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Kingdom of the Cults: Limited Edition, Standard Reference Work on the Subject, Revised, Updated

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In addition to a thorough analysis of the major cults, this edition of Walter Martin's classic study includes chapters on The Unification Church, Scientology and, (because of their strong influence on modern cultic teachings), Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.v


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In addition to a thorough analysis of the major cults, this edition of Walter Martin's classic study includes chapters on The Unification Church, Scientology and, (because of their strong influence on modern cultic teachings), Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.v

30 review for Kingdom of the Cults: Limited Edition, Standard Reference Work on the Subject, Revised, Updated

  1. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

    It goes without saying that if you're a member of one of the cults discussed in this book, you'll probably not like it; rather, you will probably "hate!" it in the manner exampled by some of the reviews available on the Internet. But I'm not so sure your feelings would be reciprocated if you choose to write a book critical on, say, the Lutheran Church. Most Lutherans would welcome the outsider's view and not be intimidated because, for the most part, they are confident about their theology. What It goes without saying that if you're a member of one of the cults discussed in this book, you'll probably not like it; rather, you will probably "hate!" it in the manner exampled by some of the reviews available on the Internet. But I'm not so sure your feelings would be reciprocated if you choose to write a book critical on, say, the Lutheran Church. Most Lutherans would welcome the outsider's view and not be intimidated because, for the most part, they are confident about their theology. What probably gives the practitioners of cultic beliefs their vituperative "edginess" in their response to a book like this is their own uneasyness about what they so vehemently defend. Reading about the ancient world one gets the same sense from those who defended the Pagan cults and condemned the Christians who were springing up in their midst. From my point of view, this book is well researched and has both interesting historical material as well as making a painstaking effort to show how the beliefs put forth by the cults differ from orthodox Christian beliefs. In reading it, it will also shore up the beliefs of orthodox Christians as well. The chapter on Mormonism is especially interesting and I believe Walter Martin takes some pains to make clear that, though mistaken in their beliefs about the nature of Christ, Mormons are good, almost exemplary, citizens and their beliefs should in no way bar us from their acquaintance. It goes without saying that in dealing with individuals one must respect their beliefs even as one tries to persuade them they are wrong. But it also needs to be said that criticism, properly put, is not condemnation or "bashing" as we, in our hypersensitive, therapeutic age, might put it. Thus it is (or should be) possible to be critical of the beliefs of, say, Christian Scientists, (again, made without the ridicule or aspersion of individual Christian Scientists) without the latter getting heated up in the face of such criticism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte B

    i should add that my dad (a pastor) has a copy of this book... and i've read this book more like a handy resource/reference book; definitely not meant to be read from front to back. and the word "cult", loaded as it is, is clearly defined in the intro. what i love about this book is that for each 'cult' described, Martin compares it with th gospel of Jesus Christ. an interesting book and a must-read for those curious about the gospel and how it relates to other religions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    After I became a Christian I became an apologetics nut.Frankly, I read more stuff like Martin's book than I did the Bible itself. AS a result I probably knew more about cults than I did about Christianity and it's variants. I rate the book highly however because it still is a pretty good primer on aberrant and heretical sects and cults.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Donald Ball

    The study of religion has always fascinated me. However, this book is not an objective analysis of established religions and their sub-organizations, it is a nonstop lecture of how the author is right and everyone else is wrong. Had the author presented his opinions and interpretations as well as those of the splinter groups he homes in on, and then stopped there to let the reader form his or her own opinion, fine. But when told his opinion has validity and the others are faulty is tantamount to The study of religion has always fascinated me. However, this book is not an objective analysis of established religions and their sub-organizations, it is a nonstop lecture of how the author is right and everyone else is wrong. Had the author presented his opinions and interpretations as well as those of the splinter groups he homes in on, and then stopped there to let the reader form his or her own opinion, fine. But when told his opinion has validity and the others are faulty is tantamount to shoving his opinion down our throats. Wars are fought over this kind of mentality.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Finally!!! The Seventh-day Adventist church was fairly honest when Walter Martin asked what they really believed and they were classified as a cult in this 2003 edition!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Beth Kakuma-Depew

