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Unitarian Universalism Paperback – March 17, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310488915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310488910
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Fast, informed answers to the challenges of false religions This is an age when countless groups and movements, new and old, mark the religious landscape in our culture. As a result, many people are confused or uncertain in their search for spiritual truth and meaning. Because few people have the time or opportunity to research these movements fully, the Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements series provides essential information and insights for their spiritual journeys. The second wave of books in this series addresses a broad range of spiritual beliefs, from non-Trinitarian Christian sects to witchcraft and neo-paganism to classic non-Christian religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. All books but the summary volume, Truth and Error, contain five sections: A concise introduction to the group being surveyed An overview of the group's theology--in its own words Tips for witnessing effectively to members of the group A bibliography with sources for further study A comparison chart that shows the essential differences between biblical Christianity and the group Truth and Error, the last book in the series, consists of parallel doctrinal charts compiled from all the other volumes. Three distinctives make this series especially useful to readers: Information is carefully distilled to bring out truly essential points, rather than requiring readers to sift their way through a sea of secondary details. Information is presented in a clear, easy-to-follow outline form with menu bar running heads. This format greatly assists the reader in quickly locating topics and details of interest. Each book meets the needs and skill levels of both nontechnical and technical readers, providing an elementary level of refutation and progressing to a more advanced level using arguments based on the biblical text. The writers of these volumes are well qualified to present clear and reliable information and help readers to discern truth from falsehood.

From the Author

Alan W. Gomes is general editor to the entire series, Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements, as well as one of the authors. He is associate professor of historical theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

Customer Reviews

People come to it and not the other way around.
Amazon Customer
Gomes goes so far as to categorically state that these other `cult' people are not true Christians.
A Reader
I found that this book was FULL of information, but lacked wisdom and compassion entirely.
Clint Zehner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Although I deeply respect Christianity and its principles, I have a hard time understaning where fundamentalist Christians are coming from when they try to tear down something that they don't understand such as UUism. So with an open mind I decided to go through this book in hopes of educating myself.Needless to say, I found it to contain nothing more than rhetorical manipulation and propaganda. If Unitarians really were like how he presented them to be, trust me I wouldn't be one myself.As a 20 year old, I came across UU on my own and have been attending a UU fellowship for 4 years. In that time I've never once been asked to make a monetary contribution and no one has ever tried to pressure me to do anything.Furthermore, I'd suggest the author look up the definition of "cult" in the dictionary or at least read some empirical studies on cult psychology. Some elements that real cults have are intimidating and charismatic leaders, the inculcation of dogma (thus suppression of thought), and the requirement of complete loyalty. UU has none of these things while certain denominations of Christianity do. And think of this - have you ever had a UU person come around knocking on your door trying to recuit you to share "the good word?" Please. People come to it and not the other way around. The whole premise and the whole concept of UU as a cult is nonsense, as is this book. And towards the end I only realized that it's pointless to try to understand where fanatics like him are coming from since they don't base arguments on reason anyway.
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93 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Clint Zehner on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book (as well as others in this series) shows a lack of understanding and respect for the religious group it is attacking. I have no objection to the author's beliefs, but to degrade the religious affiliations of others so brashly is disrespectful and cruel. I was embarassed to have read this book by the time I was finished. I agree that this series serves as a good tool for members of the critiqued sects or religions: it is a sort of encyclopedia of some of the most extreme views of evangelical Christianity toward their belief. I found that this book was FULL of information, but lacked wisdom and compassion entirely. Are these not virtues celebrated by Christianity? The whole idea behind this series (armament for proseletization) is preposterous to those of us who love other human beings.
(I would like to add as a note that I am NOT a Unitarian Universalist and this is not a cry of defense for my own beliefs. I merely think that Christians should have more tolerance and compassion than to ever write such violently derogatory books!)
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By David O. Pollard on May 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
It was a bit of a shock to find a book from a supposedly reputable publisher that claims the church I've been attending for the past decade was a cult. However, forwarned is forarmed - so I got a copy of it and took it to the High School Sunday School class I teach - to let them in on what the "traditional" Christian world thinks of them.
While the author claims to have studied UUism, and his outline of it does contain some fairly recent source materials on it - from the arguments he poses against UUism it is clear he doesn't GET what it means to be a participant of a non-credal religion. Or that quoting Bible verses on the authority of the Bible is anything other than totaly irrelevant to Atheists or Neo-Pagans (and circular logic to boot.)
One thing that surprised me as an Earth-centered UU, was the author's most scathing rhetoric was not aimed at Pagans like myself or Atheists - but at UU=Christians! He targets them specificly for their "counterfeit and cultic" practices. Whether this is because familiarity (of shared theological elements) breeds contempt, or it's easier to use the Bible to take potshots at others who revere it is haard to determine.
As I said there is some small utility for UUs to buy this book to see what the Religious Right thinks of them - however, I would expect that it would be extremely ineffective at its reputed purpose - converting UUs to more orthodox forms of Christianity. The most likely response one would get from it would be, "I'm sorry you feel that way about it.", or if they're more blunt, "So What?"
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
Gomes provides an accurate and complete history of Unitarian Universalism. The rest of this little handbook, however, is nothing more than a diatribe against liberal religion and religious diversity. He is particularly condescending toward UU Christians (who aren't really "Christian" according to Gomes). So, legalistic and hatemongering Christians are writing handbooks on how to witness to Unitarian Universalists. That must mean that the free-minded, non-dogmatic and inclusive religion that is Unitarian Universalism is experiencing such growth and renewal that they're getting alarmed. That's good news indeed!
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To his credit, Mr. Gomes does present a good historical summary of Unitarianism. Beyond that, however, I can see little to recommend this book. Unless one agrees with his initial set of premises (most notably, that Christianity is the One True Religion and the Bible is the Revealed Word of God), none of his arguments have any substance. The book is supposed to be guidelines for The Faithful to help them convert the Heathen, in this case Unitarians. Since a large percentage of Unitarians come to the religion only after becoming disillusioned with another, the odds of getting a Unitarian to convert back to something he has already tried and found wanting must be rather remote. But Mr. Gomes soldiers on, wrapped in the mantle of righteousness. But what's the point?
It reminds me of the story of the four boy scouts whose scoutmaster asked them if they had done their good deed for the day. "Yes sir. We helped a little old lady across the street." "It took all four of you to help her across the street?" Yes sir, she didn't want to go." One does wish that Mr. Gomes would realize that most people are quite content to be on the side of the religious street they're already on.
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