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 into 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 twenty-one 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 twenty-one 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.