Rev. Dr. John Rodgers (1937-)
New Age teacher and author.
has written numerous books and booklets, but only one is currently in print, his
trail-blazing book, New Age Bible.
Some sources are selling the first edition for more than $300.
Rev. Dr. John E. Rodgers, OM 3, ThD
Three decades ago, Rev. John Rodgers
launched a New Age seminary because he
found people to be â€œgood-hearted, well-meaning â€˜eager-norants,â€™ â€� excited believers woefully lacking information about religion and spirituality.
Nov. 1 marked the 44th anniversary of the Alpha Book Center the oldest metaphysical store in Phoenix.
The store supports the New Age Community Church
and the Omega Directory, publisher of the oldest metaphysical newspaper in the nation.
Regarded as the Valleyâ€™s authority on New Age
fiercely defends religious liberty, but says, â€œMost people donâ€™t know their churchâ€™s doctrines, and most people donâ€™t care.â€�
monthly tabloid newspaper covers a broad swath of belief.
, 73, a native of Minneapolis, attended a Methodist church as a boy.
family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
did a mission in the Pacific Northwest and continued with the church into his
moved to Arizona in 1965, he
says, â€œThey kicked me out because I was going by Mormon scripture, and no church goes by its own scripture,â€� Rodgers says with a laugh.
tried to rejoin, the bishop said he
was glad to have Rodgers back but didnâ€™t want him talking in class anymore. â€œI wasnâ€™t derogatory, just informative,â€� Rodgers says.
But if he
couldnâ€™t talk, he
wasnâ€™t going back. â€œ The Book of Mormon
is a wonderful book,â€� he
says. â€œItâ€™s got really good stories, teachings and Mormon precepts.â€�
From there, Rodgers took a metaphysics class in Tempe. â€œThat is what I had been waiting for all along.â€� At the time, he worked at Alâ€™s Bookstore in Phoenix and started a metaphysical section, complete with tarot cards.
â€œWe teach what a human being is, what the universe is, what God is, what is really going on,â€� says Rodgers
, who urges moderation in religious practices. â€œJesus talked about the straight and narrow way.
Donâ€™t become too extreme.
Crystals have certain powers. (Computer chips) are based on crystals, but I really donâ€™t believe that crystals will make anyone float in the air.â€�
In Omega Directory, Rodgers
wrote that fundamentalism always fails. â€œThough we must continue our struggle, Christian fundamentalism will not be defeated by the strategic, targeted opposition of people like us, so much as it will eventually self-destruct from the weight of its own madness. â€¦ I oppose fundamentalism because I worship truth â€" the facts, reality, the God of gods.â€�
is author of â€œNew Age Bible: The Hidden Truth Revealed,â€� which defines New Age
and explores the relationship of such diverse faiths as Buddhism, Christianity, Wicca, Hinduism and Judaism.
believes religion has evolved to reflect the evolution of civilization and the growth of human consciousness.
scoffs at conspiracies, says skepticism is healthy and the truth â€œmakes sense.â€�
"Rev. Dr. Rodgers
is a hell of a talker, brusque, without guile.
family were Mormon
converts from Minnesota who settled in Arizona to be nearer Zion.
Because they couldn't afford to buy a home in Utah.
was active in the church from an early age, and his
mission as a young man took him to Oregon and Washington, then back to Arizona.
"One day te Bishop made an authoritative pronouncement that Rodgers
did not feel was supported by Mormon scripture.
"So I asked his
authority and he
said The Bishop's Handbook and I discovered there was this book of scripture that people like me didn't know anything about."
continued insistence that the Church abide by the revelations of founder Prophet Joseph Smith
riled the local authorities.
"Later on, Rodgers
and a small group of friends set up a New Age church
"In 1992, feeling that no one else had the answers to the nation's problems, John Rodgers
ran as an independent candidate for the presidency of the United States of America on the following platform: