Dr. Peter Jones
I was born in Liverpool, England, where I would buy fish and chips on Penny Lane with John Lennon, a high school friend with whom I shared a desk for five years. Not that we did much at those desks! I was too interested in football (soccer), while John spent his time messing around. We played music together at school, but I never became a Beatle, because my Christian parents wouldn’t allow me to go to clubs. When I got serious about my studies, I went to the University of Wales, then to Gordon Divinity School, near Boston. During my master’s year at Harvard Divinity School I met Francis Schaeffer (through his books) and a Wellesley College student, Rebecca Clowney, daughter of Edmund P. Clowney, president for many years of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
Schaeffer’s analysis of his culture, and his expression of the Christian faith in a coherent system helped me to apply biblical understanding to all areas of life. Meanwhile, Rebecca and I talked about theology, sang in a gospel group, played golf, studied, enjoyed Boston, and became engaged. We married in 1971 while I was a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1973 we took our first two children to France, where I taught New Testament at La Faculté Libre de Théologie Réformée d’Aix-en-Provence, in a cooperative agreement with Mission to the World (PCA). There I taught, wrote, spoke, and helped start a Christian school and a church. We had five more children. We were extremely happy in France, where food, friends and fun in the sun added extra joy to fulfilling the tasks God had given us to do.
In 1989, a letter broke into our peace. It asked me to consider moving back to the US to teach. After much prayer and reflection, I decided to accept an invitation to teach at Westminster Seminary in California. But America was not the same country I had first seen in 1964 (when the Beatles landed on US shores). The culture shock I experienced upon re-entry led me to publish the Gnostic Empire Strikes Back (1992). What I first identified as “New Age” was far more than a left-coast fad. A new spirituality had taken over America. Several years of research led to the publication of Spirit Wars (1997, reprinted in 2001 as Pagans in the Pews), which explores the nature of the new spirituality and its manifestations in society and the church. In an attempt to make the message available to younger readers and to groups, I published Gospel Truth, Pagan Lies:Can You Tell the Difference? (2000). The DaVinci Code craze led me to write Cracking DaVinci’s Code with Jim Garlow in 2004 and this led to a book that analyzes the Gnostic vs. the Christian Jesus, entitled Stolen Identity: The Conspiracy to Reinvent Jesus. In 2006, I published two more books: The God of Sex: How Worldview Determines Sexuality, and Capturing the Pagan Mind: Paul’s Blueprint for Thinking and Living in the New Global Culture.
From July 1991 to December 2002, I taught New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in California. My interest in rising paganism and its threat to the church gradually demanded more of my time and energy. I finally decided to devote all my energies to this task. Our children are grown, and Rebecca (as she has always done) willingly shares her energies to help me accomplish my kingdom passions. I am grateful to the Lord for her faithful help, vision and hard work and for the health to serve my Lord with full physical strength.
Dr. Jones is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America.