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One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference Paperback – June 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


It is no difficult task to discern that great cultural changes, not friendly to Christianity, are afoot in the Western world. But what is driving these changes? What are their implications for the unique message of biblical Christianity, and how should Christians respond? Peter Jones' perceptive analysis of the new paganism contains invaluable information that Christians would be foolish to disregard, and a sobering prognosis, calling for serious reflection. I recommend this book both to non-Christians, who might be surprised where many cultural and political trends originated; and to Christians, who will be able to explain in more detail the differences between true Christianity and every other option. Those familiar with Tolkien's masterpiece will appreciate the analogy Jones employs: "A scene in The Lord of the Rings, shows the band of heroes hopelessly surrounded by orcs in the Mines of Moriah. Then, miraculously, the ugly crowd, in a squealing frenzy, dissolves into the shadows. Relief registers on the travelers until... a far more fearsome enemy emerges from the depths of the earth: a Balrog, demon from the beginning of time. Christians were relieved when secular humanism, long-time enemy of biblical supernaturalism, scurried off into the shadows. Little did we realize that a demon from the beginning of time threatens our Fellowship of the King. That demon comes in disguise, offering spiritual help from the one place where it cannot be found: within the human soul." What is this demon? It is a system which has served from the beginning of time as the foundation for all religions except one. It is the Oneist view of the world: that we all partake of creation and should derive our beliefs from it. In a word, whether Buddhist, Hindu, or any of the old pagan systems of old, it is The Lie, which exchanges the glory of the invisible God for the lesser glory of his created things. The good news is that the Lie has already been exposed by the Truth: the Twoist view of reality, which recognizes that all creation is utterly distinct from the Creator, and that who we are and what we think and do must come from outside ourselves and of creation..... Jones has thought about these issues carefully, for a long time. He has gathered piles of examples, documented immense changes and found that the beliefs now rising to replace secular humanism are precisely what Paul describes in Romans 1. Replacing the truth about God as Creator is a renewed emphasis on the divinity of nature. Replacing the true worship of God by offering up our bodies as living, holy sacrifices, is a false spirituality that seeks truth within, denying the bonds of the body. Mystical meditation, ancient shamanic practices, and other false spiritualities are now legitimate religious practices. Finally, instead of heterosexuality, which represents the Twoist nature of reality and union of Christ with his Church (where One and Two are finally joined), there is a push for pansexuality: accepting as legitimate every form of sexual expression, including homosexuality, which, though against the commandments of the Creator is in full harmony with the Oneist supremacy of creation. Jones summed up the point of his book when he said, You will never understand cultural conflict, debates in the Church, or your own questions about life if you do not understand that the world is divided over Truth. A timeless antithesis exists: Is everything God (Oneism), or is reality divided into the Creator and everything else (Twoism)? As a broad, big-picture overview, One or Two provides a helpful foundation for recognizing just how deep-seated and important the differences are between true Christianity and everything else, which is at heart fundamentally the same in its opposition to the Truth as what Paul so clearly proclaims in his letter to the Romans. --Reformation Theology

