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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

According to pollster George Gallup, one in four Americans now believes in reincarnation. This statistic is just a small indicator of the radical shift occurring in popular religious thinking.  In fact, we live in an era in which Western culture is redefining its entire worldview.  The outcome of this process may be nothing less than a new orthodoxy.   

In an age of religious pluralism, traditional Christian belief is but one option among many. Eastern religions, cults, paganism, and occultism are competing with the gospel for the minds, hearts, and souls of individuals and nations. Dangerous and deceptive cults are gaining converts at an explosive pace, both here and abroad. The New Age Movement - a seductive blend of humanism, Eastern philosophy, and occultism - is currently the fastest growing religious movement in the world. Its influence can be felt in the marketplace, in medicine, in the classroom, in politics, in the arts, and in the church. Our children are increasingly ensnared in the web of witchcraft, occultism, and satanism at the price of their innocence and sometimes their lives. Never have individual Christians needed spiritual discernment more than today. But how can we respond knowledgeably to such a bewildering array of beliefs and practices?   "Counterfeits By The Book" will supply you with the knowledge and skills you need to "contend for the faith" (Jude 3) and to give others a "reason for the hope that you have" in Christ (1 Pet. 3:15).

The topics covered include:    

*  Identifying the foundational tenets of the Christian faith.

*  Key heresies at the heart of cult doctrines. 

*  Founders, histories, and beliefs of the major cults.

*  Occultism and satanism.

*  The origins, practices, and philosophy of the New Age Movement.

*  How to "cult-proof" you and your family.

*  Discerning cultic tendencies within the church.  

As a result of studying this Living By The Book course, you will gain the factual and scriptural insight necessary to understand today’s cults and new religions. You will be able to effectively dialogue with those involved in spiritual counterfeits, because you can confidently approach them with the knowledge that Christianity offers better answers to their questions.  

INSTRUCTOR  

Your instructor for this course is Dr. Ruth A. Tucker (Ph.D., Northern Illinois University). Dr. Tucker is the author of our textbook Another Gospel as well as six other books in the areas of missions and church history. She is the associate editor of Missiology, and serves as a visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Calvin College, and Moffat College of the Bible in Kenya.    Dr. Tucker has published articles in Christianity Today and other periodicals. In 1988 she won an Eternity Book of the Year Award for Daughters of the Church. In 1984 and 1989 she won Gold Medallion Awards for two other books, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya and First Ladies of the Parish. She is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows including The 700 Club and On-The-Line.

TEXTBOOK

Another Gospel: Alternative Religions and the new Age Movement offers a uniquely readable guide to the study of cults. Drawing on her extensive background as an historian, Dr. Tucker allows us to grasp the essential character of twelve major cults by focusing on the personalities of their founders.

In researching and writing Another Gospel, Dr. Tucker visited various cult centers and talked with cult members. In addition to an in-depth study of the new Age Movement, the book also contains useful appendices covering lesser-known cultic movements, cultic statements of belief, and the major tenets of orthodox Christianity. Dr. Tucker’s combination of up-to-date information, historical depth, and balanced and objective tone has made Another Gospel an instant classic in the field of Christian apologetics.

Note: Living By The Book students who possess Renewal Theology, Volume 1 by Dr. J. Rodman Williams can increase their understanding of “Counterfeits By The Book” by doing further reading in RT on key terms such as “monism” and “idolatry.”
 

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