Religious Books & Publications
Books and other writings held holy or highly regarded by various cults and religions, or material published by cults and religious groups.
Copyright © 2003-2012 Cults.co.nz
If you are looking for books about cults Jubilee Ministries has a wide selection, including the great Unmasking series.
The Books of the Main Cults
Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. Also consider the Bible to be holy, but Mormons believe it only as far as they think it has been translated correctly.
Religious Books & Publications
Aid to Bible Understanding. Jehovah's Witnesses book. Teaches that lying is OK to non-JWs (people who do not deserve to know the truth).
All Suffering Soon to End. Jehovah's Witnesses pamphlet © 2005.
The Apology. By Robert Barclay. Classic reading for Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Authorised Version. A version of the Bible more commonly known as the King James Version (KJV).
Basic Text book. Self-titled Narcotics Anonymous book first published in 1983.
Battlefield Earth. Scientology book, written by second-rate science fiction author L Ron Hubbard. We haven't bothered to rate it because it doesn't really rate with reviewers.
Believer's Voice of Victory. Newsletter (and TV show) of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, who are World Faith Movement preachers. Not screening in New Zealand any more. Most of the material was OK, but enough was seriously flaky to warrant a warning.
Bhagavad Gita. 700 verses supposedly spoken by Krishna to his disciple Arjuna.
Book of Abraham. One of the books of the Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Not all Latter-day Saints hold it as canonical.
Book of Mormon. One of the books held holy by Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Claimed to be another testament of Jesus Christ, it supposedly "... contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel." The Book of Mormon has undergone over 4000 word and doctrine changes since the 1830 edition. Absolutely no archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon has been discovered (except for the part that was copied straight from the King James Bible).
Clear Body, Clear Mind. Scientology book.
The Desire of Ages. By Ellen G White, founder of the Seventh Day Adventist church. Subtitled The Conflict of the Ages Illustrated in the Life of Christ. Said to be "perhaps the best loved of all her writings" - of which there are a lot.
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Scientology book, written by second-rate science fiction author L Ron Hubbard.
Doctrines and Covenants. One of the books held holy by Latter-day Saints (Mormons). "Compilation of alleged divine revelations given to the Mormon church." There have been over 2800 additions, deletions, and word changes since 1833. It also teaches polygamy.
The Epoch Times newspaper. The Epoch Times is an international newspaper first published by Falun Gong members in May 2000.
Freedom magazine. Scientology publication.
Freewinds magazine. Scientology publication.
The Great Controversy. By Ellen G White, founder of the Seventh Day Adventist church. Full title apparently The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan - The Conflict of the Ages in the Christian Dispensation.
Harry Potter series. See Harry Potter in the main listing.
The Inward Journey. By Isaac Penington. Classic reading for Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
King James Bible. Also known as the King James Version (KJV) or the Authorised Version, it was first published in 1611 under the then King James I of England. However, the edition published in 1769 is the edition referred to today as the KJV. Some people falsely believe that the KJV is the only true English version or the most accurate English version. See Which Bible is the Word of God? for more information on that subject.
Kiwi Green, Health Researcher. Newsletter of Hope International.
Koran. See Qur'an.
Mankind's Search for God. One of the standard Jehovah's Witnesses books. First edition had a 3 million print run - possible only because it's required reading for all JWs.
Mastery of Life booklet. AMORC publication.
Megashift. Name of a book by James H Rutz promoting Dominion Theology, which basically says we shall rule and reign before Jesus Christ returns. James H Rutz is reported to have links to Peter C Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation, and Peter Wagner has endorsed the book. In a review Paul Proctor summarised the book thus: "Megashift.com is just more horizontally-focused, earth-centered, group-guided, psychology-based, therapeutically-managed, globalist gobbledygook, covered with a thick white sugary Christian glaze, forwarding the same old anti-traditional, amillennial, dominionist worldview that says WE are going to change this world and make it a better place for a largely unnamed “Christ” to return to and reign over someday."
New World Translation. Jehovah's Witnesses' wildly inaccurate version of the Bible. Bible scholar Dr Julius Mantey said "I have never seen any New Testament so badly translated..." Dr H H Rowley said "From beginning to end, this volume [NWT] is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated..."
No Cross, No Crown. By William Penn. Classic reading for Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Omega Times. Originally started by Barry Smith Family Evangelism (BSFE), now published by Brian Hay in Australia and no longer has any association with BSFE. Published monthly.
OT I ~ OT VIII. "Highly secret" Scientology manuals written by second-rate science fiction author L Ron Hubbard. People pay huge amounts of money to have these (science fiction-like) secrets revealed to them, such as the name of the galactic ruler Xenu in OT III. They also have New Era Dianetics OT IV (abbreviated NOT IV etc) and upward. Higher level manuals (up to OT XV) are rumoured to be in preparation.
Pearl of Great Price. One of the books held holy by Latter-day Saints (Mormons). There have been over 1600 word changes since 1851. It includes racism. Contains five sections including Selections from the Book of Moses (which itself includes the Book of Enoch) and the Book of Abraham.
(The) Plain Truth magazine. Before mid-1990s: After mid-1990s: Publication of the former cult Worldwide Church of God. Issues of this magazine before the mid-1990s are likely to reflect Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God cult theology, and there are still a lot of those issues around. Present issues are fine.
(The) Philadelphia Trumpet magazine. See Trumpet magazine.
