In this final installment we complete an alphabetized (by author, or title if no author’s name is indicated) annotated bibliography of some of the most significant books written in last couple of decades on the subjects of worldview, world religions, cults, and sects. It includes books by Evangelical Christian authors analyzing various religious movements. It also includes important works written by founders and key leaders of some of the movements.
My annotation comments explaining and evaluating each work are found after each bibliographical reference and are preceded by the following sign: >>>. Some works by the same author(s) may be annotated after his or her final work listed.
These works are key resources for anyone interested in these areas of study. It will be especially helpful for high school, college, or graduate students searching for resources to use in course term papers. I suggest you download the complete list and save it in the research files of your computer. Don’t forget the resources available from MarketFaith Ministries written by Dr. Freddy Davis and/or myself. They are available at http://www.marketfaith.org/bookstore/ .
You will find part 1 of this bibliography at:http://www.marketfaith.org/annotated-bibliography-of-books-on-worldview-and-interfaith-evangelism-part-one-a-i/
You will find part 2 of this bibliography at:
Many of these works are out of print but are provided because of their contributions to the subjects of worldview and Interfaith Evangelism research, and to make the student aware of those references. In most cases they may be available on amazon.com or other web book dealers. Some are available free online in their entirety. In some cases I have noted online addresses where they may be found.
Please note, the inclusion of a resource in the bibliography should not be taken as an endorsement by MarketFaith Ministries. Those works by adherents and advocates of specific faith groups, worldviews, or movements are noted by an asterisk (*) and identified in parentheses.
Rainer, Thom S. The Unexpected Journey: Conversations with People Who Turned From Other Faiths to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.
>>> Thom Rainer is a former pastor, researcher, and seminary professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is now President of LifeWay Christian Resources. In this book he has provided a valuable resource for understanding why and how people of nonChristian backgrounds left their faiths of origin to turn to Jesus Christ. He interviewed twelve people who left various cults and world religions including Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islam, and Satanism, to become Christians.
*Reasoning From the Scriptures. New York: The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1989. (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
>>> This is the official handbook for use by Jehovah’s Witnesses to answer questions on doctrine and history posed to them during their door-to-door campaigns. It is a valuable resource for Christians who want to learn what to expect when they engage in conversations with Jehovah’ Witnesses. By learning how they are trained to respond we can couch or questions and challenges appropriately.
Reed, David A. and John R. Farkas. How to Rescue Your Loved One from Mormonism. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994.
—. Mormons Answered Verse by Verse. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1993.
>>> David Reed is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness who is president of Gospel Truths Ministries and editor of Comments from the Friends newsletter. He has written extensively on how to witness to people in that group and other cults. John Farkas is a former Mormon who is president of Berean Christian Ministries. The two have collaborated to produce these practical guides for Christians wishing to help their friends and relatives escape the maze of Mormonism and answer Mormon claims from the Bible.
Reed, David. Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses Subject by Subject. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996.
—. How to Rescue Your Loved One from the Watchtower. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989.
—. Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992.
>>> These are former Jehovah’s Witness David Reed’s three practical guidebooks for helping family members and friends escape the spiritual tyranny of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses). He provides clear biblical responses to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ doctrines and policy positions. Based on his own personal experience, he also offers effective strategies for reaching out to people involved in that cult.
Reisser, Paul, Dale Mabe and Robert Velarde, Examining Alternative Medicine: An Inside Look at the Benefits and Risks. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001.
>>> An excellent examination by three esteemed researchers into the histories and validity of the various aspects of the Alternative Medicine movement. Over the past several decades, a wide range of unorthodox new treatments for maintaining and restoring people’s health have found their way into the mainstream of the wellness industry. Reisser, Mabe, and Velarde demonstrate how most of those New Age therapies are rooted either in the occult or Far Eastern Thought and lack any real objective scientific legitimacy. A good resource for Christians in the medical field to understand the dangers of these practices and to educate others about them.
Reisser, Paul C., Teri K. Reisser and John Weldon. New Age Medicine. Chattanooga: Global Publishers, 1988.
