Apologetics Index: Information about religious cults, sects, movements, doctrines, apologetics and counter-cult ministry.  Also: daily religion news, articles on Christian life and ministry, editorials, daily cartoon.
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Name-it-Claim-it

Doctine of the Word-Faith Movement. Words are said to have power Thus if you need something, simply speak it into existence (just like God created the earth). Also called "Health & Wealth." Referred to by opponents of the Word-Faith movement as "blab-it and grab-it"

Nameless Church

Nameless House Sect

Nan, Sima

Chinese cult-critic and skeptic. Together with American James Randi, he is offering a $2 million reward "to anyone who can prove, under strict scientific conditions, that they have
supernatural powers." (HK$15m supernatural test, Yahoo! Asia, Nov. 20, 1999)

... these days, Sima's longstanding feud with Falun Gong has transformed him into an establishment darling, featured in newspapers and sent to state companies all over the country to lecture.

"In 1995, I said Falun Gong was a cult and everyone said I was crazy," he said. "Now that President Jiang Zemin says it, people agree with me."

Still, Sima is careful to maintain some distance from the government, refusing its payments for his lectures.

Sima says he supports the government's ban on Falun Gong, which he thinks is duping China's masses. But he remains ambivalent about the government's campaign against the group, with vitriolic propaganda and hundreds of arrests.
A Star Turn for China's Cult Buster, New York Times, Nov. 20, 1999

- News Database -

» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

Nansook Hong

See Unification Church, under the heading "Books"

Narconon and Criminon

 referral See this page


Nickname for a Mexican "cult of drug traffickers who believed that ritual sacrifices conducted in a smelly, blood-splattered shack would shield them from police."

Nation of Gods and Earths

Non-Christian Nation Of Islam

 referral See this page

National Alliance

 referral See this page

National Organization for European American Rights

 referral See this page

Natural Law Party

Political party founded in Britain in 1992 by the Transcendental Meditation movement. "The party says it is now active in some 70 countries worldwide, ranging from Barbados to Kazakhstan to the United States and has more than five million voters wordwide." (Reuters, Sep. 10, 1998)

Near-Death Experience (NDE)

So-called trips to heaven, popularized by (among other) Betty Eadie's book "Embraced by the Light".

Near-death experiences, when patients on the operating table or close to drowning say they feel their spirit leaving their body, are caused by a normal psychological response to an intensely stressful experience, according to scientists.

- Books -        Click On Titles To Order At Discount           » More Books
Christian Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality by Gary R. Habermas and James Porter Moreland
Christian Deceived by the Light by Douglas Groothuis
Christian Embraced by the Light and the Bible Subtitled "Betty Eadie and Near-Death Experiences in the Light of Scripture." By Richard Abanes
Christian Journey into the Light: Exploring Near-Death Experiences by Richard Abanes

- News Database -

» Database of archived news items on NDEs
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

- Sites -
Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Christian Near Death Experiences The site claims to interpret Near-Death Experiences "within a Christian Context." However, it fails to do so within a Scripturally-sound, orthodox Christian context. Added warning: you may die just waiting for all the animated graphics to load.
Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Near-Death Experiences and Afterlife Purports to present a Christian perspective, but site operater Kevin Williams makes it clear he is an religious pluralist rather than an orthodox Christian.

As my knowledge of the near death experience grew, I realized that God is not limited to just those who profess the Christian faith.

The purpose of these web pages is not to promote one religion even though I probably have a Christian bias due to my upbringing. I now consider myself not only Protestant, but Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, Jewish, Gnostic, Platonist, Mormon, Catholic, etc . . .The point is I do not think a person should be limited to only one religion. God is not limited to any one religion. It has been said that God cares only about your heart, not your religious affiliation or church membership. The near death experience reveals that the way to heaven is through love. Love is God. Love is not limited to one religion or culture because it is universal. This truth is too immense and profound to be embodied in one religion or denomination.

Mr. Williams' views militate against Scripture:

(John 3:16-18 NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. {17} For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. {18} Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

(1 John 5:9-12 NIV) We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. {10} Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. {11} And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. {12} He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Nee, Watchman (1903-1972)

Widely read Christian author with some controversial teachings. Nee required blanket, unquestioning obedience. He also taught that all Christians must have a "Covering" - a person who has delegated authority, must be obeyed unconditionally, and who must be imitated. This "covering" does not stop with matters of faith and doctrine, but also extends to personal and secular matters (such as choice of employment, place to live, whether or not to marry, etc.) In addition, Nee taught there should only be one congregation in each city. Whenever Nee's followers moved into a city, they proclaimed themselves as the only church approved by God in that city. These doctrines have been picked up by various abusive churches and cultic movements, such as the International Churches of Christ. Under the leadership of Nee's disciple and co-worker, Witness Lee, his house church movement, the Local Church (known to it's followers as "The Lord's Recovery") later also became controversial.

