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Reviews- The Rise of Paganism – Jonathan Skinner

July 2007 | by Conrad Pomeroy

The Rise of Paganism
Jonathan Skinner
Evangelical Press
240 pages; £7.95
ISBN: 978-0-85234-624-2

 

If western Christians are asked what challenges the church faces today, the likely answers are secularism, materialism, atheism, and possibly Islam. Here is a book to wake us up to the rising challenge of paganism!

The old lie has received a makeover, adapted to modern sensitivities, and is exploiting the spiritual vacuum of western society. Paganism is presenting itself as fun and exciting – seeking to address the social and environmental concerns of many people and fill their personal emptiness and need of purpose.

In this well-researched book the author shows how ‘eastern religions and western paganism share many basic beliefs’ (p. 71) and are melding into a unifying force to challenge Christianity. The author is not alleging organisational unity, but sees a spiritual agenda in the coming together of east and west, ancient and modern, to form a ‘common lie Satan is foisting upon us’ (p.114).

The book is set out in three parts. First it grapples with what paganism is, then seeks to understand its resurgence, and finally presents the biblical answer to it. There are many helpful insights along the way, such as the difference between Christian and pagan meditation, or how paganism has infiltrated the Church over the centuries (and still does today) with things like ‘visualization’ techniques in prayer.

The one complaint is the huge number of typing and grammatical errors, some of them glaring (this reviewer listed over 60). Come on EP, a book as important as this deserves better proof-reading! This aside, Christian leaders need to be familiar with this material.
 

Conrad Pomeroy
Nottingham

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