>>> An earlier excellent study covering the history and dangers of the New Age medicine fad (see reference above) by Paul and Teri Reisser with cult researcher John Weldon.
Rhodes, Ron. The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.
>>> Dr. Ron Rhodes is founder and President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries and is regarded as one of the top evangelical experts on cults and new religions in America. He has written extensively on a number of cults and the New Age Movement. This work is a textbook anthology covering the history and doctrines of most of the major cult groups in America. An excellent resource for a general class on cults in a church or school.
—. The Counterfeit Christ of the New Age Movement. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990.
>>> In this volume Rhodes evaluates the bizarre teachings of various New Age leaders concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. He demonstrates how most of what is asserted about Jesus by New Agers has no basis in history and is in direct contradiction to the Bible.
—. The Culting of America: The Shocking Implications for Every Concerned Christian. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1994.
>>> Rhodes traces the rise and growth of numerous cults in America in the late 20th century. A good resource for understanding the characteristics and history of cults. However, being nearly twenty years since its publishing, it is a bit dated as some prominent 1980s and 90s cults have reformed or disbanded.
—. The New Age Movement. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995 (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> A general study of the various aspects and characteristics of the New Age Movement by Ron Rhodes. A good introductory resource, but, like the last reference, a bit dated
—. Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992.
>>> An excellent resource for Christians wishing to engage in biblical discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rhodes examines the translations and interpretations by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of many key passages of Scripture they use to validate their doctrines. He then provides sound and scholarly answers to their claims based on reliable Bible translations and interpretations.
______. The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Mormon. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001.
>>> A good handbook for Christians engaging in dialog with Mormon missionaries or LDS church members. He nails down what he sees as the ten most crucial issues to address in the discussion in order to make the Mormon look at his or her church and faith objectively.
Rhodes, Ron and Marian Bodine. Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1995.
>>> Ron Rhodes collaborated with former Mormon Marian Bodine to produce this biblically based response to the claims and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Good and practical resource for those interacting with Mormon missionaries or friends.
*Richards, LeGrand (1886-1983). A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1958. (LDS)
>>> One of the classic works by a prominent Mormon Apostle to present and defend the history and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was at one time a primary study book for new and potential converts to the LDS faith. Most of the assertions made by Richards have been soundly rebutted by nonMormon critics in the years since its publication. Still it remains a good resource for any student of Mormon history and thought.
Richardson, Don. Secrets of the Koran. Ventura, CA. Regal Books, 2003.
Roberts, R. Philip, with Tal Davis and Sandra Tanner. Mormonism Unmasked – Confronting the Contradictions Between Mormon Beliefs and True Christianity. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998.
>>> This easy to digest volume was written by former seminary president Dr. Phil Roberts, prominent former Mormon and LDS critic Sandra Tanner, and this writer (Tal Davis). It was originally published to help prepare Southern Baptists to conduct door-to-door evangelism in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the Southern Baptist Convention meeting there in 1998. If I do say so, it is still one of the best introductions to the history and beliefs of the LDS with solid Christian responses to them.
Ropp, Harry L., with revisions by Wesley Walters and Charles A. Crane. Is Mormonism Christian? Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company. 1995.
>>> This book was originally written in 1977 by the late Harry Ropp under the title Are the Mormon Scriptures Reliable? Years after Ropp’s untimely death in a plane crash it was revised and updated by Wesley Walters and Charles Crane. It is an excellent survey and evaluation of the extra-biblical scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. The writers clearly expose those books for what they are: fraudulent and heretical texts originally written by Joseph Smith, Jr., to deceive his followers and justify his false standing as a prophet.
Sanchez, Daniel R. and Rudolph D. Gonzalez. Sharing the Good News with Our Roman Catholic Friends. Fort Worth: Church Starting Network, 2003.
>>> An excellent balanced and respectful guide for evangelical Christians wanting to share Christ with their Roman Catholic friends. The authors are highly respected scholars in the fields of World Missions and New Testament studies. The writers survey the history and beliefs of the Catholic Church and suggest positive ways to present the gospel of salvation by grace alone with Catholics.
Sire, James. Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1980.
