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Breaking the Mormon Code: A Critique of Mormon Scholarship Paperback – September 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: WingSpan Press (September 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595940677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595940674
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,566,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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If you're interested in looking under the hood of Mormonism, this is the book for you.
Monte B. King
Matt Paulson has done a good job researching LDS scholars (i.e. FARMS) and showing the lack of peer review and faulty conclusions that many of them have made.
E. Johnson
As a Christian Apologist, Mr. Paulson has done an outstanding job in laying bare the deceptive roots found in Mormon attacks upon historic Christianity.
Kurt Van Gorden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on July 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matt Paulson has done a good job researching LDS scholars (i.e. FARMS) and showing the lack of peer review and faulty conclusions that many of them have made. He brings forth lots of footnotes (thanks for not making these endnotes!) and shows expertise in his look at how the gentlemen at the Mormon-funded FARMS are lacking in crossing their t's and dotting their i's. In fact, they are quite sloppy in their "research" and then have very little Christ-like attitude in their criticism of the "anti-Mormon" writers, myself included. It's one thing to disagree--as I certainly disagree with their position--but it's another to be mean-spirited, sarcastic, and generally obnoxious in how they present their information. If "pride" is still a sin, then the FARMS folks are certainly guilty of disobeying Mormon 10:32. Overall, I think Paulson has done a service to the Christian community in putting this book together, and it ought to be read by those who are interested in Mormon/Christian apologetics.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Andrews on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I got the book and saw it had over 900 footnotes, I was expecting many specific examples of sloppy scholarship by Mormon Scholars. I was disappointed in the unequal scholarship ( providing footnotes for minor items and inserting major assertions without any kind of reference) which I found. I was also disappointed in the strip quoting (taking out a portion of the quote to substantially change the meaning) employed by Paulson.

The first paragraph of chapter 1 says "Stories have also hit the Utah newspapers about Mormon money scams and LDS apostles." That sentence just begs for a footnote but there is none. The 2nd paragraph says "Any incredible claim can be and should be verified. This is the purpose of footnotes." Another example of unequal scholarship is found on page 17 where the statement "LDS Scholarship is essentially considered by most Christian scholars to be incredible." Has not a single footnote or source to support it. I noted 5 similar major assertions without a source or footnote in the first chapter.
Much of Breaking the Mormon Code discusses a book Offender for a Word, written by BYU professor's It discusses in detail the difference between a quote in Offender for a Word which says, "The exact theological definition of the doctrine of the Trinity." Notes Dummelow, "which was not complete till the fifth century or even later."
The actual quote as noted is "Although the exact theological definition of the doctrine of the Trinity which was not complete till the fifth century or maybe even later.." Breaking the Mormon Code points out that the words maybe and although are not in the quote used in Offenders for a Word.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Tennant on January 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Breaking the Mormon Code," by Matthew Paulson, is a well-written critique of Mormon Scholarship in regard to Christian theology. Paulson does a thorough job of bringing to light the central issue of how LDS scholars and Brigham Young University religion professors misuse foundational Christian beliefs to support Mormonism's non-biblical doctrines.

This book is unlike other apologetics in that Paulson does not set out to prove that Mormonism is theologically incorrect. Instead, he reveals the ways in which Mormon scholars deceive their readers by misquoting, taking out of context, and misapplying the teachings of the Early Christian Church Fathers. Paulson also touches on a few of the many scriptures the Mormon Church twists into aberrant meanings through eisegesis and exegesis. Through the use of fallacious arguments these same scholars attempt to seduce Mormons and Christians alike into believing that there is little difference between what Christian Church Fathers taught and what the LDS Church teaches today.

Paulson shows that, "In Mormonism there is no salvation outside the Church. For Mormons salvation comes by faith, repentance and works within the LDS Church, including the ritual of water baptism. Mormons who leave the Church or those who are excommunicated are essentially outcasts and essentially `damned' unless they repent. Church members become candidates for excommunication as they apostatize from the teachings of the Church. It has been said that `an apostate is...one who flatly denies the divine nature of the [LDS] Church...' Why should evangelic Christianity accept Mormonism when LDS dissidents are typecast as evil apostates and non-Christians?" (p. 19).

The author makes a good point in the above quote.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Van Gorden on December 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a Christian Apologist, Mr. Paulson has done an outstanding job in laying bare the deceptive roots found in Mormon attacks upon historic Christianity. With God's truth as his standard, Mr. Paulson sets straight the lie that Mormonism is changing into biblical Christianity. It isn't--and that is why this book is so vitally important in the battle for truth.

I have added critical editing and contributions to sixteen books on world religions over the past 30 years, the most recent being the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions (Nichols, Mather, Schmidt. Zondervan, 2006). Few groups have ever manifested insecurity in personal beliefs as much as what the Mormons do, who launch assaults against virtually any writer who questions their faith. Just looking at the way that the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) has attacked Mr. Paulson in the past is evidence enough that they can't handle critical thinking when it comes to the foibles of Mormonism. In Breaking the Mormon Code, Paulson exposes the tactics, biases, and, in some cases, underhanded deceit used by some Mormon scholars, in the name of their BYU degree, to pacify their audience with stories and not answers. Just watch for the kind of attacks that Mormons will launch against Mr. Paulson without truly answering his well-founded claims and any reader will quickly see my point.

The callow chestnut of Mormonism that says if you want to know about Fords, then you don't ask a Chevrolet dealer, and if you want to know about Mormonism, then don't ask a non-Mormon, is both wrong and lacks critical judgment. Groups like Consumer Reports prove their maxim false.
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