A New Earth – Part 1

Oprah is pitching a new book called “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. Her advocacy is causing millions of viewers to buy into Tolle’s philosophy. He presents his ideas as a necessary spiritual transformation that will take place this century, whether we like it or not. He also uses the Bible and teachings of Jesus to validate his points.

 

But Tolle’s book is not Christianity and in many ways, it opposes Christ’s teaching, diminishes His divinity, and replaces God with our spiritual selves. Our church is studying the book on Monday nights and Sunday mornings. This blog will reflect the teaching that Tolle presents and how it differs from actual Christian beliefs. I hope that readers of the blog will use these page by page reflections as a means to teach their own people about this new movement.

 

Chapter One

Page 1:                        Tolle begins with his opinion about what happened on earth 114 million years ago. Obviously because he wasn’t there, this is just his fanciful opinion. This sets the tone for the whole book: he is making up his own reality about the world.

 

Tolle suggests that there was no perceiving consciousness to witness the flowering of the world: in other words, God was not there and doesn’t seem to exist for Tolle.

 

Page 2:                        Tolle writes that flowers were the first things that human beings were drawn and fascinated to, outside of themselves – but where did that facility to be fascinated originate? From the flowers? From human beings? Or endowed by the Creator in our DNA?

 

He also states that Jesus told us to contemplate the flowers and learn from them how to live. When Jesus taught His “Consider the Lilies” lesson, He was using it to express our dependency on the providence and mercy of God. The parable is not about us – it’s about God.

 

(Note: Tolle will often use Christ’s teachings to express his own opinions, and not those of Jesus Himself.)

 

Flowers lead us to an appreciation of our own inner beauty. This will be a common theme throughout the book. This is spiritual narcissism – the love of ourselves as the source of our spirituality. This seriously opposes our love, wonder, and fascination with God.

 

Page 3:                        Flowers are messengers from another realm…and fragrance comes from the realm of the spirit. This sounds like New Age stuff.

 

He widens the conventional accepted meaning of ‘enlightenment’ to incorporate his own ideas…and yet his teaching is unconventional.

 

Tolle: enlightenment brings about discontinuity with the old, helping us leap beyond the past into experiencing a new evolved level of Being and Self Awareness .

 

Christian teaching ( Calvin) would suggest that enlighten is the process by which we are over-awed with the wonder of God and attracted to Him. Tolle is substituting our own self-awareness in place of becoming truly aware of God.

 

Page 4:                        Tolle talks about One Life, One Consciousness. This is not original. This is more Jungian (Carl Jung) than Tollian.

 

Tolle emphasizes “Presence” – Hebrews would call this shekinah – the glory of God, the sacredness of His presence. Tolle believes that we recognize this Presence within us and love it as ourselves. Once again, God is being displaced in favor of narcissism.

 

Page 5:            Mainly deals with enlightenment in a Buddhist way of thinking.

 

Tolle states that the Holy Spirit is preparing the ground for a planetary shift of consciousness. This is very serious because this is blasphemy. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ to the world, not to bring about an evolutionary consciousness.

 

Page 6:            Tolle references Jesus as a great teacher and messenger. He will very rarely use the term Christ and never refer to Jesus as the Son of God.

 

Tolle also infers that Christ’s ministry was a failure because of the opposition to Him. His teachings did not transform many lives…and yet there are about 2 billion followers of Christ in today’s world.

 

Tolle describes his book as a ‘transformational device’ => he is trying to canonize his own text.

 

Reading the book will transform you….this is a frequent mantra in the book. Subliminal message and auto suggestion…also known as brainwashing.

 

Page 7:            This book is about you. Tolle stroking the ego of his readers to gain their patronage and appreciation. Narcissism. In contrast, the Bible is not about you…it’s about God.

 

Tolle states that the book can only awaken those who are ready….this is the old Emperor’s New Clothes argument.

 

Begins to write about ego – becoming Freudian and will start to apply pseudo-psychology here.

 

Tolle states that the ego tricks the mind into identifying with it with no flexibility…this is going to morph into an argument against absolutes and Truth.

 

Page 8:            Author suggests that when we triumph over ego, we become the light of consciousness – in other words, we are the light that we are looking for.

 

In contrast, Jesus would say that we are the Light of the world and that he is the Light we are looking for.

 

Tolle begins to reference religions as ancient…by implication, he is suggesting that they are outdated, instead of timelessly relevant.

 

He also begins to reference his idea that sin is a madness, a dysfunction of who we truly are.

 

Page 9:            Equates sin with dysfunction => it is not a selfish choice.