>>> James Sire was for years the chief editor for InterVarsity Press. His books are standards for understanding the issues involved in worldview research. The first is an excellent review of how cult leaders mistranslate and misinterpret the Bible in order to deceive their followers. He lists twenty specific methods they may use to distort biblical teaching. It is a valuable resource for Christians doing research in the field of cults and sects.
—. The Universe Next Door – A Basic Worldview Catalog, 5th Edition. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
>>> Originally published in 1976, in his updated version of his classic work, James Sire surveys and analyzes several of the currently popular major worldview positions. In separate chapters he examines Christian Theism, Deism, Naturalism, Existentialism, Pantheistic Monism, New Age Spirituality, Postmodernism, and Islamic Theism. He then evaluates the philosophical cohesion and validity of each one demonstrating the superiority of Christianity. A must read for anyone studying worldview issues.
*Smith, Joseph Fielding (1876-1972), Bruce McConkie, ed. Doctrines of Salvation (3 Vols.). Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992. (LDS)
>>> Joseph Fielding Smith was the tenth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These volumes are a collection of his sermons and writings. They are valuable for anyone researching the history and theology of the LDS as it was proclaimed in the 1960s and 70s.
*Steiner, Rudolf (1861-1925). Truth and Knowledge – Introduction to the Philosophy of Freedom. New York: The Rudolf Steiner Publications, Inc., 1981. Available online at www.rsarchive.org. (Anthroposophy)
>>> Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian philosopher and creator of an esoteric movement called Anthroposophy. That philosophy was closely related to other 19th and early 20th century idealist movements such as Theosophy and Rosicrucianism. Like them, it was an important precursor to the modern New Age Movement. This book was one of Steiner’s key works and is a valuable resource for someone investigating the roots of the New Age Movement.
*Talmage, James E. (1862-1933). The Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982. Available online at: http://ia600406.us.archive.org/10/items/articlesfaithas00talmgoog/articlesfaithas00talmgoog.pdf. (LDS)
>>> James Talmage was an influential writer and Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 20th century. This book was his commentary on that church’s Thirteen Articles of Faith as written by Joseph Smith in 1842 and canonized in The Pearl of Great Price in 1880. Talmage’s book served as a quasi-official theological text of Mormon doctrine for many years. It is valuable to any serious researcher of the history and evolution of Mormon theology.
Tanner, Jerald and Sandra Tanner. The Changing World of Mormonism. Chicago: Moody Press, 1981. Available online at www.utlm.org/navonlinebooks .
>>> Jerald Tanner (1938 – 2006) and his wife Sandra (1941 -), founders of Utah Lighthouse Ministries, were for decades the most respected and feared critics of Mormonism in the world. The two ex-Mormons’ research cast long shadows of doubt on the veracity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They wrote hundreds of books and articles revealing the true history of the church and critiqued the unorthodox beliefs of that Utah based faith. This work, written in the early 1980s, is a classic study of the life of founder Joseph Smith, the church’s history of changing doctrinal stances, and other issues that plague Mormonism even today. Some of the LDS practices talked about in the book (such as its temple rituals) have been altered since its publication. That fact only verifies the accuracy of its title.
—. Major Problems of Mormonism. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1989.
>>> Another classic study by the Tanners addressing dozens of specific historical and doctrinal problems of the LDS church.
—. Mormonism – Shadow or Reality? Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1987.
>>> This massive volume was originally written and self-published by the Tanners in 1963. It has undergone numerous revisions and additions but is still one of the most thorough and damaging investigations of Mormon history and doctrine ever produced. A must have reference resource for anyone studying the history and doctrines of Mormonism.
—. 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1982. Available online at www.utlm.org/navonlinebooks .
>>> The Tanners made a verse by verse comparison of the Book of Mormon’s original text as published in 1830 to the later editions published by the LDS in the 1980s. They found nearly four thousand changes were made in spelling, sentence structure, and content from the original. They document and graphically illustrate in this book those unexplained alterations of the supposed divinely inspired and translated text. (Note: Since this book was published even more substantial changes to the Book of Mormon have been made by the LDS.)
Tanner, Sandra. Mormonism, Magic and Masonry. Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1988.