    As a Catholic, I found all the scripture quoting extraneous. And as a far as I'm concerned Evangelical bible-thumpers are already a weird sub-cult of Christianity. But if the reader can read past the self-righteous tone of the text, the actual information is broken down in helpful categories. Not that many people want to debate religion, but for those that do, this book offers a unique viewpoint. I don't recommend buying this book, but it's worth flipping through at your local library. The next t As a Catholic, I found all the scripture quoting extraneous. And as a far as I'm concerned Evangelical bible-thumpers are already a weird sub-cult of Christianity. But if the reader can read past the self-righteous tone of the text, the actual information is broken down in helpful categories. Not that many people want to debate religion, but for those that do, this book offers a unique viewpoint. I don't recommend buying this book, but it's worth flipping through at your local library. The next time a Jehovah's Witness knocks on your door, you could have a some more solid points to explain to them why you're not interested.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Francis Gahren

    Since the first edition was published in 1965, "The Kingdom of the Cults" has been the authoritative reference work on all major cult systems. This classic has been updated to cover New Age cults, Baha'i, and the Word of Faith movement, with over 50 percent new material. Dr. Walter Martin held four earned degrees, having received his doctorate from California Coast University in the field of Comparative Religions. Author of a dozen books and a half-dozen booklets and many articles, Dr. Martin di Since the first edition was published in 1965, "The Kingdom of the Cults" has been the authoritative reference work on all major cult systems. This classic has been updated to cover New Age cults, Baha'i, and the Word of Faith movement, with over 50 percent new material. Dr. Walter Martin held four earned degrees, having received his doctorate from California Coast University in the field of Comparative Religions. Author of a dozen books and a half-dozen booklets and many articles, Dr. Martin died in 1989, a few months after completing his last book, The New Age Cult.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gary Fields

    The style the book is written in lends itself to reading particular sections as you need to. I haven't read the whole book, but have used it to base my own research on various cults on (previously Mormonism and now Jehovah's Witnesses). The book is very thorough and very well researched. Martin doesn't give opinions or hearsay in his treatment of cults, instead opting to quote heavily from the cults own publications to show what they really teach.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Mardian

    I met Dr. Walter Martin before he left this earth and he is one of the best and most knowledgeable researchers on cults--he gives all the facts (which are very interesting) and lets YOU see for yourself who those nice, pleasant (misguided) folks are that come knocking on your door.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Bandi

    Walter Martin is objective and thorough. If you want to learn about Christian Apologetics, this is the guy to start with.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    I used to own this book. I used to read this book. I tried reallyreally hard. But this kind of fundamentalist misuse/misreading of sacred scripture stuff and all=around bad hermeneutics just nevernever convinced me. But I really did try! Of course, I wasn't very old when I was old enough to know that the theology in Stryper's lyrics wasn't much to brag about either. Instead, I'd recommend you begin your study of weird religiosity with something like Coover's The Origin of the Brunists and The Br I used to own this book. I used to read this book. I tried reallyreally hard. But this kind of fundamentalist misuse/misreading of sacred scripture stuff and all=around bad hermeneutics just nevernever convinced me. But I really did try! Of course, I wasn't very old when I was old enough to know that the theology in Stryper's lyrics wasn't much to brag about either. Instead, I'd recommend you begin your study of weird religiosity with something like Coover's The Origin of the Brunists and The Brunist Day of Wrath. And, were this book published today, you know for certain that even right=wingers like this guy would pluralize "kingdom". [disclosure :: a certain person in my life is employed by an institution controlled by one of the organizations discussed in this volume. hard to distinguish this institution from every other degrading capitalist entity]

