239: The Culting of America by Ron Rhodes
239.9: Rhodes, Ron. The Culting of America. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1994. 224 pp. ISBN 1-56507-186-7.
- 200: Religion
- 230: Christianity and Christian theology
- 239: Apologetics and polemics
- 239.9: Polemics against other groups in postapostolic times
For more than 2,000 years, Christianity has been shaped and reshaped by both its believers and its leaders. Sometimes, change happens in reaction to other faiths and sometimes, that change comes from within. Much like the other major world religions, Christianity and Christians can be categorized and subcategorized based on how they interpret their holy text or texts. There are Baptists, Adventists, Calvinists, Jesuits, and so on. Ron Rhodes’s The Culting of America is a polemical look at differing new sects of religion and how they can either shape or threaten modern Christianity.
All things aside, this book reads like propaganda, but all books are propaganda to one degree or another. Rhodes’s concern with the demise of traditional Christianity at the main thrust of the book. He scours American culture for examples of how non-traditional thinking is inculcating mainstream society. Anything trying to rear its little head into his faith is called out and itemized.
Rhodes’s gaze is both wide and meticulous. He chides Hollywood for both not forcefully upholding Christianity and allowing other religious tenets to pervade its movies (including Zen Buddhism in Star Wars and various “New Age” actors and messages). He devotes an entire chapter to the New World Translation of the Bible purportedly done by incompetent scholars and evangelists. After a while, his gentle ranting gets a little tiresome and repetitive. The good thing here is that the text read fairly and after two days I was glad to put it down. An uninspired book.