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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star)show all reviews
10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2005
For those of you looking for a strong, bible-based response to Mormon interpretation of the scriptures, this book falls short, dramatically short. David Reed and John Farkas provide frustratingly few point-by-point responses to Mormon bible-based argument, and not enough consistency or sound reasoning in the responses they do provide. A few points about the book:

* The book's purported focus -- Mormons answered "verse by verse" is not fulfilled. First, the book is only 154 pages long. Of those pages, only a skimpy 67 (pp 37-103) actually take on Mormon bible-based doctrines. That's not nearly enough for a real "verse by verse" response.

* Related to the above point, the book glosses over or ignores some of the most powerful biblical verses that support Mormon doctrines. Messrs. Reed and Farkas do not even address the Mormon interpretation of John 17:20-23 (the Intercessory Prayer, where Jesus prays that the believers be "one; as thou Father art in me and I in thee") which provides a solid justification for the Mormon concept of three beings acting as "one," and therefore considered to be "one God." The authors likewise give short shrift to Mat. 3:16-17 (the baptism of Jesus, where God speaks from heaven and the Holy Ghost descends on Jesus "like a dove," which Mormons use to claim a separation of Father, Son and Holy Ghost). Their response to this scripture? The Mormons' "off-target argument will have no effect on Christians who *know* the God they worship" and "[i]f the unsuspecting householder finds his faith shaken by such arguments it [is because] he started out with a popular misconception in his own mind rather than with sound Christian theology" (p 67). In other words, they have no real response at all except for blaming the reader for being ill-informed or dumb.

* The authors are also sometimes mendacious in their answering method. Switching translations of the bible to get the words you seek is a lot like bumping the roulette wheel if the ball doesn't fall into the hole you want. Their approach to conclude that the priesthood of Jesus is "a priesthood that needs no successor" is to hunt for a translation that says so (p 43). Having fumbled my way through the original Greek, I can assure you that Heb. 7:24 says no such thing. The most accurate translation of the KJV's "unchangeable" is "inviolable."

* The book spends way too much time addressing obscure topics like "Adam-God" (pp 22, 59-62, 126) at the expense of more relevant ones. Things like "Adam-God" are a wild goose chase. If you confront a Mormon with an accusation that he believes Adam is our God, he will look you straight in the eye and say truthfully "No I don't." Trust me, it's a blind alley and the authors really should know better than to waste their effort on it. Likewise the hyperventilating over how Mary conceived Jesus (pp 65-66, 68-70). If, as the Trinitarians say, the Holy Ghost is God, and God the Father is God, why should they get the vapors if Mormons say God the Father is the father of Jesus? The authors don't even bother to respond to scriptures like Rom. 15:6, which state plainly that is the case.

* The authors also make unintentional admissions, some of which are hilarious. They actually admit that the Mormon doctrine of premortal life (Jer. 1:5, Prov. 8:1, 27-31) "is indeed logical from a human perspective" (p 57). And what, if I may be so bold as to ask, is the authors' perspective? Are they not human? They read the same bible as the Mormons. Aren't they arguing basically "we're right because we're right"? What kind of lame-o argument is that? I actually laughed out loud when I read it.

* The authors also have a low knowledge base (i.e., they're ignorant) about certain aspects of both the bible and Mormon doctrines. For example, when referring to the priesthood of Melchizedek, they claim "[t]here is no evidence, biblical or otherwise, that Jesus Christ passed on this priesthood to anyone" (p 43). Besides the 1.1 billion Roman Catholics (not to mention 300 million Orthodox) who would disagree with that statement, the authors ignore the Mormon doctrine that the apostles received the sealing power (Mat. 18:18) and were sent forth with the Melchizedek priesthood in John 20:21-22. Similarly, when the authors state "there is nothing in the bible about 'perfect' humans progressing to Godhood" (p 68) they seem to be blissfully unaware of (and as a consequence fail to respond to) verses such as Mat. 25:45-47, 2 Pet. 1:4, 1 John 3:1-2 and Rev. 3:21, 21:7.

