The Post Christian Future Part Two: Pop Culture as High Priest of the Post Christian Religious Worldview
A Lecture from Dr. Michael S. Heiser at Future Congress 2013
This is part two of Heiser’s lecture at Future Congress 2013. Again, these topics are extremely important now in 2023. I’ve linked to many of the references Heiser makes in the full transcript below. I’ve also added some comments in footnotes.
Thanks for reading God Makes New | The Vlogcast! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Part Two Transcript:
“Well, thank you for coming again, part two, of the continuing saga. The Post Christian Future, again, just like the first one. If you've not watched the first one, I would recommend that you don't have to have watched the first one for this one. But this is sort of a continuation; a little bit of the thought experiment. But I'm going to show you a few things in this one that are a little more concrete. And I would say definitely contemporary in terms of ideas that are currently in circulation that we need to be aware of. And we will ultimately need to think about. So the subtitle here is Pop Culture as High Priest of the Post-Christian Religious Worldview. So what I'm going to focus on is talking about the post-Christian culture, the post-Christian condition, and then sort of zero in on how in the post-Christian world what you're going to see, as far as the morphing of Christianity. I'm not saying that the morphing is going to be good. In fact, I'm suggesting that the morphing is not a good thing. And it's really going to morph into something that's actually very old. And we'll talk about that at that point. So this is going to be sort of, hey, here's what I think it's going to look like. And it's not really just opinion, because I'm going to show you what people are saying right now. Okay, that futurists, scholars and in religious studies, scholars in pop culture, that sort of thing. And we will comment on it as we go. So, by way of a sampling, what are the kinds of things futurists are talking about? Specifically, I'll start with this excerpt from something called The Center for Future Consciousness. The two people behind this website and this organization are the Lombardos. And they have sort of, a statement of purpose statement of principles for explaining what it is they do. And these are just a few of the comments, you'll notice that they're really oriented to this idea of gaining a holistic understanding of the present capacities and potential future evolution of consciousness, and the human mind again, so there's what I want to plant in your minds right now is this whole idea of the human progression, human, upward, evolving, so to speak, and this theme of consciousness, these are, these are just going to be data points that we're going to return to. They're also interested in the future possibilities in science and technology that we're going to encounter and of course, their impact on humanity in terms of this, you know, upward evolution. And again, an evolutionary perspective on reality in the future. So this center, the Lombardo's again, are quite well known, as far as you know, being futurists that, you know, would be invited to conferences and write books and all this sort of stuff.1And so this is what they're thinking about. Now, typically, this is from one of the Lombardo's PowerPoint presentations. They're typically thinking of the future as some sort of techno-utopia. Where Transhumanism is a big part of it. Technology obviously goes without saying, but again, they're sort of vision casting, not just in terms of gadgetry, okay, but specifically in terms of a set of ideas, that they feel are going to both dovetail with and derive from advancements in the sciences in particular. And as the sciences go, religion is going to sort of be dragged along or morphed or transformed with it. And so there's a whole set of ideas there. And this is where I want to sort of orient for the rest of the time. Techno-utopian values, again, the usual suspects here, progress, purposeful evolution, human power over nature, material, or technological advancement as the key to success in the future world, all this sort of stuff. You know, freedom, of course, really translates to ‘don't give me any rules or any dogma so I can be free.’ Happiness and hedonism right in their presentation.2 The Singularity is something we'll talk about momentarily, but I want to zero in on this document, a Cosmist Manifesto. Right here, this one here. And here are the 10 points, I've abbreviated the annotations for the Cosmist Manifesto, but here are the 10 principles, 10 points: Humans will merge with technology, to a rapidly increasing extent, it's a new phase of the evolution of our species. Now, you might be thinking cyborg here, okay, which is one way to think about it. But if you know anything about nanotechnology, that's an invisible integration. That's something you never see. But it has the potential that once you have control over every atom in your body, I mean, you know, every molecule, you can change the human species as we know it.3 And this is going to be and is now I mean, you can buy whole books on the ethics of nanotechnology. I've read a couple of them this year, again, to get my head into the sequel to the novel. And they're talking about things like elimination of disease, optimizing human DNA, for its various potentials.4 And they're really ultimately talking about immortality, because you're dying cell by cell, and every cell is made of molecules and you know, that sort of thing. Well, if you can control and release nanobots into the body, so to speak, that instantly repair cellular loss, you have potential immortality.5 Other than somebody you know, shooting you in the head or something like that, you get the idea, you will not age, you will not decline as a physical specimen. So this is how it's going to be cast. But this is the sort of merging they're talking about, too. It's not just what we would sort of think of as a cyborg. Humans will develop sentient artificial intelligence and mind-uploading technology. This derives from and I don't want to get too far into this. But the current mind-body…even theologians and futurists and neuroscience calls the mind-body problem, that is, are you your brain? Or are you and your brain separate? Well, if you are your brain, then if we again, we can tap into the right places where the brain stores what you think you are, again, your internal thoughts, your memories, that sort of thing. And in that can be uploaded…and we think into another body. But what if it's uploaded into a machine? You don't actually have a body anymore. This is the kind of thing, this isn't science fiction. You will actually read academic literature discussing this. It's not science fiction. In that sense. Humans will spread to the stars and roam the universe and begin to meet and merge with other species out there won't that be wonderful? Humans will develop interoperable synthetic realities, again, virtual worlds able to support sentience and self-awareness. Some uploads will choose to live in virtual worlds. Maybe I want to continue my life in this virtual world over here, rather than, than this one. That's what they're