• The Cult of Personality Article by D.G. Hart

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2005

    Religious liberty is one aspect of American life that almost every citizen of the United States cherishes. Common is the pastoral prayer in any Protestant congregation that includes gratitude for the liberties that Christians enjoy, which permits them to worship free from government oversight or regulation. Even more typical is the Thanksgiving Day service in which ministers and church members openly acknowledge the benefits of a system of government that guarantees individuals the right to worship God according to the freedom of conscience. Yet, the downside of religious liberty is not always noticed. This is not to say that Christians … View Resource

  • The Cults as Theological Judgment Article by Albert Mohler

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2005

    Writing early in the last century, J. K. Van Baalen argued that “the cults are the unpaid bills of the church.” Van Baalen’s influential work, The Chaos of the Cults, represented one of the first comprehensive efforts to evaluate the various cults of the day — Spiritism, Theosophy, Christian Science, Rosicrucianism, Swedenborgianism, Mormonism, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, among others — from the vantage point of orthodox Christianity. In Van Baalen’s analysis, orthodox Christianity had opened the door for the cults to proliferate throughout the culture. Sidelined by pragmatism, distracted by divisions, and committed to a “smallest common-denominator faith,” … View Resource

  • Modern Cultic Tendencies Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2005

    Since the nineteenth century, the U.S. has proven to have a cultural soil that is particularly well-suited to the growth and spread of diverse cultic movements. The nineteenth century alone witnessed the rise of numerous small cults as well as several significant ones, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. A number of factors — discussed in another article in this issue of Tabletalk — help us to understand why this happened when it did. But what of our own era? Is there anything in our contemporary way of thinking, or way of living, that is similarly conducive to … View Resource

  • Sects of Seduction Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2005

    From time to time I get a knock on the door from two exuberant representatives of one of the local cult chapters. Although such visits have become less frequent in recent years, it is generally my practice to step outside for a nice little chat. The friendly couple always seem overjoyed at the fact that I am willing to take the time to talk with them, and usually, during our formal introductions, I am thinking to myself: “They have no idea what they’re in for.” After listening intently to their presentation and their questions, I begin to reply with … View Resource