In my more than thirty years of work in the area of worldview and interfaith witness I have read hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of books on those issues. In this installment, and those following, is an annotated bibliography, alphabetized by author, 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, but also important works written by founders and key leaders of some of the movements themselves.
My annotations explaining and evaluating each work are found after each bibliographical reference and are preceded by the following sign: >>>. Some works by the same author may be annotated after his or her final work listed.
In my opinion these are quintessential resources for anyone interested in these areas of study. It will be especially helpful for high school, college, or graduate students searching for credible sources to use in course term papers. I suggest you download the list and save it in the research files of your computer. I would, of course, recommend any and all of the resources available from MarketFaith Ministries written by Dr. Freddy Davis and/or myself. They are available at http://www.marketfaith.org/bookstore/ .
Many of the works in this list are out of print but are provided because of their contributions to the subject of Interfaith Evangelism research and to make the student aware of those references. In most cases they may be available on amazon.com or other new and used website 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 or movements are noted by an asterisk (*) and identified in parentheses.
Abanes, Richard. Religions of the Stars: What Hollywood Believes and How It Affects You. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2009.
>>> Abanes surveys some of the strange belief systems currently embraced by some Hollywood stars such as Scientology and Kabbalah. He provides biblical analyses of the movements as well as how Hollywood stars and producers subtly promote their beliefs and worldviews in movies.
Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, Can You Trust Your Doctor? The Complete Guide to New Age Medicine and Its Threat to Your Family. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1991.
>>> Ankerberg is the long-time host of the John Ankerberg Show, a Christian dialogue and teaching television program about interfaith issues and apologetics. He and his writing associate, John Weldon, produced this extensive survey of unorthodox alternative medical procedures. Many of them were considered bizarre unscientific fads during the 1980s and 90s at the height of the New Age Movement. Sad to say, many are now accepted by the general public as valid and effective treatment methods. The writers do an excellent job of tracing many of these procedures back to their historic pagan and occult origins and give good reasons why Christians should avoid them.
—. Cult Watch: What You Need to Know About Spiritual Deception. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1991.
—. Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999.
—. The Facts on Astrology. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1988.
—. The Facts on Holistic Health and the New Medicine. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992.
—. The Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1988.
—. The Facts on Life After Death. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992.
—. The Facts on Spirit Guides. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1988.
Ankerberg and Weldon published these compact pocket sized booklets on various religious movements summarizing their beliefs and making biblical evaluations.
*Armstrong, Herbert W. The United States and Britain In Prophecy. Edmund OK: The Philadelphia Church of God, 2007. (Armstrongism)
>>> The primary eschatological text of the cult of Armstrongism originally published in the 1940s with the title The United States in Prophecy and later The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. This book was written by former “Pastor General” of the Worldwide Church of God (founded in 1934 as the Radio Church of God and renamed in1968), Herbert W. Armstrong (1892- 1986). It was later promoted and distributed free by his son, radio and television preacher Garner Ted Armstrong (1930 – 2003). The book contains exposition and advocacy of the long-ago discredited doctrine of Anglo-Israelism. That theory contends that the peoples of Europe are the fabled lost tribes of Israel. The doctrine also maintains that the king or queen of England is actually the rightful inheritor of the throne of Israelite King David. Its advocates thus claim Great Britain, Canada, and the United States are the true inheritors of the promises and prophesies of Israel in the last days (which Armstrong said was the present era).
The Worldwide Church of God, to their leaders’ credit, since Armstrong’s death in 1986, has renounced Anglo-Israelism and this book and ceased its publication. They also repudiated Armstrong’s other heretical teachings. Nonetheless, the book is still utilized and distributed by several other Armstrongist groups, like the Philadelphia Church of God, that continue to promulgate his doctrines.
Barron, Bruce. The Health and Wealth Gospel. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989.
>>> A good introduction to the history, doctrines, and exegetical problems associated with the modern Word-Faith movement, AKA “the Health and Wealth Gospel.” He also provides biblical refutations to many Word-Faith presuppositions.
Beckwith, Francis. Baha’i. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1985.
>>> Philosopher Francis Beckwith provides a comprehensive and readable overview of the history, doctrines, and practices of the Baha’i Faith. He also makes a good historical and biblical analysis of the faith from a Christian perspective.
