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New Mormon Challenge, The Paperback – February 26, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310231949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310231943
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Current facts about Mormonism • Over 11 million members. • Over 60,000 full-time missionaries—more than any other single missionary-sending organization in the world. • More than 310,000 converts annually. • As many as eighty percent of converts come from Protestant backgrounds. (In Mormon circles, the saying is, "We baptize a Baptist church every week.") • Within fifteen years, the numbers of missionaries and converts will roughly double. • Within eighty years, with adherents exceeding 267 million, Mormonism could become the first world-religion to arise since Islam.

You may know the statistics. What you probably don’t know are the advances the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is making in apologetics and academic respectability.

With superb training, Mormon scholars outclass many of their opponents. Arguments against Mormon claims are increasingly refuted as outdated, misinformed, or poorly argued.

The New Mormon Challenge is a response to the burgeoning challenge of scholarly Mormon apologetics. Written by a team of respected Christian scholars, it is free of caricature, sensationalism, and diatribe. The respectful tone and responsible, rigorous, yet readable scholarship set this book in a class of its own.

The New Mormon Challenge recycles no previous material and duplicates no one’s efforts. Instead, responding to the best LDS scholarship, it offers freshly researched and well-documented rebuttals of Mormon truth claims. Most of the chapter topics have never been addressed, and the criticisms and arguments are almost entirely new. But The New Mormon Challenge does not merely challenge Mormon beliefs; it offers the LDS Church and her members ways to move forward.

The New Mormon Challenge will help you understand the intellectual appeal of Mormonism, and it will reveal many of the fundamental weaknesses of the Mormon worldview. Whether you are sharing the gospel with Mormons or are investigating Mormonism for yourself, this book will help you accurately understand Mormonism and see the superiority of the historic Christian faith. Outstanding scholarship and sound methodology make this an ideal textbook. The biblical, historical, scientific, philosophical, and theological discussions are fascinating and will appeal to Christians and Mormons alike. Exemplifying Christian scholarship at its best, The New Mormon Challenge pioneers a new genre of literature on Mormonism.

The Editors Francis J. Beckwith (Ph.D., Fordham University), Carl Mosser (Ph.D. candidate, University of St. Andrews), and Paul Owen (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) are respected authorities on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the authors of various books and significant articles on Mormonism. Their individual biographies as well as information on the book’s contributors appear inside.

With contributors including such respected scholars as Craig L. Blomberg, William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, and others, The New Mormon Challenge is, as Richard Mouw states in his foreword, "an important event for both Protestant evangelicals and Mormons" that models "to the evangelical community what it is like to engage in respectful and meaningful exploration of a viewpoint with which we disagree on key points."

"In recent years, Mormon scholars have produced a body of literature that has been largely ignored by evangelicals. This current volume takes a giant step forward in correcting this oversight in a way that is both intellectually vigorous, yet respectful." —Ken Mulholland, President, Salt Lake Theological Seminary

"Intellectually serious evangelical responses to the faith of the Latter-day Saints have been depressingly rare. This book represents a significant contribution to a conversation that, really, has just begun." —Daniel Peterson, Brigham Young University; Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS)

"Finally we have a book from evangelicals in which the authors have made a good-faith effort to accurately represent the range of Mormon beliefs. I believe this book is the best effort to date by evangelicals to assess and critique Mormon worldviews." —Blake Ostler, LDS philosopher, author of Exploring Mormon Thought: The Attributes of God

"I applaud the sensitivity and understanding invested in this enormous work." —Ravi Zacharias "This impressive new book makes every earlier evaluation of Mormonism outdated. The book sets a new standard in evangelical discussions of Mormon beliefs." —Dr. Ronald Nash, Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville)

". . . displays an admirable grasp of primary sources and a commitment to genuine courtesy, combined with an unflinching desire to remain faithful to Scripture." —D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"What an important book! Evangelical scholars have joined together to pay Mormonism the high compliment of a serious, contemporary evaluation. This is not a volume of ‘Anti-Mormon’ rhetoric, but rather a thoughtful, scholarly interaction in the tradition of How Wide the Divide? While theologically sophisticated, this is nonetheless an accessible book that will assist readers of all kinds to respond effectively to the new Mormon challenge. It is a book that demands a response." —Rev. Gregory Johnson, President, Standing Together Ministries, Orem, Utah

See additional endorsements inside.

About the Author

Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, and Resident Scholar in the Institute for Studies of Religion, at Baylor University. He is a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, resigning his post in May 2007 a week after returning to the Catholic Church of his youth. He has published in the areas of political philosophy, jurisprudence, applied ethics, philosophy of religion, and Christian apologetics.