- Articles -
Christian Faith Misguided: Exposing the Dangers of Mysticism An excerpt of Arthur L. Johnson's book, Faith Misguided. Helps to understand the mystical influence Watchman Nee had upon Witness Lee, and subsequently, upon Witness Lee's entire Local Church movement
Christian Roots of the Modern Discipline Movement Chapter from an online book called "The Discipling Dilemma". In this chapter, Watchman Nee's teachings are shown to be one of the roots of discipling movements such as the cultic International Churches of Christ.
Christian Watching Out For Watchman Nee
Christian Watchman Nee and the House Church Movement in China By Dennis McCallum
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[O]f or relating to a 20th century movement in Protestant theology characterized by a reaction against liberalism and emphasis on various scripturally based Reformation doctrines.


Racist hategroups that pattern themselves after Hitler's philosophies. Examples: Aryan Nations, National Alliance

Organizers of a Web site launched on Tuesday aimed at offering tips on how to combat racist and neo-Nazi violence in Germany said it had attracted hundreds of visitors within hours of going live.

Under headings such as ''In the Pub,'' ''On Public Transport'' and ''In Pedestrian Areas'' -- places deemed potentially dangerous for foreign residents in Germany -- the site advises readers to enlist the help of other bystanders to stand up to perpetrators of racist crime.

The authors stress that passers-by who witness racial violence should try to reason with the attackers rather than resort to violence themselves.

The site, www.verfassungsschutzgegenrechtsextremismus.de, was launched following huge public demand for information on Germany's far-right problem and how to combat it, Hesse said.
Online Tips to Fight Neo-Nazis, Reuters, Dec. 5, 2000

News Archive

Items added after August, 2002:
» Religion News Blog News Collection, various sources

Older Items:
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)


The extended entry on Neo-Paganism has been moved.



Platonism modified in later antiquity to accord with Aristotelian, post-Aristotelian, and oriental conceptions that conceives the world as en emanation from the One with whom the soul is capable of being reunited in trance or ecstasy.
Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary


(1) The doctrine, originally attributed to the fifth-century theologian Nestorius (rightly or wrongly), that Jesus Christ was a divine person and a human person united together. (2) By extension, any doctrine that expressly or tacitly treats Christ as two persons, one divine and the other human.
Definition from: "A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy Part One: The Case For Doctrinal Discernment" (an article from the Christian Research Journal, Summer 1990, page 28) by Robert M. Bowman.

Net Bible Institute

Note: Renamed into Blue Letter Bible Institute

Free study course about what Christianity believes and teaches. Operated by Don Stewart's AusAmerica Ministries.

The Net Bible Institute, when eventually completed, will consist of forty-four individual courses in five different series, and will cover all major areas of Christian belief and practice. A separate textbook will be prepared for each individual course. The various textbooks are now in the process of being written.

The entire course of study is called Understanding The Christian Faith. The textbooks for the various courses are produced as educational tools explaining what Christians believe and why they believe it. Each course in the program is designed to be used for either self-study, home Bible study, or for the classroom.

It is our goal to make the Net Bible Institute the most comprehensive course of study that is available anywhere.
About NBI (See About Blue Letter Bible Institute for updated version)

Understanding the Christian Faith is divided into five different series: 1) Know what Christians believe, 2) God's plan for the ages, 3) Know why Christians believe, 4) What's the difference (the uniqueness of the Christian faith and its incompatibility with all other religions and cultic groups), and 5) Answering Bible difficulties

Non-Christian New Age

 referral See this page

Non-Christian New Apostolic Order in Messiah

New Bethany Baptist Church

Church in Arcardia, Louisiana. Accused of emotional and physical abuse.

New Breed

Term coined by Paul Cain. Refers to the Manifest Sons of God theology promoted in some of today's foremost renewal and revival movements.

Christian New England Institute of Religious Research

 referral See this page

New Man

Magazine of the Promise Keepers

Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox New Order of the Latter Rain

New Thought

A philosophical/religious system that emphasises the power of the mind for healing and constructive thinking.

Unlike the New Age movement, New Thought does not involve itself in the use of crystals, pyramids, etcetera. While New Thought is open to truth from whatever source, it discourages (but does not condemn) involvement with occultism.

