ETA 27 January 2018 – The book I reviewed on 17 January has been changed, the old edition removed (along with the negative reviews) and a new edition has been uploaded. See comments further down…
I first learned of the book ‘From New Age to Christianity‘ thanks to a couple of my friends belonging to the group with the same name on Facebook. Because I had already heard that this group is in no way inclusive of all Christian Paths from a Catholic friend, I was curious to see if Doreen Virtue would go all out in this book and ‘come out’ as a fundamentalist.
The only hot topic not covered in this Q&A format book – and one Doreen has steered clear of very deftly since her conversion – is homosexuality. This is probably the topic that most adversely would affect Doreen’s sales, so it is a shrewd business move to leave questions about sexuality out of this book, though they no doubt do belong in a Q&A book containing frequently asked questions since many in the New Age identify as gender queer.
The book is not Doreen’s alone, of course. It is co-authored by all the moderators of the From Christianity to New Age Recovery Facebook group and the other named authors are Melissa Dougherty, Taz Bright and Daniel Ward. Four authors in total – self-proclaimed experts on the only correct version of Christianity which, apparently, is fundamentalism. Who knew?!
If you are looking for fundamentalist banter and snark, this is definitely the book for you! You get to join in the ‘us vs them’ feeling where the authors ‘face palm’ (also removed in updated version) what they consider stupid questions about reincarnation and claim that people in the New Age who suspect that the Bible might have been tampered with for political reasons during the canonization process are ‘paranoid.’
It is actually Doreen Virtue who makes this claim about people in the New Age who doubt the inerrancy of the Bible. She says:
for supposed proponents of positivity, the New Age sure advocates a lot of paranoia! (This statement has been removed since the updated version was published – Quel surprise!)
I must admit that I was scratching my head at this statement about New Age paranoia. I have many friends in the New Age but none of them come across as particularly paranoid – especially not compared to Doreen herself who lately can’t seem to stop talking about seeing lower energy and ‘the Enemy’ everywhere. Apparently, anyone who dares use critical thinking about all that has happened since Doreen first took it upon herself to denounce the New Age back in April, is being ‘used by lower energy.’
The printed version of ‘From New Age to Christianity’ is 161 pages and it is sold ‘not for profit’ – The cost of the book covers the cost of publication only. The kindle version is free. You can download the free kindle version HERE. ***(Updated with link for new version 27 Jan 2018. As you can see HERE they deleted the version I reviewed)
My Catholic friend who used to belong to the From New Age to Christianity Recovery group on Facebook refers to it as ‘the cult.’ Why? Could it be because anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do gets shut down? Fans of the Virgin Mary are not welcome, as my friend soon found out. Neither is anyone with liberal leanings.
I have nothing at all against people making a case for Christ. However, the narrow-minded approach and arrogant tone of this book is hugely off-putting. At least one of the authors (Doreen Virtue) is a new Christian and still puts herself forward as a teacher and expert on the faith, when really she ought to take some time off social media to study. The book is full of factual errors, so I suspect Doreen isn’t the only person in this group who will have used the first answer they Googled that fits their world view.
Wouldn’t you love to ask Doreen Virtue why she feels a need to criticise the people who built her fame and fortune? It doesn’t seem very Christ-like, does it? But it does rhyme well with her hinting that her Hay House colleague Wayne Dyer probably wasn’t saved. The irony is that she still quotes Christians like Hildegard von Bingen (who would balk at the Chick tracts style evangelism proposed by Doreen) in the Angelologists course where she wants to come across as more inclusive. Though I do believe that we have reached tipping point of people who apply critical thinking and have found themselves booted off Doreen’s forums for simply questioning things like this. The joke isn’t on us any more.
What made all four of these authors feel as if they are in possession of the one, true version of Christianity? In the book they magnanimously say they do not intend to disrespect Catholics though in reality they do just that and actively alienate practising Catholics in their own Facebook group. Besides my friend, I know of two other Catholics who also testify to this divisive behaviour.
I gave this book one star in my Amazon review for all of the reasons above. I do hope that people who feel ready to leave the New Age find better alternative sources to answer any questions they may have about Christ and his teachings (I suggest checking out Rob Bell’s Love Wins). Or maybe that they realise that they don’t have to leave any of their loving practices to include Christ and be loved by God. Because, let’s face it, the people more likely to be ‘used by lower energy’ are not the people who seek to help others with their spiritual gifts but rather the people who fanatically claim own the Truth, kinda like the Pharisees back in the day…
***ETA 27 January 2018. Wow, I guess they read my review. They removed the version reviewed here and replaced it with a version where some of the factual errors I pointed out have been edited, and the fundie snark is completely gone. I guess it’s embarrassing when people who don’t believe in the ‘real Jesus’ have a better grip on Christian history. Glad the fundie snark is gone too!