Book Review – World Religions and Cults: Moralistic, Mythical and Mysticism Religions

world-religions-and-cults

It is readily accepted that Walter Martin’s classic Kingdom of the Cults is the standard work on the plethora of cult religions across the globe. While I certainly recommend Martin’s contribution to this topic, the recent multi-volume release from Master Books on World Religions and Cults is another valuable tool for understanding how to not just understand these religions and cults, but more importantly, how to respond to those who hold to those types of religious ideologies. The particular volume this review will focus upon is World Religions and Cults: Moralistic, Mythical and Mysticism Religions edited by Bodie Hodge and Roger Patterson.

Hodge aptly notes in the introduction an important truth, namely there are only two religions in the world, “God’s and man’s”. Anything not of God or found in God’s Word falls within the category of a man made religion. Hodge correctly reminds the reader these “religions of man are dubbed humanistic since they go back to the mind of man or a human. As Christians, we should not fear them.”

Since far too many believers are wholly unaware of what these man made religions teach, they are unprepared to interact from a biblical approach on the falsity of those ungodly religions ideologies. Thus, instead of reaching out with the truth of Scripture, they shrink back to their pews or homes when someone knocks on their door.

The contributors to this volume engage 21 different false religions from New Age philosophy to Unitarianism to Wicca, Witchcraft, and Druidism. Each chapter provides a short yet thorough overview of the belief in question, the arbitrariness of its teachings, important characteristics, historical development, and key ways to dialogue with those who are adherents of these religions.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the plethora of important facts provided throughout this book, what I most appreciated was the focus on evangelism. Learning about false religions is one thing. Taking that knowledge and then going forth to engage those who hold to these false beliefs with the message of the truth of God’s Word and the gospel is truly what we are all called to do by God. Fundamentally, this is an apologetics book written with a heart towards evangelism.

Many, many people are believing the lies of the 21 moralistic, mythical, and mysticism religions discussed in this book. The reality is these particular religions are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to false beliefs. As believers, we must use helpful tools such as this book to enable us to learn the elements of the error so we can preach the message of the truth found in Scripture.

I highly recommend not only this particular volume, but all three volumes that comprise this wonderful set of books provided by Master Books. If you want all three volumes, Master Books has just released all three in a handy one-volume edition. I encourage you to pick up all three and dive into the information contained in its pages. In a time when the allure of false religions is on the rise, it is high time the people of God get out of the pews, open their doors at home, and learn about what people are falling prey to while at the same time sharing the message of the gospel. World Religions and Cults: Moralistic, Mythical and Mysticism Religions is a great tool for doing just that.

This book is available for purchase from Master Books by clicking here.

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Book Review – Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church’s Lost Generation

Ready to Return

When it comes to the next generation of believers, the body of Christ has a serious problem. Many young people, especially those going off to college, do not return back to the fold meaning something leads them to stray from the faith. The statistics are startling and should be cause for alarm. In his books Already Gone and Already Comprised, Ken Ham took an in-depth look at what is causing this departure. To a large degree, the problem resides in the serious lack of biblical truth being taught in churches today beginning in the foundational book of Genesis. With those core foundations being rejected, it is no wonder many other key issues of the faith have come under fire with the result being this mass departure by the youth with many never returning.

In his follow up book aptly titled Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church’s Lost Generation, Ham saliently outlines some key strategies for correcting the issues identified in his previous two books on this subject matter. He challenges the popular approach of acquiescing to post-modern thought and cultural relevance at the expense of biblical truth and dares to suggest that in order to fix the departure problem of our youth, it might just make good sense to get back to sound biblical teaching, jettisoning the compromising positions far too many churches have taken over the years.

Now Ken Ham makes it quite clear where he stands on issues such as origins. He is after all head of a young earth creationist organization and thus is very passionate about that particular subject. There will be many who might question whether the book of Genesis or origins in general has anything really to do with the problem we are seeing with the youth in our churches departing and not returning. As evinced in Ham’s previous books, the statistics and interviews with those youth reveal the questioning of what can be considered as foundational biblical precepts, in particular the truths found in Genesis was just that – the genesis for their departure. Ham reiterates the startling statistics in this book just in case there is any question as to the root of the problem.