* Anyone purporting to show another's errors had better make sure their own **** is squared away. If Messrs. Reed and Farkas wish to argue that the priesthood of Jesus "needs no successor" (p 43) they are perfectly free to do so; likewise, they are free to argue that all believers are "a royal priesthood" (p 98). They cannot, however, argue both. This sort of illogic and interpretive inconsistency kills any confidence the reader might otherwise have in the authors' knowledge base and analytical capabilities.

However, the book does have *some* good points. Messrs. Reed's and Farkas' exposition on how Moses could speak to God "face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend" (Exod. 33:11) (pp 47-48), yet not really see God, is pretty good, considering how weak their position is. They also do an effective job of refuting the claim that the Book of Mormon is being referred to in Ezek. 37:16-17, and pointing out that the Book of Mormon is questionable indeed if Isa. 29:4, 11 applies to it (pp 55-56). Their argument regarding Rev. 22:18 and changes made within Revelation itself, as opposed to mere inclusion of additional scriptures (p 103), is fresh, coherent and spot-on. Their discussion of flaws and inconsistencies in the Book of Mormon (pp 105-120) was also solid and well-done, even foregoing the usual Alma 7:10 "at Jerusalem" baloney.

Overall, the book is good enough for Christians looking to confirm their beliefs. However, it is unpersuasive to an objective inquirer into the scriptures, and cannot even come close to changing the mind of a knowledgeable Mormon.
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2000
To start off, I think I should state my belief and my asssociation with Mormon(s). I am a Protestant and have been studying Mormon apologetics very often for quite a while.
My local library strangely holds only books that concur with orthodox Christianity (only Protestantism), and there are various books that repond to/attack (I'm using that term loosely) Mormonism. So here was this book and the shelves, and I simply couldn't resist. I noticed a few things about the book that made me skeptical. People should be skeptical of a book that claims to 'answer Mormons verse by verse' that is only 150 pages. The other thing is this book seemed to be designed as a 'witness tool' for Evangelistical Christians who feel the need to 'help' Mormons. I always find it ironic in that Mormons see the need to 'help' orthodox Christians too. But I digress, the book is missing scads of important sections and biblical passages. While some of their explainations of biblical passages are good (Their answer to John 10:34 is probably the best worded I have read), there are simply too many sections missing. Baptism is quite noticeably missing. I contacted John Farkas about this, upon which he replied:
Hi {xxxx}...As for the book you mentioned, I was not in control of this book or the next one, but the last two I did control. We are also limited in what the publisher will accept in lenght...Only the first one we did, "Mormons Answered....." is still in print. I was in controll of ones that have my name first.
And his name wasn't first in this book...so on his part (not on Reeds) I guess it's understandeable. Besides that factor, I also give this book a low rating because of it's design. As noted, it is a 'witness tool'. For someone actually looking to study Mormonism, actually talking to Mormons who have knowledge of the Bible is the best thing to do. Even the 300-400 page 'Reasoning With Mormons From The Scriptures' has some missing pieces. I guess I'm getting sick of people seeing the need to 'witness' to Mormons, and thinking that Mormons are in a cult. How about actually discussing theological issues for a change? Eh....2 stars.
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10 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I see what the authors attempted to accomplish with this book, but what constantly amazes me about those who feel it necessary to 'witness' to Mormons, is that they apparently need to read these books in order to, 'know what to say' to the LDS. Are the LDS people that frightening that people are too afraid to actually talk with them? Sure, I understand those who act very defensively regarding their faith, and some may even act almost violent in how they defend their beliefs, but this in no way represents what the LDS Church actually believes. It is really simple, you wanna know what they believe? Why not ask one? If they don't have all the answers you are looking for, it wouldn't be difficult to find one who does. I share the thoughts of another reviewer who mentioned how the authors of this book used Biblical scriptures that THEY think an LDS person might choose to describe or illustrate their beliefs, but it isn't necessarily what most (if any) would actually do. Again, I understand where the authors were going with this, but feel they came up short.
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