>>> Another fine book by Sandra Tanner wherein she documents the indisputable involvement of Joseph Smith in the occult and freemasonry. She shows clearly how both of those movements influenced his ideas in starting the LDS church.
*Tolle, Eckhart. A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. New York: Penguin Group, 2005. (New Age)
*—. The Power of Now – A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Navato, CA: New World Library, 1999. (New Age)
>>> In the past decade, German New Age Guru Eckhart Tolle has sold millions of books and given dozens of lectures expounding his unique system of New Age doctrine. He has been popularized by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and others. Tolle’s basic principle is that we can control our lives by carefully monitoring our own thoughts. This, he says, allows us to experience life as it really is, not just as an illusion. The essence of his ideas are most probably derived from a Far Eastern Thought worldview. Christian researchers of trends in the New Age Movement should be familiar with Tolle’s work.
Tucker, Ruth. Another Gospel: Alternative Religions and the New Age Movement. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004.
>>> Ruth Tucker has taught and spoken about alternative religions at a number of evangelical colleges and seminaries. This book is a good anthology textbook defining what constitutes a cult and surveys some of the largest of them in America.
Van Gorden, Kurt. Mormonism. (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.) Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.
>>> A good concise introduction to the history and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by a respected former Utah pastor and evangelical cult researcher.
Wagner, William. How Islam Plans to Change the World. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004.
>>> An eye-opening expose on the ambitions of Muslims to convert the world to Islam in the 21st century. William Wagner was a Baptist missionary in the middle-east and seminary world missions professor.
*Walsch, Neale Donald. Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2 (one of nine volumes). Charlottesville, Va.: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 1997. (New Age)
>>> Neale Donald Walsch is a popular New Age writer and lecturer. This book is one of his numerous works to explain his philosophical ideas. It is a good resource for a Christian studying and evaluating New Age concepts.
*White, Ellen G. (1827-1915). The Great Controversy, 1887. Available online at www.whiteestate.org. (Seventh-day Adventism)
>>> Ellen G. White was the founder and spiritual leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). As the SDA’s “Spirit of Prophecy,” she claimed to have received divine revelation over the course of a number of years. Her books are regarded by SDA people as specially inspired interpretations of the Bible and are the bases for SDA theology. This book is her explanation of the great angelic heavenly battle of good (God and Jesus) versus evil (Satan and the demons). An important resource for understanding SDA beliefs.
*—. Desire of Ages, 1898. Available online at www.whiteestate.org. (Seventh-day Adventism)
>>> This is Ellen G. White’s exposition on the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is key for understanding SDA Christology and their unusual concept of the atonement.
*Wierwille, Victor Paul (1916-1985). Jesus Christ Is Not God. New Knoxville, OH: American Christian Press, 2d ed., 1981. (The Way International)
>>> Victor Paul Wierwille was the founder and “Teacher” of the Way International cult. That group grew significantly in the 1970s and 80s until Wierwille’s death. Since then the movement has waned and splintered, but his works are still regarded as authoritative interpretations of Scripture. This book especially is Wierwille’s exposition on the nature of Jesus Christ. As the title suggests, he absolutely denies the full deity of Jesus and attacks the Trinity as false doctrine. This is a crucial resource for researchers of the beliefs of the Way International cult and its off-shoots.
*—. Receiving the Holy Spirit Today. New Knoxville, OH: American Christian Press, 1986. (The Way International)
>>> This is Wierwille’s exposition on the nature and spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit. He essentially denies the personality of the Holy Spirit but asserts that every Christian (as he defines it) should exercise all nine of the gifts of the Spirit outlined in the New Testament.
*Worship the Only True God. New York: The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 2002. (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
>>> Another of the official study books published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for use by Jehovah’s Witnesses. It presents the Jehovah’s Witnesses understanding of the nature of God (Jehovah) and rebukes what they regard as the pagan doctrine of the Trinity. As with all Watchtower publications, they are the only doctrinal texts Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to read. If they violate this rule they may be dis-fellowshipped (ex-communicated) and shunned by family and friends. This is a key resource for Christians researching and analyzing their beliefs.
© 2013 by Tal Davis