Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry

Christian Apologetics

Since I’m on the subject of apologetics (see my prior post), here’s a link to a post summarizing a recent book of Christian apologetics, J. P. Moreland’s The God Question: An Invitation to a Life of Meaning. The book is an attempt to respond to anti-Christian arguments of the New Atheists and is directed to what might be termed the open-minded non-believer. Since most of the criticism directed at Christianity comes from secularists, Christian apologetics takes on a “faith versus science” theme — it’s more of a clash of worldviews than a religious debate. In contrast, most of the criticism directed at Mormonism comes from fellow Christians, so most Mormon apologetics defends the reasonableness of Mormon beliefs from biblical and religious attack — it’s more a clash of denominations than a philosophical debate.


I haven’t read the Moreland book yet. My favorite in the broad genre of Christian apologetics is God’s Universe, by Harvard astronomer Owen Gingerich. I wrote up short comments on the book here.

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posted January 24, 2009 at 3:55 am

While I take issue with the end conclusion of the atheists, speaking here more to the present ‘pop atheists’–Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Dennet–I find that their critiques are in an interesting way enlightening and, ironically, faith promoting.
To me it seems that none of them really understand Mormonism. The way Hitchens presents our history demonstrates only a depth in quantity but not in analysis, I’ve yet to find any thing genuinely substantive by Harris regarding our faith, and Dawkins (as is the case with all to varying degrees) simply is running off untenable assumptions.
The pop atheists do a fine job at pointing out the need for the restored gospel. They are content to stew in the delusion that they are pulling the foundations out of all theistic belief, but none of them realize that they don’t even scathe our faith.
I found it fascinating in the very first part of Dawkin’s “The God Delusion” he cites Sagan describing the potential and potency of a religion “old or new” that embraced the Cosmos for what they are. Now we find Theoretical Physicists scrambling for any and all reasons to have a universe like the one we have and they stumble upon “eternal chaotic inflation” and describe with it an existence wherein the theology left by Joseph Smith is more at home than any previous view of the cosmos, secular or theistic or mystical, has posited. Mind you the Theoretical Physicists are running into the same issues for their new theories as are found in the question of God, but in all their scurrying through the ages it’s not coincidence that they more and more approach an existence and cosmos that line up with what has been left to the world by this last dispensation.
Truly the earth is being covered as with a flood. Not saying there are mass conversions eminent (granted I’m not saying they aren’t either) but the truth is advancing on all sorts of fronts. There’s still a long way to go, but from where we’ve been we’ve come a long way, and the journey is as exciting as it’s ever been.

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posted January 24, 2009 at 2:20 pm

The last US Presidential election, with Mitt Romney in the fray, brought out much of what I would call the neo-Pharisees (as typified in Iowa and SC), and the neo-Sadducees (as found in the New Hampshire cross-over vote from Obama to vote against ‘Mitt the Mormon’ via McCain). These two sects are also evident in the religious debate. Neo-Pharisees slam the neo-Sadducees, and the neo-Sadducees get their barbs in at the neo-Pharisees. However, when non-traditional Christians, namely LDS (“Mormons”) are in the fore-front, like Pilate and Herod, they bury their swords with each other temporarily fight the perceived common enemy (The Church of Jesus Christ / of Latter-Day Saints). What bothers them both the most, is that Latter-Day Saints have the nerve to believe that God can (and does) still reveal himself to man in very unambiguous ways (i.e., Book of Mormon, modern revelation).
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
(Old Testament | Ecclesiastes 1:9 – 10)

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Todd Wood

posted January 25, 2009 at 11:23 pm

“more a clash of denominations”
Are we sure that is the right way to phrase it?

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