 

He also interprets the NT Greek word “sin” as something that means missing the point of our human existence. This shows his shallowness of New Testament knowledge. The word for sin actually means to miss the mark – standard or expectation – that God has set for us. It’s not about our human existence; it’s about disappointing God.

 

Page 10:          SIN = MADNESS…which will mean that we are not personally accountable for our sinful actions. This is New Age Narcissism.

 

Tolle begins the old argument that religion breeds violence and conflicts.

 

Page 11:          Talks about the horrors of Stalin, Hitler and Pol Phot – Agreed. He also emphasizes the environmental wreckage of the planet that is brought about by our greed.

 

Page 12:          Fear, greed, and the desire for power are the psychological forces that cause most conflicts. Tolle believes that they cause a misconception and distortion of our true human perception.

 

Dysfunction entirely replaces sin. Tolle suggests that we cannot get rid of this dysfunction without a shift in our consciousness. This means that there is no room for Christ as our Savior.

 

Page 13:          We cannot be good by trying to be good; we can only do this by finding the good within ourselves.

 

This opposes Christ’s teaching: only God is good. For Tolle, there is no source of good outside of us…therefore Man replaces God.

 

Tolle: Good News – radical transformation of human consciousness. He is deliberately using the Gospel term to proclaim his own philosophy. This is in direct contrast to Christian teaching and promotes a false gospel.

 

Tolle suggests that Jesus called enlightenment ‘salvation.’ Tolle: salvation is truly understanding yourself….but for Christ salvation is the realization of needing to be rescued from God’s wrath and the process through Christ’s sacrifice in which it is done.

 

Page 14:          Self-recognition is the greatest human achievement — narcissism all over again.

 

Recognizing our insanity/dysfunction is the beginning of healing and transcendence….Jesus is kicked into the gutter and the Cross is absolutely useless.

 

Page 15:          Tolle writes about the original teachings of religious leaders being changed through the generations and were not part of the original ministry. He is subtly attacking the veracity of the Gospels. He furthers expresses his own opinion that the unpopularity of the teachers’ teaching got them killed, which made others worship them as gods.

 

This is an attack on Christ’s ministry of atonement through sacrifice and His divinity as the Son of God.

 

Tolle also states that religions are more divisive than unifying – that’s an old argument which doesn’t hold water. Religions unify millions upon millions of people.

 

Tolle then expresses his rejection of some being right and others wrong. This is the modern non-absolutionists’ argument…there are no rights or wrongs…Goes against Gospel teaching.

 

Tolle suggests that Man made God in his image. Humanism. This is a direct attack on our Creator. He suggests that we have reduced the infinite and un-nameable to a mental idol. Christians, however, worship God as Christ’s Father.

 

Page 16:          Tolle writes that the real message is the truth that lies within us…narcissism again. As opposed to Christ being The Truth.

 

Tolle references Gnosticism as a rediscovery of the real truth and intensification of the light. Obviously, he has not read the texts and is caught up in a false Da Vinci Code moment.

 

Gnosticism is emphasized as a true realization and inner transformation of self…and yet they rejected the physical self and believed that the body is bad.

 

Page 17:          Tolle belabors the point that only a small minority had access to these truths because the Church oppressed and suppressed them. Obviously he hasn’t read the history of Gnosticism and its cultic practices.

 

Tolle extols the differences between spirituality and religion. This is what Christ also taught, BUT Jesus did not abandon His religion – He still went to synagogue to teach and to worship on the Sabbath.

 

Tolle suggests that our religious beliefs systems separate us from the  spiritual dimensions within ourselves…Tolle is subtly enticing people away from God…our spiritual navels are more important that our relationship with God.

 

Page 18:          Tolle writes about new spirituality movements arising out of the existing religious structures…for example, the New Emergent Church in Christianity.

 

Tolle describes the Western Church as the most mind dominated faith on the planet…he is going to equate this with egotism. He does not however, suggest that the Church’s domination saved civilization and actually engendered enlightenment.

 

Begins to state the old New Age argument that ancient Eastern wisdom is beginning to influence the West, as if the Eastern ways were better….but look at the state of most countries with Eastern wisdom…they are practically the poorest and most oppressed on earth! Did Eastern wisdom spawn documents like the Magna Carta or Declaration of Independence? Liberty and life are more valued in Western Church countries than in Eastern wisdom nations.

 

Tolle suggests that we let go of dogma in order to discover the true spiritual depth within ourselves…in other words experience spiritual narcissism over the teachings of the Church.