The Power of Now. New Age philosophy written by Eckhart Tolle.
Qur'an. Also sometimes spelled Koran. Holy book of the Islam world religion, the name means "recitation". For information on what the Qur'an teaches see A Topical Study of the Qur'an From a Christian Perspective.
Raising the Ruins. Supposed history book published by the cult Philadelphia Church of God, written by Stephen Flurry, son of Gerald Flurry. This book is rated Danger because of the risk it poses to people doing an incomplete investigation into the history of the Worldwide Church of God and the reforms that group went through.
The Real Truth magazine. Publication of the Restored Church of God.
Recovery New Testament. Questionable version of the New Testament freely distributed by Bibles for New Zealand. (The full Recovery Bible is available for a charge.) This version is not recommended reading. It is published by Living Stream Ministry, the publishing branch of the Local Church of Witness Lee, a Christian sect/cult. Unknown if the translation itself supports the Local Church's false doctrine, but it contains all Witness Lee's footnotes, which do support the Local Church's false doctrine.
Recovery Version. See Recovery Bible.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Book written by Robert Kiyosaki. See the Rich Dad, Poor Dad entry in the main list.
The Road Less Traveled. Book written by M Scott Peck, who also wrote a couple of sequels with similar titles - Further Along the Road Less Traveled (1993) and The Road Less Traveled and Beyond (1997). Although he claimed to be Christian his books contain very non-Christian teaching and theology.
The Shack. Marketed as a Christian book, written by William P Young. Concern has been expressed about the false doctrine the book is based on, including universalism. Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll warns (video here) that it promotes a false view of the Trinity, including modalism, while Norman Geisler Apologist Norman Geisler wrote a critical review listing 14 theological "problems" with the book. He concludes:
The Shack may do well for many in engaging the current culture, but not without compromising Christian truth. The book may be psychologically helpful to many who read it, but it is doctrinally harmful to all who are exposed to it. It has a false understanding of God, the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, the nature of man, the institution of the family and marriage, and the nature of the Gospel. For those not trained in orthodox Christian doctrine, this book is very dangerous. It promises good news for the suffering but undermines the only Good News (the Gospel) about Christ suffering for us. In the final analysis it is only truth that is truly liberating. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). A lie may make one feel better, but only until he discovers the truth. This book falls short on many important Christian doctrines. It promises to transform people’s lives, but it lacks the transforming power of the Word of God (Heb. 4:12) and the community of believers (Heb. 10:25). In the final analysis, this book is not a Pilgrim’s Progress, but doctrinally speaking The Shack is more of a Pilgrim’s Regress.
The [South Pacific] Signs of the Times. A periodical tabloid-newspaper-style pamphlet produced by Seventh Day Adventists, published by Patriotic Christian Distributors. Read it for entertainment value only, since it contains lies and half-truths. One 2011 issue, for example, explains how the now deceased Ron Wyatt proved a natural rock formation in Turkey is Noah's Ark (he did not prove any such thing) and claims the Turkish government has declared it to be Noah's Ark (they most certainly have not).
Sunday Law Times. A tabloid-newspaper-style publication of Patriotic Christian Distributors. According to Wikipedia The paper is based on the book National Sunday Law by A. Jan Marcussen, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor from Illinois, U.S. Unknown if Sunday Law Times was a one-off publication or a periodical. If the latter, it has apparently been discontinued in favour of The [South Pacific] Signs of the Times.
Tomorrow's World magazine. Published by the Living Church of God in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. Big on end-times prophecy articles.
(The) Trumpet magazine. Also known as The Philadelphia Trumpet. Published by the cult Philadelphia Church of God.
Velvet Elvis. A book by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, based on his strongly non-Christian theology. In it he teaches that the virgin birth and the Trinity are not essential Christian doctrines. They are essential. He also teaches that everyone is automatically saved - a false belief known as universalism.
Voice, The. The Voice is a (supposed) translation of the Bible produced for the Emerging Church by a collection of poets and songwriters led by Brian McLaren and Chris Seay. Researcher Chris Rosebrough says:
Unfortunately, not since the release of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation of the Greek Scriptures in 1950 has there been a bible published that so blatantly mangles and distorts God’s Word in order to support a peculiar and aberrant theological agenda. ...
I recently purchased a copy of this fresh “dynamic translation” of Bible and spent some time doing comparative work with key passages of the New Testament from The Voice, The ESV and the Greek text. Sadly I must report that this new Emergent “translation” is so far off the mark that I think one could reasonably argue that by producing their own distorted version of the Bible the Emergent church has crossed the line from being a ‘movement’ to actually becoming a cult.
... The Voice inserts peculiar teachings into the text that do not belong. The end result of these ‘insertions’ is a text that obscures the gospel, distorts Jesus substitutionary work on the cross, teaches Pelagianism and promotes a liberal form of works Righteousness.
Some of the changes introduced are very serious. Romans 3:22 is a particularly serious change, which replaces faith in Jesus Christ with the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. The Voice downplays sin, judgement, repentance, and Jesus Christ being the only way to God the Father, as briefly explained here.
Watchtower magazine. Published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses).
The Way to Happiness booklet. Scientology evangelism booklet.
The White Booklet. "Narcotics Anonymous' earliest self-titled pamphlet."
Zend Avesta. Holy writing of Zoroastrianism, supposedly written by their supreme deity (and creator) Mazda.