Beckwith, Francis J., Carl Mosser, and Paul Owen, eds. The New Mormon Challenge – Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-growing Movement. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002.
>>> This book includes articles by various writers on diverse issues concerning the history and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a well-written scholarly analysis of modern Mormonism. However, a few of the writers, in our view, are too sympathetic to Mormon claims that they have been unfairly criticized by evangelical writers in the past.
Beckwith, Francis J. and Stephen E. Parrish. The Mormon Concept of God – A Philosophical Analysis. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellon Press, 1991.
>>> One of the best books written evaluating the historic Mormon doctrine of God. It is a classic scholarly analysis by two Christian philosophers of the traditional Mormon concept of a finite and physical exalted human deity. They demonstrate how the Mormon ideas of an eternal self-existent universe and an endless reproduction of gods in an infinite past are philosophically incoherent as well as scientifically disproven. (Unfortunately, this book is difficult to find at a reasonable price.)
—. See The Gods Fall – Four Rivals to Christianity. Joplin MO: College Press Publishing, 1997.
>>> Christian Philosopher Francis Beckwith explains and analyzes four of the modern challengers to Christianity and the Christian worldview. He demonstrates how the New Age Movement, Secular Humanism, Baha’ism and Mormonism are all philosophically incoherent and self-contradictory.
Beisner, E. Cal. “Jesus Only” Churches. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998. (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> Beisner, a well-known Christian historian and theologian and currently spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, analyzes the history and theological errors of the Oneness Pentecostal (Jesus Only) movement.
*Bernard, David. The Oneness of God: Series in Pentecostal Theology, vol. 1. Hazelwood, MO: Pentecostal Publishing House, 1983. (Oneness Pentecostalism)
>>>A biblical critique of Trinitarianism and a defense of Oneness Pentecostal theology, Christology, and soteriology by a prominent minister in the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI). His arguments are generally based on faulty biblical exegesis and a distorted view of early Christian history.
*Blanco, Jack J. The Clear Word (Bible): An Expanded Paraphrase to Build Strong Faith and Nurture Spiritual Growth. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald Publishing Co., 1996. (Seventh-day Adventism)
>>> One of the most biased paraphrase versions of the Bible ever produced. In many places the author blatantly mistranslates Scripture to support his Seventh-day Adventist theology.
One example is how he translates Jesus’ introduction to a parable in Luke 16: 19-20. The NASB quotes Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees, “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores…”.
The Clear Word says: “Then He said to the Pharisees, ‘You keep telling people the story you put together about a rich man who dressed in fine clothes and lived luxuriously. In your story, there is also a poor man called Lazarus who had sores all over his body…’”.
Their story? Where is that in the text? SDA official doctrine is that at death a person is in “soul sleep” until the resurrection. This passage has always been problematic for advocates of that view. Blanco solves the dilemma, without any textual basis, by having Jesus attribute the story to the Pharisees.
Boa, Kenneth and Robert M. Bowman Jr. Sense and Nonsense about Heaven and Hell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.
>>> A well written volume by two respected evangelical scholars answering questions and objections to the historic Christian perspectives on life after death. They make balanced examinations of issues like the following and many others. “What happens when we die?” “Who will go to heaven and who will go to hell?” “What is heaven like?” “What is hell like?” “What about those who have never heard the Gospel?”
Bock, Darrell L. and Mitch Glaser. To the Jew First: The Case for Jewish Evangelism in Scripture and History. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2008.
>>> An anthology of essays by a diverse group of evangelical scholars (Jewish and non-Jewish) presenting the history and biblical reasons for Jewish evangelism. They all agree that reaching Jews for Christ has been a major failure of the historic Christian church. They discuss why that is true and what can be done to change it.
*The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1990. Available online at http://scriptures.lds.org/. (LDS)
>>> The best known of the extra-biblical scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It purports to be the history of groups of Jewish immigrants to the American continents in about 2300 BC and from about 600 BC to AD 400. Supposedly translated miraculously by Joseph Smith, Jr., the book’s historical, anthropological, zoological, theological, and literary errors have been documented by numerous researchers.
Bowman, Jr., Robert M. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989.
—. Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses – Why They Read the Bible the Way They Do. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991.
