I have read a great number of books dealing with Mormonism, both pro and con. To be honest, it usually sounds like a cat fight between to very large cats (Traditional Christianity vs. Mormonism). Accusations, insults, false assertions, misguided criticisms abound on both sides, and NOTHING is accomplished.
This book by Abanes, I am pleased to say, goes in a different direction. He is clearly and evangelical Christian, but seems to have chosen a path of tolerance and accuracy rather than just seeking to bludgeon another religion. He tries vey hard to not shy away from difficult issues by raising concerns he has about Mormonism, but at the same time, seeks to simply lay out where differneces between Mormonism and his evangelical views exist. It is a very, very fine line he tries to walk in this book, but the job he does is admirable.
The volume is broken down into 10 chapters, covering ten different doctrinal topics, and each is discussed in a way that, was rather enjoyable. The writing style is fast, popular, and engaging. There are four appendices at teh end of the book. One of which is actually written by Dr. Daniel C. Peterson, a Mormon professor of Islamic and Arabic studes at BYU. This has got to say something about what Abanes is trying to do with the book.
I especially like the personal stories that Abanes shares form his own life in order to start off each chapter. He uses these short stories to illustrate his personal interaction with Mormons involving the very issue he is going to discuss in the chpater. Brilliant, and again, very engaging.
Endnotes abound, if that is your cup of tea. They add a whole different dimension to the book for those who want to dig even deeper into the issue of Mormon beliefs.
This is a great book. No need to worry here about whether or not it is just going to be some fundamentalist diatribe against a faith that is held by millions of sincere people. It is critical, to be sure, but in a way that I think has moved us all beyond the name-calling and barbaric bashing of each other that has marked the history of communication between traditional Christians and Mormons.
1. God's Latter-day Prophet; 2. And It Came to Pass; 3. Thus Saith Joseph; 4. One God vs. Many Gods; 5. Heavenly Father Is A Man; 6. Siblings from Eternity Past; 7. After All We Can Do; 8. Ye Are Gods; 9. More Than One Wife; 10. The "Christian" Question.