On the Distinction between New Age and Christianity

The Creature/Creator Distinction
The problem with what has come to be known as New Age Spirituality converging with Christianity is exclusively in the realm of how we differentiate the created from the creator, on this I think in general the Western Church in following Augustine’s synthesis of Theology with Platonism has made this Creature/Creator distinction harder than what Biblically is mandated, I’d more easily fall on the side of the Eastern Fathers in what has been recently named Palamite Panentheism after Gregory Palamas (1296-1359) that the divine energies as distinct (but dependent) upon the essence of the Triune God uphold and sustain creation, so it can be said that without God creation would cease to exist. (Acts 17:28, etc) While the New Age system is closer to my position than most other Western conceptions of Creature/Creator distinction, I would say that in that system the divine depends on creation to exist as divine, which of course leads to the corollary that creation is divine hence a dismantling of the Creature/Creator distinction.

Without the Creature/Creator distinction Christianity cannot make such claims as it does to spur on its adherents such as “Be Holy as your Father in Heaven is Holy,” or “I will be their God and they will be my people.” indeed the distinction comes into full force through the doctrine of the Incarnation, Death, Resurrection and Glorification of the Second Person of the Trinity. Nothing says more powerfully that God is not Creation than His very entering into Creation such that we might be His own.

On the Indwelling God
This action by God towards us is then the basis on which we must understand the indwelling God, indeed it is Christ, who died who said that if he were not Glorified then God would not dwell in us. (John 16) This is not some arbitrary feeling, or searching that we might have power over creation, or have our own way, we are dwelt in by God to be conformed to God. It is not an empty call without empowerment, but one which when God alights on our hearts that which was stone, which made the creature into god, becomes enfleshed ready to be conformed to the Self-giving God, the God who comes to us, but once he is with us, we talk of him indwelling. It is not the natural state of fallen man that they are indwelt by God, but of the Child of God it is. God comes to us. Confronts us. And makes us His own. In this process of making us His own He makes His dwelling in us.

The proper direction of the Holy Spirit is always to the conformation of those in whom he dwells to Christ, to the mind and spirit of Christ, to humility and self-denial. In contrast the New Age view of the doctrine of the god within is that we must conform this world to our desires, to our wants and needs.

We need proper Biblical and Pentecostal understanding of the Spirit’s work in our lives, not an Enlightenment denial of His existence, spurred on by the Augustine Synthesis of Platonism and Christianity in it’s Creature/Creator dualistic understanding. The Spirit dwells in us to make us alive, the living Church, the vanguard of the Kingdom of God, for the Holiness and Righteousness of God displayed in the Son of God through the death of God on the Cross of God. We dare not shrink back from what is our right having been made Children of God, but we dismiss and dismantle those things which assault the very notion of the Incarnate God by destroying the distinction between God and His Creation.