LATIN – apologeticus GREEK – apologetikos Apologetics: “The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2009).
- THE FOURTH ANNUAL FAIR APOLOGETIC CONFERENCE. The latest info on our upcoming annual conference.
- FEATURE: THE SOURCE OF THE BOOK OF MORMON: A LOOK AT ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS. A review of Dr. Daniel Peterson’s 2001 FAIR Conference presentation, as he looks at the divine source of the Book of Mormon in the face of alternative theories advocated by LDS critics.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: ANTI-MORMON SENSATIONALISM AND SHOCK VALUE! THE TOOLS OF THE CRITICS OF THE LDS FAITH. Learn just how far the critics will go in their attempts to damage The Church of Jesus Christ.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: MORMONISM 201. A response to the recently published and widely publicized anti-Mormon book, Mormonism 101. FAIR apologists dismantle the work of Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, chapter by chapter.
- DOCTRINAL TRENDS IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY AND THE STRENGTH OF THE MORMON POSITION. An excellent examination of the striking similarities of early Christian doctrines and LDS doctrines. How did that happen?
- A FOCUS ON THE SCHOLARS AND APOLOGISTS. Learn all about the speakers and their topics at this years FAIR Conference.
- BOOK SALE! We must reduce our inventory! Now is the time to get your hands on THEY LIE IN WAIT TO DECIEVE (4 volume set) by Robert and Rosemary Brown.
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT, SCOTT GORDON.
- FAIR APOLOGETICS INDEX. The Index continues to grow.
- ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS. Interested in writing for FAIR? Learn how you can have your apologetics work published.
- PUBLISHING NOTES. Learn how you can become more involved in FAIR and how you can reuse the material we publish.
THE FOURTH ANNUAL FAIR APOLOGETIC CONFERENCE TURNING STUMBLING BLOCKS INTO STEPPING STONES–Responding to Challenging Issues in Mormonism.
“Critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are quick to point out what they perceive as thorny issues that ‘prove’ the Church is not true. For some, these issues present stumbling blocks to learning and progression. Whether these issues are historical, cultural, or doctrinal, they can be turned into stepping stones leading to greater awareness and growth. This conference will explore the evidence surrounding potential stumbling blocks and discuss them in the context of the truthfulness of the Gospel.” (Scott Gordon, FAIR President)
This year’s conference will be held at Utah Valley State College (UVSC) located at 800 West University Parkway in Orem Utah on August 9th and 10th. This location is just off of the freeway and should be easily accessible. Last year’s conference was a big success among the participants, so we are following the same format.
The conference will be from 10-4 on Friday August 9th and from 9-3 on Saturday August 10th. Lunch will be included each day. This provides an opportunity to renew friendships and to eat lunch with the speakers. After you factor in the price of lunch and the accessibility of the conference speakers, you will agree that the FAIR conference is one of the best bargains out there.
The price of the conference is as follows (including 2 lunches)
- Purchase in Advance: $45 per person $75 per couple
- Pay at the door: $65 per person $95 per couple
This year we will sell a single day ticket
- Single Day $27.50 ($37.50 at the door)
We will also offer discounted Student tickets, but you must show a student id at the door. The Student tickets will be:
- Two day student Purchase in advance $35 per person $55 per couple
- Pay at the door student tickets $55 per person $75 per couple
- Single day student $22.50 ($32.50 at the door)
Are you tired of not having the answers when friends pose difficult questions? Are you ready to defend what you know to be true? Come to the FAIR Conference!
THE SOURCE OF THE BOOK OF MORMON: A LOOK AT ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS
by Cooper Johnson
The number of alternative explanations for the source of the Book of Mormon are as plentiful as anti-Mormon ministries. It becomes a literal maze of confusion, if not dealt with carefully. The critics will lead their readers and listeners to every possible path within the maze, as long as it doesn’t lead to authentication of the Book of Mormon. Regardless of the lack of plausibility, critics of the LDS faith have become all too creative in their quest to provide alternative scenarios for how the Book of Mormon came to be. From hallucinations to premeditated fraud to plagiarism, the explanations seem endless.
