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Protestant Gnosticism Reconsidered

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The fact that in 2004 the profession of a private faith was so much more acceptable to the popular media (and perhaps later to the electorate) than was a traditional statement of faith and how it affects ethical choices is a cogent example of where we have come as a culture.

In Against the Protestant Gnostics (1987), I argued that Gnosticism, an ever-recurring heresy within Christianity, was resurfacing in modern guise within North American Protestantism. Two decades later, Gnostic characteristics within Protestant Christianity have reached proportions that I could not have imagined, and have affected the social and political fabric of the United States in ways that I could not have predicted.

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1 [ Back ] I am using a section from the debate to illustrate this contrast, not to make a political statement.
2 [ Back ] I use the words "ordinary" and "historical" to describe Protestants who follow a classic or traditional form of this faith. The term "orthodox," meaning "proper praise," is probably a better word. "Orthodox," however, has a connotation of rigidity and of the static that I do not wish to convey.

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Issue: "The New Spiritualities" May/June 2008 Vol. 17 No. 3 Page number(s): 37-40

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