talking about. Of course, then you know what the question of what is real becomes sort of blurred. Humans will develop spacetime engineering and scientific future magic beyond our current understanding and imagination, translation technology that does stuff we can't really even conceive of right now. Spacetime engineering and future magic will permit achieving by scientific means most of the promises of religions. Oh, that's interesting, many amazing things that no human religion ever dreamed of, eventually we'll be able to resurrect the dead by copying them to the future or, of course, to some virtual reality of which we can be a part. Would it be nice to sort of, you know, keep living with your, your loved ones, you know, with their, what they are in terms of their, you know, brain synapses firing in a virtual world forever? So long as somebody doesn't pull the plug, that's kind of a problem, kind of need the electricity there. Intelligent life will become the main factor in the evolution of the cosmos, steering it toward an intended path. Technological advances will reduce material scarcity, dressed of course, of course, everyone will have all that they need.6 Of course, we talked about that the last time with utopianism, new ethical systems will emerge, well, I guess so based on principles, including the spread of joy, growth, and freedom through the universe. All these changes will fundamentally improve, fundamentally improve the subjective and social experience of humans and our creations and successors. Again, these are the points of the Cosmist Manifesto. Now, let's say that a lot of that stuff just sort of takes off and becomes reality, a lot of it. In fact, I would be willing to say all of it, is in some form on the table now, and either being planned or in some cases, and the initial starting points for it are already implemented. In other words, we're on these paths already. And again, I'm not talking about science fiction writers, I'm not talking about wacky Christians that just you know, are sort of conspiracy-minded. I'm talking about people who don't really give a, you know, a rip about religion or anything like this, that are working in these fields. And this is the future they see, this is the future they envision this is the future they're working toward. They are IBMers okay, you know, the commercials and all that stuff. This is why they got the job and went to graduate school because they want to do this stuff, for whatever set of reasons. So what happens if this trajectory keeps running, what happens to Christianity? Well, again, what I'm going to show you here is how I think Christianity will begin to adapt itself to this future. And again, I'm not saying this is a good thing. We all know already, this isn't news to anybody, that church as we know it is already this self-adapting thing to the trends of the world. Okay, we already know that. So what might we see more of and might see develop? Well, I think God will become spoken of as an eternal divinity. Well, that's kind of nice. You know, God's eternal...God is and always was, he has eternal consciousness. And in some respect, we would say that now but again, moving Christianity either keeping it the way it is, in terms of the biblical text, the Biblical Christianity, retaining that or destroying it is a matter of controlling the vocabulary. It is not difficult. If you control the vocabulary, you win the day. Right? All it takes is the implementation of mass media, which, what I really mean by that is repeating it often enough to enough people that thinking shifts. It's not difficult this is as simple as you can make it. It's just a logistic issue. Okay. So God is and always was, he's eternal consciousness, we have monism instead of dualistic theism. Monism again, is the idea that everything is one, all is one. Dualism, which biblical theology requires is a firm separation between the creator and creation. So material reality, material matter at the quantum level, convinces us that materialism is an illusion. Now you have physicists already saying this because of the way they apply quantum physics. Think about that. If materialism if matter is an illusion. And I realize your minds are already probing the inconsistencies of that statement. Just hang with me. If matter is an illusion, well then isn't everything God anyway? If God is the only uncreated thing, the only thing that's not matter, and if matter is an illusion, then why don't we affirm Monism? Doesn't it make sense? Doesn't Monism make sense? It's still God, God's still eternal. Why is that a problem? Again, control the vocabulary.
Quantum physics again, this whole idea. This is from Paul Davies, who's, of course a well known physicist. He talks about quantum theory here, the old assumption that the microscopic world of atoms was simply a scaled down version of the everyday world had to be abandoned. Newton's deterministic machine was replaced by a shadowy and paradoxical conjunction of waves and particles, governed by the laws of chance, rather than the rigid rules of causality. This is physics today. And it's the reality of physics today. Now, for biblical theologians, the question becomes a simple one. Well, you know, maybe this does reflect God, maybe God made it this way, we just didn't understand it. Okay, that's different than redefining God. Okay, by virtue of what you're you're looking at. So again, when you go down to the smallest, smallest, smallest, smallest, smallest level, and, you know, we realize, even in this, this is made of atoms, and atoms are jumping around all over the place. And quantum theory says, none of that behavior is predictable. So that this thing we call matter, is just completely chaotic, completely random, you know, it, it creates illusions of real things for us, you know, if this is what we're talking about, then matter is an illusion anyway. So is it ‘everything God’ and ‘isn't it all divine?’ So we have this eternal divinity idea, we'd also have an eternal humanity, element to our Christian theology in the post Christian context. You know, you could say things like our soul and our mind and our body as a totality. And that's the Hebrew view don't you know. Eternal consciousness can't be located, you know, it doesn't have it's not limited spatially. It's everything and it's everywhere. Again, this is quantum physics applied to the human body, the human mind, the human soul, we are all part of the same undefined, unlimited thing that we would call God. We're all one. Transpersonal Psychology is part of this. And for those of you not familiar with that term, this discipline studies the transpersonal, or self-transcendent or spiritual aspects of the human experience, basically trying to psychologize spiritual experience spiritual belief, that kind of thing. Transpersonal experiences may be defined as experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond that's the ‘trans’ part, extends beyond the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind life, psyche, or cosmos, again, trying to take all of our religious experience all of our religious ideas, all our thought life, and reducing that psychologizing that which means you link it to something in the brain, which has