Apologia and Academia:
Prospects for a Rapprochement?
Paper presented to the 2002 Evangelical Ministries to New Religions
February 21-23, 2002, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Douglas E. Cowan
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Sociology
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Abstract | Introduction | Issues for Discussion | Conclusion | References Cited
Evangelical countercult ministries obviously want to be taken seriously in their critiques of new religious movements. Until now, however, beyond the boundaries of the countercult itself, two problems have obtained: (a) the vast majority of countercult material is written less with proactive apologetics than reactive reality-maintenance in mind. That is, while there are certainly countercult apologists who produce material designed for proactive interaction between Christians and members of other religious traditions, much of that material amounts to little more than an elaborate apologia for beliefs the reader already holds. And, (b) because of this, apologetic argumentation often lacks both logical rigor and academic integrity. It is, quite frankly, less than compelling for any who are not already predisposed to believe. This chapter will outline a number of points at which, in this author's opinion, evangelical countercult apologetics must be refined if those apologetics are to move effectively from the choir loft to the city street.INTRODUCTION
First of all, I would like to thank John Morehead for inviting Dr. Melton and me to this conference. Anyone who follows the online discussions on AR-forum knows that it took no little courage for him to do so. While he has always been very clear that he doesnt agree with everything that Ive written, he has been equally clear that he believes the kinds of criticisms Gordon and I offer are ones with which the Christian countercult must deal. So, thank you to John for inviting us here to Louisville.
What I've been struck by since I arrived, however, is how similar many of the general themes of my presentation are to those of other presenters I've heard---most notably Wayne House and Joel Groat. Which means that I'm not completely off-base in my analysis--or they're in big trouble.
For those of you who may not be aware of the work that I do, and who may not be among those initially scandalized by my presence here, I thought that I would begin by very briefly reviewing both my interest in the Christian countercult and some of the work that Ive done to date. Among those who are opposed to my presence here---especially folks like Anton Hein---one of the concerns has been my "spiritual condition"; Hein, for example, is convinced that Im a Wiccan, although he isnt really prepared to say why. I am, in fact, an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in that country, and I served pastorates in the province of Alberta for eleven years. Thats where my interest in the countercult begins.
In our denominational polity, new ordinands are placed in their first pastoral charge by the church. We have some input, but its rather like being posted in the military. So, for me, it went like this: "We're thinking of Cardston and Magrath for you," said the voice on the other end of the 'phone, naming a two-point charge in Alberta just north of the Montana border. Now, I was raised on Vancouver Island, so I knew where these towns were on a map, and nothing more. "How do you feel about inter-faith dialogue?" the voice asked. "Fine," I replied. "Why?" "Well, there are some Mormons there..."
Now, as some of you may know, Cardston and Magrath represent the northern line of early Mormon advance when many Latter-day Saints were leaving Utah in the mid-1880s as a result of the Edmunds and Edmunds-Tucker Acts. Charles Card, the founder of Cardston, was one of Brigham Young's sons-in-law. Until 1992, Cardston was the only Mormon temple city in Canada, and of the five thousand people there, just over four thousand are Latter-day Saints.
And I had the United Church.
Knowing nothing about Mormonism, I went to my local Christian bookstore and asked for some good reference material. "Oh, we have the best book on the market," they said. And guess what they gave me Decker and Hunt's The God Makers. Now, that little bit is important in the context of countercult criticisms of my work, and I'm going to return to it at the end of my paper. I took The God Makers home, however, and read it that afternoon. About halfway through it, though, I looked at my mother and said, "Mom, they are sending me to Mars." Given the way in which Decker and Hunt portrayed the Latter-day Saints, I was sure I was being sent to another planet. (No pun intended.)
Of course, what I found was that the people in Cardston are pretty much like people everywhere. Some are wonderful and caring; others are jerks. Some are extremely bright and theologically aware; others are stump-dumb. And the division hardly rested along religious lines. In fact, I began to wonder about the cognitive dissonance that set in between my expectations based on reading The God Makers and my experience of living among the Mormon people for five years. As a result, I began to collect Christian countercult material, and presented the first bit of my research into it at a regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion in 1990. This, too, is a point to which I will return.
