Darrow Miller and Friends

Spiritual Vaccuum Leads to Embrace of Premodern Religions

As Europe and America have become post Christian, they have turned to Modernism – Secularism. As they have come to experience the spiritual void of Atheistic-Materialism, they become Post-Modern. And what is Post-Modernism?

Unfortunately, there has not been a return to Christ and the powerful Judeo-Christian worldview that was at the root of European and American freedom.  There is a growing faith in Neo-Animism or Neo-Paganism to fill the moral and spiritual vacuum created by the license of Atheism.

As the author of Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “There is nothing new under the sun!”

While there may be thousands of philosophies and hundreds of religions to answer life’s persistent questions, these can all be boiled down to just a few answers.  As an illustration, what do the beverages milk, wine, and soda have in common? They are all liquids. Yet with this profound commonality, they are very different. What makes milk different than wine and wine different than soda? While there are hundreds of different kinds of soda, it is the distinct non-alcoholic carbonation of the soda that separates it from the wine and the milk.  Each beverage has a multitude of manifestations, but all of these are distilled down to that which distinguishes one type of beverage from another.

It seems that almost daily new philosophies and religions are popping up around the world. The sheer numbers are overwhelming and there is no way to study them all individually. But if we can distill them down to their essence, we will find that there is nothing new under the sun.

Might I suggest that there are three main categories: Atheism, Animism, and Theism.

Atheism is the belief that there is no spiritual reality. There is no God. Nature is the only reality. This is the worldview of the Modern Western world. It has many names: Naturalism, Determinism, Atheism, Secularism, Materialism in the West, Confucianism in the East, etc.  But distill them all down and you end up with the “all is one” – monism –  of matter.

Animism begins from the opposite assumption of Atheism. The universe is ultimately spirit. The natural world either does not exist (Hinduism) or is unimportant. The spiritual realm is all that matters. Likewise, this has many manifestations: Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism from the East , the African Traditional religions and Voodoo from Africa, the ancient and neo-pagan deities of Europe, and the American Indian Traditional religions. Boil all the varieties down and you get the monism of spirit.

Theism, or more accurately monotheism, understands that there is one, transcendent God who created the universe. In this worldview, both the spiritual realm and the natural realm are real. This is the worldview of the three great monotheist faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

There is not much new under the sun. As Atheism dies, there are only two options for the people of Europe and North America to turn too: Animism and Theism. The fight for the soul of the West is raging between the Neo-Paganism of Animism and the Theistic Islam. Unfortunately, Christians in the West have largely privatized their faith and disengaged from culture, or they have dabbled in the ranks of Secularism or Neo-Paganism.

Because ideas have consequences, if Europe and North America turn increasingly to Neo-Paganism, then they only need to look at the corruption, poverty, and ill treatment of women in much of Africa and India to see what awaits us.

It is time for Christians to engage in the fight for the soul of the West. This will entail a conscious return to the person and work of Christ and to living within the framework of the powerful Biblical worldview.

-Darrow L. Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. shamelesslyatheist

    February 2, 2009 - 1:13 pm

    Wow. You are totally out of touch with reality. Atheism is not dying. Why is that, now? While we have a tremendous amount of evidence for the existence of the natural realm, I don’t see that there is any evidence for the existence of any spiritual realm whatsoever. None. Nada. The existence of Jesus is in doubt as well, since the gospels represent only bad evidence and at best fourth-hand descriptions written decades after he supposedly died.

    It’s that simple and more and more people are dissatisfied with the truly awful answers to questions that religions provide. To turn the western world to religion we need only look at Iran to realize the consequences.

  2. messenger4life

    February 2, 2009 - 2:08 pm

    Prepare for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Put on the full armor of God
    Message: To show faith you follow the instructions which are ordinances
    1. Offer the sacrifice of repented IHS which is repent= Name your sins to God Almighty privately in prayer in the Name of His Son, Jesus then IHS.
    IHS= Immerse(baptism in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost)
    Sanctification(free from sin)
    2. While in prayer ask God for understanding so you can Sow seed which is:
    Sow= to read
    Seed= the Word of God Almighty
    3. Keep the Commandments and Statues they are the way of living for the righteous. Remember that Ordinances of God Almighty come and they must be done in order to prove that you have true faith. Always know that God says nothing unrighteous. He never mislead His people. If instructions you receive are contrary to His way of living remember never to do them because they are not His.
    A word of knowledge: The Name of God Almighty is Yahweh in Hebrew.
    wisdom for you:
    Sin brings death to your soul
    repentance brings life from the dead
    light means no sin(repented, IHS)
    darkness means sin(unrepented, IHS)

  3. Personal Failure

    February 5, 2009 - 11:24 am

    Hinduism is theism. Hindus believe in gods, therefore, they are theists. Theism and monotheism are two entirely different things, like it or not.

    About half of all Buddhists are atheists, because atheism is simply a lack of belief in any deities. 40% of Buddhists fall into this category. When referring to “atheists”, one does not generally include Buddhists, because they have a very defined belief structure that isn’t representative of Western atheism.

    And, as Sisyphus said, atheism is not dying, it is growing.

  4. darrow l. miller

    February 9, 2009 - 11:29 am

    It seems that this blog struck a chord with some people who are Atheists in their belief system – faith. A number have called me on my assertion that Atheism is dying and they have stated that it is growing. Let me respond with a few points:

    1) When I say that Atheism is dying, I mean that the systems that were founded upon the Atheistic (and materialistic) set of assumptions – Communism, Fascism and Hedonistic-Capitalism have died or are dying. These system have fallen (or are falling as we witness the current global economic crises) because the Atheistic mental infrastructure upon which they were founded has proven insufficient for human life, liberty, justice, happiness, and the deepest longings of the human spirit.

    2) While Atheism is in its death-throws, Atheists are not. Modern Atheists have become militant or dogmatic in their assumptions. In the past Atheists were happy to engage with reason with Agnostics, Christians, Hindus, or anyone from another school of thought. The militant Atheists of today no longer want a level playing field and discussion provided by the Judeo-Christian concept of the freedom OF religion. They are fighting for the freedom FROM religion. They want to move any discussion of religion from the public square. I think this is another sign of the desperation of the modern Atheist. The militant Atheists, unlike more honest Existentialists of an earlier generation, do not want to look at or be confronted by the logic of their assumptions. After all, if there is no God, then everything that has its basis in his existence is gone. Love, beauty, morals, truth, the significance of human life all disappear. The logical consequences of Atheism is suicide. Or if one does not have the courage for suicide then there is a step away from reason. If I escape from reason, I no longer need to live faced with the reality of my Atheistic assumptions.

    3) As some have indicated, many people in the West are fleeing from a Christianity that no longer seems relevant. Tragically this is true. Europe is certainly post-Christian and the USA has reached a tipping point. But people who are fleeing Christianity are not becoming Atheists. They are moving towards alternative forms of spirituality. They cannot stand the emptiness and spiritual vacuum of Atheism. But they do not want the costly faith of a God who is Lord of their life and a faith that has a solid meta-physic and a set of moral absolutes. Those who are leaving “traditional faith” are, with few exceptions, wanting a spirituality without content and morals. They want a feel-good faith that lets them live life on their own terms. Perhaps this is a new form of Atheism. I prefer to call it post-modern, neo-paganism.