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gary Patton

    The information Mr. Martin shares in this book will never get out of date. ..because it's truth! You can trust it to guide you in praying for and sharing the R-E-A-L Jesus with the diabolically misguided members of non-Jesus Following cults whom God brings across your path. (Ephesians 6:10-18). Demonically ensnared and trapped cultists need the R-E-A-L Jesus desperately because only He is Relational-Engaging-Authentic-Life giving! Satan is always busy, as the Biblically-identified "Angel of Ligh The information Mr. Martin shares in this book will never get out of date. ..because it's truth! You can trust it to guide you in praying for and sharing the R-E-A-L Jesus with the diabolically misguided members of non-Jesus Following cults whom God brings across your path. (Ephesians 6:10-18). Demonically ensnared and trapped cultists need the R-E-A-L Jesus desperately because only He is Relational-Engaging-Authentic-Life giving! Satan is always busy, as the Biblically-identified "Angel of Light", and always crafty. (1 Corinthians 2:14 & 2 Corinthians 4:4) By using the truths Mr. Martin shares, Holy Spirit will assist Followers of Jesus in staying on track and not being confused by demonic lies cultists are well-trained and parrot glibly and convincingly. Mr. Martin can prayerfully assist you to bring cultists bound for a Godless eternity one step closer to Jesus ...which is each Follower's of His only job! (Matthew 28:18-20) Be blessed true Jesus Follower by this God-ordained Jesus-sharing resource. GaryFPatton (2014-03-20 © gfp '42™)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    I started reading this book early last year and just finished a few days ago. I picked it up because of the information it contains regarding Jehovah's Witnesses. Growing up as one, we weren't allowed to investigate or research the true founding of the organization. We were told that all public records and documentation were lies created to discredit the JW's. I left the group when I was around 16 years old. I was 39 before I decided to dig deep into their past. There are many resources, but I r I started reading this book early last year and just finished a few days ago. I picked it up because of the information it contains regarding Jehovah's Witnesses. Growing up as one, we weren't allowed to investigate or research the true founding of the organization. We were told that all public records and documentation were lies created to discredit the JW's. I left the group when I was around 16 years old. I was 39 before I decided to dig deep into their past. There are many resources, but I really appreciate the detail this book contains and the references to original public records. I enjoyed it so much I read the entire book. I learned much about other groups in the process. There's alot to this book so I'm sure I'll be reading it again in the future.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Have a family member in a cult like the Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons? Maybe know someone dabbling in Christian Science? This is the book of books to go to to aid you in understanding what they believe, why they believe it, and gives Bible verses to show where they are erring so you can lovingly bring them to Good News of Jesus Christ aiding them in seeing there is nothing to grab onto in their false religion. Walter Martin was a gentle man who knew the cults and worked diligently to bring light Have a family member in a cult like the Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons? Maybe know someone dabbling in Christian Science? This is the book of books to go to to aid you in understanding what they believe, why they believe it, and gives Bible verses to show where they are erring so you can lovingly bring them to Good News of Jesus Christ aiding them in seeing there is nothing to grab onto in their false religion. Walter Martin was a gentle man who knew the cults and worked diligently to bring light to those who are stuck in them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I appreciated the first and last chapters the most -- authentic coaching from a background I trust.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John

