Tabletalk

Neo-Gnosticism

Colossians 1:24–29 “I became a minister…to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints” (vv. 25–26).

The liberal theology that emerged from the nineteenth century and still plagues the church even today was not only influenced by the radical immanentism of Hegel and the radical subjectivism of Schleiermacher. Naturalism, a view that holds nothing exists except the physical universe, also had a profound impact on liberalism. The result was a crop of liberal theologians who did not believe in the miraculous. Some of them even denied the existence of the personal God altogether.

These men tried to explain away the many supernatural references in the Gospels, viewing the miracles purely in materialistic terms. The feeding of the five thousand, for example, was not a supernatural multiplication of a few loaves and fishes. Instead, Jesus was able to convince those in the crowd who had brought food to share with those who had not. This theory might provide a naturalistic explanation, but it ignores the details of the Gospel accounts completely (Matt. 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–15). It also shows how far those with such biases will go to deny the work of God in Christ.

Rudolf Bultmann was a well-known figure who denied the reality of the miracles as supernatural events. He taught that the disciples, because they did not live in the twentieth century, explained the significance of Jesus through legendary stories (myths). He argued that the New Testament contains a kernel of historical truth, around which are found myths like the resurrection, the ascension, and so on. Completely denying the apostolic witness (1 Cor. 15:14), Bultmann said the historicity of the resurrection was unimportant. Only the faith of the disciples matters. Like them, we can have a personal encounter with Christ and find our “real humanity.”

Bultmann’s meaning is unclear, but at the least he is advocating some kind of mysticism over against biblical faith. This enables people to make a Christ in their own image. If faith is not based on historical events, how do we know if we are all following the same Jesus? How can Christ be the object of the Christian faith if, as Bultmann’s schema makes possible, we all meet a different Jesus?

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Gnosticism, a heresy rampant during the early church, said salvation was only available to those who possessed the hidden truths of Christ. Bultmann espouses a kind of neo-gnosticism, a wholly subjective encounter with Jesus, which is the basis for many people’s professed Christianity. A personal encounter with Jesus is necessary, but we do not believe simply because He “lives in our heart” (1 Cor. 3:16). We believe because He truly came, truly died, and truly rose again.

For further study:

Deuteronomy 10:21

The Bible in a year:

Hosea 7–10

Bible Gateway

9 thoughts on “Tabletalk

  1. Dear Pat (Child of God), I enjoyed your article on Neo- Gnosticism. Today, with the added “thought control” methods of ‘mind over matter’ techniques and hypnotism being suggested; we have people thinking they can “naturally”, or otherwise, explain away most, if not all of Jesus’ miracles mentioned in the Gospel accounts of His life. Unfortunately, SOMETHING unusual is still occurring that defies all logic and reason. ‘That much’, can still be classified as MIRACULOUS, because it is not what we would normally expect! I have encountered the “New Thought”/”New Age” beliefs that some Christians advocate. Without any bias or judgment towards their belief; I STICK TO WHETHER THE BIBLE ACTUALLY SAYS IT, OR NOT. ‘Suggesting something’ is our attempt at explaining the “Work of God”. I stay away from doing that with others. I am thinking about following you on your web site, but I am currently trying to best “prioritize” my time and energy. I study the Bible daily. Your Bible Study Helps are very useful if I should need them. God bless you and your husband during the Christmas season. Timothy

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    1. First of all, thank you very much for your “Letter” I appreciate any input and I am truly thankful to the Lord for you thinking to follow my blog. I am honored and I mean it. I believe in the Bible breathed by the Holy Spirit and each and every word has a meaning that brings us to Jesus. I am a simple woman I post MOSTLY from sites I trust and occasionally I write something small and about myself mainly in the first 3 months of blogging. The Lord directed me to do what I do and I try to be very serious and consistent in my posting. I do not put any faith in the neo/age reading of the Word Of God. Our teacher has and still is the BIBLE and Chuck Missler that passed away a few months ago. I suggest if you do not know him yet to give him a chance and pick anything you want to listen to on YouTube.
      I hope you will follow me and if you want to write me and ask me anything I will try my best to answer you. I read the Bible daily myself and worship with music and the Holy Spirit is my Friend.
      Thank you have a very Blessed Christmas season you and your family,
      Pat,
      Child of God

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      1. Yes, I am aware that I do not have a monopoly on the name used. If you would like to visit or follow my blog, please go to: Walking On The Narrow Path. The Works of Timothy Baugh. I know of Bailey’s web site and I wholeheartedly support her sharing of the Gospel. Thank you for getting back to me. Timothy

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  2. I asked you to check out Chuck Missler on youtube Please I know you would love him Pic any book of the Bible, he does word by word or teacher as I mention in my last reply to you. I am following the site you sent me, TY

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  3. I will have to check out one of the YouTube videos by Chuck Missler. There is a lot there to see, so I will need to plan my viewing when I am not so rushed during the holiday season. Thank you for the suggestion! I’m not so much into speculation into the scriptures, so I take any teaching into thorough investigating. Any topic I choose must not present an “unproven” point that some just want to argue/prove at any cost. Have learnt that some people will “take you to the Moon”, so to speak, with what they think they know of scripture! We all must be very cautious of any Bible Teacher or minister. Timothy

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  4. Hi, Just pick any bible BOOK the rest are a bit speculative in a small way b=ecue are backed up by science and passages in the Bible. I found all his teaching interesting. khouse.org I think is the main site khousetv.com or org I forgot right now where you can sign up and do pay for many more things. There is no chaos with him plus he does present others view. Pick revelation for instance that is my study again now, lol. at least 7 times with him and alone with just my Bible. I do not like any of the tv preachers I feel the fakeness in my spirit. I have the gift of discernment and my husband to teach. for a while, I have been walking a parched land where I could find no peace but Jesus, as usual, got me through…The site is only if you want to hear their conferences with many quests with different opinions. These are true Scholar of the Word and Chuck is the best and God gave him to us. Long story.

    khouse.com is the main site free in large part.
    I know Chuck was fro God. I was losing faith…He by God’s Grace restored in large part it. It took me 14 years to beiliveGo loved me because of my many cases of abuse by men. When my Christian Therapist by the Holy Spirit Convince me that God was NOT a man, but Spirit, I believed in His love. Jesus Is the love of my life, with The Father and The Holy Spirit.
    Hope you understand a little more. My English is not that good.

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  5. I forgot to tell you to start with 24 hours to understand or know, the Bible. The first 2 hours there is a lot of science but then… even someone like you that know the Bible well I think would like this series. is his first one.

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