Let me begin with a confession: I was involved in the New Age Movement (NAM) back in my wild youth. And that was before it was even referred to as the NAM. My involvement was in the late 60s, early 70s, while the term itself came around a decade or more later. You can read about my involvement here: billmuehlenberg.com/2012/06/27/coming-home-my-testimony-part-1/
My conversion in 1971 put an end to my infatuation with NAM beliefs and practices. But sadly the movement really started to take off then in the West, and it continues unabated today. Given the many very real dangers associated with the NAM (not least of which its heavy roots in Eastern religions and the occult), Christians need to be very wary indeed.
Biblical discernment is required, even with some aspects which may be more or less spiritually neutral in themselves (various physical therapies and breathing exercises, etc). Indeed, we need to be wise and well-informed about the various recovery techniques, or psycho-technologies.
For example, how should Christians think about such things as creative visualization, tarot cards, alternative medicines, yoga, numerology, colour therapy, reflexology, astrology, the martial arts, Reiki, macrobiotics, the use of crystals, acupuncture, pyramids and aroma therapies, and so on?
As mentioned, some of these therapies can have some scientific validity, and some of these things in themselves can be used in a neutral fashion with no spiritual overtones. But far too often they are accompanied by spiritual and occultic baggage. Thus great care and discernment is needed here. These are matters we dare not take lightly or cavalierly.
I will need to pen more articles on the NAM to look more closely at the Eastern and occult influences, practices and beliefs. Suffice it to say that the Bible offers us plenty of warnings about the occult, sorcery, spiritism, magic, divination and so on.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 would be just one of the many passages that need to be considered. And the point to remember here is that the Bible does not ban such things because they do not work. It bans them because they do work – satanic counterfeits abound, and we dare not allow demonic influences into our lives, or the lives of our churches.
It will be noted that most of the books offered here were penned in the 80s and 90s. The NAM was certainly big back then, but it still is today. Perhaps part of the reason why Christians are not writing about it as much today is because it has become so mainstream. It is everywhere part of Western culture, and even worse, it has infiltrated our churches in many areas as well.
And sadly far too many people claiming to be Christians are up to their ears in various NAM practices, if not beliefs. They will actually become quite hostile if you try to point out to them some of the many spiritual dangers involved with these things.
Indeed, just yesterday I wrote a piece on Christians and yoga. Already plenty of battles have broken out, with some believers actually quite offended that I even dared to write about this. They are happy to defend things like yoga to the hilt, and they seem oblivious to any actual dangers involved.
And don’t get me started on how many so-called believers have gotten sucked into the poisonous worldview of folks like Oprah Winfrey. As I have often said before about her, she is one of the biggest promoters of New Age spirituality on the planet, and has deceived millions. Yet plenty of Christians just love her!
As to the books below, they are all almost of equal value. They have different emphases of course, and some cover different aspects of the NAM. Some are a bit more academic in nature while others are pitched at a more popular level.
Some involve personal testimonies of those who were once steeped in the NAM. Some do a great job of integrating all the biblical data on this. I have subsections featured below the main list for more specific areas of study. And if you were to ask me to highlight a few especially helpful authors, I could do that as well.
In the US Douglas Groothuis has penned at least four very useful books on the NAM. In Australia Clifford and Johnson have written a number of good volumes. And on the NAM influence in, if not takeover of, the churches, see especially the many valuable works by Peter Jones, some of which I mention below.
Here then is my list:
Amano, J. Yutake and Norman Geisler, The Infiltration of the New Age Movement. Tyndale House, 1989.
Ankerberg, John and Craig Branch, Thieves of Innocence. Harvest House, 1993.
Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs. Harvest House, 1996.
Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, The Facts on the New Age Movement. Harvest House, 1988.
Chandler, Russell, Understanding the New Age. Word, 1988.
Clark, David and Norman Geisler, Apologetics in the New Age: A Christian Critique of Pantheism. Baker, 1990.
