Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Becoming Gods

Table of Contents

Response to "Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism"

Summary: NOTE: This book was re-issued in 2007 under the title "Inside Today's Mormonism."

Claim Evaluation
Becoming Gods
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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism by Richard Abanes

Summary: 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"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Preface: Can't We All Just Get Along?"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 1: God's Latter-Day Prophet"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 2: And it Came to Pass"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 3: Thus Saith Joseph"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 4: One God Versus Many Gods"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 5: Heavenly Father is a Man"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 6: Siblings from Eternity Past"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 7: After All We Can Do"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 8: Ye Are Gods"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 9: More Than One Wife"

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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 10: The 'Christian' Question"

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Use of sources

Summary: 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.


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.")