~ Elementary Theosophy ~
By: L. W. Rogers
CHAPTER 1: Theosophy
Rogers doesn’t say much about the nature of theosophy in this chapter, rather, he wants to show that, while it resembles certain Eastern religions and philosophies, it is not informed by them. He paints theosophy to be some sort of amalgamation between the wisdom of the ancients (including the early Gnostic Christians), and modern science, which, at the time of his writing (in 1929) was just discovering that matter is made up of intangible energy after all.
CHAPTER 2: The Immanence of God
In this chapter, Rogers tries to set out an overall theosophical metaphysical scheme. He begins by contrasting theosophy with the materialists in an effort to prove that theosophy is just as scientific (if not more so) than materialism.
Theosophists “start” with an eternal, infinite, wise, and powerful God, where as the materialists start out with an eternally existent universe. Since we can’t know either way, reasons Rogers, why is it more scientific to go the materialist route here and not the theistic route?
He moves on to explain the theosophist system by using an analogy. God, to the theosophist, is like the sun, with all His rays emanating outward; these rays eventually “evolve” into consciousness of their own. In this way, each human is a direct part of God. Just like acorns are in the process of becoming trees, so a human is in the process of becoming a god. “God” to the theosophist, is basically the universe, and we’re all little parts of him.
Rogers alludes to (without directly citing) a few Bible verses that seem, upon naive evaluation, to support his thesis. He also refers to Western Christianity in very negative terms. We ignorant Christians rejected the poor gnostics in favor of the ignorant separation of God from His creation (ie: the creator / creature distinction), which ushered in the evil “dark ages”.
John Frame covers false ideas of immanence in much of his material (see: doctrine of the knowledge of God). There are classic critiques the Christian might level against this sort of “monistic” metaphysical scheme.