—. Why You Should Believe in the Trinity. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989
______ Jehovah’s Witnesses. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995. (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> These four volumes were written two decades ago by Rob Bowman, one of the most knowledgeable and readable evangelical scholars around. They are still among the best analyses and refutations of the faulty biblical exegesis and theological errors of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses).
Bowman, Jr., Robert M., and J. Ed Komoszewski. Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2007.
>>> A well written biblical defense of the historic Christian doctrine of the Deity of Jesus Christ. The book is divided into five sections, each presenting a different dimension of Jesus’ deity, using an acronym based on the letters in the word HANDS:
H-Honors (Jesus shares the honors that are due God)
A-Attributes (Jesus shares the attributes of God)
N-Names (Jesus shares the names of God)
D-Deeds (Jesus shares the deeds that God does)
S-Seat (Jesus shares the seat of God’s eternal throne).
Boyd, Gregory. Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992 (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> The personal testimony and biblical refutation of Oneness Pentecostal theology by a former member of an Oneness Pentecostal church.
Braswell Jr., George W. What You Need to Know About Islam and Muslims. Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 2000.
>>> Good basic introduction to the history and beliefs of Islam written by a former missionary to Iran and retired professor of Missions and World Religions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Note that it was written prior to the 9-11 attacks so it may be less critical of radical Islam than many more recent studies.
*Burton, Rulon T. We Believe – Doctrines and Principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Tabernacle Books, 1994. (LDS)
>>> A four-volume alphabetized encyclopedic survey of basic Mormon history and doctrines with extensive quotes of primary Mormon sources from which the beliefs are derived. It is a good resource for documenting Mormon doctrinal perspectives from their own authoritative leaders.
*Buckland, Raymond. The Witch Book – The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2002. (Occult)
>>> A thorough resource of the history, beliefs and practices of the modern Wicca (witchcraft) movement written by one of its first exporters from Britain to America in the 1960s. Buckland is a strong advocate of Gardnerian Wicca (started by Englishman Gerald Gardner [1884-1964]).
Cares, Mark J. Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons (2nd ed.) Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, (kindle edition 2009).
>>> A very good and practical guide for witnessing to Mormons in a loving but uncompromising fashion by a Lutheran pastor in a heavily Mormon populated area of Idaho.
*Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. New York: Doubleday, 1995. (Roman Catholicism)
>>> The primary official doctrinal sourcebook of the Roman Catholic Church covering all major theological issues. It is a must-have resource for anyone studying modern Catholicism. It is thoroughly indexed for easy research of key concepts.
*Church of Scientology International. What is Scientology? Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1992. (Scientology)
>>> The basic introductory manual of the Church of Scientology. It details the beliefs and practices of the bizarre cult founded by L. Ron Hubbard. It does not however reveal any of the more esoteric beliefs of the higher “Operating Thetan” (OT) levels of the Scientology auditing processes.
Clark, David K. and Norman L. Geisler. Apologetics in the New Age – A Christian Critique of Pantheism. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990.
>>> A good introduction to and critique of the Far Eastern Thought pantheistic worldview by two esteemed Christian philosophers. David Clark taught full-time at Bethel until 2004 and now serves as lead pastor of Faith Covenant Church in Burnsville, Minnesota. Norman Geisler is the co-founder of Southern Evangelical Seminary, where he formerly taught.
*Copeland, Kenneth. The Laws of Prosperity. Tulsa: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995. (Word-Faith)
*—. Prosperity: The Choice Is Yours. Tulsa: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1992. (Word-Faith)
>>> Kenneth Copeland is the most prominent living exponent of the unbiblical Word-Faith or “Prosperity Gospel” theology. His Believer’s Voice of Victory television program is seen around the world on various satellite networks. These books, and many others he has written, are designed to teach followers to pray for material prosperity and physical health. He says you must believe, without room for doubt, that the answer has already been provided by God. If you doubt it will not happen.
Corduan, Winfried. Neighboring Faiths: A Christian Introduction to World Religions. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998.
>>> An excellent evangelical Christian survey text of the largest world religions often used by Christian colleges and schools. Corduan gives balanced explanations of each faith’s beliefs and practices but also provides clear theological and historical evaluations from a Christian perspective. One unique aspect of the book is that each section includes suggestions for students’ term papers on each faith group.