A number of years later, that interest grew into a doctoral dissertation at the University of Calgary, which was directed by Irving Hexham, and now a book on the countercult which is to be published by Praeger either later this year or early next. All of which, I suppose, brings us to today.ISSUES FOR DISCUSSION
When John invited me, he asked that I present particular aspects of my research that address the issue of how the Christian countercult---which, in some regards, is a fringe movement, in others, not---can move to a position of greater credibility beyond the borders of the evangelical Christian church.
In response to that, I would like to address four key areas: epistemology, honesty, responsible scholarship, and respect. While these are obviously interconnected---in fact, each follows quite logically from the others---Id like to treat them for the moment as discrete domains. And, for each, although Ill offer only brief examples, I hope youll trust me when I say that any number of others could easily be provided. One thing I want to point out, though: in most cases, I will be giving the examples in my paper without specific references; that is, although they're written down in my copy, I'm not usually going to read the names of the people I'm talking about. On the off-chance that those individuals are in the room today, I have no need to embarrass anyone in front of their peers. I'll be happy, however, to provide those references to folks privately.(Nb. References are provided in web version.)
In the end, it's not my place to tell you how to do these things, but from my perspective as a scholar who studies the countercult, I believe quite firmly that these are issues which in some cases significantly reduce the cogency of your argument, and in others taint it beyond repair or redemption.Epistemology
The first issue is that of epistemology, or "how we know what we know." Standards of evidence vary across social domains, and what may be considered sufficient in one venue is often decidedly insufficient in another. For example, in criminal court proceedings, decisions are rendered based on evidence that is presented "beyond a reasonable doubt." In civil proceedings, on the other hand, there is a reduced burden of proof. A case must be proven only "by a preponderance of the evidence"; which means, simply, a thing is more likely than not. What I believe the Christian countercult must address in this regard is the epistemic circularity on which a considerable portion of its apologetic argument is based. In other words, countercult apologetics is predicated on a circular argument, a logical fallacy to which that apologetic almost always falls prey and which is one of the first criticisms raised about it outside the evangelical domain.
I mean, of course, the claim that the Bible as the uniquely authoritative Word of God: inerrant, infallible, and insuperable. In this, there are two principle dynamics at work: as noted, an inherent epistemic circularity, and, moreover, an unspoken, exclusivist interpretation.
In the case of epistemic circularities, and conservative Christianity is hardly the only venue in which this exists, the "burdens of proof" are different within the community than without---that's the important point here. That is, the standard of evidence that would convince someone who either already believes or is already inclined to believe in the Bible as the uniquely authoritative Word of God is significantly different than that required to convince someone who is not so disposed. There are different domains of evidence at work, and I believe the Christian countercult would do well to take note of that, and address it in some fashion, and not to confuse those domains.
Within the domain of the Christian countercult, it is the Bible understood as the Word of God "inerrant," "the standard by which all human teachings . . . are to be tested" (Bowman 1991: 19) which delineates the boundaries of reality and provides the cipher by which the mysteries of creation and redemption are understood, the cosmic struggle between good and evil interpreted, and humanity's role within those determined. In this domain, the Bible both defines and imposes a cosmology that quite simply brooks no competition. It totalizes the problem of practical life presented by new and emergent religions, and renders the countercult worldview monolithic. The "essential Christian belief [is] that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and literal Word of God," writes one countercult apologist, "given to man through God and undefiled by nature of its divine authorship" (Marrs 1990: 56; emphasis in the original). This is what sociologist Karl Mannheim called a "general axiom" (1952: 148), a fundamental conception from which all others derive.
Here's the sticky part: across the various continua of the countercult, adherents of the totalizing objectivity claimed for the general axiom of scriptural authority consistently refuse to recognize that axiom's essentially subjective and, therefore, constructed nature. It is, in fact, an epistemic circularity which, as transpersonal psychologist Ken Wilber has noted, is not unlike a conversation that proceeds: "'What is the most sacred and authoritative book ever written in the world?' 'The Bible.' 'How do you know?' 'It says so in the Bible.'" To which Wilber adds somewhat sarcastically, "This may sound odd, but that is not my fault" (1993: 21).