evolved, okay, and since matters in material anyway, and it's sort of an illusion. You know, we're just, we're just a reflection of everything else that is, which is God. So nice theology so far. So we have God is real. Okay, good like that. But he's eternal consciousness now. All of creation is a reflection of God, consistent with modern science and the material world. And experiences that transcend material reality are just as real since consciousness is real. So therefore, prayer and premonition and prophecy, visions, providence even transubstantiation, that idea from Catholicism…you know, they're a result of things you've heard and how your brain processes things. Reincarnation, ghosts, deja vu, all of it is real. All of it is affirmed. It's as real as this podium right here. But again, this podium is an illusion because we know that from quantum theory, and we're all just part of everything and everything is part of us. We're all God and God is all of us. I don't know about you, but I'm getting a warm fuzzy right now. Hey, this will preach. This will preach. I know that sounds funny, but it's true. What does it cost you? Well, you lose the Creator creation distinction that flies out the window. Yeah, God is very real, but he is not personal. He's not a personal entity, he's a thing. He's, everything and everything is him. And, you know, there's no individual entity that exists outside of creation anymore. And what's the distinction between God and man? Well, not much really. Other trajectories, divinized humanity. And we've already touched on this. And again, I'm not denying that the future world will, will still not embrace biological determinism or Darwinism, you know, that, that sort of thinking, that's part of it. But what I am talking about are things like human enhancement and transhumanism,, you know, we tend to think, oh, this is sort of ugly, and I sure humans have lots of flaws, but I kind of like being human, you know, what's wrong with that, you know, it has advantages to well, if we go down these roads, we could argue that, hey, enhancing our species, and transhumanism is the meaningful goal of our evolution. In fact, it's not only a meaningful path. But, you know, we're really when we do this, we're acting like our, you know, our conception of God isn't God, intelligent and creative. And you realize I'm talking about God as though he were a person and denying it on in the other breath? Because that's what you're going to hear. Again you control the vocabulary. You know, genetic engineering is a good thing, you know, genetic selection, hey, you know, you weed out the bad, you enhance the good. That's, you know, nanotechnology nanomedicine. I mean, if we find out ways to, to sort of, you know, become immortal, and you know, and we like this life, that's fine. If we don't want we'll just inject ourselves into some virtual world. Well, you know, we all get to live forever anyway.7 But it'd be nice to be conscious of the fact that I'm living forever. I know I’m an eternal being anyway because matter’s an illusion and all this stuff. But I’d kind of like to know it, you know, experience it. So if I can't experience it in this world, then I will experience it in some other world. So yeah, I'm in favor of, you know, para humanism. You know, the chimera because we're just making ourselves better. This is the natural goal. That’s what we ought to do because we want to progress, don't we? We don't want to just stay what we are, that's not progressing, is it? You know, it's staying or progressing. I mean, it's easy to understand which word means what. Neural implants mind uploading all this artificial intelligence, the singularity is sort of this thing that futurists angle for, which is defined simply here as the theoretical emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence. And once that happens, the future becomes unpredictable. Because since we're humans now, we can't really imagine what that would look like, you know, maybe when we evolved to that point, then we'll kind of get a grip on it. But right now, we really can't. So this is what is looked forward to optimistically, okay, we want this to happen. So, what does the new man look like? Well, we image God. I mean, we are God, but we image God, well, what does that mean? Well, you know, we already know that we're God, but when we seek to progress, and advance and do great things, and, you know, empower ourselves and become one with nature, and all this stuff, where we're kind of behaving like God would if we were really a personal God, so we image him, you know, we were doing the things that a god would do. And so that's consistent, isn't it?8 That's consistent theology. We're fulfilling the Dominion Mandate, hey, you know, that old Bible thing talks about you know, that God you know, putting us on Earth and, and saying, you know, subdue the creation and you know, have command of it and all that sort of stuff and, you know, find out what makes it tick, you know, legitimizing the scientific enterprise and those are good things that Christians should do. Resurrection is not needed because consciousness is eternal anyway, but hey, you know, if you want to keep experiencing you know, the world as you know it, you know, we can pull off resurrection here with nanomedicine and all that sort of stuff, you'll continue to be immortal. And if you die, and if you die in the right circumstances, we can probably bring you back or upload your brain somewhere else and you'll be okay. So we're becoming what the God of the Bible is in terms of personhood, you know, we're becoming what God intended. We're actually fulfilling our own eschatology. You know, we're in command of our future we're eradicating disease. You know, when the Bible approve of that, come on. We're transcending racial and gender divisions just like heaven. You know, that whole thing about it we had heaven you’re neither married or given and marriage. None of this racial stuff matters. None of this gender stuff matters. Why can't we have that now? It's rebuilding Eden in our own image, you know, to satisfy ourselves is what we're really getting at.9 So what's the theological cost? We become divine, apart from God's plan of glorification, it redefined salvation only in terms of the end, okay, glorification, rather than it dismisses the means, which is the cross and the whole reason for it, which is sin. But hey, doesn't the Bible talk about humans being glorified and being in the presence of God? Well, I kind of think that the New Testament is talking about our new techno-utopia here. The Bible makes it sound like God's a person. But you know, we've now discovered through science that, again, matter is an illusion. And we're all part of the same stuff that makes up the universe. And so, you know, how much more divine can you get? You know, how much more beyond human can you get? So, you know, why should we worry about what this primitive book says? I mean, at the base of it, it was correct. Okay, you know, the supernatural Israel, because there's really no such division as natural and supernatural and all this stuff. I mean, I'm manipulating the vocabulary all over the place here. Because I only have an hour to do it. If I have 50 