By Philip J. Lee
Because the discovery of unique gnostic files at Nag Hammadi in 1945, many students have famous a well-known presence inside this old heresy. to a few authors the most gains of gnosticism--belief in a mystery revelation to be had in simple terms to an initiated elite, rejection of the actual international, and break out into the self--seemed akin to smooth cult teams and secular hobbies. besides the fact that, Philip Lee, noting that almost all 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 smooth gnostics and they're ourselves," he writes. during this penetrating and provocative overview of the present nation of faith and its influence 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 unprecedented spectrum of writings from resources as assorted 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 any such gnostic flip were destructive 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 bargains an time table for reform, together with a renewal of obedience to the scriptures and an confirmation of existence and production in the circle of the .
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Extra resources for Against the Protestant Gnostics
41 The reason for this totally different concern of the gnostics is their conviction that the root problem of humankind is ignorance. Judaism and Christianity in their orthodox expressions would understand the basic source of all our misery to be sin, humanity's failure to meet God's expectations or its own potential; gnosticism would see the human predicament as resulting from a profound blindness concerning the human situation. "Ignorance of the Father," states the Gospel of Truth, "brought about anguish and terror.
The Church could not help but be frightened by this extreme individualization of the faith, especially by the promise that the true God is to be discovered by an inner spiritual journey. Nothing could have been further from biblical religion. 83 In reattaching these separate monads to humanity and to nature, one of the key strategies of orthodoxy would again be dependence on the Old Testament. "84 The Old Testament certainly provides for meditation, but it is not meditation on the self; the blessed man will meditate on "the law of the LORD .
Nonhistorical, spirit. . all in all, the Gnostic election is . . 116 In gnosticism, God elects, not a people, but individual persons: persons who have a nostalgic yearning for the higher life, persons who have some spiritual insight, persons who are creative enough to see beyond the written text a meaning hidden to the many. This election resulted, negatively, in certain oblivion for the somatics, the mere animals who happen to be in human form. 118 And the psychics, in the middle, could go either way.