Category: Books

Witchcraft Goes Mainstream, by Brooks Alexander

Neopaganism has become one of the fastest-growing religious movements today. Christians are not immune from its influence. Witchcraft and occultism are knocking on the doors of American homes, gaining acceptance and prominence in media and advertising, and enticing people of all ages to dabble in deceptive and dangerous practices. In his book Witchcraft Goes Mainstream Brooks Alexander offers lucid and enlightening descriptions of witchcraft today and our culture's acceptance of it. He concludes by helping Christians formulate a reasonable response.

Chapter 4: Abusive Churches Misuse Spiritual Authority

Unhealthy, authoritarian leadership encourages people to place their pastors on pedestals. This is illustrated by the comments of one ex-member of a church located in a major mid-western city. "Little by little this man became the standard by which we all sought to live. The wisdom that poured forth from his lips left us in awe."An ex-member of an east-coast fringe group commented that her tiny church was believed to be the full expression of God and had the mind …

Faith Misguided: Exposing the Dangers of Mysticism

The publishers of Apologetics Index have received permission from Moody Publishers to post online a chapter from the book, Faith Misguided: Exposing the Dangers of Mysticism, by Arthur L. Johnson. The book, first published in 1988, is currently out of print. However, its content continues to be of interest to Christians who wish to understand not just today's religious and spiritual trends outside of the Church -- but also certain teachings and practices that have been introduced in the church …

Faith Misguided: Introduction

An Age of Religious Confusion If we were seeking an appropriate label to describe the religious scene in the last three decades of the twentieth century, we would do well to consider it “the age of confusion.” There are many different religions in the Western world, each seeking adherents. They range from traditional Christian groups to oriental religions, from spiritist and occult movements to more traditional Western cults. Within each of these there is a confusion of voices, each claiming …

The Contemporary Relevance of ‘Witchcraft Goes Mainstream’

Neo-paganism is a complex phenomenon – counterculture, movement, religion and lifestyle are all aspects of what Neo-paganism represents to its adherants. It is also a dynamic phenomenon – Gerald Gardner’s “wicca” began to change and evolve, almost as soon as the concept entered his mind; it continued to do so throughout his career, and Neo-paganism as a whole maintains that pattern of mutating growth today. Witchcraft Goes Mainstream was published in 2004. Today, Neo-paganism has moved beyond the state and …

Chapter 7: From Witchcraft to Wicca: 1700 — 2000

The purpose of interfaith work from the Witches' point of view was to establish Witchcraft as a religion among religions, thus increasing the acceptance and acceptability of Witchcraft in society, and thereby serving the ultimate purpose of increasing the physical safety and enlarging the social comfort-zone of Witches in general. Judged by those standards, the Witches' "interfaith interface" has been remarkably successful. Today the Witchcraft movement has already achieved legal status as one religion among many, and is on the …

Chapter 6: Witchcraft for Real — Was There or Wasn’t There?

The history of European witchcraft can also be seen in terms of the coming together and breaking up of its individual components. Prior to the middle ages, witchcraft did not exist as such, because it was still in pieces. Its components had not yet abandoned their separate histories and been fully joined. After the Renaissance, the process reversed itself , and witchcraft ceased to exist as such because it went to pieces. This is chapter 6 of Witchcraft Goes Mainstream …

Chapter 5: Three Myths about Modern Witchcraft

Despite the public’s exposure to Neopagan themes and concepts through the media (or perhaps because of it), there remains widespread confusion about what modern Witchcraft is and where it comes from. In particular there is confusion about how the Witchcraft of today relates to the witchcraft of the Middle Ages. This is Chapter 5 of Witchcraft Goes Mainstream, by Brooks Alexander.

Chapter 4: Witchcraft in Popular Entertainment: The Craft, Buffy and Beyond

The Craft revolutionized the media's approach to teenagers, reshaped the media's imagery of good and evil, and redefined the public's idea of modern Witchcraft. The movie firmly established modern Witchcraft's new image in the public mind: dangerous, but exciting -- and above all, real. Buffy is second only to The Craft as a milestone in the ongoing spiritual devolution of American culture. This is Chapter 4 of Witchcraft Goes Mainstream, by Brooks Alexander.

Chapter 3: Teens and the Media: Witchcraft in Popular Entertainment

Teen-oriented media is a kind of youth-culture echo-chamber -- an ideal environment for commercial manipulation. Without any standards other than profits and ratings, the media is "both responding to interest in Witchcraft and creating it, in a rapid feedback loop." The mid-1990s explosion of Witchcraft in the media can be seen as part of that process, and as a sign of the new (teen) center of gravity in media marketing and entertainment. This is Chapter 3 of Witchcraft Goes Mainstream, …