What do you say to a Neo-Pagan?
JPBC February 21, 2007
I. Definitions and Background:
II. Two main categories:
2. Modernists: "Post-Christian."
III. Historical Background:
1. Religion before the time of Christ.
2. The triumph of Christianity (see Acts 14:8-20; 17:22-34; 19:23-28; Letter of Pliny).
3. Julian the Apostate, ruled Rome 361-63.
4. The long slumber of Paganism.
5. American Primitivism.
a. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82).
b. Henry David Thoreau (1817-62).
7. The 1960s.
8. Living in a Post-Christian world.
1. Worship of Nature: Pantheism, Panentheism, Animism
2. Man is divine.
3. Presumed superiority of pre-Christian religions to Christianity.
V. What do you say to a Neo-Pagan?
1. If Paganism was such a superior religion/spirituality why do you think Christianity was able to spread so widely, so quickly in the ancient world?
2. Is modern Neo-Paganism anything like ancient paganism?
4. If everyone creates his own gods, what happens to order in life and society?
5. What does the Bible say about stewardship of the earth?
VI. Closing thoughts:
1. The example of Athenagoras (c. 133-190) and his "Plea for Christians."
2. G. K. Chesterton: "When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing—they believe in anything."