years to do it, I can take it one piece at a time. It's just it's not a difficult thing. Especially if you have, you know, churches filled with people who aren't looking for any of it. And frankly, are biblically illiterate. I mean, let's just be honest. They're they're just, they're not they're not thinking about this. And and I don't want to, I don't want to say church shouldn't be about fellowship, and about broken people getting fixed and stuff like that, you know, that people do have real needs. I get that. You know, and frankly, I'd rather that kind of healing occur in church than anywhere else. But that is not all it is. And I think we've sort of drifted into what we get from pulpits on a weekly basis is psychology, we get felt need stuff, rather, than anything that smacks of content. There's a low tolerance for thinking in church, which is really going to put us in trouble at some point, I think it already has. But what about Jesus? Christ is not divine of course. Of course, you know, he was probably a human being that just understood all this stuff before we did. He was so far ahead of us. And it took us until the 21st century to figure this stuff out. But Jesus was already there. He was either a human who fully grasped all this wisdom and taught it for posterity and was in fact willing to die for it. You know, for the truth of all this. Again, what is that? Well, knowing that we would never cease to be separate from God, that we're all one, we're one with God, and the Jews didn't like that. So they killed him. But, you know, Jesus is a great example for us. Or he might be a manifestation of eternal consciousness. I mean, maybe eternal consciousness, those little quantum particles, you know, that sort of, like some of them, became us, maybe some of them became Jesus and just brought all that advanced knowledge with them, you know, all that sort of thing or, and when it gets right down to it, Jesus may have died on the cross, but he still lives he's eternal. Okay, just I mean, we're eternal too. Doesn't the Bible say that? Doesn't the Bible describe human beings as eternal souls? Really, we're just we just get these bodies for a temporary, temporary stay here on Earth, but we are really eternal souls. Don't you guys know your Bible? The new Christology: Jesus lives and always did live. The eternality of Christ, we can affirm that Jesus is our eternal brother, we're united to him. Salvation in this embodied life is being released from the fear of death. That was Jesus’ message. Believe in what I'm telling you, and you'll have eternal life. Knowing that death is nothing and we will be with God forever, Jesus was the divine messenger to humanity of these truths. That will preach. It's already preaching. Well, what do we lose? Well, we don't get Trinitarianism anymore, because we can't really talk about persons when we're talking about God. So that's kind of a weird, peripheral thing. The traditional gospel, you know, the meaning of the cross, I mean, that, you know, Christians of a century ago just sort of misunderstood that, you know, but we get it now, because we know more about the eternality of ourselves and our world, and the universe, frankly. And salvation, of course, you know, this definition would sort of deny our nature. And you know, it elevates our co-divinity with the Father and Jesus, you know, that that might make Christians of 100 years ago uncomfortable, but you know, we, you know, we know what that means. We're just all one. Just all eternal.
So, in summary, post-Christian Christianity actually has an old name that's been around for a long time. And that name is Gnosticism. Tried and true. Now, I debated on including this, and I'm looking at my time, and you know what I think I can, so let's go for it. We'll try to be speedy here. This will be a really quick overview of what Gnosticism is if you don't know what it is. I drew this from my series I did on the Davinci Code, somebody someone out there may have seen. So what is Gnosticism? The basics? Well, the Gnostics believed that there is something they refer to as the true God or the light. Or pneuma, which is spirit, and isn't God a spirit? I mean, doesn't John 4 say that? God is a spirit, he's pre-existent, you know, this, God is pre-existent, uncaused, and perfect. Sounds pretty biblical so far. Gnostics imagined the true God as being both male, the Father, and also female. And the reason they thought this was because everything else that exists, is produced by this God. So in the gnostic, you know, this is the early couple centuries AD, and they don't really necessarily know where babies come from, and all that kind of stuff. So they're imagining, if this one true, God produced everything, there must be something male in there, and there must be something female, and then they produce offspring. So that's how they wrote about it, to communicate the idea. Now, this true God, or the light exists up here, in its own realm. And then so there's this sort of barrier that they sort of conceived of, there's the residence of the true God. And then down here is the created material world, which is really a far distance away from the true God, this is us down here and material stuff. And in the middle, there was this middle world or spiritual world, and that was populated by other gods; other divine beings in Gnosticism, they are referred to as Aeons. And so the true God essentially took bits and pieces of himself or you know, this, divinity thing that pre-existed, everything. Out of that comes different entities and you notice I have the male and female here. These are the spiritual beings, the other gods, that the true God creates to do whatever he needs them to do. And again, below them is the created universe, this is there beyond the universe. This is down here the world we know. So these are the true god’s essence, in different forms. Together, they're referred to in Gnosticism, as the pleroma, the fullness, collectively, all of these beings are the full essence of the true God. Now, in terms of cosmology, the highest aeon is called in Gnosticism, the Logos is that a familiar term? Okay, this is the highest son of the true God. The Logos the first aeon the first emanation the first act of the Father, he is the entire likeness and image of the true God this is these are Gnostic statements. He's the form of the formless, the body of the bodyless the face of the invisible, the word of the unutterable. All these things. And he actually possesses the knowledge of all the Aeons, he is unquestionably superior. He is the top dog, the top Aeon. Now, the Logos right here, again is the top. And together the Logos with the true God, the Father and Mother element in the true God form the triad. Let's just call it a Trinity and be done with it. It's not the same as a Trinity, you know, your Trinitarianism. This is not the same, but they're using the ‘three’ language. Now, as the Gnostic story goes, one of the Aeons, in fact, the one closest to our world, the lowest Aeon but still an Aeon, was a female Aeon. And her name was Sophia. She decides, you know, I love the true god so much, I want to be like him. And he did all this creation stuff like he created us. I want to create too. But I know