Posts Tagged ‘Gnosticism’

Discipling Against the Gnostic Temptation

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

Love creation, not the world

I said in the previous post that I was going to offer a follow up blog entry related to the pastoral implications of the Gnostic temptation. In brief, the Gnostic temptation is…

the attraction of an otherworldly kind of existence when faced with the genuine risk of forming unhealthy bonds with aspects of creation that can lead to addictive and destructive behavior that enslaves.

I now want to discuss some of the pastoral issues surrounding the Gnostic temptation. The purpose is to suggest discipleship practices need to be formulated in such a way as to help individuals avoid this temptation. Believers must

  • Learn to love creation rightly
  • Learn to love their bodies rightly
  • Learn the difference between creation and “the world”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Gnostic Temptation

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

Recently I presented a paper at St. Bonaventure University in western New York. The beautiful scenery, coupled with my own paper topic and the questions that resulted, reminded me of the need to resist the perennial temptation to embrace Gnosticism among Christians.

As a perspective, Gnosticism essentially is a denial of the fundamental goodness of creation. It’s appeal is for a wholly otherworldly place and experience. It is the longing for heavenly realities coupled with the struggle with earthly realities that forms the heart of the Gnostic temptation. What turns the longing for the glory of eternity into Gnosticism is simply the overreach. Can you long for glory too much? If that longing turns into a hatred of the human body (including your own), a rejection of food and drink, a rejection of marriage and the goodness of sexuality, a complete disavowing of culture as corrupt in its essence, it may just be too much.

Let me explain what I mean further. Read the rest of this entry »