I love paradigms, grids and excel sheets, which organize information to make it accessible. Over the years I have tried to provide my students with paradigms to categorize worldviews. I have simplified others systems, but even the most generalized worldview templates include three to eight categories, which are not derived from Scriptural exegesis. Dr. Peter Jones has distilled the classes to only two and takes his categories from Scripture. The two categories are boldly printed on the cover: One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference. Simply stated, One refers to the belief (à la Sagan) that the universe is all there is and all there ever will be. Answers cannot be sought outside the constraints of creation because there is nothing but creation. Two refers to the Christian worldview: there is a personal, transcendent God who created the universe and providentially sustains it, but is not to be identified with it. The two options are wonderfully explained and contrasted in this book, which finds its exegetical support in Paul s writings in Romans 1. Dr. Jones offers a methodical examination of this chapter, summarizing three areas in which the tide of monism (the One ) is rising in our culture: theology (what we believe about God), spirituality (how we worship) and behavior (specifically, how we live our sexuality). These three subjects are dissected from a monistic (One) viewpoint as well as from a Christian (Two) perspective and contrasted in a helpful, readable, and well-supported manner. The book is full of current examples of monism in the thinking, activities, institutions, books and media of our day. Anyone who thinks that Dr. Jones is tilting his lance at philosophical windmills must contend with the sheer volume of evidence to the contrary. But can ALL religions fit this paradigm? Dr. Jones presupposition is based on Romans 1:24-25 where Paul writes: Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. But, Is this a necessary consequence of suppression or just one possibility of it? Jones answers that it is the former. Dr. Jones is not unaware of the question of how religions such as Islam, Judaism and some cults can be considered monistic. He addresses Judaism and Islam in Chapter 6, albeit briefly. He writes, ... the god of rabbinic Judaism has become an impersonal force, driving many into forms of pagan spirituality that seek the god within. Regarding Islam, Dr. Jones points out that Allah swears by the sky, moon and stars and thus puts himself on plane with them. (Contrast this with Hebrews 6:13: For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself... ) Additionally, both Islam and Judaism (and arguably the cults), though supposedly theistic, are not Trinitarian, so God is not personal but a force, a theme that runs rampant in monistic thought. Dr. Jones began sounding the clarion call on monism years ago. While the church has been fretting over the rise of materialism (a philosophy for little boys according to C.S. Lewis), its parent, monism, has been morphing and metastasizing for decades. Dr. Jones reminds us that two millennia ago the apostle Paul warned that those who do not worship the Creator are doomed to worship the creature. If you reject Two, you choose One. Those are the options there is no tertium quid. Those without a philosophical background will find this material readable and insightful. One or Two is a must read for those entering college to understand the culture that will soon attempt to smother them. The book contains a Q&A section that will further train the reader. --Ligonier Ministries, author Dan Dodds

About the Author

Peter Jones holds an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a ThM from Harvard divinity School, and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. He taught at the Reformed SEminary in Aix-en-Provence, France for seventeen years, and was active in church planting. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, he is now Director of truthXchange (a 501 c3 organization), Adjunct Professor of New Testament and Scholar in Residence at Westminster Seminary California, where he was a professor from 1991-2003. He is the father of seven children and has numerous grandchildren.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Main Entry Editions; First edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974689521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974689524
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Jones holds an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a ThM from Harvard Divinity School, and a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is Director of truthXchange, and Adjunct Professor of New Testament, as well as Scholar in Residence at Westminster Seminary California.

Dr. Jones grew up in Liverpool, England and was a childhood friend of John Lennon. For seventeen years, he was Professor of New Testament in Aix-en-Provence France at the Faculté de Théologie Réformée. While there, he wrote La deuxième épître de Paul aux Corinthiens (Paris: Edifac, 1992), a commentary on 2 Corinthians. While in France, he was actively involved in church-planting and served as the president of the board of a newly formed Christian school. In 1991, he returned to the United States, where he taught New Testament at Westminster Seminary until December, 2002. He is now Director of truthXchange (, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Christians understand the rise of neo-pagan spirituality.

He has written The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back (1992) Spirit Wars (1997), Gospel Truth/Pagan Lies (1999), Capturing the Pagan Mind (2003), Cracking DaVinci's Code (2004, co-author, James Garlow), Stolen Identity (2006), The God of Sex (2006), and One or Two (2010). He has also edited a compendium volume, On Global Wizardry (2010.

Peter Jones is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, and is married to Rebecca (Clowney) Jones. They have seven children and numerous grandchildren. For recreation, Dr. Jones enjoys playing jazz piano and golf.

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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Armstrong on September 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
When it comes to worldviews, belief systems and religious practice, we live in an age of seemingly unparalleled and unlimited options. North Americans today enjoy meditation, practice yoga, and dabble in a variety of different religious practices as they seek to find something that brings meaning, purpose and fulfillment to their lives.

But according to Peter Jones, the choice is really much more simple: There's the Truth and the Lie. And in One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference, Jones explains how our worldview affects our understanding of God, what we worship and our sexuality.

One or Two is an incredibly challenging read, especially in an age when it's controversial to be anything but affirming of all beliefs and religions. Tolerance is seen as the highest of values in culture, and increasingly in the Church as well. So doctrinal distinction is downplayed; gender distinction is eliminated; social causes become the new mission of the Church... and eventually Christianity looks no different than anyone or anything else.