    If you’re a Christian and do not have this on your bookshelf, please get it. This is probably the single best resource for dealing with the cults as a whole. Dr. Walter Martin’s work is seriously a gift to the church that needs to be studied.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    This book was nothing like I was expecting. I was hoping for a discussion of small religious groups and their eclectic beliefs but instead what I got was a man defending his own religion by giving misinformation about other mainstream religions. Needless to say I didn't get very far. When I come across a book that discusses a variety of religions the first thing I do is look up my own to see how the author treats it. I was appalled. Not only was the author aggressively against any religion not h This book was nothing like I was expecting. I was hoping for a discussion of small religious groups and their eclectic beliefs but instead what I got was a man defending his own religion by giving misinformation about other mainstream religions. Needless to say I didn't get very far. When I come across a book that discusses a variety of religions the first thing I do is look up my own to see how the author treats it. I was appalled. Not only was the author aggressively against any religion not his own, but he presented arguments that would make any intelligent person cringe. Let me give you an example. In the intro of the author picks a few points about many religions to set the mood of his book. He talks briefly about the Church Welfare System set up by the LDS church (Mormons). In his opinion the welfare system was used to bribe members to stay faithful. Then he proceeded to describe how the Mormons use those resources to feel snobbish and elitist when they help other people. He describes the churches efforts to feed struggling families during the Great Depression as nothing more than a way for rich Mormons to pat their own back. If the author can't recognize the Christlike efforts of a people serving the poor such as this, then I have no hope for the rest of the book. I'm OK reading books about people explaining their own religion. Who better to learn about someones faith than from someone who has practiced it their whole life. But this author does nothing more than seed contention and misinformation about other groups who are honestly trying to live a moral and Christlike life. I find it a bit sad that such an unchristlike attitude coming from a christian gets so many good reviews on goodreads.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    This may be the most comprehensive thing I have ever written. If you want a historical, philosophical and theological overview of religious movements which don't fit into the dominant religions, this is your dude. The book is painfully evangelical and conservative - if those presuppositions bug you, don't bother with this because this books based upon them, and proud of them. And, there's not attempt to trick anyone about that. But as a resource, it works really well to give you a good overview This may be the most comprehensive thing I have ever written. If you want a historical, philosophical and theological overview of religious movements which don't fit into the dominant religions, this is your dude. The book is painfully evangelical and conservative - if those presuppositions bug you, don't bother with this because this books based upon them, and proud of them. And, there's not attempt to trick anyone about that. But as a resource, it works really well to give you a good overview of how these cults differ from an evangelical's view of orthodox Christianity (a smart Catholic may well turn his arguments against him to make evangelicalism a cult from their form of Christianity), and does give the reader significant insight into the mindset behind these various cults and why caused them to spring into existence, and why people may be attracted to them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Dixon

    Once I got this book out of the library, and began looking through it, I realised that I'd done the same thing when I was doing my Theology degree. It left me with the same impression now. This book appears thorough and very well researched. The author has nice things to say about people, no matter how "wrong" they may be in their beliefs, so the book comes across as well-meaning. Unfortunately it feeds into the Us and Them mentality, and it fosters a continuing refusal to see the Bible as anyth Once I got this book out of the library, and began looking through it, I realised that I'd done the same thing when I was doing my Theology degree. It left me with the same impression now. This book appears thorough and very well researched. The author has nice things to say about people, no matter how "wrong" they may be in their beliefs, so the book comes across as well-meaning. Unfortunately it feeds into the Us and Them mentality, and it fosters a continuing refusal to see the Bible as anything other than inerrant. I still can't understand what that terrible need is, nor the hoops people jump through in order to try and show that the contradictions in the Bible aren't contradictory.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alastair Manderson

    An Arminian Christian analysis of the major cults, though by his definitions he does not include the SDA church. He is very clear to point out the growth of the Mormon Church and of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and I believe this book remains something of a classic on the subject. Each cult is dealt with in a different chapter, with other chapters dealing with specific problems relating to cults (use of language &c) An Arminian Christian analysis of the major cults, though by his definitions he does not include the SDA church. He is very clear to point out the growth of the Mormon Church and of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and I believe this book remains something of a classic on the subject. Each cult is dealt with in a different chapter, with other chapters dealing with specific problems relating to cults (use of language &c)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kymberly

    Extensive and deeply resourceful! As a former Mormon I have many friends, associates, and family ask why I am so anti-mormon? I share with them I love Truth aka Jesus. We are to share the truth in the love to everyone no matter if they are Muslim, JW, Atheist... Mormonism doesn't get special treatment. They, too, need the Biblical Jesus & to trust in Him alone. This book speaks of doctrine as well as certain aspects of cultural thinking. Definitely will have this one for my personal library. Extensive and deeply resourceful! As a former Mormon I have many friends, associates, and family ask why I am so anti-mormon? I share with them I love Truth aka Jesus. We are to share the truth in the love to everyone no matter if they are Muslim, JW, Atheist... Mormonism doesn't get special treatment. They, too, need the Biblical Jesus & to trust in Him alone. This book speaks of doctrine as well as certain aspects of cultural thinking. Definitely will have this one for my personal library.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Barrow Wilfong

