Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Becoming Gods
A FAIR Analysis of: Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century MormonismA work by author: Richard Abanes
|One Nation Under Gods|
| Note: This is a review of claims and/or responses to misrepresentations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found in this work. The inclusion of an author's work here does not imply that he or she is "anti-Mormon," or that none of his or her works have value. Those who do not wish to examine the claims contained in what some would consider an "anti-Mormon" work are advised to proceed no further.
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- Index of claims—
Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism indexed by page number. (Link)
- Use of sources—
An examination and response to how the author of Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Link)
About this work
There are no books from an evangelical perspective that responsibly interact with contemporary LDS scholarly and apologetic writings.
—Paul Mosser and Carl Owen, "Mormon Scholarship, Apologetics and Evangelical Neglect: Losing the Battle and Not Knowing It?" Trinity Journal, 1998.
It is claimed that this book is an attempt to fill the void highlighted by Mosser and Owen. Unfortunately, what we find instead are the same misrepresentations and arguments that been offered in the past by anti-Mormon authors. There is nothing at all new here. This book could best be described as an Evangelical apologetic work against Mormonism. The book spends much time refuting LDS interpretation of scriptural passages in the Bible, often claiming that Mormons have misinterpreted the scriptures and that they require "deeper study." In fact, it is claimed that LDS scholars have only a superficial knowledge of the scriptures, at one time stating that "[p]roperly interpreting them is not as simple as reading today's newspaper" (p. 213).
Notable and Quotable
A summary of the painful manipulations required in order to circumscribe the meaning of the term "Christian" so that it excludes Latter-day Saints:
- Many evangelical books offer little help. Some are strident or mocking.
- —Richard Abanes, Becoming Gods, p. 11
- Mormons do in fact seek salvation within the historical person known to the world as Jesus of Nazareth, as they see him.
- —Richard Abanes, Becoming Gods, p. 265
- This does not mean that Mormons are "Christian" in an objective theological sense. It merely means there exists no other category in which they can be placed. Allowing for the broad viewpoint, however, opens up a large can of worms. What about the Branch Davidians, who called themselves "Christian" but stored illegal weapons, abused children, and murdered law enforcement officers? What about The Family, a "Christian" group that currently engages in premarital "sharing" with multiple partners and allows adultery with consent? How about so-called "Christian" witches? There are also a significant number of liberal "Christians"...who deny the virgin birth, the deity of Jesus, and Christ's physical resurrection. And let us not forget "Christian" nudists.
- —Richard Abanes, Becoming Gods, p. 265
- So if Daniel Peterson and Barry Bickmore, for example, have no problem being called "heretical Christians," then I have no problem obliging them.
- —Richard Abanes, Becoming Gods, p. 266
- When it comes to whether or not Mormons are Christian, a simple yes or no answer will never do.
- —Richard Abanes, Becoming Gods, p. 279
- Appeals Court Rules Mormon Church Is Outside Protestant Christian Faith. This ruling clearly agrees that Mormonism is outside Protestantism. And Mormonism is certainly not Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. The ruling, of course, fails to answer the question: What is Mormonism? Given the fact that it is not Roman Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant, one can naturally extrapolate that Mormonism is not Christian.
- —Richard Abanes, blog post "Mormonism LEGALLY Declared Not Christian," October 9, 2008.
- (The following day, October 10, in response to a reader comment, the title of the blog entry was changed to read "Mormonism LEGALLY Declared Not Protestant." One poster compared the logic presented with the following: "And given the fact that San Diego is not Los Angeles, or San Francisco, or Sacramento, one can naturally extrapolate that San Diego is not in California.")
|A FAIR Analysis of Critical Works|
- American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows— (Index of claims)
- An Insider's View of Mormon Origins — (Index of claims—Use of sources)
- Archaeology and the Book of Mormon
- Ashamed of Joseph: Mormon Foundations Crumble
- Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism/Inside Today's Mormonism — (Index of claims—Use of sources)
- Behind the Mask of Mormonism
- Specific works/Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
- Specific works/By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus
- Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism
- Covering Up the Black Hole in the Book of Mormon
- Decker's Complete Handbook on Mormonism
- Early Mormonism and the Magic World View — (Index of claims—Use of sources)
- Specific works/Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Mormonism
- Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History
- From Captain Kidd's Treasure Ghost to the Angel Moroni: Changing Dramatis Personae in Early Mormonism
- In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith — (Index of Claims)
- Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon
- Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record
- Is the Mormon My Brother?
- Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet
- Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon (2nd edition)—(Index of claims)
- Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Reexamined
- The Kingdom of the Cults (Revised) — (Index of claims)
- Leaving the Saints
- Letters to a Mormon Elder
- Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church — (Index of claims)
- Mormon America: The Power and the Promise — (Index of claims)
- The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power — (Index of claims)
- The Mormon Mirage: Seeing Through the Illusion of Mainstream Mormonism
- Mormonism 101—Index of claims
- Mormonism (Kurt Van Gorden)
- Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? — (Index of claims)
- The Mysteries of Godliness—A History of Mormon Temple Worship
- Nauvoo Polygamy — (Index of claims—Use of sources—Prejudicial language—Presentism—Mind reading—Censorship—Romance—Assumptions—Magick)
- New Approaches to the Book of Mormon
- New Mormon Challenge
- No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith — (Index of claims)
- One Nation Under Gods — (Index of claims—Use of Sources—Prejudicial language—Absurd claims—Presentism—Mind reading—Rewording—Omissions—Sarcasm)
- The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644–1844
- Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example — (Index of claims)
- Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess
- The Changing World of Mormonism — (Index of claims)
- Trouble Enough: Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon
- Under the Banner of Heaven — (Index of claims)
- Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture
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