Davis, Freddy. Culture Wars: What You Believe Does Matter. Dauphin Island, AL: Evergreen Press, 2006.
_____. Liberalism vs. Conservatism: A Basic Guide to Understanding America’s 21st Century Civil War. Tallahassee FL: TSMPress, 2013.
_____. Worldview Witnessing – How to Confidently Share Christ with Anyone.
>>> Freddy Davis has produced excellent books on worldview as the key to understanding how people perceive reality and why they believe what they do. He explains, in understandable ways, the four basic worldviews and provides helpful principles for evaluating religious concepts and for effectively sharing Christ with those who have them.
Davis, Freddy and Tal Davis. The World of Christian Worldview. Tallahassee FL: TSMPress, 2012.
_____. Bridges: How to Share a Witness Across Worldview Barriers. Tallahassee: TSMPress, 2012.
>>> Freddy and my book that explains practical ways of crossing over the numerous worldview barriers between people in order to share the true Gospel with them.
Davis, Tal, Bill Gordon, James Newman, Jimmy Furr, Cky Carrigan, and Sal J. Sberna. Faith Discipleship: Faith Reaching Out to Cults (Teachers Guide and Journal). Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2000.
Davis, Tal, Bill Gordon, N.S.R.K. Ravi, Jimmy Furr, Cky Carrigan, Jim R. Sibley, Randy Bernard, John Jackson, Paul C. Reed, Wayne C. Reynolds, and Robert L. Zinn. Faith Discipleship – Faith Reaching Out to World Religions (Teachers Guide and Journal). Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2001.
>>> These two volumes were originally written as student study manuals and leader guides for advanced lessons in the FAITH evangelism program published by Lifeway Christian Resources. The “Reaching Out to Cults” volume has articles by various writers who survey the beliefs of the largest cults and sect groups on America. The “World Religions” authors do the same for the world’s largest faith groups. Both contain helpful principles for witnessing to followers of the religions.
Dembski, William A. and Michael R. Licona, eds. Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2010.
>>> A handy compilation of 50 essays by many prominent evangelical scholars dealing with a broad range of apologetics issues. It is a good introduction to the full scope of Christian apologetics in the arenas of biblical reliability, doctrinal teaching and authority. The authors also apply apologetics to questions of history, philosophy, and science. It contains an especially good section on the Intelligent Design Theory of life origins and diversity by several prominent writers.
*The Doctrine and Covenants. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1990. Available online at http://scriptures.lds.org/ (LDS)
>>> The primary theological scriptural text of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It contains 138 individual revelations (sections) and two Official Declarations supposedly given directly to Joseph Smith, Jr., and other LDS presidents covering a wide range of theological and practical issues. Its most controversial part is Section 132 which codified “a new and an everlasting covenant” doctrine of plural marriage (polygamy). That doctrine was suspended by Official Declaration 1 in 1890. Official Declaration 2 in 1978 opened the church Priesthoods to all worthy male members including those of black African descent.
*Draw Close to Jehovah. New York: The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 2002. (Jehovah’s Witnesses)
>>> One of many official doctrinal texts published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) for study by faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses are prohibited from reading any religious literature not published by the WBTS.
*Eddy, Mary Baker. (1861-1910). Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Boston: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1994. (Christian Science)
>>> The primary textual companion to the Bible for the Church of Christ Science (Christian Science) written by church founder, Mary Baker Eddy. Eddy postulates fanciful metaphysical interpretations of Bible texts that violate every rule of sound exegetical study. Biblical words, names, and phrases are given meanings totally unlike those of standard lexical definitions but that support Eddy’s Far Eastern Thought worldview (which is neither Christian nor scientific).
Ehrenborg, Todd. Mind Sciences: Christian Science, Religious Science, Unity School of Christianity, 1995. (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> A concise study of the history and beliefs of the various “Mind Science” movements including Christian Science, Religious Science, and the Unity School of Christianity. Ehrenberg traces their early common roots and compares their philosophical (rooted in Far Eastern Thought) and theological concepts to orthodox biblical teachings.
Enroth, Ronald, ed. A Guide to New Religious Movements. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005.
>>> A compilation of chapters written by various evangelical experts on nine modern cults and new religious movements.
Enroth, Ronald M. Churches That Abuse. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.
