My name is Marcia Montenegro. I’m a graduate of Southern Evangelical Seminary, having earned an MA degree in Religion. The title of my session at this year’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics is “God in the Mirror: God, Man, Jesus, and Sin in the New Age.” As a former New Ager for many years prior to faith in Christ, I am looking forward to sharing information that I hope will be beneficial and relevant.
Many believe the New Age has faded away when, in fact, it is mainstreaming. One reason the New Age is so insidious is that it does not use the term “New Age,” nor do most people who follow these ideas use that term. That is because the New Age is a vast network drawing on various sources: Gnosticism, Eastern spiritualities, New Thought, the Kabbalah, the books A Course in Miracles and/or The Secret, and others. Most people involved in the New Age use the term “spiritual” for themselves, or even a label such as Buddhist, mystic, or even Christian.
The culture has highlighted and put a positive light on many who hold New Age views: authors, media personalities, doctors, and spiritual spokespersons. Some prominent people in Christian institutions, such as Franciscan priest Richard Rohr and Episcopal minister Matthew Fox, have incorporated New Age beliefs in their worldview. Influenced by Rohr and Fox are Emergents like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell who speak from within Christian circles. Moreover, New Age ideas are very compatible with a postmodern post-Christian culture. This has led to a deep blurring and downgrading of doctrinal boundaries.
The New Age is very flexible and adaptive, thus able to sound very Christian. One of the areas that the New Age draws on heavily is the New Thought Movement, which claims to be Christian. The New Age, like New Thought, will quote the Bible, speak of God and Jesus, and use Christian terminology. But the New Age is also very subtly deceptive; one of the hallmarks of the New Age is to use familiar words but mean something else by them. However, most people are unaware of these hidden meanings.
The New Age is in many areas – too many to cover in one presentation – so my workshop will focus on the range of New Age beliefs about God, Jesus, man, and sin/salvation. The purpose of this will be to introduce an array of beliefs behind the New Age use of some familiar Christian terms, pointing out where we see this in the culture and red flags to be aware of. Hopefully, this will alert you to some New Age sources and increase your discernment about the New Age.
Marcia’s Resources, Chapter, and Article Contributions:
Marcia’s Website Christian Answers for The New Age
Chapter 10, “Wicca and Witchcraft,” in the book, World Religions and Cults, Volume 2, Moralistic, Mythical, and Mysticism Religions, (Master Books, 2016), Bodie Hodge and Roger Patterson, Editors.
Two articles in The Apologetics Study Bible for Students (2010), edited by Sean McDowell: One is “What’s the Big Deal About Yoga?” on page 183, and the second article is “What’s the Big Deal About Astrology?” on page 294.
Chapter 2, “Astrology and the Age of Aquarius” in the book, On Global Wizardry: Techniques of Pagan Spirituality“ (2010), edited by Peter Jones, Foreword by John Frame.