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Restoring the Ancient Church: Joseph Smith and Early Christianity Kindle Edition

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andrew I. Miller on September 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of those books that cannot be brushed off lightly. I read this book years ago when it came out in paperback. It was fascinating. The author has waded through an extraordinary amount of information to bring all sorts of insights into early Christian Church practices and beliefs that parallel modern Mormonism. It is all well documented so that the sources can be checked and read in their context. I would rank it as one of the top 5 books on Mormonism and Christianity that I have read out of hundreds. You won't be disappointed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Boylan on December 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am glad to see this book both back in print and also updated. This work by Dr. Bickmore is a carefully written text comparing Latter-day Saint theology and that of the patristic literature in the early Church, showing that the "Mormon" understanding of issues such as Christology, baptism, posthumous salvation, and other important, debated topics taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith onwards has support in Patristic literature, albeit in varying degrees (some strong and explicit, such as baptismal regeneration, subordination of the Son to the Father; theosis, and others with some evidence, such as a divine feminine). Alongside providing and exegeting patristic literature, and giving careful references to the pertinent sources, Bickmore does a good job at providing some biblical evidences for LDS belief, most notably in the opening pages showing that the LDS understanding of the nature of the apostasy and predicted restoration of Christ's gospel has meaningful support from the biblical texts, too.

The major update to this work is that it includes a paper Barry presented to the FAIR (now FairMormon) conference in 1999 responding to Catholic apologist, Patrick Madrid's article critiquing the LDS view of the apostasy. In this chapter, as with previous ones, Bickmore provides copious evidence from "Jewish-Christianity" on various doctrinal issues which should be read with care, as it refutes the arguments of critics such as Madrid and others (including many Protestants) on issues that, theologically, separate Latter-day Saints with so-called "Orthodox Christianity.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Spackman on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm impressed by the thoroughness of the information comparing the LDS faith and early Christianity. Definitely an interesting read. He covers several key topics in great detail: the apostasy, doctrines about God, salvation, priesthood and church organization, temples, and a comparison of early Jewish Christianity. The arguments are detailed and well-argued. A recommended read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GaryW on September 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book looks at evidence from the documents of early Christianity that supports Joseph Smith's claim that he was called to restore the Church of Jesus Christ. Some points of correspondence, such as predictions of apostasy, come from the Bible. Others come from the writings of early Christian leaders and scholars. In total there are many things that were believed and practiced by the earliest Christians that are now found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The author explains all this well for those of us who are not scholars of the early Christian writings.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RightStuff on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is brilliantly done, and I could not put it down! I even enjoyed reading the footnoted references, of which there are over a thousand. Much of which religious people are still groping for can be found in this book, which has carefully shown 1) what the Bible says about Jesus Christ's church, 2) what the "church fathers" pondered over for centuries, 3) the great apostasy, and 4) how Joseph Smith restored the church that Jesus Christ had established during his short, but important ministry.
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