But according to Jones, this should not be. He writes, "Western culture . . . is being hijacked by a spiritual ideology that I call Neopaganism." (p. 11) Neopaganism is at the heart of radical environmentalism, the more extreme elements of the social justice movement, and theological liberalism.

However, Jones writes, "If there is any hope for us in the twenty-first century, gorged as we are on materialism, One-ist pagan spiritualities, endless sensual fantasies and cock-eyed global utopian illusions, the old rabbi [the Apostle Paul] must speak to us again." (pp.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Hector Falcon on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you have friends or meet people that say they are spiritual but not religious, they need this book. Another group that needs this book is pastors that are willing to sacrifice biblical truth in order to join the stampede of pastors that want to grow a megachurch as their indicator of success. Gnostic thought has become rampant in many evangelical churches because discipleship has become non-existent, according to George Barna. We are losing a high percentage of the kids that have been brought up in church because they were never prepared for the secular assault they faced in public schools and the universities. The failure of church leaders to implement effective discipleship programs has led to spiritual confusion in the churches. Many Christians have a syncretistic worldview in which they mix Eastern religions with Christianity. This explains why Gnostic thought has become so common among Christians. Peter's book will help Christians to understand what has happened and hopefully lead to programs that actually disciple Christians in the basic beliefs of the faith. Buy a copy and give it to your pastor. Insist that an effective discipleship program be implemented in your church. If the pastor refuses to do so - leave that church and find a church leader that does have an effective program. If you have kids, their future faith could be affected by faulty church discipleship programs. They need to understand the topics Peter presents in this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Russell Coffeen on March 30, 2011
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Dr. Peter Jones with unique and precise clarity illustrates that the Triune God of the bible is a God of distinctions. During creation He made the waters to be separate and distinct from the dry lands. He separated the day from the night. He made the days of the week separate from the seventh day, and more importantly, God made man and woman to have distinction from one another. Important side note: God's redemptive plan is depicted in Scripture with the church being the bride, and He Himself as the Bridegroom.

Dr. Jones explains that God made His creation, and is powerfully above and holy separate and distinct from it. This view and reverence of our Transcendent God is why the bible tells us His creation declares His glory, and is not in anyway a part of His divinity. Twoism recognizes this distinction, where neopaganism of today continually attempts to force these two spheres, and the gulf that separates them, together; all in the name of unity, harmony, and social and spiritual evolution.

Dr. Jones convincingly depicts that this oneism worldview is attempting to bring about the same worldview that Paul the Apostle warned his readers about in the first chapter of Romans. It is just a warmed over, modern day telling of the same old time-trusted lie. Oneism, and its worldview is not only the ultimate expression of man suppressing the Truth for the sake of believing "the" Lie, but leads to a devolution of their spirituality, and eventually resulting in the devolution of their sexuality, just as it did in first century pagan Rome.

Every Christ follower of today needs to be equipped with this understanding which exposes this devolution for what it is, and affords the believer today to combat the popular and palatable worldview of oneism.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Smedra on December 25, 2010
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The author of Gnostic Empire (1992), Spirit Wars (1997), and The God of Sex (2006), provides an update and explains 21st century global religious perspectives in term of the contrast between ONE or TWO, the philosophic ontologies of monism vs. holistic dualism. Written with a diverse audience in mind, Professor Jones makes the two competing religious worldviews/philosophies (Monism = One-ism vs. Holistic Dualism = Two-ism) easy to understand by using the Apostle Paul's exposition found in Chapter 1 of Romans. While separated by nearly two thousand years of history, the issue remains the same: The Truth vs. The Lie.

Part One documents the continuing evolution of global Monist spirituality and its impact upon both the world and Christendom, including more biblical and conservative Evangelical realms. Part Two introduces Paul's arguments (relative to theology, spirituality, and sexuality) presented to the ancient Roman audience and demonstrates their relevance to the contemporary 21st century world and Church. In this section, the author aptly contrasts: the Lie about God vs. the Truth about God, the Lie about Spirituality vs. the Truth about Spirituality, and the Lie about Sexuality vs. the Truth of Sexuality. Part Three seeks to bring the subject matter forward to the individual reader. Intellectual apprehension of reality is never adequate by itself. One cannot "ride the fence" when such ultimate life questions and issues are involved.

ONE or TWO? And YOU?
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