The Gospel According to Joseph Smith: A Christian Response to Mormon Teaching Paperback – December 4, 2001
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"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
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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)
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.
After eight years in the U.S. Army, the author, Ethan Harris, served as resource consultant and director of conferencing at Ligonier Ministries. He is currently the Webmaster of the Reformed Library, and he also promotes Homestead College of Bible and Graduate School, which grants correspondence degrees at all academic levels, including the doctorate.
A Christian Response is introduced by Bill McKeever of Mormonism Research Ministry. The book is essentially derivative. Harris draws his contrasts between what he calls the "LDS view" of various topics and "the biblical view"--that is, a fundamentally Calvinist reading of the scriptures from Sandra and Jerald Tanner, John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Bill McKeever, Robert Morey, Latayne Scott, and Marvin Cowan, all part of the countercult stable of anti-Mormon writers.
Nothing seems to indicate that Harris has consulted reliable LDS scholarship.
Read this if you have already decided that Mormonism is wrong and you want to feel better about yourself. But as an examination of to what extent Mormon doctrine is consistent with the Bible, it is not serious. It is more of an examination of how a quick and dirty reading of Mormon doctrine contradicts Calvinism. Naturally, you shouldn't expect a Mormon who knows his stuff to be able to take the book seriously.