The Unification Church and its founder, Dr. Sun Myung Moon, have been in the center of controversy because of their recruiting practices, their financial holdings, and their authoritarian styleincluding arranged, mass marriages. Most controversial in terms of its teachings in Dr. Moon's claim to be a new Messiah who will finish what Jesus left "undone." Is he the Messiah, and is his Diving Principle the third testament of the Bible? Why this series? This is an age when countless groups and movements, old and new, mark the religious landscape in our culture, leaving many people confused or uncertain in their search for spiritual truth and meaning. Because few people have the time or opportunity to research these movements fully, these books provide essential information and insights for their spiritual journeys. All books but the summary volume, Truth and Error, contain five sections: -A concise introduction to the group being surveyed -An overview of the group’s theology in its own words -Tips for witnessing effectively to members of the group -A bibliography with sources for further study -A comparison chart that shows the essential differences between biblical Christianity and the group -Truth and Error, the last book in the series, consists of parallel doctrinal charts compiled from all the other volumes. -Three distinctives make this series especially useful to readers: -Information is carefully distilled to bring out truly essential points, rather than requiring readers to sift their way through a sea of secondary details. -Information is presented in a clear, easy-to-follow outline form with “menu bar” running heads. This format greatly assists the reader in quickly locating topics and details of interest. -Each book meets the needs and skill levels of both nontechnical and technical readers, providing an elementary level of refutation and progressing to a more advanced level using arguments based on the biblical text. The writers of these volumes are well qualified to present clear and reliable information and help readers to discern truth from falsehood.
|Series:||Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious MovementsSeries Series|
|Edition description:||Revised ed.|
|Product dimensions:||5.56(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.31(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
J. Isamu Yamamoto is the author of several books. He is currently the inspirational editor for Publications International, Ltd., and a consulting editor for Christian Research Journal.
Alan W. Gomes (Ph D, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of historical theology and chairman of the department of theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.
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How to Use This Book
The Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements comprises sixteen volumes, treating many of the most important groups and belief systems confronting the Christian church today. This series distills the most important facts about each and presents a well-reasoned, cogent Christian response. The authors in this series are highly qualified, well-respected professional Christian apologists with considerable expertise on their topics.
We have designed the structure and layout to help you find the information you need as quickly as possible. All the volumes are written in outline form, which allows us to pack substantial content into a short book. With some exceptions, each book contains, first, an introduction to the cult, movement,
or belief system. The introduction gives a brief history of the group, its organizational structure, and vital statistics such as membership. Second, the theology section is arranged by doctrinal topic, such as God, Christ, sin, and salvation. The movement's position is set forth objectively, primarily from its own official writings. The group's teachings are then refuted point by point,
followed by an affirmative presentation of what the Bible says about the doctrine.
The third section is a discussion of witnessing tips. While each witnessing encounter must be handled individually and sensitively, this section provides some helpful general guidelines, including both dos and don'ts. The fourth section contains annotated bibliographies, listing works by the groups themselves and books written by Christians in response. Fifth, each book has a parallel comparison chart, with direct quotations from the cultic literature in the left column and the biblical refutation on the right. Some of the books conclude with a glossary.
One potential problem with a detailed outline is that it is easy to lose one's place in the overall structure. Therefore, we have provided graphical
'signposts' at the top of the odd numbered pages. Functioning like a 'you are here' map in a shopping mall, these graphics show your place in the outline,
including the sections that come before and after your current position.
(Those familiar with modern computer software will note immediately the resemblance to a 'drop-down' menu bar, where the second-level choices vary depending on the currently selected main menu item.) In the theology section we have also used 'icons' in the margins to make clear at a glance whether the material is being presented from the cultic or Christian viewpoint. For example,
in the Mormonism volume the sections presenting the Mormon position are indicated with a picture resembling the angel Moroni in the margin; the biblical view is shown by a drawing of the Bible.
We hope you will find these books useful as you seek 'to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have' (1
---Alan W. Gomes, Ph.D.
A. Sun Myung Moon: Youth Through Early Adulthood
1. Sun Myung Moon was born on January 6, 1920, in the village of
Kwangju Sangsa Ri in northwestern Korea.
2. According to Moon, as a young 'Christian' he had a dramatic spiritual experience while he was deep in prayer on a Korean mountainside.
a. This vision occurred on Easter morning in 1936 when he was sixteen.
b. He says that Jesus appeared to him and asked him to complete the mission he had begun 2000 years ago.
c. When he realized that he was the only one who could save the world, he accepted the call to deliver all humanity from Satan's domain.
3. Moon claims that he spent the following nine years in spiritual warfare with Satan, in which Satan tried to get Moon to either sin (and thus be unworthy to be the Messiah) or be convinced that he could not accomplish all that the Messiah must do to redeem humanity.
Finally, he defeated Satan, thus fulfilling the initial demands of being the Messiah.
4. In 1946, Moon studied under Paik Moon Kim. Much of what he learned in Kim's pseudo-Christian monastery became the framework for his own theological teachings.
5. In that same year, the North Korean police arrested Moon.
a. Moon insists that they tortured him because of his faith.
b. He likened his suffering at the hands of the communists to the sufferings of Christ.
B. Moon's Activities as Church Founder
1. Moon settled in Pusan, South Korea.
a. There he formed a small following during the early 1950s.
b. These people were devoted both to Moon and to his religious ideas.
c. They called him 'Reverend' because they viewed him as their pastor and because of his religious training at Kim's monastery.
2. In 1954, he officially established his new church.
a. It is called Tong-il-Kyo in Korean.
b. Its English name is the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity.
c. It is better known in the West as the Unification Church (it is also known as the Unified Family).
3. In that same year, Moon's first wife left him.
a. According to leaders in the Unification Church, she later realized that she was wrong to have divorced him.
b. She has since become a devoted member of his church.
4. In 1957, he published the first edition of the Divine Principle, which details the basic theology of his teachings and of the Unification
Church (see III.B.3. below).
5. In 1960, he married Hak Ja Han.
a. In the Unification Church their wedding is known as 'the Marriage of the Lamb,' taken from Revelation 21:9.
b. She has since bore him thirteen children.
Table of Contents
How to Use This Book 6
I. Introduction 7
II. Theology 21
III. Witnessing Tips 63
IV. Selected Bibliography 75
V. Parallel Comparison Chart 79