A Guide to New Religious Movements
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A Guide to New Religious Movements [Paperback]

Ronald Enroth
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Book Description

May 26, 2005
Today's pluralistic society is filled with religious alternatives and options, and the choices for faith commitment have never been more numerous. Many of these new religious movements are growing at a far faster pace than most traditional Christian denominations. Why are they so appealing? Sociologist Ronald Enroth and a team of expert contributors provide an accessible handle on the key religious movements of our day, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jehovah's Witnesses to contemporary versions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. They assess what each movement believes, why they are attractive to so many, and how Christians can respond with grace and truth.

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Editorial Reviews


"Ronald Enroth's book brings together for the general reader wide-ranging information and analysis of key religious movements in North America. Ideas such as these are often intimidating to people who are not specialists in religion, philosophy or theology. The authors Enroth has lined up admirably succeed in making them both accessible and interesting at the same time. This book is a most welcome tool to equip and inspire Christians to reach out and interact confidently with their friends and neighbors who are members in groups like those discussed here." (Paul Chamberlain, Director, Institute of Christian Apologetics)

"It is no longer a new revelation that the religious marketplace in the West has become increasingly diverse. We are getting used to the presence among us of religious movements that either have been exported from the East or have arisen on our own soil not too long ago. But to become conditioned to their presence and to learn about them with Christian compassion are two different things. This book goes a long way toward helping us get to know their content, but even more how to understand them better internally and externally. There are two evident advantages to this volume: For one, it concentrates on the major movements, rather than overwhelming us with all the many ephemeral societies that come and go. Second, I am struck by the fact that the contributors, obviously writing from their strengths, have managed to generate a level of interest that makes you want to read on. A great addition to the literature on new religions!" (Winfried Corduan, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Taylor University, and author of Neighboring Faiths)

"This book serves as a helpful pointer to the importance of 'holistically' engaging those within new religious movements. These movements' adherents are made in God's image; so individual Christians and churches must go beyond mere theological debate to engage in loving, listening relationships as well. Doctrinal refutation is not enough. Familiarity with a movement's history/sociology--which often exposes the church's own failures--and utilization of practical tools for 'speaking the truth in love' are also necessary." (Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University)

About the Author

Ronald Enroth is professor of sociology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is the author of several books, including The Lure of the Cults and Churches That Abuse.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (May 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830823816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830823819
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,477,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic Overview December 21, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book edited by Ron Enroth is a good basic overview of religions commonly referred to by evangelical Christians as "cults." Rather than use this term, however, as the title declares, it uses the term "New Religious Movements." This is a more recent term which does not carry with it the negative connotation as does the word cult. (As an aside, however, this term itself can be quite ambiguous.) The chapters are written by leading authors and provide general overviews of the religions discussed.

This work is best suited for those who are getting their first exposure to these groups. It is not intended for scholarly inquiry. Consider the book a small dictionary or encylopedia of select religious groups. The book can be read from cover to cover or referred to when seeking information about a specific group.

The first chapter (written by editor Enroth) defines the term New Religious Movements. Chapters two through ten summarize the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, Yoga and Hinduism, Unification Church, Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Astral Religion and the New Age, the Dali Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, Neopaganism, the Baha'i World Faith, and the Nation of Islam (in that order). There is no template the authors follow, allowing them to use their own method in their chapters. Some offer overt Christian/biblical responses to the faith they describe; others do not. Yet it is clear that the work is designed to introduce these groups to Christians. And inclusion of a group in the book necesarily implies that said group would be considered objectionable to Christians.

The last chapter is titled "Evaluating New Religious Movements." A three-pronged approach is followed.
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