Against the Protestant Gnostics by Philip J. Lee

By Philip J. Lee

Because the discovery of unique gnostic records at Nag Hammadi in 1945, many students have famous a well-recognized presence inside this historical heresy. to a couple authors the most good points of gnosticism--belief in a mystery revelation to be had purely to an initiated elite, rejection of the actual global, and get away into the self--seemed resembling smooth cult teams and secular events. in spite of the fact that, Philip Lee, noting that the majority of the early gnostics have been firmly ensconced in the Church, locates glossy gnosticism in the Protestant institution itself. "As a Protestant, i think i've got pointed out the elusive sleek gnostics and they're ourselves," he writes. during this penetrating and provocative evaluation of the present kingdom of faith and its impact on values in society at huge, Lee criticizes conservatives and liberals alike as he strains gnostic motifs to the very roots of yankee Protestantism. With references to a rare spectrum of writings from resources as different as John Calvin, Martin Buber, Tom Wolfe, Margaret Atwood and Emily Dickinson between many others, he probes the results of gnostic pondering on concerns starting from politics to feminism, from ecology to parenthood. the moral ramifications of this kind of gnostic flip were unfavorable and scary, he keeps. The e-book issues to optimistic methods of restoring healthiness to endangered Protestant church buildings. Calling for the recovery of a dialectical religion and perform, Lee deals an schedule for reform, together with a renewal of obedience to the scriptures and an confirmation of lifestyles and construction in the circle of the .

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45 Knowledge of God in Hebrew thought thus implies an earthy relationship with rather than a cognitive apprehension of the divine. Knowledge of God in the language of Cana, as Bultmann points out, is not a "knowledge of God's eternal essence . . On the contrary, it is a knowledge of His claim. . 47 To know is to know something and something specific. Perhaps that explains why within the New Testament itself we find already an attempt to distinguish between legitimate gnosis and false gnosis: "O Timothy .

Yes, there will be an end to the trek through the desert—the Jordan will be crossed, the Promised Land attained; when Christ comes again this present struggle will be ended. For the time being, however, a Christian is a homo viator, a person always on the road. Paul confesses: Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 50 This image of an earthly race to be run with patience and perseverance—unless there were some extravagant exegesis and sophisticated spiritualizing of it—would have been totally unacceptable to the gnostics.

17 Marcion and his followers, who were much closer to the Church than many other gnostics,18 exonerated the high God in another manner: they declared that the God of Israel, a demiurge with no ties to 16 Gnosticism as a Heresy the real God, is totally responsible for creation. " It follows, of course, that for Marcion the Scriptures that tell about the demiurge can in no sense be considered holy or sacred by the Christian. The Old Testament is mere justice and legality. Out of these ingenious dualist systems, or perhaps behind them, there is a picture of the world which is depressing to say the least.

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