While Christian apologists often go to great lengths to demonstrate that the claim for biblical authority and exclusivity is, in fact, not circular (cf., for example, Bowman 1991; Geisler 1976; Groothuis 1990; Hanegraaff n.d.; Hawkins 1996; Hunt 1996; McDowell 1979, 1981; Morey 1980), none address the socially constructed and socially reinforced nature of their position. To do so would simply highlight the circularity. Rather, many concentrate on convergent external factors that dont really address the issue of inerrancy (e.g., that there are a tremendous number of New Testament manuscripts that vary only slightly from version to version) or inductive arguments that are dependent for their vigor on an a priori acceptance of Biblical inerrancy (e.g., a putative "internal consistency" in the Bible, or prophecies from the Old Testament that have allegedly been fulfilled in Jesus, thus "proving" the reliability of the Bible).
Countercult apologetics, insofar as it adverts to biblical inerrancy, infallibility, and insuperability, almost by definition passes into solipsism precisely because there is no verification that could authenticate the countercult claim. There is no validating facticity; any possible validation is almost entirely subjective. It's a function of the apologist's personal adherence to this general axiom of biblical authority. While it may be contextualized and reinforced through social interaction, while it may be given communal, even sacramental form, authentication and adherence remain an essentially internal process. Put differently, a statement of faith has been mistaken for a statement of fact. Following Karl Mannheim, though, once totalized in this manner, countercult apologists often "take flight into a supra-temporal logic and assert that truth as such is unsullied and has neither a plurality of forms nor any connection with unconscious motivations" (Mannheim 1936: 42).
Motivations, however, both conscious and unconscious, abound. Implicit in the claim to the Bible's inerrancy are a number of derivative claims: (a) that the interpretation of the Bible offered by the countercult is the correct interpretation; (b) that interpretations offered by religious groups under consideration, in so far as any interpretations are made, are incorrect; and (c) that, in the manner of a limited alternative fallacy, proof of the latter can be held to demonstrate the truth of the former. Walter Martin, for example, wrote that while "cults continually emphasize the Bible," "without exception they place themselves in the roles of infallible interpreters of the Word of God, their dogmatism rivaled only by Jesuit scholars" (1985: 404). Martin, on the other hand, argued that apologists "must be prepared to defend the claims of Scripture interpreted by the Holy Spirit" (1985: 407). Like many countercult apologists, Martin was either completely unaware of or pointedly ignored the fact that the hermeneutic infallibility he so vehemently criticized in others was precisely the infallibility countercult apologists claim in practice, if not in principle.
"Biblical claims leave us few options," write two other apologists (Ankerberg and Weldon 1999: 666). In their explication of this, they continue with a series of textbook examples of the fallacy of an irrelevant conclusion, declaring unequivocally: "Either the Bible is what it claims---the literal inerrant Word of God---or it is not possible to know if God has revealed Himself to us truthfully" (Ankerberg and Weldon 1999: 666). This is followed by a number of similarly irrelevant (and unsupportable) statements, all of which are designed to demonstrate the uniqueness of the Bible, and, by extension, its divine origin and unique authority. Among these are: "The Bible is the only book in the world that offers objective evidence to be the Word of God"; "The Bible contains the greatest moral standards of any book"; "Only the Bible has the most realistic view of human nature" (Ankerberg and Weldon 1999: 670); "The Bible is the most translated, purchased, memorized and persecuted book in history"; "The Bible has had more influence in the world than any other book"; and "Only the Bible provides historic proof that the one true God loves mankind" (Ankerberg and Weldon 1999: 671). While all of these are common in apologetic discourse, few have any empirical backing, some evoke the simple comment, "So what?", and none demonstrates in any way the conclusions these two apologists reach.
In the subjective construction of countercult reality, however, they don't have to; and thats the important point to remember. Much, if not most of the audience for whom these apologists are writing is already predisposed to believe these claims, whether they conform to the principles of logic or not, whether they actually warrant the conclusions the authors draw or not. An audience that exists outside this domain, however, is less likely to accept these arguments as in any way valid or compelling. My point here is not that you shouldn't believe as you choose, but that you recognize that the arguments you use in support of your beliefs have far more power with those who already believe as you do, than with those who don't.Honesty
"Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor," reads the ninth of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:16; Dt. 5:20). Ex. 23:1 expands the pentateuchal statute, further enjoining the adherent: "Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." Bearing in mind the authority of Scripture, that this injunction ought to be of more concern to countercult apologists than it often appears is evident from the use some apologists hope readers will make of their work. "We are not simply a source of 'information," writes one, for example. "We earnestly desire to join together tens of thousands of concerned believers who will not only be informed but who will act upon the information we provide" (Hunt 1992: 1). Thus, the reliability of that information becomes of critical concern, especially when we are dealing with factual claims that are open to immediate and conclusive disconfirmation.
