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The Gospel According to Joseph Smith: A Christian Response to Mormon Teaching Paperback – December 4, 2001
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"A valuable contribution. Harris's unique and effective approach provides Christian apologists and other students of Mormonism a very useful tool." --R. C. Sproul
"A good introduction to the serious differences between Mormonism and the historic Christian faith." --Ronald Nash
"Clearly, logically, and forcefully exposes the heretical nature of Mormonism. This work both challenges the confused Mormon and instructs Christians how to reach Mormons with the true gospel. I enthusiastically endorse this able and devastating critique." --Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.
About the Author
Ethan Harris (BA, ThM) served as a resource consultant and director of conferencing at Ligonier Ministries for five years, following eight years' service in the US Army. He is a graduate of Western Baptist College and has studied at Reformed Theological Seminary.
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Top Customer Reviews
He wrote in the Preface to this 2001 book, "The many inconsistencies that lie within the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) will be exposed in the following pages. This is ... an effort to underscore some of the most problematic areas. The method of this study is to give a general overview of foundational teachings from the texts of Mormonism and its Prophets. We will, by way of contrast, cite authorities within that community and biblical passages that are in contradiction with them."
Here are some additional quotations from the book:
"The problem here is that the same King James Version of the Bible that is thought to be 'corrupted' has been accepted by the (LDS) Church as containing the true Gospel. The LDS Church cannot logically critiize the non-Mormon for using a corrupted Bible if it uses the same Bible." (Pg. 28)
"The following may not be practiced today, but the teaching has been repeated by numerous LDS Prophets. What is that teaching? That if your sins cannot be cleansed by baptism, you should be killed! ... This teaching of salvation by murder is repeated in several passages of LDS literature. Is this doctrine still practiced? Let's pray not." (Pg. 49)
"If the God we worship was actually a man at one time, then He is not perfect from all eternity. If, as the Mormons claim, we can become as God is, then there really is nothing special or significant about God... He would be an impotent ethereal exalted man who stumbled into having spirit-children who would one day be as great as He. But this is not the God of the Christian..." (Pg. 71)
"It cannot be denied that the Adam-God doctrine was taught. Prophet (Brigham) Young claimed that he received it not only from God, but also from Joseph Smith. If this doctrine is denounced by the Mormon Church, then Joseph Smith stands indicted for the same crime as does Brigham Young. They gave false revelation and are false prophets." (Pg. 110)
The unique features of this book are its multiple quotations of Mormon authors and sources. Also included are testimonies of former LDS members, which help to get a grasp of how an average LDS person thinks about their faith and what attracts them to Christianity.
I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 because of the high price and the general lack of new material in comparison to Christian books already out there. If you already have assembled a library on Mormonism, physically look over this book before buying it.
But note: 1. A clearer and crisper job at the same task is done by Sharon Armstrong in her book, For Any Latter-day Saint: One Investigator's Unanswered Questions. 2. Though Harris is a valiant LDS contradiction illuminator, he does not in fairness point his light at any of dozens of equally glaring inconsistencies and contradictions in (a) the Bible itself, and (b) between the Bible and many accepted current non-Mormon Christian teachings. So his principled argument against contradictions is inconsistently applied and, therefore to that extent, ironically unprincipled. A much better job than Harris's at applying facts and principle consistently is done by Burton L. Macke (a professor of ancient Christian history) in Who Wrote the New Testament?
All that said, Harris's book is still a valuable introduction to the depth of contradiction in Mormonism.