Those choosing to defend the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ have patiently dealt with alternative explanations as they have surfaced, pointing to the archeological evidence here and the textual evidence there. And with the additional and constantly improving scholarship on this ancient text, the Book of Mormon is increasingly becoming the subject of extensive focus–even by non- LDS scholars. However, a current and all-inclusive evaluation of the possible Book of Mormon origins has not been available to the LDS apologists…not until Dr. Daniel Peterson decided to change that.
For most who attended the 2001 FAIR LDS Apologetic Conference, one of the most anticipated speakers was Dr. Peterson, the Chairman of FARMS, Director of ISPART and BYU Professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies. Dr. Peterson has become one of the leading scholars in the area of LDS apologetics and a favorite among FAIR members. Needless to say, we were all anxious to hear what he had to say.
Appropriately, Dr. Peterson was the concluding speaker at the conference (and is scheduled for this year’s FAIR Conference, by the way). And, I must say, with the material he presented, there were no disappointments. He chose to share with us a portion of a project he had yet to finish, a most comprehensive examination of all the possible explanations as to the origins of the Book of Mormon. In other words, Dr. Peterson decided to consider and analyze all of the possible theories of how Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon. No stone was left unturned.
Read the full article at:
The Source of The Book Of Mormon: A Look at Alternative Explanations by Cooper Johnson
NEW ON THE WEBSITE: ANTI-MORMON SENSATIONALISM AND SHOCK VALUE! THE TOOLS OF THE CRITICS OF THE LDS FAITH
compiled by Cooper Johnson
A common characteristic of the anti-Mormon approach is to use sensationalistic terms and concepts to make the LDS faith appear to be strange and eerie. The objective is to paint the LDS faith as the alien, horrible, powerful, and evil empire positioning itself to literally take over the world. (Sounds like Star Wars Episode 3, I know. What can I say; it sells.) You may be giggling at this point, but it’s true. This is the picture that many critics paint.
Hank Hanegraaff, of the Bible Answerman radio show, uses this tactic very effectively. I thought it might be interesting to point some of these out, just using one series of his Bible Answer Man broadcasts in which he had an anti-Mormon author, Richard Abanes, as his on-air guest.
These two men follow the typical anti-Mormon agenda to the tee. By the end of the broadcast, we find that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while not “bad people” and while they do uphold “Christian values,” is a “lustful, violent, greedy, deceitful and murderous” organization with “more economic power than effectively any other organized religion in existence,” and its ultimate goal is the “political overthrow of America” and to eventually “take over the world.” Wow!
Read the full article at:
NEW ON THE WEBSITE: MORMONISM 201–A RESPONSE TO THE ANTI-MORMON BOOK, MORMONISM 101
In April 2000, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson brought out a new book designed to provide “an accessible, informative introduction to Mormonism.” They titled the book Mormonism 101 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, ISBN 0-8010-6335-3). McKeever and Johnson have quite a bit of experience sharing information about the LDS Church, as they are both affiliated with the Mormonism Research Ministry (El Cajon, California). At first glance it would appear that their credentials are appropriate to the stated purpose of the book, and that the reader is in for an authoritative discussion of the Church’s beliefs and practices.
Appearances can be deceiving, however. Like so many other books that speak out against the LDS Church (often called anti-Mormon books), Mormonism 101 often resorts to misrepresentation, selective citations, and poor scholarship to show how members of the LDS Church are lost souls, deceived by their history and their leaders and destined for eternal damnation unless they see the light.
Unfortunately, not every reader of Mormonism 101 will have the background and understanding necessary to see the book for what it is–one more attempt to stereotype members of the LDS Church and relegate them to the historical boneyard of misguided religions. Recognizing that some readers may be misled, Kevin Graham, a member of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), spearheaded a project with other FAIR members to do a chapter-by- chapter analysis and refutation of the materials presented in Mormonism 101. This is the genesis and background behind Mormonism 201. The undertaking was massive for the volunteer FAIR members, and it continues to be a work in progress. (Oh, how we have wished–more than once–for a paid, professional staff of apologists such as those associated with the Mormonism Research Ministry and dozens of other such groups that make their paychecks as professional anti-Mormons. Such is not the case, however.)