- Articles -
Non-Christian New Age and the New Though Movement Similarities and differences. Excerpts from Chapter 5 of "New Thought: A Practical American Spirituality," by C. Alan Anderson and Deborah G. Whitehouse.
Non-Christian Phineas Parkhurst Quimby An overview of the beliefs of "The Father of New Thought."

New Religious Movement (NRM)

A more "neutral" term some people prefer to use instead of cult or sect. The term was coined by Eileen Barker.

Jeffrey K. Hadden, (Department of Sociology, University of Virginia), in his course on New Religious Movements (Sociology 257), offers the following observations:

  1. Sociologists have adopted the concept new religious movements (NRMs) as an overarching idea that embraces both cults and sects.
  2. The reason: the highly pejorative meanings of the concepts cult and sect in popular culture.
  3. The concepts "cult" and "sect" do have precise meaning as they are used by sociologists, and are free of prejudice.
  4. However, this meaning is not understood by the general public and, thus, the value neutral analytical content is lost.
  5. The expression "New religious movement" is free of pejorative meaning, but not without problems.
  6. Most significantly, many NRMs are not new, and some are not even new to a particular culture.

» See also Alternative/New Religious Movements; Minority Religions

Note: Hadden is considered by many to be a cult apologist.

New Religious Movements Group

Study group within the American Academy of Religion. Includes cult apologists and others sympathetic to cults.

New Wine

Term used (and abused) in some modern renewal and revival movements. In the Bible, wine is often used symbolically of the Word of God (Scripture), the new covenant, or the refreshment brought by the Holy Spirit.

Supporters justify the manifestation of "Drunkenness" (being "drunk in the Spirit") with this Bible verse:

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

New World Order

Conspiracy theory that holds the United Nations is secretly planning to establish a world government.

See FBI Report: Project Megiddo

Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox New World Translation

Bible "translation" produced by the Jehovah's Witnesses to support their false doctrines.

Finally, a word should be said about the New World Translation by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Due to the sectarian bias of the group, as well as to the lack of genuine biblical scholarship, I believe that the New World Translation is by far the worst translation in English dress. It purports to be word-for-word, and in most cases is slavishly literal to the point of being terrible English. But, ironically, whenever a sacred cow is demolished by the biblical writers themselves, the Jehovah's Witnesses twist the text and resort to an interpretive type of translation. In short, it combines the cons of both worlds, with none of the pros.
Why So Many Versions? and which translation is best? by Daniel B. Wallace, Ph.D. Associate Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

ChristianAcademic Newton Institute for Science, The

Few areas need more attention than science. Isaac Newton (1642-1717) applied scripture to science; this center encourages the same by its thoughtful studies on the interface of science and Christianity.

This is one of the Think-Thanks associated with CAPO Click for more information on this entry


A world view. Nihilists deny all meaning, value and significance of reality.

Non-Christian Non-Profits in Search

 referral See this page

Norman, Cathy

 referral See this page

North American Liberation Army

One of Ron Cole's militia movements.

Non-Christian Northeast Kingdom Community Church


French physician and astrologer. 1503-1566 AD.


Christian Did Nostradamus Predict the Destruction of the World Trade Center? The answer is ''No.'' Read why.
Secular Did Nostradamus Predict the Tragedy? Another look at Nostradamus hoaxes.
Secular False Prophecy The rumor debunked at the Urban Legends Reference Pages.
Secular Nostradamus Entry in the Skeptic's Dictionary

- News Articles Database -
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

Earlier item:
(May 11, 1999) Japanese reading, heeding Nostradamus as millennium closes

PluralisticAcademic Nova Religio

"The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions." An academic publication. One article of each issue is made available online, but for a limited time only. Subscribers can access the full text online. Edited by Phillip C. Lucas, an associate professor of religious studies at Stetson University in De Land, Fla., and a member of the New Religious Movements Group of the American Academy of Religion.

The journal promotes the interdisciplinary study of alternative religions and seeks articles reflecting a variety of methods and disciplines. These include, for example, history of religions, sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, cultural studies, communication studies, political science, folklore, theology, intellectual history, philosophy, medicine, and legal studies. The journal is also cross-cultural and invites articles that represent the variety of the world's religious cultures.
Nova Religio homepage

Editorial consultants include CESNUR board members, Eileen Barker, Massimo Introvigne, and J. Gordon Melton. (Full list).



The study of the occult significance of numbers.

Some people who identify themselves as Christians overemphasize the real or alleged meaning of numbers in the Bible, and often erroneously base teachings upon this understanding. In so doing, they ignore sound principles of interpretation.

PluralisticAcademic NUREL

Dr. Irving Hexham's site provides sources for the study of cults, sects, new and contemporary religions. Includes information about the NUREL discussion list

Non-Christian Nuwaubians