Clifford, Ross and Philip Johnson, Jesus and the Gods of the New Age. Lion Publishing, 2001.
Clifford, Ross and Philip Johnson, Sacred Quest. Albatross Books, 1993.
Clifford, Ross and Philip Johnson, Taboo or to Do? Darton, Longman and Todd, 2016.
Drane, John, What is the New Age Saying to the Church? Marshall Pickering, 1999.
Groothuis, Douglas, Confronting the New Age. IVP, 1988.
Groothuis, Douglas, Deceived by the Light. Harvest House, 1995.
Groothuis, Douglas, Unmasking the New Age. IVP, 1986.
Herrick, James, The Making of the New Spirituality. IVP, 2003.
Hoyt, Karen, et. Al., The New Age Rage. Revell, 1987.
Jones, Peter, Capturing the Pagan Mind. B&H Publishing, 2003.
Jones, Peter, The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992.
Jones, Peter, The Other Worldview. Kirkdale Press, 2015.
Jones, Peter, Pagans in the Pews. Regal Books, 2001.
Jones, Peter, Spirit Wars. WinePress Publishing, 1997.
Lucas, Ernest, Science and the New Age Challenge. IVP, 1996.
McRoberts, Kerry, New Age or Old Lie? Hendrickson Pub., 1989.
Martin, Walter, The New Age Cult. Bethany House, 1989.
Michaelsen, Johanna, The Beautiful Side of Evil. Paperback. Harvest House, 1982.
Miller, Elliot, A Crash Course on the New Age Movement. Baker, 1989.
Newport, John, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview. Eerdmans, 1998.
Rhodes, Ron, New Age Movement. Zondervan, 1995.
Scott, Brad, Embraced by the Darkness. Crossway, 1996.
Smith, F. LaGard, What You Need to Know About the New Age Movement. Harvest House, 1993.
Strohmer, Charles, The Gospel and the New Spirituality. Thomas Nelson, 1996.
Strohmer, Charles, Wise as a Serpent, Harmless as a Dove. Word, 1994.
The New Age Jesus
Groothuis, Douglas, Jesus in an Age of Controversy. Harvest House, 1996.
Groothuis, Douglas, Revealing the New Age Jesus. IVP, 1990.
Rhodes, Ron, The Counterfeit Christ of the New Age Movement. Baker, 1990.
Zacharias, Ravi, Why Jesus? FaithWorks, 2012.
Albrecht, Mark, Reincarnation: A Christian Appraisal. IVP, 1982.
Geisler, Norman and J. Yutaka Amano, The Reincarnation Sensation. Tyndale, 1986.
Morey, Robert, Reincarnation and Christianity. Bethany House, 1980.
Snyder, John, Reincarnation vs. Resurrection. Moody Press, 1984.
Near Death Experiences
Abanes, Richard, Journey into the Light. Baker, 1996.
Alnor, William, Heaven Can’t Wait. Baker, 1996.
Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, The Facts on Life after Death. Harvest House, 1992.
Green, H. Leon, If I Should Wake Before I Die. Crossway, 1997.
Habermas, Gary and J.P. Moreland, Immortality: The Other Side of Death. Thomas Neslon, 1992.
Mathuna, Donal and Walt Larimore, Alternative Medicine. Zondervan, 2001.
Reisser, Paul, Dale Mabe and Robert Velarde, Examining Alternative Medicine. IVP, 2001.
Reisser, Paul, Teri Reisser and John Weldon, The Holistic Healers. IVP, 1983.
Oprah Winfrey and the NAM
Bruner, Kurt, Oprah’s Jesus. Destiny Image, 2010.
Lutzer, Erwin, Oprah, Miracles, and the New Earth: A Critique. Moody, 2008.
McDowell, Josh and Dave Sterrett, “O” God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality. WND Books, 2009.
Happy reading, and stay safe.