Check out this work-in-progress:
DOCTRINAL TRENDS IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY AND THE STRENGTH OF THE MORMON POSITION
by Barry Bickmore
Christianity as a whole is a historical religion. That is, its truth claims are based on the historical reality of certain events, such as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In addition, each Christian denomination is bound to a particular view or range of views of Christian history that tie into its reason for existence. These views range from direct continuity with the New Testament Church among Catholics and Orthodox, to some measure of apostasy and reformation back to New Testament Christianity among Protestants. Latter-day Saints believe there was a total apostasy from New Testament Christianity, and a complete restoration of primitive Christianity was necessary, although we believe elements of the true faith from all past dispensations have been included, as well as things which have been “kept hid from before the foundation of the world.” To some degree, these propositions can be tested.
My intent here is to outline a brief historical argument for the proposition that the Latter-day Saints represent, in the main, a restoration of primitive Christianity. I am going to do that by showing that in some of the most important areas of theology, early trends in Christian doctrine point from something very like LDS doctrine and toward the doctrines of later Christianity. Finally, I will examine how different Christian traditions try to deal with these facts, and show that the meaning we attach to early Christian doctrinal development follows quite naturally, while other interpretations are usually very forced.
Read the full paper:
A FOCUS ON THE SCHOLARS AND APOLOGISTS: The Speakers at the 4th Annual FAIR LDS Apologetics Conference
FAIR is extremely pleased with this years line-up of conference speakers. Some of the top LDS scholars in their field have agreed to speak to us at the conference.
See a full description of the FAIR Conference speakers, along with a detailed look at their topics at:
Last year’s conference was wonderfully enlightening and fun. This year’s conference will be outstanding and we look forward to seeing you there. Once you’ve been to one conference, you won’t want to miss another.
Sign up for this conference at 2002 FAIR Conference
If you have a business and are interested in sponsoring a booth at the conference contact us at the Webmaster
We *MUST* reduce our inventory in the FAIR Bookstore–the Bookstore Manager needs to get his car back in the garage. (OK, so it’s his wife’s car!)
Now is the time to get your hands on THEY LIE IN WAIT TO DECIEVE (4-volume set) by Robert and Rosemary Brown. Each book normally sells for $12.50, which adds up to $50.00 for the entire set of four.
HERE IS THE SPECIAL OFFER!
- Purchase any two books for $17.50. (30% OFF)
- Purchase the set of four for $24.99 (50% OFF)
A more revealing look at the tactics used by LDS critics does not exist. The Browns research is unmatched, in efforts to verify the claims of many anti-Mormons. Thanks to the Browns, we now know all about the deceptive practices of critics of the LDS faith.
You should note that these books are not doctrinal defenses of the LDS faith, but expose the deceitful and dishonest practices of anti-Mormons. The Browns actually researched documents, obtained affadavits, obtained transcripts, verified facts from all kinds of institutions and the documents are actually included in these books. It is truly an amazing set of works.
- They Lie in Wait to Deceive by Robert L. and Rosemary Brown
- Volume 1. A detailed look at the antics of “Dr.” or “Prof.” Dee Jay Nelson and his crusade against the Book of Abraham, as well as some enlightening information about the work of Jerald and Sandra Tanner.
- Volume 2. Learn the truth behind well-known anti-Mormons such as “Dr.” Walter Martin, Wayne Cowdrey, Howard Davis, and Donald Scales.
- Volume 3. This is the magnum opus on the works of the late “Dr.” Walter Martin, a radio personality who would often use his pulpit to denegrate and deride the LDS faith.
- Volume 4. Focuses on the efforts of professional anti-Mormons such as Ed Decker, Richard Baer, “Dr.” Richard Fales, “Dr.” Charles Crane, and “Dr.” John L. Smith. Also includes additional information on Jerald and Sandra Tanner.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
by Scott Gordon, President
Thank you for reading the FAIR Journal. I hope you find it helpful. There are a few important items I want to bring to your attention.