    Excellent and thorough description of the different cults that exist throughout the world and especially in the United States. Martin gives a good background and history of various cults, especially those that pose as Christian denominations such as Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormans and Christian Scientist.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    Read this back in my anti-cult days when I thought I would like to have a website dedicated to refuting the heretical views of aberrant groups. I thought the book did a good job of clearly giving the history of a group and their theological diviations from historic Christianity.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roxanna

    The book is very thorough and very well researched. Martin doesn't give opinions or hearsay in his treatment of cults, instead opting to quote heavily from the cults own publications to show what they really teach.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Helpful and informative

  26. 5 out of 5

    John

    The definitive study of the major Chistian cults. Dr. Martin devoted his life to debunking the teaching of groups that used the name of Jesus and yet teach and practice things that are diametrically oposwed to the teaching of the Bible. His work on Mormonism (which he was actually born into), and Jehovah Witness, are incredibly well researched. He wrote many, many books on the same subject, as well as books on Christian Apologetics. He was the host of the radio show "The Bible Answer Man" for a The definitive study of the major Chistian cults. Dr. Martin devoted his life to debunking the teaching of groups that used the name of Jesus and yet teach and practice things that are diametrically oposwed to the teaching of the Bible. His work on Mormonism (which he was actually born into), and Jehovah Witness, are incredibly well researched. He wrote many, many books on the same subject, as well as books on Christian Apologetics. He was the host of the radio show "The Bible Answer Man" for at least 10 years, taking questions about cults, the Bible, and Christian practice. He was also the founder of the Christian Research Institute, an organization that researched and refuted cults in both written form, and through seminars held at colleges and in churches. Dr. martin also was the leader of a 'Bible ANswer Man' sunday school class at Melodyland Christian Center for some years, and was an adjunct professor at Melodyland School of Theology, Califiorna Christian College, and Simon Greenleaf School of Law and Apologetics. Dr. Martin passed away in 1989.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bert Klimas

    I was hoping for a readable analysis and insight into different world religions. The original work is more than 40 years old; this is an updated version. Reviewers who laud this work claim it is the definitive work and a great resource for those who want to truly understand some of the world's religions. Those on the opposite side of the reviewing fence shoot it down for its My Way or the Highway attitude along with misleading and false statements. The fact that there could be such polar opposit I was hoping for a readable analysis and insight into different world religions. The original work is more than 40 years old; this is an updated version. Reviewers who laud this work claim it is the definitive work and a great resource for those who want to truly understand some of the world's religions. Those on the opposite side of the reviewing fence shoot it down for its My Way or the Highway attitude along with misleading and false statements. The fact that there could be such polar opposite reviews lead me to believe that it could be a fascinating read. My experience, however, was similar to sleeping through a sermon full of fire and brimstone. ZZZzzzzz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is a thoroughly researched book detailing the differences between major cults and Biblical Christianity. Martin's arguments are backed by fact, and not opinion, and are extremely informative. I did read it straight through, and I did find the section on Seventh-Day Adventists a bit confusing, but it is a good reference book to keep on hand when wondering which religions believe and teach what. I am planning on reading The Kingdom of the Occult next. This is a thoroughly researched book detailing the differences between major cults and Biblical Christianity. Martin's arguments are backed by fact, and not opinion, and are extremely informative. I did read it straight through, and I did find the section on Seventh-Day Adventists a bit confusing, but it is a good reference book to keep on hand when wondering which religions believe and teach what. I am planning on reading The Kingdom of the Occult next.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Josh Crews

    This is THE well-researched debunking of the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons (and lots of less prominent cults). Reading the man-centered, un-regenerate history of their origins, history, and doctrines closes the case that these are not well-intentioned but ignorant spin-offs of orthodox Christianity but evil creations that deadly twists of the gospel. I recommend finding the book in someone else's house or the bookstore and reading the Jehovah's Witness and Mormon sections.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Macklin

    Read the section on Jehovah's Witnesses somewhat closely and skimmed the sections on Mormonism and Christian Science. Interesting stuff but very heavily fundamentalist (right-wing) Christian leaning and obviously biased, even against more liberal brands of Christianity. I would use this to as a reference but would find it ineffective in convincing or converting anyone who subscribes to any of these "cults".

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