact that life cannot come from non-life. Now stasis in the fossil record has been admitted by leading evolutionist scientists assembled in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago (October 1980). More than evolutionists of two thousand years ago when modern scientific methodology lay yet in the future, evolutionists of our own day are either ignorant or dishonest, that is, without excuse. God has shown more than ever "the invisible things of him from the creation of the world, even his eternal power and Godhead."
There are few voices today sounding forth a clear trumpet sound about the monistic-evolutionist pantheist movement of our own time, also known as the new age" movement, the "human potential movement, or "cosmic humanism." Still one of the best ministries in this realm of spiritual and indeed practical day-by-day warfare is the Spiritual Countefeits Project, whose journal "Empowering the Self: A Look at the Human Potential Movement"4 is an outstanding, thoroughly researched and scripturally sound documentation of pantheistic damned nonsense as sold to the uninformed, gullible general public and, alas, also to doubleminded and unstable professing Christians today. This writer has attempted to piece together parts of the historical and philosophical background of this movement in past issues of the CSSH Quarferly.5 A recent author concerned with the issue of the movement's social and political implications and writing from the biblical Christian perspective is Constance Cumbey.6
What should be understood by Christian newcomers to this area is that the possible intrusion of outright occult practices is of secondary importance here, although participation in such practices, often in subtle forms, may be present and should certainly not be considered negligible or permissible.7 The major thrust of this evolutionist-pantheist movement of our time is its hardly disguised, indeed often quite explicit goal: replacement of the Creator God of the Bible by "god-consciousness" within each and everyone of us, in the monist pantheist manner. This is to be the next step in human evolution. This, and not this or that occult practice, is what is at stake, as "new age" Spokespersons such as Marilyn Ferguson in Tile Aquarian Conspiracy (which only marginally deals with "the Aquarian age" we heard of in the 1 960s) makes unmistakably clear. The notorious women's liberation champion Gloria Steinem, editor of Ms. Magazine, put it succinctly: "By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God."6
Students and would-be Christian soldiers in this battle should also understand that when we speak of a "conspiracy" (a word "new agers" themselves use), we do not mean so much (or perhaps not at all) deliberate conspiratorial practices among the leaders of "new age" groups. No, our enemy's methods are more subtle: the people who are part of the "human potential," "cosmic consciousness" or "self-actualization / realization" network of multitudinous separate groups or individuals echo its slogans and precepts in harmony almost unthinkingly. Why is this 50? We began with the answer given by C.S. Lewis pantheism is the permanent natural bent of the human mind left to itself, that is, untouched by the regenerating power of God.
It will not do for us to encounter this damned nonsense, rampant and brazen in its vain imaginations, by mere scholarship. We must not become sidetracked by research and yet more research into the movement, enticed by unhealthy and ultimately sell-defeating curiosity. An approach of frantic fear, alarmism and hopelessness is unworthy of professed believers in Christ Who has already won the battle against all "damned nonsense" and its originator, the "father of lies," namely, Satan. On the other hand, we must not dismiss the "human potential" or "new age" movement as but another fad of surfeited Western society, for this it is not. On the contrary, it is our most formidable enemy in most powerful array.
We need to know the principal distinguishing marks of pantheist-evolutionism "damned nonsense" 50 we may identify its adherents and strategies, and so we may warn our neighbors in love. We need to understand fully and vitally (not merely in our heads but in our hearts) that biblical creation is the fundamental issue. All other issues the breakdown of the traditional family, humanist education, abortion and euthanasia, situation ethics, and so forth are ultimately determined by how one stands on biblical Creation. or rather the God Creator of the Bible as the Maker, Ruler and Guarantor of true reality,
To deal with these other issues is to deal with the branches and not the root (though we must by no means neglect the branches while waging attack upon the root). Thus it is imperative for us who name the Name of Christ to be informed about the glorious victory of our Lord in our own day in striking down the vain imagination. the damned nonsense, of evolutionism, To be an informed, active and zealous biblical creationist today is to have been chosen by our Lord for the pivotal battleground not only of our generation but of all history. The damned nonsense of monist-evolutionist pantheism was at the root of rebellion in Eden when the Serpent persuaded our first parents to "know," that is, to determine for themselves, the nature of true reality in disregard of and disobedience to the Creator. We have come explicitly full circle today. Both our enemy and we ourselves are more than ever "without excuse' if we refuse to participate in the conflict on our Lord Creator's side.
