Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Willis Harman Introduces Psychic "Science" to Evangelical Leaders

In his address on "A Utopian Perspective on the Future" to the 1979 Consultation with leading evangelicals, Willis Harman promoted a new “paradigm-shaking” science. He shifted the boundaries of rational objective science. His science included not only the humanistic "sciences" of psychology and sociology but also the psychic. In his address, Harman listed some “representative examples” of New Age research into the psychic:

“—Unconscious knowing is far more extensive than ordinarily assumed, and includes not only the sorts of knowledge of ‘involuntary’ bodily processes brought to light by biofeedback, but also unconscious knowledge of the various realms of psychic phenomena

“—Because of the preponderance of the unconscious in our mental processes, there are previously unsuspected powers associated with beliefs, images, suggestions, etc.

“—Mind is ultimately dominant over biological processes (rather than being some sort of epiphenomenon deriving from them)

“—Mind is extended in time and space (as evidenced by such phenomena as ‘remote viewing’ and precognition)

“—Minds are joined, in ways other than the usually assumed physical mechanisms of communication

“—Mind is ultimately predominant over the physical world, as evidenced by psychokinetic phenomena

“—Thus the arguments by which an earlier generation of scientists had declared the fundamental tenets of religion to be illusion, turn out themselves to be invalid

“—Hence we are led to revised views of the possibility of knowing meaning in life, of transcendent goals for the individual and society, of the significance of ‘losing one’s mind,’ of birth and death” (An Evangelical Agenda: 1884 and beyond, pp. 35-36)

This so-called "science" of the mind is a laundry list of New Age mysticism that stormed across America during the 1970s. ESP, Transcendental Meditation, mystical experiences, altered states of consciousness, drug-induced (LSD) hallucinations, psycho-technologies, guided imagery, visualization, and the proliferation of cults and gurus all taught new ways of "seeing" reality that delved deeply into the occult. New Age apologist Marilyn Ferguson described an "open conspiracy among scientists who have discovered... metaphysical realities... a fraternity of paradigm breakers who cross into each other's territory for new insights." (The Aquarian Conspiracy, 1980, p. 152)

The Truth:

1 Timothy 6:20 warns believers about the psuedo-sciences: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.”

The late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, who watched the onslaught of new philosophies against Christian orthodoxy -- particularly during the 1960s and '70s -- strongly warned about the consequences of embracing such pseudo-sciences:

“When psychology and social sciences were made a part of a closed cause-and-effect system, along with physics, astronomy and chemistry, it was not only God who died. Man died. And within this framework love died. There is no place for love in a totally closed cause-and-effect system. There is no place for the freedom of people in a totally closed cause-and-effect system. Man becomes a zero. People and all they do become only a part of the machinery.” (How Shall We Then Live? 1976, p. 147-148)

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3,4)

COMING UP: How the 1979 Consultation laid groundwork for the transformation of evangelicalism