that he doesn't really want me to, but man, I just can't resist the impulse to be like him and create. So in Gnostic cosmology, she does that she rebels, and decides to create her own thing, her own entity, just to sort of try it out and be like, be like the true god. Now, the result of that, if you look at what Gnostic texts say, the Sophia wanted to bring forth a likeness out of herself without the consent of the spirit, the pneuma, the true god, or any consort, she didn't have any other help from any of the other male Aeons. And so a thing came out of her that was imperfect and different from her appearance. Why did she do it? Well, the Gnostics of course, view this as a transgression. So they have nasty things to say about Sophia, that she was lewd. And then, you know, the great cosmic whore and all this kind of stuff. What she makes is referred to in Gnosticism, as the Demiurge, which either means, fundamentally it means ‘the maker’ ok, we'll get to why. He's also called Ialdabaoth, which is ‘the child who comes forth’, also called Saklas, ‘the fool’, also called Samael, ‘the blind one’, also known as Yahweh, the God of Israel, the God of the Bible. Why is he blind? To a Gnostic? Why is he a fool? Because he's arrogant enough to deny that there are any gods beside him. He ignores the Aeons. He ignores his superiors. He's blind, he's willfully blind, and he's a fool. Now, the Demiurge is sort of a deity unleashed. To the gnostic, here's our little barrier to our world. As the God of the Bible, the Demiurge is the creator of our heaven and earth. And the Demiurge says, you know, I created this heaven and earth thing, I think I'm going to create something else. I think I'm going to create Archons rulers to help me administer my own affairs in this heaven and earth, this universe. Archon of course is a biblical term. It's used in the New Testament for the Principalities and Powers and all that stuff.10 And he also says, you know what? On earth, I think I'm going to get together with the Archons and we're going to create and enslave humans. Does this sound like Zechariah Sitchin? Anyone? He's a Gnostic. Okay, that's all it is. Maybe he doesn't maybe he never knew he was a Gnostic but he was. Now Sophia, which you can't see here, for some reason was horrified at this agnostic cosmology. She's like, boy, did I make a mistake. Now these poor humans, they're just going to be slaves. What do I do? What do I do? What do I do and I you know, I can't really like tell everybody… What I do, what do I do? What do I do? Well, what she decides to do is she decides to inject some of her divinity into the man; into humanity. So he's not just a lifeless, brainless soulless critter. He's more than that. He is. And so as he procreates with Eve, so is every human, really, inside; divine. Now what the problem is, for Gnosticism is the human beings have to discover that, that’s salvation and Gnosticism. Salvation in Gnosticism is knowing, knowing what? Knowing this: that you're really divine. The reason there's evil is because its creator is evil. He has built evil into the world, and you're trapped in it. Your only hope is to transcend this life. By knowing by learning and knowing that you are divine, you are in some way attached to the Aeons and attached to the true God. Does this sound familiar? Okay. This you know, is Gnosticism this comes from ancient texts. This is nothing new it's centuries, centuries, millennia, old. So if you look at our previous trajectories, we have an eternal divinity. Oh out there, you know, what we're really talking about is the true God. You know, all this evil that you experience, the true God has nothing to do with that. He's good. And we're talking about eternal humanity. Obviously, we are eternal beings. We are divine. And the Logos. Man, he's important. He is the top dog. Now the rest of the story of Gnosticism, who's the hero? The hero is the Serpent. Because it's the Serpent who comes to Eve and says, Hey, I got a question. Did God really and by God, he's referring to the maker, the maker of heaven and earth; the Demiurge. Did God really say that if you ate of this tree, you were going to die? And she says, yeah, we thought, even if we touch it, we're gonna die. You know that part she's making up.11 But he says, you know, you're not going to die. If you eat of the tree, your eyes will be opened. You will become as Gods. You will become as Elohim with the Hebrew text. So the Gnostic views the Serpent as the hero, he is trying to inform humans of their own divinity of their own connection back to the true God, and the Demiurge punishes him. So it is a severe inversion of the Genesis story at that point. But it'll preach. I view Gnosticism as the One Ring, the One Ring that unites and binds all of it everything. You will find East and West thinkers articulating the very same thoughts. If you're familiar at all, with Eastern religion, what I've just been going through is like, yep, bing, bing, bing, bing in a point for point, okay. It's just cast in a cosmological story that's different. All the elements are the same. It unites East and West, it unites all religions. Now not not necessarily all adherents, because there are Gnostic Christians. And then there are those of us who aren't Gnostics. But yet within the thick umbrella thing we call Christianity, there were a lot of Gnostics. And there are a lot of Gnostics today, who will take the term Christian. There are Muslims who are Gnostic. Muslim mystics. You can read, just read the mystical literature across the board in any religion, you're going to see all of this, all of it.12 Evolution goes very well with it because we're progressing you know, we're we need to awaken to the fact that we're divine and then and then realize like, wow, we live in a world where we really can understand that all of matter, all of reality. And this, this, this thing that we imagine is God, it's all one in the same. It's Monism. Everything is united. All these experiences that people have had, that I've had, they're real because of this thing we call consciousness. Our bodies are just a filter. Like, like a radio filters, sound waves, our bodies filter consciousness. That's why we have deja vu. That's why we have this experience that experience visions and profits and all this stuff. You know, it all works. It's all real. You get to keep it all. You get to affirm it all.13 So, I think it's comprehensive. It's being validated by science. And what I mean by that is a lot of science writers are saying things that if you're a gnostic, oh, you love it. Now you know there are a lot of science isn't directed toward proving Gnosticism. What I'm saying is a little bit different. That Gnostics have plenty too, you know, to choose from in the hard sciences to say they are right. Now, a particle physicist might look at them and say ‘You’re nuts.’ Okay. But the Gnostic isn’t going to care about that. Because you know what, you know what the Gnostic knows that a lot of Christians don't know? That their numbers are increasing. And your numbers are decreasing. You are becoming marginalized. Our view is becoming popularized. Okay, we'll get into pop culture here, but again, the Academy's there, and of course, pop culture.
