Review: Becoming Gods
By Richard Abanes
Reviewed by Eric Johnson
Mormonism 101: Revised and Updated is being released in April 2015. In this article is information that can be used with the discussion questions given at the end of each of the 18 chapters. These questions can be used by the individual as a reminder of what the chapter covered or by a group desiring an impetus to further discuss the content of the book. Included are Internet links for further information. Purchase Mormonism 101 at Utah Lighthouse Ministry, amazon.com, christianbooks.org, or your favorite Christian retailer. And if you have a chance, please write a review of this book on any of those sites!
This review first appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume 34, number 02 (2011).
“Confrontational Apologetics Versus Grace-Filled Persuasion”: A Confrontational Yet Grace-Filled Response to Dr. Glen G. Scorgie, Bethel Seminary San Diego
By Eric Johnson
Answering Mormons’ Questions (Kregel, October 2012) by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson deals with 36 common questions that Mormons ask Christians about faith. In this book, which is scheduled to be released in the middle of October, we provide material–including hundreds of original quotes from LDS sources and plenty of stories from our own experiences– that will help you with your own discussions. In addition, we include 2-3 questions at the end of each chapter, meant mainly to be discussion starters for groups wanting further study. In this free guide, we provide background information along with possible answers. Feel free to use this guide in any way you wish to equip your students to better answer Mormons’ questions.
Since the time Joseph Smith, Jr., founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐day Saints (Mormon or LDS) in 1830, Christians have recognized this organization as a heretical religion that does not represent biblical teachings. Not long after Smith’s death in 1844, Brigham Young led his followers into the Salt Lake Valley. For many years Christians have considered the state of Utah to be a ripe evangelistic field. In the early years, LDS leaders prized their uniqueness and didn’t seem to care what outsiders thought about their beliefs, which separate them from the rest of professed Christianity. In the past few decades, though, this attitude began to change. Today Mormon leaders try hard to portray their church as more mainstream rather than extreme, sometimes making it tremendously difficult to discern the differences between the two faiths. In recent years, traditional evangelistic methods to reach the Mormon people have been criticized as being too “confrontational” and, therefore, counterproductive. In order to better understand Mormonism, two types of dialogues have been initiated between evangelical Christians and Mormons. One involves private scholarly dialogues. The other includes a casual “bridge‐building” dialogue that is geared more for a lay‐level audience. Some in Utah wonder, however, if this new paradigm is actually hurting rather than helping evangelistic efforts in the Beehive state. In the late 1980s, an Arizona Mormon by the name of Darl Anderson realized that one of the biggest hindrances to the efforts of Mormon missionaries was Christian ministers who were speaking out on Mormonism from their pulpits. Anderson concluded that he could “neutralize” what he called the “ground swell of anti‐Mormonism” in his area if he could only befriend these outspoken Christian leaders. He self‐published a book in 1992 titled Soft Answers to Hard Questions and began giving a lecture series to fellow members called “Win a Minister and Influence a Thousand.”
Former Mormonism Research Ministry associate Lane Thuett has teamed with Edmond Gross to put together a well-documented 500+-page book on the subject of Mormonism. The authors have pitched a winner as they utilize a great number of authoritative sources to show that Mormonism is truly much different than historical Christianity.
The book is fully documented, with more than a hundred pages of footnotes included in the back. (It would have been nice if these notes had been incorporated as footnotes, but that’s not the way most publishers work.) Broken down into 13 chapters, the book deals with such issues as the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the Godhead, priesthood, and salvation. Utilizing more than a thousand quotations—honestly, I didn’t count, but there were at least this many and probably many more—the authors use boldface type to highlight certain parts of each quote. This feature helps attract the reader’s eye to the most important element of the longer quotes, which the authors usually provided with the surrounding context.
Edited by Francis Beckwith, Carl Mosser, and Paul Owen.
By Eric Johnson