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.
"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."
"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!"
"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."
"Highly recommended for concerned Christians, lay and clergy, politicians, church leaders, and theological seminaries in other parts of the world, where most of the NRMs presented in this guide have experienced growth in recent years. In such places, easily accessible sound background information such as this book offers is rare."
1. What Is a New Religious Movement? - Ronald Enroth
2. Jehovah's Witnesses - Ron Rhodes
3. Yoga and Hinduism - Vishal Mangalwadi and Ronald Enroth
4. Unification Church - James Beverley
5. Latter-Day Saints - Robert M. Bowman Jr.
6. Astral Religion and the New Age - Charles Strohmer
7. The Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism - James C. Stephens
8. Neopaganism - John Peck
9. The Baha'I World Faith - Francis J. Beckwith
10. The Nation of Islam - Craig S. Keener and Glenn Usry
11. Evaluating New Religious Movements - LaVonne Neff
List of Contributors