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).
- BOOKSTORE NEWS Build your gospel library with great offers from our online bookstore. All of our selections are prescreened for quality so you can make your purchases with confidence.
- 2003 FAIR CONFERENCE TAKES SHAPE A full slate of speakers is prepared for our 2003 Conference this August. Make your plans and secure your tickets now! .
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD: THE COPTIC RATIONALE This study was presented by John A. Tvedtnes at an international non-LDS scholarly conference in 1983, where it was warmly received. .
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: AN EARLY ANTI-MORMON PREDICTION Early anti-Mormons predicted the demise of the Church, just as those today do. * NEW FAIR PROJECT Missionary brochures tackle difficult subjects, and pave the way for a FAIR international presence. .
- FAIR UPDATE: A REVIEW OF RICHARD ABANES’ “ONE NATION UNDER GODS”.
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT, SCOTT GORDON.
- THIS MONTH’S BOOKSTORE SPECIALS Detailed information on the specials available this month through the FAIR Online Bookstore. .
- 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.
We are excited about several things going on at FAIR. Our online bookstore, with its specialized, pre-screened inventory of books, continues to receive rave reviews.
We have started to add recommended books to our Topical Guide. While we aren’t finished yet, this should be a great way for you to see what books address your interested topics. You can see an example of what we have started here (scroll down to the bottom of the page):
This month we have four specials in our bookstore. Here’s a quick glimpse of those specials:
- Restoring the Ancient Church, by Barry Bickmore (save $5)
- The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, by Bart Ehrman (save $5) )
- By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion, by Terryl Givens (save $2.55) )
- The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831-1836 (save $5)
Detailed information on these specials is located later in this issue of the FAIR Journal.
We’re interested in any suggestions you may have to improve our service as well. Let us know what you need and what you want.
-The FAIR Bookstore Staff
2003 FAIR CONFERENCE TAKES SHAPE
The FAIR Conference, which is scheduled for August 7th and 8th has an exciting list of speakers and promises to be a blockbuster event. Our selected topics include responding to the critics of the Book of Abraham, the newest information on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, DNA and the Book of Mormon, Science and Religion, Exploring the Book of Mormon lands and many, many other topics.
We have an all-star cast of speakers. Many of these individuals pull in a packed house by themselves. Our speakers come from FARMS, BYU, Weber State, Idaho State, Butte College and many other places. Speakers slated for the conference include John Tvedtnes, Michael Rhodes, Matt Roper, John Gee, Dan Peterson, Jeffrey Meldrum, Trent Stephens, Gene Sessions, Roger Ekins, Craig Foster, Roger Keller, Brant Gardner, George Potter, and Richard Wellington.
The new Book of Abraham movie is starting to be shown all over the country and some have been misled by its claims. The Mountain Meadows massacre is cropping up in the newspapers again. If you learn how to respond to these two issues alone, it might save someone’s testimony in your ward or stake. And we have many more things we will cover.
BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD: THE COPTIC RATIONALE
by John A. Tvedtnes
This paper was presented at a symposium held 5 June 1981 in Jerusalem, sponsored by the L.A. Mayer Memorial Museum of Islamic Art and the Israel Ministry of Education and Culture and later published in Special Papers of the Society for Early Historic Archaeology, No. 2 (September 1989). The Jerusalem symposium marked the opening of an exhibit of Coptic art at the museum.
One of the practices that sets the Coptic Church apart from most of the Christian world is that of proxy baptism for the dead. In order to understand the rationale for this ceremony, it is necessary to both establish its antiquity in Christianity and to discuss some of its antecedents in the ancient Egyptian religion.
Read the study:
John A. Tvedtnes, “Baptism for the Dead: The Coptic Rationale,” in Special Papers of the Society for Early Historic Archaeology, no. 2 (1989).
AN EARLY ANTI-MORMON PREDICTION
by Matthew B. Brown
Soon after the Book of Mormon was published in March of 1830 opponents of the LDS faith predicted that it would soon fade into oblivion.
Read the essay:
An Early Anti-Mormon Prediction by Matthew B. Brown
NEW FAIR PROJECT
This is actually a “two-in-one” project:
- In response to FAIR feedback from missionaries preparing to serve, from returned missionaries, from family and friends of missionaries and from mission presidents, FAIR is presently working on a series of one-page brochures to answer some of the most common questions which investigators ask. The topics are varied and new ones are added to our to-do list every week. This is a work-in-progress and FAIR welcomes your feedback as well as your suggestions for topics.
- As some of you may have noticed, the FAIR homepage has multiple flag icons. This reflects not only the international membership of FAIR but also its readership. FAIR hopes to have many of its articles, beginning with the above brochures, translated and added to its Website.
Missionary brochures written (but not yet completed) so far:
- Grace, Faith, and Works
- Plural Marriage or Polygamy
- Muslims and Latter-day Saints
- Does Mormonism Have Another Jesus?
- Why do Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints claim to be the only true church?
- Trusting Your Senses: God’s use of “feelings” in confirming truth
- Archaeology and Religion
- By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them
- The Word of Wisdom: A Principle with Promise
- Gaining Salvation
- Does Revelation 22:18-19 teach that the Bible is Complete?