He challenges the church to “repent of our low view of Scripture, humble ourselves, and learn the lesson God taught the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3”. A proper defense of the faith must stem from a high view of Scripture and that high view must infiltrate every aspect of how we approach, understand, apply, and teach the truth of God’s Word. As Ham aptly notes, having a high view of Scripture “is the cure for our blindness and the blandness so prevalent in the Church today.”

I appreciated Ham’s picture of describing the faith as a bit like a baton race with one generation handing off things to the next. We have greatly fumbled of late the passing of the baton. Failure to properly pass on the truths of the faith diligently and correctly can and does result in future generations straying farther from the foundations of the faith. We are seeing that take place today. As Ham correctly reminds us, “we must make it a top priority to train, equip, mentor, and model an effective apologetic for this generation of young believers living in a post-modern world.” This training must start with children when they are very young and it must continue in a consistent manner all the way through adulthood.

Ham makes a great plug for homeschooling which I also greatly appreciated. He does realize that for many families, homeschooling is just not an option. For those who send their children to a Christian school, they must still be aware of what their child is learning. Given the statistics that Ham continually presents in this book, it is clear that even Christian schools have gone down the road of compromise, particular on the issue of origins. We know public schools teach evolution so the challenge exists for parents to combat that line of influence as well.

This is a war, one for the hearts and minds of our youth. Ham’s book is a call to action and a timely one. The longer we fail to engage in the battle, the more startling the statistics will become. All hope is not lost of course, but it is time for the people of God to return to foundational biblical truth starting from the first pages of Genesis. This is a book I highly recommend for all believers, in particular elementary, middle school, and high school pastors, parents, and anyone who regularly engages with youth, small or ready to go off to college.

This book is available for purchase from Master Books clicking here.

I received this book for free via Cross Focused Reviews from Master Books and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Review – Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design

Dinosaurs

Everybody seems to love dinosaurs. The recent success of the movie Jurassic World seems proof enough of that fact. Unfortunately, the typical approach when it comes to dinosaurs is the presentation of the evolutionary dogma that dinosaurs existed long before man and we part of the “from goo to you by way of the zoo” movement of history promoted by such a theory. Christians often fall into the evolutionary trap, failing to realize dinosaurs were created by God and were part of His original creation. They are also often unaware that Scripture does speak about these amazing creatures.

In his book Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design, Dr. Tim Clarey walks the reader through the issue of the dinosaurs, using the framework and lens of the Bible as well as providing sound science throughout. Yes that is correct…science actually can and does support the biblical account. More on that later.

For starters, this book is absolutely gorgeous. I don’t often use that as a description for a book; however, the full color pages found throughout are very impressive. The maps, pictures of various dinosaurs, scriptural quotes, historical figures of note, and tables provide the reader with much to look at. I would submit this book would be of great use not just for children, but also for adults. I found the information to be highly readable and even when matters of science are discussed (and here is much scientific fact provided in this book), it was not overwhelming to the point where a child or someone not well versed in such matters could not enjoy the information.

Now as noted earlier, this book is written from a creation science perspective and Clarey does not hide that fact. As one who affirms the creation science approach to origins and dinosaurs for that matter, I appreciated that Clarey does not shy away from noting how science does support the Bible when it comes to this subject. God’s Word is not devoid of addressing the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, translators have tended to treat Leviathan and Behemoth as nothing more than a crocodile or hippo. The reality is Job encountered and lived alongside dinosaurs. This means the oldest book in the Bible attests to man living with these creatures.

Clarey addresses all the necessary questions such as the actual age of dinosaurs, matters related to soft tissue found in dinosaur fossils, how carbon-14 dating reveals a young age for dinosaurs fossils, and most importantly, how dinosaurs are not evidence of random chance, but rather clear and beautiful evidence of God’s design. He provides the reader with a plethora of facts by which we can combat the evolutionary dogma of millions of years.

I found this book to be excellent and I highly recommend it. As a homeschooling parent, it will certainly find its way into science and bible related discussions over the coming years.

This book is available for purchase from Master Books by clicking here.

I received this book for free from Master Books via Cross Focused Reviews and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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