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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

Michael Horton’s New Book on the Origins of “Spiritual but Not Religious”

Caleb Wait, Sola Media’s Director of Content, interviews Michael Horton on his new book, “Shaman and Sage: The Roots of “Spiritual but Not Religious” in Antiquity. Many preachers today appeal to headlines that announce a surge in spirituality as if this news offers the church encouragement. We tend to think of modern secular culture as hostile to spirituality—an atheistic world of soulless materialism. So if modern people now want spirituality, Christians often think, that must mean people will find their way toward Christianity. This thesis, among many others, is challenged by Horton in the first volume of his new series on the Divine-Self. 

Listen in as Horton shares how this new intellectual history of “spiritual but not religious” as a phenomenon in Western culture is the biggest project he’s ever undertaken. Horton shows how ancient shamanist practices and philosophies appear in Plato, schools in Alexandria, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and more, revealing to us that modern practices and beliefs are far more ancient than we think.


  • Michael Horton is White Horse Inn’s founder and co-host. In addition to serving as a J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, he is a minister in the United Reformed Churches. He is the author of more than 30 books.
  • Caleb Wait is the Director of Content for Sola Media. He has an MA in Theological Studies from Westminster Seminary California, and his writing and podcast productions have appeared in Modern Reformation magazine, Core ChristianityThe Gospel Coalition, and Mere Orthodoxy.



More from this Series: Shamans in the Church

  1. The “Enthusiasts” of Church History: From Montanists to Modern Day “Prophets” Listen Now ›
  2. The New (Old) Apostolic Reformation Listen Now ›
  3. “I Have Nothing Left to Hear Me Say”: Religion without Authority Listen Now ›
  4. Michael Horton’s New Book on the Origins of “Spiritual but Not Religious” Listen Now ›