Science. I'm gonna run through this real quickly. This is a book if you're into this. If you're in the physics, theoretical physics stuff I would recommend reading this. It might infuriate you, but James Gardner is a lawyer by training, but he's published in peer review journals. He's into cosmology. And his first book was called Biocosm, and he advocates…now Ray Kurtzweil…his opinion of the book, which is positive, Kurtzweil is the guy who wrote the book The Singularity, and we had a quote there from him. ‘James N. Gartner’s, Selfish Biocosm hypothesis proposes that the remarkable anthropic (life-friendly) qualities that our universe exhibits can be explained as incidental consequences of a cosmic replication cycle in which a cosmologically extended biosphere provides a means for the cosmos to produce one or more baby universes.’ And that's a little dense. So let me try to unpack that for you. In his q&a, Gardner's q&a on his website, we have this: ‘Question: What are the religious implications of the Biocosm hypothesis? The hypothesis is inconsistent with traditional monotheistic notions of an unknowable supernatural creator.’ Well, that's honest. ‘There's a discernible comprehensible evolutionary ladder by means of which mortal minds will one day ascend into the intellectual stratosphere that will be the domain of superminds.’ ‘Question: Is Biocosm really just a religious screed in disguise - a subtle form of creationism or intelligent design? No, Biocosm is adamantly and consistently naturalistic in focus.’ Now, from Amazon, here's, I think, a better idea of what Gartner is saying; ‘Gartner proposes a startling theory: that a pre-existing super-intelligent race that inhabited a mother universe, created this one and tweaked the physical laws in its baby universe to ensure the continuity of intelligent life and of the cosmos itself.’ So all that design stuff that you creationists out there, think is the hand of God. It's not. It's the hand of someone else. And all that evidence for the Big Bang, you know that the universe had a beginning? Well, it did, but it was birthed by another universe. In other words, it creates the visual impression of a beginning, but there was something before it. And before that, and before that, it's eternal. It's an endless regress. And this is peer-reviewed. This is in physics journals.14 This is not like my website where I'm trying to pretend I'm a physicist, okay. I'm not. Now Gardener’s second book, The Intelligent Universe, AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos. ‘In The Intelligent Universe, James Gardner envisions a third dramatic alternative - a final state of the cosmos in which a highly evolved form of group intelligence engineers (has anyone seen Prometheus) a cosmic renewal, the birth of a new universe’ blah, ba blah, ba blah ok I'm gonna skip the other stuff about Gardener. He quotes Gardener commenting on Orgel and Crick, Life Itself. If you're familiar with Crick, you know one of the co-discoverers of DNA, he believed in directed, intelligent panspermia, that life on this planet, including DNA was seeded by aliens. And Gardener critiques that a little bit. Basically, he's saying I'm a little bit smarter than Crick here. Crick was one of those biology idiots we’re physicists here. Now, what about religion scholars? This is Jeffrey Kripal. He is a professor at Rice University Ph. D. University of Chicago and an author that I think you should become acquainted with. This is his book The Serpent's Gift. Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion. And Kripal is a Gnostic. And I'd run into him every year at the American Academy of Religion. And that's what he does. This is from a review. This again is a peer-reviewed review of Kripal’s book and just look at what it is. ‘Knowledge is the serpent's gift - knowledge of good and evil, moral and ethical knowledge…had we not been expelled from the garden by the aforementioned petty and jealous god, we would have gone on to taste from the tree of eternal life…and we forsook knowledge and turned to faith’ like they're mutually exclusive. Okay, again, this reviewer is reviewing what Kripal says. And very positively. ‘Though most of us would agree that modernity has had its heyday in the post-modernists makes some very good points, we have yet to name a successor that can constructively direct us as a body of discourse forward into new forms of knowledge and understanding. And this is where Kripal steps in and reminds us of gnosis - not just a bunch of dried-out scrolls buried under a layer of pigeon [doo-doo], but a viable, promising, indeed perfectly appropriate methodology that can take what is best from modernity and the Enlightenment and leave what no longer works, and carry reason and the critical method forward, transformed into what is for better or worse, a postmodern era.’ He's saying, look, we've had modernism, postmodernism, and the next thing that needs to happen is we need, we as academics need to commit ourselves to Gnosticism. This is a religion scholar who teaches at Rice University. Now I'm going to speed ahead here. Let's see here, because of pop culture. Now, the way Gnosticism is conveyed to us, is typically through stories about extraterrestrials, and superheroes, okay? Because extraterrestrials, they can be the gods of old, they can be the Archons.15 And again, you'll find this to be a discussion where there are similarities between the Archons and this ET stuff, and superheroes, of course, who are part human but part non-human; they're evolving. They're mutants, they're progressing, or their divine, and they just look human. So this is how the ideas are committed through science fiction and comic books and all this stuff. Now, the result is really two, you get either a quasi-Gnosticism where Archons are, you know, these extraterrestrials using the extraterrestrial idea. And that's where Ancient Aliens are. That whole idea and the whole series, that aliens put us here, and that's what Prometheus is, again, the film was all about. Supposedly a prequel to Alien. Now, if you've, if you watch the movie, you wouldn't get Jesus in the movie. But if you look up the original script, online, by Ridley Scott, the reason why The Engineers and Prometheus wanted to destroy their creation, that would be us, is because they visited us 2000 years ago, and we put them on a cross.16 That's right in the script. Now, there's a detailed review