>>> A classic exploration by sociologist Ronald Enroth of the factors that contribute to abusive churches. By abusive, he means those churches and their leaders who assert unethical control of members’ personal behaviors. Using real case study example he shows how religious groups can cross the line and violate people’s human rights in the name of God.
—. The Lure of the Cults. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1987.
>>> A good introduction to how some people are attracted to cult movements and why they remain in them.
Farkas, John R. and David A. Reed. Mormonism: Changes, Contradictions, and Errors. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995.
>>> A helpful analysis of the history and changing beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by two accomplished Christian authors in the counter-cult research field.
*Fillmore, Charles (1854-1948). The Metaphysical Dictionary. Lee’s Summit, MO: Unity School of Christianity, 1962. (Unity)
*—. What Practical Christianity Stands For. Lee’s Summit, MO: Unity School of Christianity, 1939. (Unity)
*Fillmore, Charles and Cora Fillmore. Teach Us to Pray. Lees Summit, MO: Unity School of Christianity, 1946. (Unity)
>>> Charles Fillmore and his first wife Myrtle Fillmore were the founders of the Unity School of Christianity located at Unity Village in Lees Summit Missouri. Unity is one of the largest of the Mind Science or New Thought cult movements producing books and devotional materials (e.g.: Daily Word) studied even by many unwary Christians. The books listed here are three of the basic texts upon which the pseudo-Christian Unity movement bases its metaphysical beliefs (rooted actually in Far Eastern Thought).
Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. Atlanta: Commentary Press, 1984.
>>> Raymond Franz (1922 – 2010) was at one time a devoted member of the highest authority in the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS – Jehovah’s Witnesses). As a member of that group’s Governing Body, he helped to shape the beliefs and practices of millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. This book is Franz’s personal story of his disillusionment with the WBTS organization and eventual defection from its ranks. Though it is doubtful Franz ever became an orthodox Trinitarian Christian, his book is an excellent resource for understanding the inner workings and Orwellian world of the WBTS cult.
Geisler, Norman L. and Abdul Saleeb. Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross (updated and revised). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2006.
>>> Prominent Christian philosopher Norman Geisler, in conjunction with former Iranian Muslim Abdul Saleeb (a pseudonym), have written one of the best resources available on the history and beliefs of Islam from a Christian perspective. In three sections, the authors cover the history and basic beliefs of orthodox Islam, give a Christian response to Islam, and finally provide an excellent apologetic response to Muslim claims about the Bible, Jesus, and Christianity.
Geisler, Norman L. and Ron Rhodes. When Cultists Ask – A Popular Handbook on Cultic Misinterpretations. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997.
>>> Philosopher Geisler and counter-cult researcher Ron Rhodes, president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries, have produced a well written survey of how various cult movements mistranslate and misinterpret the Bible to support their heretical doctrines. A good resource for those who engage in dialog with members of cult groups.
*General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists Believe . . . A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines. Washington: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988. (Seventh-day Adventism)
>>> A thorough systematic theological presentation of twenty-seven of the basic beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). It covers every issue of theology which form that church’s perspective based on its distinctive interpretations of the Bible. While evangelicals will find most of the SDA’s doctrines to be in line with historic Christian teachings, some of them are clearly outside of the mainstream of traditional understandings. That is due to the excessive influence of SDA founder and “Spirit of Prophecy” Ellen G. White who claimed she received divinely inspired visions showing her how to understand key passages of the Bible. Some of the disputed doctrines of the SDA include: Seventh-day Sabbatarianism; the Investigative Judgment (Heavenly Sanctuary); Conditional Immortality (Soul Sleep); Annihilation of the Wicked; the “Great Controversy” between God and Satan; the “Remnant Church”; and the “Scapegoat” (Azazel) doctrine.
Gomes, Alan W. Unitarian Universalism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998. (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> Gomes, of Talbot Theological Seminary, provides a concise outlined review of the history of unitarian theology (Arianism) from ancient times, through the post-Reformation unitarian movements, to the merger of Unitarianism with Universalism to form the modern Unitarian Universalist Association. He also analyzes the current mishmash of UUA doctrine (or lack thereof).
—. Unmasking the Cults. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995. (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> This is the introduction to the Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements series of books. Gomes analyzes the characteristics of cults from theological, sociological, and personal perspectives. It is a good basic starter for someone interested in studying cults in America.