- Why do members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints find joy in faithfully paying a tithe of 10%?
- Mark Hofmann’s Era of Forgeries Re-visted: An Answer to Critics’ Use of Hofmann’s Forgeries, & How The Church Responded to Their Challenges, Charges & “Witch Hunt”
- Is vicarious baptism condemned?
- LDS Temple Ordinances and Freemasonry
For a preview of the “missionary” brochures:
Thank you to all who are working hard on this project.
FAIR UPDATE: A REVIEW OF RICHARD ABANES’ “ONE NATION UNDER GODS”
A FAIR review of “One Nation Under Gods” began in January 2003. Allen Wyatt is working on a graphical icon to aid our readers in finding the newest additions to this work-in-progress. Four new expositions, written by Matthew B. Brown are linked below:
- A FAIR Analysis of One Nation Under Gods by Richard Abanes (Link)
Thank you to all who are contributing to this review.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The FAIR Journal E-Mail list continues to grow. Last month’s article by Kevin Barney, which reviewed Murphy’s and Southerton’s “Galileo Event,” will be appearing in this month’s issue of Anthropology Today. Click here to review that article:
- A Brief Review of Murphy and Southerton’s “Galileo Event” by Kevin Barney
- A FAIR Analysis of Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church (Link)
There are four ways you can help support FAIR:
1. Make a tax deductible donation. We have no salaries at FAIR so 100% of your donation goes to work for the organization. We have some major expenses coming up related to putting on our conference. To donate, visit the store (link below), then click on “DONATE” at the left side of the screen:
2. Buy a book from the FAIR LDS Bookstore. The prices are great, and the income from the book sales supports FAIR. Click here to go to the store:
3. Sign up for the conference and bring a friend. We have lots of fun at our conferences. You won’t want to miss it. Click here to read about the conference and to sign up:
4. Pass the word around about the Journal and encourage people to sign up. You can sign them up on the website and they will receive an e-mail asking if they want to sign up. They have to respond in order to become active on the list. Click here to sign up a friend:
Thank you for all of your support.
-Scott Gordon FAIR President
THIS MONTH’S BOOKSTORE SPECIALS
- Restoring the Ancient Church, by Barry Bickmore (Retail $19.95; you pay only $14.95)
- The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, by Bart Ehrman (Retail $42.95; you pay only $37.95)
- By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion, by Terryl Givens (Retail $30; you pay only $27.45)
- The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831-1836 (Retail $34.95; you pay only $29.95)
Continuing our pattern of great specials, we open this month with an old FAIR favorite, Barry Bickmore’s RESTORING THE ANCIENT CHURCH. Published in 1999, it is one of our most popular books and is an excellent resource for comparing LDS doctrine with Early Christianity.
“Barry Bickmore makes a clear case for the proposition that, in the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we really do, as claimed, have a restoration of ancient Christian teachings lost from the churches of the so-called ‘mainstream.’ This is an admirable book, based upon extensive reading in both the early Christian sources and secondary scholarship. I wish for it wide circulation among Latter-day Saints and beyond. I also wish I had written it.” –Daniel C. Peterson, Ph.D., Brigham Young University
This month it’s 25% off retail ($19.95) at $14.95.
Next on our lineup is from Oxford University Press, THE NEW TESTAMENT: A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITINGS by Bart Ehrman. Called “[t]he most engaging, thorough, and accessible historical introduction to the New Testament available”, it is a wonderful background to enrich your New Testament study this year. It has incorporated in its second edition “expanded coverage of the historical Jesus, … new boxes on various topics (e.g., women in the New Testament and alternative approaches to the historical Jesus)” and a 12-page full color photo essay on illuminated manuscripts. Retails at $42.95, FAIR is pricing it at $37.95 for this month.
For our third offering, BY THE HAND OF MORMON: THE AMERICAN SCRIPTURE THAT LAUNCHED A NEW WORLD RELIGION is a must have for those interested in the Book of Mormon and its impact not only for Mormons, but for the world. Retails for $30.00, FAIR Monthly Special Price $27.45.
“This is an exceptional study. Terry L. Givens has written an important work that increases our understanding of both the Book of Mormon and of Mormonism generally. He demonstrates how a single literary work gave rise to an enduring community, a theology, a religion, and a culture, and helps to explain not only the book’s history but also the persisting success of Mormonism as an enduring belief system and worshipping community. By the Hand of Mormon is an achievement of real distinction.” –Jan Shipps, author of Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years Among the Mormons and Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition.
Our last entry is THE JOURNALS OF WILLIAM E. McLELLIN, 1831-1836. Six detailed journals of a controversial Saint, one of the original Twelve LDS Apostles, McLellin’s personal recordings “shed new light on the nature of early Mormon worship and doctrine, as well as on religious attitudes in America in the 1830s.” Recipient of the Steven F. Christensen Best Documentary Award from the Mormon History Association, as well as the RLDS John Whitmer Historical Association Award, we are offering this at $29.95 (Retail $34.95)
Monthly specials are available at:
-The FAIR Bookstore Staff
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 FAIR Publications 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 Join FAIR link to join this list.
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 Web site (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.