 

Page 19:          Any opposition to Tolle new transformational conscious is called the ‘entrenchment of ego.’ He is stating that institutionalized religion is about idolizing the institution, but he has missed the point altogether. Religious institutions normally exist to serve God, not the believer.

 

Tolle writes that the collective ego will fight back…in other words, churches will oppose his philosophy.

 

They will be mentally closed to his ideas…no, we disagree with them. It comes down to this: whom do we trust? Tolle and Oprah, or Christ and God?

 

Tolle declares that religious institutions will disintegrate from within…but we’ve heard this all before – Voltaire & the French Revolution, as well as Soviet Communism (which lasted 100 years), but the Church still survives and thrives. Atheism & New Age keep declaring the death of God and the Church…but the fact is this: the Church is still growing worldwide.

 

Page 20:          Tolle argues that through the process of evolution, species & life forms will either become extinct or rise above their limitations…to survive requires an evolutionary leap.

 

He writes about evolutionary processes…but these are physical changes, not spiritual ones.

 

Page 21:          Tolle’s controversial statement about spiritually evolving or dying – This is fascism…submit or die…spiritual eugenics. He then claims that he is not promoting a new belief system…but that is precisely what he and Oprah are establishing.

 

Page 22:          Tolle urges his readers not to take their identity from the old ways of consciousness. Yet Christians belong to Christ. Our spiritual identity is established in Him. Tolle is subtly arguing that we ditch Christ for ourselves.

 

Tolle then questions the reality of evil. It’s a matter of dysfunction and madness for him. If evil is not real according to Tolle, then Christ is the Savior of nothing and His death is meaningless.

 

Page 23:          Tolle states that he took the title of his book from scriptural references…Isaiah 65:17 and Revelation 21:1. He argues that the new heaven and new earth represent his transformational consciousness as reflected in the physical realm. He believes that this is what Christ taught…that the new heaven and new earth are not places, but new transformational ideas.

 

However, both scriptures emphasize places…

 

Isaiah 65:17-18            “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.

 

Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

 

Tolle is falsely advocating his view as being the same as Christ’s.

 

He ends the chapter with a suggestion that human life and human consciousness are intrinsically one with the planet…but this is not what Genesis teaches.

 

Tolle suggestion is perhaps borrowed more from the movie “Excalibur,” when the secret of the Holy Grail is discovered…that Arthur and the Land are one.

 A New Earth – Part 2

 

Advertisements

About stushie

I'm originally from Scotland and have been a Presbyterian pastor for over twenty years. I live in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy art as a means of therapy, but also as a creative way to strengthen my spiritual connection to God.
This entry was posted in apologetics, Christ, Christ's Kingdom, Christian apologetics, Christian blogs, Christianity, Creator, defending the faith, faith, faith in the Church, Gospel, Gospel message, Gospel values, heresy, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of God, Religion, religious beliefs, religious issues, religious news, spirituality, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to A New Earth – Part 1

  1. Bruce says:

    Thank you for sharing your evaluation of “A New Earth”. Please continue your findings. If I could I would like to condense your findings and repost them on my site so that even more could benefit. I would acknowledge your authorship and place a link to your site at the top of the abridged article. Primarily the abridgment would focus on layout versus content. Any words changed, which I would think would be few, would be noted as such and in italics. If you would articulate your permission to do so it would be appreciated. I share your convictions and conclusions. My site http://bcooper.wordpress.com and http://prolepticlife.wordpress.com/ have been publishing discussions on this topic for some time now. I respectfully await your response.

    Bruce

  2. stushie says:

    Hi Bruce, thanks for taking time to read the blog posting. Please feel free to use the content on your own blog. I’ll be doing this for each chapter over the next ten weeks.

    God bless your ministry of Christian apologetics, too.

  3. Memama says:

    Thank you stushie! I found your information commented on , when I was reading through Bruce’s site, Proleptic Life. It will be wonderful to have a place to refer people to, when I get questioned about “whats the danger with Eckhart Tolles book?”I have been on youtube and have had people respond back to me, it is very difficult to discuss much, as they limit the amount of letters you can respond with. It is a good way to make every sentence count. No superflueous meandering. I also saw on one of the Eckhart blogs, a reference to and discussion about “Plejarens” having an influence on Eckharts writings. I did a “lite reading of “The New Earth”, and did not read his other books, only certain main ideas, and did not remember any references to these human?/alien? super-race of beings, but it was mentioned on the Oprah message boards , if you type the word, it will come up, and they were saying that these aliens must have influenced E.T., and all people on the message board did not act as if this was a unaccepted idea. I also saw a thread on Oprah, discusssing everyones re-lived lifes. They all seemed to have re-remebered their past lives, and discussed among themselves , their ideas when they were living previously. Do you have any thoughts about this? Have you heard this concept? I truly believe that some of the “indepth” teachings and ideas are being kept secret , so as not to alarm the new students as to any of these “concepts”. It sounds more and more like a hybrid/eastern/scientology religion. So thankful you are starting this posting, will be able to better understand some of the teachings, with fresh eyes.