1 C.S. Lewis, Miracles (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947, Eleventh Printing 1971), p.85.
2 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: The Macmillan Company, Macmillan Paperbacks edition 1960, Nineteenth Printing 1975), pp.44-45.
3 Ibid. p.45.
4 For further information, write to: Spiritual Counterfeits Project, P.O. Box 2418, Berkeley, CA 94702. Excellent work has also been done by Chalcedon, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251 (Rev. R.J. Rushdoony and his associates).
5 See Ellen Myers, "Sorokin's 'Integralism' Vs. the Biblical Creation Position," CSSHQ, Vol.11. No.1 (Fall 1979); "Pantheistic Mysticism vs. Created Reality," CSSHQ, Vol. IV, No.3 (Spring 1982); "The Ultimate Evolutionist Model: Evolution by Purposive 'Forces'," CSSHQ, Vol. IV, No.4 (Summer 1982); "Denying True Reality Mystic Evolutionism In Practice," CSSHQ, Vol. V, No.1 (Fall 1982).
6 Cf. Constance Cumbey, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow, Huntington House, P.O. Box 78205, Shreveport, LA 71137, 1983, $5.95 from publisher; reviewed in CSSHQ. Vol. IV, No.1 (Fall 1983).
7 An example of dabbling in occult practices which doubtless will sadden and surprise many is that of the British writer and friend of C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams. This has been documented by John Warwick Montgomery in his scholarly work on the occult, Principalities and Powers (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, 1973). In an attempt to show that secrecy per se is not to be condemned wholesale, but rather on occasion is practiced by Christians, Montgomery writes:
"In our own century, Charles Williams, Christian poet, novelist of the supernatural, and intimate friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, was a member of A.E. Waite's version of the secret Order of the Golden Dawn [a prestigious British spiritist organization]." (p.107)
Montgomery substantiates this statement by the following footnote (n. 13, p.209):
"Perhaps the major achievement of Waite's Temple was to number amongst its members . . . Charles Williams. . . . Charles Williams' whole outlook and philosophy were permanently affected by Waite's version of the Golden Dawn" (Francis King, The Rites of Modern Occult Magic [New York: Macmillan, 19711, p.112)."
Perhaps it is here that we find the key to a deeply perturbing facet of Charles Williams's work perceptively singled out by Leanne Payne in her excellent book Real Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Works of CS. Lewis (Westchester, IL: Cornerstone Books, 1979). Payne points out that the figure of Satan in Williams's plays "represents Williams's synthesis of good and evil in the unity of all things and purports to be a figure of God that is foreign to me... The Flame and other progressions of this figure, speaking from one mouth both Christ's and Satan's words, hold darkness." (ibid.) Payne quite rightly calls Williams's error blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (p.181). Her final admonition speaks to our overall theme:
"The attempt to combine good and evil is, I believe, one of the greatest threats facing not only Christendom but all mankind today. The freedom and the welfare of all men is at stake in this issue." (p 182)
Williams's attempted synthesis of good and evil is damned nonsense, and it is the principal error ot monist-evolutionist pantheism. Now Williams may have first picked up and was certainly reinforced in this damned nonsense by his membership in the secret Order of the Golden Dawn. Hence this writer cannot help but disagree with Dr. Montgomery (whose scholarship and perseverance in the defense of the faith she deeply admires) when he cites Williams as an example of pardonable or condonable secrecy. On the contrary, this is an example of warning against any involvement whatsoever with the occult or with "new age" activities.
8 Saturday Review of Education, March 1973, quoted in a leaflet "To Manipulate a Woman" published by Concerned Women for America, Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, President, P.O. Box 82957, San Diego. CA 92138.