*Gospel Principles. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2009. Available in PDF online at www.lds.org . (LDS)
>>> An extensive and official doctrinal and practical handbook for members and inquirers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/ Mormons). It covers the official teachings of the LDS on nearly every key theological point including its view of God, Jesus Christ, salvation, life after death, etc. It also contains the official LDS version of the life of Joseph Smith. Jr. and the history of the early Mormons. Additionally, it explains the church’s structure, offices, and practices.
This book can be helpful for those analyzing LDS theology and practice since it an official statement of faith from the church itself. However, it is important to note that the 2009 volume has undergone extensive revisions from its first edition published in 1978 and in later versions. The latest edition should be assessed not for what it says, but more for what it does not say. The writers have clearly altered the early versions to obscure many of the unusual and thoroughly unorthodox (and officially unchanged) teachings of Mormonism. For example, earlier editions were more forth-coming about the Mormon belief in a Mother God in heaven than is the newest adaptation. Thus studying the earlier editions, will provide more candid presentations of Mormon doctrines (the 1997 version is available online at: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=ea697befabc20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=d7561b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD ) .
Habermas, Gary R. and J.P. Moreland. Immortality: The Other Side of Death. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992.
>>> An interesting study of the evidences, biblical and otherwise, by two distinguished Christian scholars on the subject of life after death. They survey and evaluate the testimonies of those having had near death experiences (NDRs) as well as addressing biblically the questions of the existence of heaven and hell.
*Hagin, Kenneth E. (1917- 2003). Exceedingly Growing Faith, 2d ed. Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1988. (Word-Faith)
*—. I Believe in Visions. Old Tappan, NJ: Spire Books, 1972. (Word-Faith)
*—. Right and Wrong Thinking for Christians. Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1966. (Word-Faith)
>>> Kenneth Hagin (1917 – 2003) was one of the most important exponents of the modern Word-Faith movement. For more than five decades his books, like those listed above, were widely circulated, particularly among Pentecostal churches. In 1974 he founded the Rhema Bible Institute in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where he indoctrinated several generations of young Word-Faith preachers. Needless to say, Hagin’s books and teachings are extremely controversial and have been refuted and denounced by many evangelical and Pentecostal Bible scholars. Hagin was also accused by various researchers of having plagiarized in his books the words of earlier Word-Faith preacher E. W. Kenyon.
Hawkins, Craig. Goddess Worship, Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998. (A part of the Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions, Alan W. Gomes, Gen Ed.).
>>> Another of the concise handbooks from Zondervan series. This one deals with the history and beliefs of the modern pagan and witchcraft movements by a noted researcher in the field of apologetics and new religions.
Hinnells, John R., ed. A New Handbook of Living Religions, 2nd edition New York: Penguin Books, 2003.
>>> A basic scholarly textbook on many of the world’s major religions with chapters on each one written by various authors. They do not write from an evangelical Christian perspective so the chapters tend to be straight forward with little critical or negative evaluation. The book is helpful however in that it addresses some faiths not generally well known in the west.
*Holmes, Ernest (1887-1960). What Religious Science Teaches. Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1975. (Religious Science)
>>> Ernest Holmes was the key founder and leader of Religious Science which, like Christian Science and the Unity School of Christianity, is one of what we refer to as Mind-Science religions. This book is one the primary texts for students of Religious Science which is a hybrid mix of Theism and Far Eastern Thought worldviews.
*Holmes, Fenwicke L. Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970. (Religious Science)
>>> The official biography of Religious Science founder Ernest Holmes by one of his devoted followers. Like most such life stories written by their zealots, take it with a grain of salt.
*Hubbard, L. Ron (1911-1986). Dianetics – The Modern Science of Mental Health. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2000. (Scientology)
>>> The primary introductory text for the Church of Scientology which regards it as virtually inspired scripture. It contains Hubbard’s bizarre theories of finding mental and physical health. He argued that all of mankind’s problems stem from bad unconscious experiences in infancy and childhood recorded in the brain as what he called “engrams.”
The key to healing, Hubbard said, was systematically to expunge those engrams from one’s psyche using a therapeutic method he designed called “Dianetics.” When first published in 1950, the book aroused a storm of criticism from mental health professionals who universally denounced it as spurious.
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