  4. Pingback: A New Earth - Part 2 « Stushie’s Stuff

  5. Susan says:

    You are an answer to our prayers, please continue to do this as to many seem to be afraid to speak out against it. Many pastors won’t go there. My daughters pastor did have a service dedicated to the Tolle Oprah New Earth and their message. He likened it to eating some yummy yogurt, tastes good, smells good ect. except there are these brown specks floating in it. They are not good. If you really examined those brown specks it would not taste so good or smell so good after all. Keep up the good work. Thanks for standing up for Jesus. It takes nerve more nerve than some seem to have.
    Blessed are the feet of them & I don’t mean Tolle.

  6. memama says:

    I FINALLY FOUND IT! I was having trouble seeing you had a ‘search” area. I wish you had an easier “heaing” for this site at the top of right side of lists. So it would not be a challenge to “find” it. (maybe its all about the “finders” problems!) So herecomes my “Dear Stushie” letter (like Dear Abby) when I have someone tell me “you do not understand Eckhart Tolles explanations about “nothingness”, what would be a response that might help to end the circular logic. I have used the expalnation::: “Playing the 3 Cards” game of the cults: 1) The Higher LevelCard (i.e. Sorry, its just over your head, and you’re not smart enough to realize I am smarter than you because you’re on a lower level (less divine) and that includes all others even God, and Jesus Christ…2) “The Projection Card” ::: By criticising ME you are really criticising YOURSELF. Because any problem you see in ME, is REALLY just a “projection problem” inside of youself. 3) “The Skillfull Means Card” (this is the most potent card of all,sometimes know as ‘its all your own fault”) IT’S NOT wrong, ridiculous,evil,or false, – its crazy-wise “ZEN” stuff. And my “SKILLS” which I proclaim as the only truth, and more evolved , are why I’m here to help you see this!……Note: these “cards” are not designed to prompt any discussion or dialoge. What can you possible say to any of these expalnations?NOTHING! And that is exactley the point. They are designed to stop all discussions with others. In other words these cards are used to create a situation where critical thinking and sound philosophy, is to be explained away by “Playing the 3 Cards”…..(I am having trouble with my computer, and it has miss-spelled and not allowed my to enter back in for corrections, sorry for the typos)

  7. Robert says:

    Don’t you people understand? Do your research. Religion was created as a political tool to control the people.

    Christianity was formed in Rome by politicians who wanted to control their disorganized people and unite them.

    Watch the zeitgeist film for the real origin of religion: http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

    Furthermore, Jesus WASN’T A JEW: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/jesusjew.htm

    Eckhart speaks the truth.

  8. stushie says:

    Thanks for the history lesson…Christianity actually started in Jerusalem by a bunch of Christ’s disciples…

    As for Eckhart speaking the truth…there’s nothing I can add to your sad delusion

  9. Nicole says:

    hello, i’d like to know why you feel so strongly towards Eckhart Tolle’s teachings? and why if you’re so against it,you spend all this effort and time on something that you don’t even like? why don’t you do the things you enjoy? i think it would be a good idea to instead of judging and criticizing each of Eckharts sentences that you put out the good word of Jesus. Instead of having negativity on this page, fill it with positivity. don’t you think that would be nice?

  10. stushie says:

    It’s not about being nice, nicole; it’s about being truthful. Eckhart devilishly abuses Christ’s words from scripture to promote his own false teaching. Read the Gospels instead of Eckhart and you’ll find the real Jesus. Eckhart’s Christ never existed.

  11. minishorts says:

    My god wouldn’t require his followers to defend him. He would require us to be like Him. And very honesty, I don’t experience my Jesus as someone who would find it necessary to have a series of exegesis over why it is important not to believe in eckhart tolle.

    Christ who would lead the way, and the Holy Spirit that is among us, would uphold the truth. So why this fear?

  12. stushie says:

    It’s not fear, it’s faith. It’s called Christian apologetics and in every generation, Christians have to stand up against culutural gurus and false philosophers like Tolle who would lead the faithful away from the faith.