Carl Mosser (PhD candidate, University of St. Andrews) has published significant articles on Mormonism in both evangelical and Mormon journals.

Paul Owen (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is assistant professor of Bible and religion at Montreat College. He has published significant articles on Mormonism in both evangelical and Mormon journals. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

Mormons themselves will find the book a challenging and enriching read, too.
Celil Parker
The General Authorities themselves don't have any of the many degrees in theology that the editors and authors of this book posses.
R. T. Christopherson
It clearly demonstrates the Mormon faith in a respectable light while still demonstrating how flawed the system really is.
Phillip Eddy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Kevin K. Winters on June 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
I will start by stating that I am LDS, a student at BYU (Philosophy under-grad) and have been active in Apologetics for nearly four years now. I was privileged to be in the audience in Salt Lake City when, earlier this year, five of the contributors (including the 3 editors) spoke on this book, their contributions/papers and their hopes for it. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found in these presentations and the tone with which the presenters approached their topics. I say "pleasantly surprised" because I was not necessarily expecting the high degree of civility and integrity with which these presenters approached Mormonism (I was hoping for it but was not fully expecting it; I was, in all honesty, expecting the worst and was relieved to find it different than I had previously conceived). I was particularly impressed with Francis Beckwith and was delighted with the chance to meet him (I was reading through his and Stephen Parrish's _The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis_ at the time and was, and currently am, preparing a critique of that said work).
This book stands as a vast improvement of LDS-critical literature and, overall, I would be hard pressed to place it in the category of "anti-Mormon" due to its general tone and approach. The term "anti," in LDS Apologetics, quite often holds a negative connotation, not inherent in the words general meaning, including, among other things, uninformed, illogical, poor scholarship, overly-antagonistic, incredibly biased, etc., none of which I can fully attribute to this work. Its academic tone is refreshing and its allowances for further dialogue on the issues (rather than dogmatic pronouncements of the complete error of our ways and the desolate nature of our attempts to answer their critiques) is encouraging.
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to intellectual Christians and Mormons, whether involved professionally and/or personally with their faiths. No longer can Christian academia be accused of publicly ignoring Mormon apologetic efforts. This book offers a serious, massively end-noted response by impeccable Christian scholars to important issues raised by the Latter-day Saints' academic community. Several indices and a glossary of terms are included for referencing. What follows is a brief summary of the book's topics:
Paul Copan and William Craig relay a brilliant defense of Christianity's view of God's creation ex nihilo in contrast to the Mormon belief of the world's organization from eternally existing matter.
Jim Adams examines the evidence for Mormon belief in pre-existence and eternality of human souls, and of the gods in general, in light of the teachings of the Old Testament.
Stephan Parrish and Francis Beckwith deal with moral law, the human/divine freedom of choice, and how they relate to the Mormon and Christian concepts of God.
J.P. Moreland dissects Orson Pratt's view of humanity and its dependence on material existence.
Paul Owens looks at monotheism from the perspective of the New Testament and how it contradicts the published views of several prominent Mormon scholars.
Craig Blomberg takes up the question of whether or not Mormonism is Christian.
The final section of the book focuses on the Book of Mormon, evalutating it on the basis of linguistics in the ancient Near East (Thomas Finley) and by contrasting principles of translation with possibilities of pseudotranslation (David Shepherd).
For those who crave detailed and cogent arguments, intellectual stimulation, and thoughtful interaction in Christian and Mormon apologetics, look no further than this book and ENJOY!
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94 of 113 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
If anything can be said about The New Mormon Challenge (henceforth TNMC), it has to be that it is sure to create controversy. After all, never before have so many different Christian scholars attempted to respond-in one volume, even-to Brigham Young University professors as well as LDS apologists.
The position taken by the editors assumes that the words of LDS scholars or even the personal beliefs of the laity may supercede that of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. For the average Mormon, truth is contained in the four standard works and the current words of the leaders. When one of the editors, Carl Mosser, says that "evangelical apologists" are "jealously" guarding a type of Mormonism that is not believed by Mormons, I ask if Mosser believes the majority of Mormons would hold to the following beliefs: 1) The idea that "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become; 2) The idea that temple work is essential to reaching the highest level of the celestial kingdom; 3) The idea that ultimate truth is to be found in the Standard Works as well as the LDS prophet and apostles; 4) The idea that a person must be baptized in the Mormon Church to have an authentic baptismal experience; 5) The idea that Joseph Smith and succeeding church leaders were given complete authority on earth; 6) The idea that the Mormon Church is the most trustworthy church in the world.
The list could go on. The point is that I have no doubt that no less than 80 percent of all Latter-day Saints would immediately agree with me that the above six points as fully being Mormon doctrine.
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