that I didn't write, but somebody else wrote on, and the guy might be a Gnostic I'm not sure what he is. But he goes through Prometheus really closely. And it's really remarkable at how many biblical elements and are mixed with classical mythology, the ‘Prometheon’ material, in that original script, if you want that, email me and I'll send you the link, okay, because we don't have time to go through it here.17 Now, what I want to focus on here, this is Prometheus, just a couple of things. One of the writers of Prometheus was a guy named Damon Lindelof. Here are some of his recent credits, Cowboys and Aliens, Prometheus, the new Star Trek film coming out. He was a co-writer. And something that might appear in 2013 or 14 called 1950 to 1952 is something you want to keep your eye on because this is from the blog.18 The what's it called? It's about UFOs and film, cinematic flying saucers, or something like that. And I can send you the link too. ‘Disclosure through Disney in 2013. Disney's aborted 1950s UFO acclamation movie is it headed for the big screen?’ So this entry is about the fact that this writer Lindelof was allowed into Disney's archives specifically into something that no one else has gotten to see because, well, unless they're still alive, that were alive in the 1950s, and that is this; In 1979, a guy named Ward Kimball, who was an Oscar-winning Disney animator was at a MUFON symposium MUFON Mutual UFO Network, and he told the story that NASA or the Air Force excuse me approached Disney in the 1950s, to request cooperation in a documentary about UFOs that would help acclimate the public to an extraterrestrial reality. According to Kimble, in exchange for that cooperation, the Air Force offered to furnish the production with genuine UFO footage. Walt Disney agreed and it actually started on the project, but it was tabled when the Air Force reneged on the film. It has literally sat in a file drawer since being handed to Lindelof. And so the supposition is that 1952, okay, the year that it was canned, is what the film is about. It's about this project. Now you can go on YouTube. Disney did create a different UFO film that promoted the idea that UFOs and aliens were real. They never actually released it for public consumption. It got aired. I'm not sure where it aired, but it only aired once and it never actually made it like you know, to consumer TV, but somebody has posted it on YouTube in three parts, you can find it. Again, I can give you the links if you email me. Last point. There's a whole scholarly book. This is University of Chicago Press. This is a dense read. It's a scholarly book called Mutants and Mystics. Science Fiction, Superhero Comics and the Paranormal. And guess who wrote it? Our friend Jeffrey Kripal. He has an entire chapter, if you're into UFOs, this will be shocking to you. His entire last chapter is on Whitley Strieber and communion. The whole purpose of the book is to show how comic books and specifically the alien theme has been a useful and wonderful and delightful vehicle for transmitting the truths of Gnosticism. I mean, they're not secretive about this. It's just here it is, you know. So again, I highly recommend that you read this again, ‘he argues that much of the recent popular culture of the United States comes from what used to be called the paranormal’ he has a third book called Authors of the Impossible. Where he as an academic says academician scholars ought to own up to the fact that paranormal stuff is real. And he's arguing in favor of paranormal stuff within the academy. He obviously has tenure, you know, because we're not at the point yet. Where like, we'd have whole departments of this, you know, in every university, but he is a committed academic and a committed Gnostic. And he's, he's, he is extraordinarily well read in comic books, pop culture, media, movies. If for no other reason than a reference book, gotta have that. I mean it's just really good stuff.
'Kripal identifies a Super-Story - a modern living mythology.’ And, you know, ‘beliefs concerning alien contact and humankind's place in the cosmic scheme of things’ again, showing how science fiction, you know, and fantasy owes less to science than it does to earlier occult systems.
He even goes into Madame Blavatsky. None of this is new. Because the whole alien thing is just rehashed Gnosticism/Occultism/Theosophy/whatever fill in the blank, for a technological society. That's all it is. And it's, you know, this is what's going to reach the masses. If you go up to the Internet Movie Database, and put in the keywords, ‘alien’, and ‘2012’, you know, for the last year, there are almost 4000 episodes, either episodes of TV shows or movies, just for last year. That doesn't count YouTube. Okay, that's the stuff that the IMDB tracks that's released that you have to pay for. That is not YouTube. You know, and don't do too much of that, or you'll start to get like me, it's just depressing on one level, how, how exhaustive an effort this is.19 And it's going to change the way a lot of the church does church, and does Christianity because you got two choices. You either, you either stand in opposition to the world. Or you join, you adapt. And what I'm telling you, this whole presentation comes down to this; the adaptation is going to be led by people who know what they're doing and will control the vocabulary and teach others. They will teach others to mime the vocabulary and morph the theology.20 And it's only going to take a generation before that becomes the articulation of what Christianity is. And if and why can't you get on board? Why are you so you know, antiquarian? We're just odd. Okay. So again, all of these, these last two sessions have really been things that have been floating around in my head because of the sequel to The Facade. So again, I'm sure you're getting tired of hearing this. But if you want to, if you haven't read The Facade, you ought to. If you have, go up to the website, and join the mailing list, so that you can stay up to date with alerts about the sequel. And of course, the website, you can contact me and follow me on Twitter there, too. So that is the end, we can wrap up. And if you want to do questions, we can try to do that. Or if you got something to go to feel free.”
Maybe the Lombardos were more popular in 2013, but in 2023, while seemingly still around, do not make the list. https://lindsayangelo.com/top-futurists-list.