    As Paul warned Timothy in the first Christian century:
    1 Tim 6:20-21

    20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
    NIV

  13. Claire Khoo says:

    If its faith and not fear, then there wouldn’t have been the need in your to write not just one, but my goodness, six, page-by-page rebuttals against this obviously HUMAN, not God person who goes by the name of Eckhart Tolle. I would have experienced Christ living in you had you spent the equal amount of time and energy discussing bible verses, old testament texts, Christian greats, and people in the world who need Christ.

    And then I remember, faith, too,comes in different shapes and sizes.

    Meditate on Jeremiah 6:16. Stand at the crossroads and look: ask for ancient paths. Ask where the good way is, and walk in it. And you will find rest for your souls.

    Or better trust in Jesus, Luke 10:27
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

  14. stushie says:

    Be also mindful of Christ’s own words about people like Tolle:

    Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves
    NIV

  15. John says:

    Hi there,
    Your postings on Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth are fascinating to me. It’s an interesting privilege to observe a Christian mind trying to make sense of and critiquing Tolle’s message. Thank you for posting your thoughts.

    If you don’t mind reading, I’d like to offer a few things on what I believe Eckhart is trying to say. As you’ve derived, his teaching is definitely not the conventional Christianity of our American culture. He never suggests that Jesus died for our sins and that he was the one true Son of God. As a Christian, I can understand if your ears shut after hearing that. However, the core message of these teachings is very far from narcissism and Godlessness and is inseperable from the “root” teachings of Jesus which emphatically pronounce loving your brother as the human ideal. To be willing to see this requires temporarily shedding your beliefs and really looking with an open heart. Again, as a Christian I know it’s hard to do that with these teachings, but I promise you the core of this message will not make you less of a Christian.

    I would like to invite you to take a closer look at what you perceive to be narcissism in these teachings. The experiential realization of the divine spark of truth within yourself to me is not an act of narcissism, but is actually synonymous with an absolute selflessness. It is you (all of us) surrendering to the undying and ever-present love of Christ as it moves through you into the world.

  16. stushie says:

    Thanks for your post. However, you cannot temporarily shed your beliefs, otherwise those are no beliefs at all. They are just shifting sands.

    That’s the trouble with heresy; it makes you think you can give up on your beliefs and introduce something different without affecting your faith.

    Be very careful.

  17. Jesse says:

    “They will be mentally closed to his ideas…no, we disagree with them. It comes down to this: whom do we trust? Tolle and Oprah, or Christ and God?”

    by christ and god, you mean what other people wrote down about christ and god a few to several hundred years after his death, which where complied into the bible.

    and anyone who is not enlightened, who speaks about what an enlightened person has conveyed to them, will not be speaking from a place of understanding, they will be speaking from memory, which we all know is not always 100% accurate. Now obviously there where prophets too who claimed god spoke directly to them. I’m not denying this, all i’m saying is that maybe it’s possible that tolle and the people who wrote the bible are talking about the same thing. It is just that the people who wrote the bible were not enlightened like christ and therefore could not convey his message with absolute understanding and clarity. Especially if they are still in the grip of the ego, of course they will personalize god. you even said it yourself

    “Tolle suggests that Man made God in his image. Humanism. This is a direct attack on our Creator. He suggests that we have reduced the infinite and un-nameable to a mental idol. Christians, however, worship God as Christ’s Father.”

    • stushie says:

      Thanks Jesse for your comments. The only thing that I would add is this: you’re dealing with sacred memory which is far different from nostalgic memory. Alex Haley in Roots came across sacred memory when one of the tribal leaders vocally expressed a litany of names, places and events that went back generations. The people were careful to keep their culture and traditions intact by keeping those memories sacred. Native Americans have also done the same for many generations.

      And anyway, if you cannot accept the sacred memory of people who were enlightened by Christ, even if it was passed on for 400 years, how can you accept the teachings of a man in the 21st century speaking about Christ 2000 years later? You’re arguing against yourself.

  18. Stella says:

    Wow, you put a lot of time into bashing something you misunderstood… comparing it to another text you likely misunderstand as well. No one is the ultimate authority on what the Bible means… so why not let God do the judging and just live your life? You could have done something loving and kind with this time and instead wrote your own book on this topic.

    This just makes me like both books more, sorry.
    You know not what you do…

    • stushie says:

      Well I guess Stella, you’ve just rejected Christ. You can’t accept both books. In your mind you think you can, but that’s what heresy does. Eckhardt is a false teacher and Christ is the only way to salvation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s