First of all, we are very pleased with the rapid growth of the FAIR Journal and hope you find it useful. FAIR is dedicated to being a resource to you. If you have enjoyed these issues or found the Website to be helpful, please sign up a friend. To sign up a friend you only need a name and email address. To sign them up go to:
Secondly, we are moving ahead with our FAIR Conference this Summer on August 9th and 10th. You can view the tentative schedule of speakers here:
If you are looking for a place to stay, three inns that are very close to UVSC have offered special discount rates to people attending the FAIR conference. To view the details click here:
Finally, we would like to announce that we are in pre-publication on the second edition of the very popular book “Guess Who Wants To Have You For Lunch.” Bookstores continue to call every week for copies of this book, so it should be a hot seller. But to publish this book it will require some up front money.
We need to raise about $3,500 to publish. If you are able to donate, please go to the following Web page and click on the link to make a one-time donation.
Donations are easy to make with your credit card. There are a number of donation amounts you can make from $5 to $1,000. (Scroll through the whole page to see all the donation amounts.)
If you would like to mail in a check, send it to FairMormon, PO Box 491677, Redding, CA 96049. FAIR is a 501-C3 non-profit organization, so donations are tax deductible. As with any donation, check with your accountant for your particular situation.
No donated money pays anyone’s salary (we don’t have any salaries—all labor is donated at FAIR), and Rob Fink CPA of Brown, Fink, Boyce and Astle in Sacramento, CA handles our accounting and keeps us honest. We appreciate his work.
We appreciate all of your support.
Scott Gordon FAIR President
FAIR APOLOGETICS INDEX CONTINUES TO GROW AND GAIN POPULARITY
We continue to add content to the apologetics index. Now we not only have the Ensign articles on the various topics indexed, but we also have many of the LDS Websites on the internet indexed which includes Website articles, many articles from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the FARMS free site, and some electronic books.
Next time you have a gospel question, you no longer have to try to remember which website the answer might be on, you can go to www.fairlds.org, click on the index, click on that one topic and find a list of great responses from all over the internet. It also has a keyword search box.
The use of the index continues to rise. We have Sunday School teachers and Seminary teachers using it now to help prepare for their lessons. We hope this will be a great resource for you.
We welcome article submissions for the FAIR Web site. If you would like to submit an article, please review the editing guidelines at:
Submit your article to the FAIR Journal Editor. An appropriate article would be one that affirms the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While LDS apologetics (in the broadest sense) deals with refuting critics of the Church, articles don’t necessarily have to deal with anti-Mormonism, but may deal with some new evidence of the Book of Mormon, some interesting scripture interpretation, a viewpoint or quote from the early Christian Fathers or other historical figure, an interesting lesson idea, an inspiring missionary story, Church history, or your view on a current event related to the Church or a piece from a historical journal.
We may also accept articles from people who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that may not necessarily meet the guidelines of supporting the church if it is a topic of general interest to people involved in apologetics.
A submission may range in length from several pages to a single paragraph.
FAIR is not owned, controlled by or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All research and opinions provided in the FAIR Journal and on the FAIR Web site (http://www.fairlds.org) are the sole responsibility of FAIR, and should not be interpreted as official statements of LDS doctrine, belief or practice.
If someone has forwarded this e-journal to you and you would like to join you should go to www.fairlds.org and click on the Membership link.
If you are very interested in apologetics and would like to actively participate in FAIR you should consider joining our apologetics e-mail list. Visit www.fairlds.org and click on the Membership link to join this list as well.
If you manage your own e-mail list, and wish to include some of these thoughts or articles on your list, contact us through our Web site, at this page: www.fairlds.org/contact.psp. We have a fairly liberal policy of using our material so long as you contact us first to gain permission and clearly identify that your source was FAIR and by adding a link to the FAIR website (www.fairlds.org).
If you would like to sign up to receive the FAIR Journal automatically, click here.
To return to the index of past FAIR Journal issues, click here.