Writing of the "accelerating explosion of Satanism worldwide" (Hunt 1990: 44), for example, one prominent apologist makes a number of surprising claims, none of which have any substantiation. "Satanists have their own chaplains in the U.S. Armed Forces," he declares, "and are protected under freedom-of-religion laws" (Hunt 1990: 44). Theoretically, all religious expression in the United States is protected by constitutional fiat unless that expression violates the rights of others or contravenes U.S. legal statutes. Thus, technically, he is correct; Anton LaVey's Church of Satan has the constitutional right to exist and enjoys legal protection in the U.S. This is not to say that certain of what are alleged to be Satanic practices may not be proscribed under particular federal and/or state laws, but their protection as a religious institution is ensured. This is the sine qua non of a religiously plural society. Accessing the popular fear which mention of the word "Satanism" often generates, though, the claim that Satanic chaplains either exist in or are sanctioned by the U.S. military is quite simply false, a blatant fabrication on this apologists part. (Nb. While it might be argued that the recent increase in awareness of Neopaganism in the military is indicative of Satanic activity---given the propensity of some countercult apologists to conflate the two traditions---Hunt wrote this in 1980, well before this awareness came to light.)
Similarly, writing on "Holistic Health Cults," he notes that "voodoo and witchcraft are among the folk remedies now studied by candidates for a bachelor's degree in nursing at the University of Alabama. These are only a few of the indications that medical science is turning back to its occult origins" (Hunt 1980: 118). A visit to the Capstone College of Nursing's website at the University of Alabama reveals, however, that nowhere in either the core or elective curricula is folk medicine of the type described by this writer (or, indeed, of any type) mentioned at all. Like the Satanic chaplains, it is quite simply a lie; a factual claim that is open to immediate and conclusive disconfirmation. Which leads to the issue of responsible or irresponsible scholarship.
Consider three examples of what I would regard as irresponsible scholarship: deceptive databasing; linked misrepresentations, and a simplified, reductionist presentation of a target religion. One of the most prominent examples of all three of these, in my opinion, is a very well-respected apologist.
In deceptive databasing, the text is written as though data come from a wide variety of sources, each separate datum referenced with its own endnote. "A prominent researcher says..." "One study indicates..." A writer declares..."---that sort of thing. When you run those endnotes down, however, you often find that they are not from a range of sources, but in many cases from one book. The prose is simply written to hide this fact. In the most egregious example, a number of references come from the same page in the same book (cf. Rhodes 1994). There is no indication of this in the text, however, and, given the cultural regard for endnotes as a mainstay of scholarly apparatus, the effect is misleading. My undergraduate students would lose marks for something like that; my graduate students would be in danger of failing.
In terms of linked misrepresentations, consider Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics by Ron Rhodes (2000). In the introduction, he makes it clear that he understands that Roman Catholicism embraces a wide variety of theological positions, popular and liturgical pieties, as well as social and cultural contexts. "Roman Catholics cannot be lumped together into one big bucket," he declares, immediately prior to doing virtually that. "There are some Roman Catholics," he continues, "who do believe what is taught in the Bible about grace and justification and are, in fact, saved" (Rhodes 2000: 15). In his note on "methodology," Rhodes states that "it is not my goal in this book to simply quote what other Protestants have said about Roman Catholicism. Rather, I intend to quote or cite directly from key representative Roman Catholic sources" (2000: 21), among these, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Of the over 450 endnotes Rhodes provides, however, less than half are to Roman Catholic sources, official or otherwise. And only twenty-eight of these reference the Catechism. Among the most oft-cited of Rhodes Catholic sources are: Ludwig Otts Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (1954), Hardons Pocket Catholic Dictionary (1985), and The Essential Catholic Handbook (1997). Of these, Otts book is significantly pre-Vatican II, Hardons an abridged, popular edition of his magisterial Modern Catholic Dictionary (1980), and the third bills itself as "a compact guide to the basic tenets of the Catholic faith." Hardly a catalogue of "key representative Roman Catholic sources," despite the regard with which both Ott and Hardon are held in the Church. On the other hand, almost forty percent of his references are to evangelical Protestant sources, including such explicitly anti-Roman Catholic writers as James White (1996, 1998), James McCarthy (1995, 1997), and himself.Now, besides the obvious, why is all this important? First, given what I call the fetishism of the printed word in our society, and the authority accorded the lowly endnote, there is a certain measure of social credibility that comes with publication. How many times, for example, have you heard someone defend a tenuous position by resorting to the argument: "They wouldn't be allowed to print it if it wasn't true." Trying to get my students to understand that everything they read in the newspapers, for example, might not be the whole truth is a constant struggle with this argument. Second, for an audience already predisposed to believe the worst about the social effects of religious pluralism, little effort would be expended to authenticate the claims. Lies and misrepresentations--whether intentional or not--would be accepted as truth. And please don't be under any illusion about this, that damages your witness. Which brings me to the issue of respect.
