A Field Guide on False Teaching

Ligonier Ministries, A Field Guide on False Teaching. Ligonier Ministries: Sanford, FL, 2021.

My Subtitle: A Counter-Cult Book that Fits in Your Pocket.

Ligonier ministries has provided us with a nice resource that directly engages the major cults and false teachings, shows the biblical response, and gives suggestions on how to share the gospel with a particular movement.  Each chapter is followed by a one page summary of major dates and leaders in said movement.

This book covers the prosperity gospel, Deism, Legalism, Antinomianism, Mormonism, Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, New Age spirituality, and atheism and secularism. The sections are uneven at times.  The responses to deism, legalism, antinomianism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are quite good.  Other responses were lacking.  Although it is only natural to question the inclusion of one group at the expense of the other, and I certainly cannot fault them for responding to what they believe is a threat, I did scratch my head at the inclusion of Christian Science.  By their own admission, there are only 2000 congregations worldwide.  I suppose they included them because of Christian Science’s impact on American history.

In response to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the evangelist should focus on what the New World Translation says about the deity of Christ in Isaiah 9:6, calling him “mighty God” (119). Also, since most JWs are functional annihilationists concerning the fate of the wicked, the editors urge us to focus on the just punishment for sin (120-121).

I found the response to Eastern religions somewhat lacking, but that might reflect the difficulty most Westerners face.  Norman Geisler in a lecture called Hinduism “the smothering embrace.”  Because it is a monistic system, it seeks to absorb other truth claims and “smother” them, rather than refute them.

Nonetheless, this is a handy volume to hand out to church members and youth groups.

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