It's interesting that in the effort of these people to be "free from dogma" they end up imposing their own dogma and create a world where not only is there less freedom but where there is a crushing restriction of freedom. In order to achieve what they are shooting for, they create a dystopia. They bring about the opposite of what they claim. This is why we can call it "satanic" or "demonic", because, it is marketed as truth and goodness, when in reality it is the opposite. Unfortunately, the people involved, the "disciples" of these movements, are the ones to bring it about and are the first ones to realize what they have done, but by then it will have been too late. Look into the Bolshevik Revolution for a similar story from the 20th century. The Intelligentsia are the major players who "woke up too late" to do anything about what they started. It's the progressives and globalists in our day.
How would one go about deploying nanotechnology to the entire human race? What could one do that would compel every person to accept it? Or maybe, it is deployed by releasing it into the environment? Are there any events in recent history that have been at a global scale that could have been used to deploy such nanotechnology? Would this be a one-time event or an ongoing series of deployments, progressively, over the course of years? I’m asking rhetorically here because unless you’ve been living under a rock you know the answer.
CRISPR was not a thing in 2013, but it is in 2023.
If the goal is immortality, how can the earth's resources sustain a growing population of humans that never die? Therefore, is population reduction on the minds of social engineers? Could nanobots play a part in population reduction? In control of the population? In the maintenance of a certain number of individuals who are allowed to live forever? What kind of circumstances would have people clamoring to receive such modifications? Could such circumstances be designed with the end goal in mind? Would God allow such a thing?
"You will own nothing and you will be happy", mentioned by the World Economic Forum in its 2016 video on the top predictions for the year 2030, proves the point. They had to remove the English version of the video, evidently because of backlash. But, it's still available in Spanish (I think this is Spanish), here.
How many people would willingly discard their bodies, i.e. euthanize themselves, believing that they can live forever in a machine, when in reality they are just killing themselves and the AI that lives on is only a lifeless imitation? I can see people doing this in the name of environmentalism.
Note that if you’re reading this, Heiser’s sarcasm may not come across. It’s best to watch the video. But, of course, he is not agreeing with these lines of thought but rather he is trying to describe how Christianity will change, and what he is saying is that it isn’t going to be a biblical change. In other words, it will be a heretical change. He is cautioning the Church to be ready to defend biblical Christianity.
It is humanity trying to do it without God; to be God. This is the basic sin of all time. It’s the sin of Genesis 3. It’s the sin of Genesis 11. God will judge it, he will not bless it. They will not succeed. The question is, how long will God let it go? How far will he let it go? Since God is merciful and desires all people to come to repentance, I can imagine it will get pretty far before he pulls the plug. God will expect his faithful to suffer for the benefit of people who will become believers; for the benefit of the Kingdom.
I linked the term Principalities and Powers to Heiser’s book on demons because in it is the best theological explanation of them. A pre-requisite to his demons book would be Unseen Realm.
Not necessarily. The narrative does not at first disclose this idea, but it could be that this is where it does. In other words, Eve may not be adding to God’s words, but merely giving a detail that we did not previously have. However, this would be an argument from the absence of data, and so it is to be considered speculative. In fact, all we can say for sure is that God told them not to eat of it, and Eve also thought that they were not to touch it. Oftentimes, the Jews put “guardrails” around the Law in order to prevent someone from even getting close to breaking it. That’s what this might be.
I would especially caution people involved in the right-wing patriotic movements around a concept called Christ Consciousness, which is plaguing social media groups. This is especially present in Q or QAnon-based groups and it is essentially Gnosticism. It’s not from God, it’s not Christian and it’s not going to lead to anything good. It’s just as evil as anything going on over on the left that conservatives are so rightly disgusted by. Just because something claims the name of God or Christ does not make it so. We need to pay attention to the theology. It’s one reason that I give zero credibility to anything related to Q or QAnon (and I consider myself a Christian conservative).
Modern people never want to give up anything. We want instant gratification and we don’t like to suffer. We can’t be told that we are responsible for anything evil or bad, and if we are, we expect to be able to use the excuse that we have trauma. I’m not denying that people have trauma and oftentimes need help to heal from it. But, that doesn’t erase the reality of sin. Human beings are inherently sinful. We sin. It’s what we do. This Gnosticism is perfect for modern people because it does not require them to give up anything, or agree with God’s absolute Law on matters of reality. It affirms their reality. Their “truth.”
We have long ago lost the Academy and the institutions. COVID laid that bare completely. The demonic Kinseyan gender theories made sure of that. We saw medical and science journals falsified to support the ongoing COVID narrative, race war narrative, and gender narrative. We saw good science censored. And so, while I admire Heiser for trying to stick to peer-reviewed material, I also know that we must take that with a grain of salt. After all, who are the “peers” reviewing it and do they really think they can remain objective when they adopt such a biased anti-Christian worldview? Peer review is a good place to start, but it must be consumed with a critical eye.
“Gods of Old” often brings to mind the works of H.P. Lovecraft, who was one of the first to popularise these Theosophic/Gnostic ideas. A lot of modern horror and sci-fi movies and books have their inspiration rooted in Lovecraft.
From the original Prometheus script: “But I guess we know why they never came back to us. Something killed them off - back around the time of Christ. Maybe He was one of them! A great teacher, sent from Heaven? Jesus. The last Engineer.”
I’m not sure if this link is obtainable any longer. If I have time I will try to track it down.
It’s daunting. It should drive every Christian to their knees in prayer. I mean, we are up against insurmountable odds. We will be swept away in the current quickly and easily if not for God. This is why we must cling to Christ Jesus. He is the only way out of this. We can’t fix this really. We can try. We can have some effect on some levels, and doing so is part of imaging God in this world, doing good and all that. But we shouldn’t expect victory. Not a total victory. Not until Christ returns.
False teachers know what they are doing. They know they are false teachers. That’s why they are called “wolves in sheep’s clothing".”