And, for this, Id like to refer to the EMNRs Manual of Ethical and Doctrinal Standards. In many ways, the MEDS is a remarkable document, and could very well constitute a model for the way in which countercult ministries conduct their affairs. While coalitioning movements such as the EMNR can serve any number of specific functions, in the MEDS these marshal under three broad categories: (a) the clarification of organizational doctrines and objectives; (b) the establishment of professional standards of ethical and missiological conduct; and (c) the collection and administration of acceptable countercult apologetic material.
Not surprisingly, much of the document betrays reaction to various tensions and scandals within the evangelical community at large, and within the countercult community explicitly, and the ethical standards articulated are clearly intended to address many of those issues. "There are occasions," the document states, for example, "when Christians sin against one another by attitude, tone, timing, or delivery in their attempt to correct. As a result, some have earned the label 'witch hunter' or 'heresy hunter'" (EMNR 1997). This is an important attempt to address in some organizational fashion the disunity thus generated. With the exception of three paragraphs, the entire document is designed to ensure harmonious relations among evangelical Christians. Protections against slander and libel, standards of ethical, financial, and moral conduct, and the potential for a variety of sanctions are all intended to safeguard the integrity of the countercult witness. And I think that's very commendable.
Very little, however, is devoted to similar protections for the targets of countercult activity. Put differently, there is an elaborate ethic of missiologic conduct incumbent upon countercult apologists in their interaction with other apologists, but virtually none in their evangelistic encounters with target religious groups or individuals. All discussion of this is relegated to three short paragraphs, under the heading, "Public critique of non-Christians."
The MEDS acknowledges that countercult interaction with non-Christians ought to be conducted in the same spirit of gentleness and humility that informs interaction within the countercult. EMNR members are enjoined to "avoid the use of harsh language where possible," to "beware of presuming to discern the motives, intents or inner thoughts of non-Christians," and to "bear in mind that our goal is to win them, not to alienate them" (EMNR 1997). "In our printed and oral presentations against error," the document continues, "EMNR members must recall that a 'bad witness' can sometimes undo months or years of 'seed-planting' on the part of others. We must avoid the use of 'loaded language' or emotional terminology which will breed contempt in the audience rather than compassion" (EMNR 1997).
Now, I could go on, literally, for hours about the antipathetic, often vitriolic language with which countercult material is riddled¾ everything from disease to invasion metaphors, and from the language of spiritual warfare to the iconographic representation on the covers of countercult books. Once again, though, as so often happens in countercult discourse, there is a stunning lack of awareness in the MEDS about what is actually being said---or it is so common in countercult discourse that it simply goes unnoticed. In this same section, not five sentences earlier, in fact, we read: "Though unbelievers are slaves to sin and possessed of a darkened, rebellious nature toward God, we have no warrant for impugning their motives in all cases" (EMNR 1997). Which suggests, of course, that there are situations in which such censure would be warranted, and that the countercult possesses the wisdom to know the difference. Additionally, one wonders just how, say, a devout Neopagan, a person at least as committed to her spiritual path as the countercult apologist is to his, would hear the phrase "slaves to sin and possessed of a darkened, rebellious nature toward God"? Would they, for example, hear that as "harsh" or "loaded" language? I rather suspect so.
In terms of the ongoing professionalization of the countercult, one of the most important sections of the MEDS deals with "self-representation," in which five critical areas outline standards for professional credentialing, authorship, testimony, employment, and accomplishments. The EMNR recognizes that embellishment, hyperbole, the solipsistic interpretation of events as either anecdotal atrocities or anecdotal miracles, and the outright invention of one's past are all detrimental to the countercult agenda. Since, in the domain of the countercult, nouns such as "expert," "authority," and "specialist" are used with cavalier abandon, and regularly coupled with adjectives like "international," "renowned," and "leading," the potential for and temptation to misrepresent one's credentials is high. Further, since there is no real accrediting body, no official magisterium, indeed no formal requirement for special education of any kind, the problem becomes that much more complex. Anyone who wants to can hang out a shingle (or launch the Internet equivalent thereof) that reads: "Countercult Apologist: Slave to Sin Saved Here." Once again, outside the countercult domain, one wonders "What qualifies you?"
Over the course of writing, as this research has gradually filtered out into the countercult community, the criticism has been often made that a clear enough distinction has not been drawn between "pop apologists" and more academically oriented, "responsible" apologists. That distinction, however, I want to be entirely clear is one that I have tried to make in a number of ways throughout the book I've just completed, although perhaps not in those precise terms or to the degree desired by the countercult---both of which conditions, I think, serve more the needs of apologists who want to be distanced from others such as Cumbey, Hunt, Larson, and Marrs, than they do an accurate assessment of the countercult phenomenon itself.
The basic problem that I think you face is not that I make no distinction among the various countercult continua; I do. Rather, it is that the Christian community at large doesn't make the distinction. Few if any evangelical Christian bookstores do not have some shelves, perhaps even an entire section, devoted variously to "Cults and Sects," "False Religions," "Cult Apologetics," or some other rubric. (In the past year, I've seen them more and more often on the shelves in Borders, and Barnes-and-Noble.) And, by and large, it is the writers considered in this book who populate those shelves. Douglas Groothuis' books are stacked cheek-by-jowl with those of Dave Hunt; Bob Larson and Robert Morey vie for front-facing space with Walter Martin and Texe Marrs. Now, obviously, this situation doesn't speak to the relative merits of these books; rather it points out both the lack of ability and the unwillingness in the evangelical community at large to discern any significant difference between them. It is axiomatic that bookstores sell books that sell.
In closing, I want to give you a glimpse of how some of the things that I've talked about actually play out in the world beyond the countercult, and why I think it's so important that you do address them. When I first presented this research twelve years ago at the American Academy of Religion, the people listened very politely. At the end, the session organizer commented favourably on the quality of the research, he thought it was very nice, then he asked why I was bothering with such a fringe movement when there were so many more worthwhile topics to pursue. Seven years later, at the end of my oral comprehensive exams, one of my examiners asked a similar question: "This is all very interesting, but why are you wasting all this powerful intellectual energy on what is essentially pulp fiction?"
Now, the fact that people do write dissertations on pulp fiction notwithstanding, I pointed out some of the numbers. Admittedly, in the grand sweep of Protestant evangelicalism, the countercult isn't large. All tolled, it includes a few hundred apologists, with less than fifty publishing commercially and consistently. In that sense, it is something of a fringe movement, but a fringe movement with appeal well beyond its meager numbers. Dave Hunt has sold over four million copies of his various books in North America alone, and claims a newsletter subscription of over fifty thousand. (Nb. He now claims in excess of one hundred thousand.) A decade-and-a-half after they were written, Douglas Groothuis' most popular apologetics books---which are undoubtedly Unmasking the New Age (1986) and Confronting the New Age (1988)---are still either required or recommended texts in any number of graduate level apologetics courses, including his own.
I'm not under any illusion that you are going to agree with much of what I've written, but I do hope you appreciate the seriousness with which I've taken your task.
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Bowman, Robert M., Jr. 1991. Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses: Why They Read the Bible the Way They Do. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
EMNR. 1997. Manual of Ethical and Doctrinal Standards.
Geisler, Norman. 1976. Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
Groothuis, Douglas R. 1986. Unmasking the New Age. Downers Grove: InterVarsity.
_____. 1988. Confronting the New Age: How to Resist a Growing Religious Movement. Downers Grove: InterVarsity.
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Douglas E. Cowan