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).
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. FAIR has announced the dates and location of its 6th annual apologetics conference. A special discount is available for those registering in March. Check the details below and mark your calendars!
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: THE KRAKAUER JOURNAL. Follow Allen Wyatt’s trek through Jon Krakauer’s 2003 best-selling book, “Under the Banner of Heaven.” !
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: IS BAPTISM ESSENTIAL FOR SALVATION. Scott and Sheri Gordon examine the New Testament support for baptism as an essential component of conversion and joining the ancient Christian Church. !
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: BIBLICAL CONDEMNATIONS OF HOMOSEXUAL CONDUCT. Justin Starr examines both Biblical and ancient extra-Biblical sources that condemn homosexual behavior. !
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: LETTER FROM A YOUTH PASTOR: FOUR LDS RESPONSES TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. The FAIR website frequently draws people seeking answers to specific questions. See how four FAIR members responded to a query from a Presbyterian youth director. !
- FAIR ONLINE BOOKSTORE. Check out the monthly specials available in the FAIR LDS Bookstore, including a brand-new release from FARMS. !
- FINDING THE FAIR WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET. There are actually two ways to reference the FAIR website. See which might be the best for you. !
- 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. !
- FAIR JOURNAL ARCHIVES.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The lineup for FAIR conference is beginning to firm up, and we are pleased to announce that Robert L. Millet will be one of our speakers. Robert L. Millet is the Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University. He also serves as Director of Outreach and Interfaith Relations for the Church Public Affairs Department. Brother Millet has served as chairman of the department of Ancient Scripture, dean of Religious Education, and director of the Religious Studies Center. He is the author of many books and articles, dealing mostly with the doctrine and history of the Church. He has his bachelors and masters degrees from BYU in psychology and his Ph.D. from Florida State University in religious studies.
We have other equally exciting speakers who will be speaking at our conference, which will be held on Thursday August 5th and Friday August 6th at the South Town Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah. More will be announced in next month’s FAIR Journal.
Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss this great opportunity!
*** CONFERENCE EARLY BIRD SPECIAL DISCOUNT ***
Sign up in March for the FAIR conference and receive a discount. This month we are offering an “early bird” conference registration price of $49.95 for both days, including lunch. The cost for this same level of registration last year was $59.95, and will be at least that price this year. If you take advantage of this early bird special, you get nearly 17% off of last year’s price!
THE KRAKAUER JOURNAL
by Allen L. Wyatt
In the summer of 2003 Jon Krakauer released a book that purported to link violence with religious faith, particularly the LDS faith and Church. When Krakauer’s book came out, FAIR released Richard E. Turley’s review of the it (http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/Krakauer.pdf). Turley pointed out that Krakauer’s data, interpretation, and presentation were so seriously flawed that the book’s conclusion was completely unjustified.
FAIR’s Allen Wyatt takes us through a much more detailed tour of Krakauer’s work, reviewing both content and style, with an eye towards uncovering many of the book’s problems as a serious expose of anything relating to the LDS faith or Church. Wyatt’s chapter-by-chapter summary and commentary show why this book falls short in terms of accuracy and scholarship. Krakauer fails to deliver what he claims, and though the book may be an interesting read, it is “skewed at best and maliciously fallacious, at worst.”
Read the article:
The Krakauer Journal by Allen Wyatt
IS BAPTISM ESSENTIAL FOR SALVATION
by Scott and Sheri Gordon
Most Latter-day Saints are familiar with the arguments of those who claim that baptism is desirable but non-essential in the life of a true follower of Christ. The Gordons review each instance of individuals and groups being converted as recorded in the New Testament book of Acts. They point out that in every recorded instance of conversion, we see the ordinance of baptism as a component of that transition into the Kingdom of God. The ancient Christian apostles taught that the proper response to accepting the Gospel message included baptism.
Read the article:
Is Baptism Essential for Salvation? by Scott and Sheri Gordon
BIBLICAL CONDEMNATION OF HOMOSEXUAL CONDUCT
by Justin W. Starr
The theological basis for condemning homosexual behavior has been hotly debated for several decades, and the discussion seems to be only increasing in volume and intensity. In this paper Starr examines both biblical and extra-biblical sources to help us understand how homosexual activity was viewed in the ancient Jewish and Christian cultures. Drawing on source material as well as commentary, Starr concludes that “[t]here is no question that the Bible, from Creation through the New Testament, condemns homosexual conduct” and that if one were to deny that “one is left wondering whether the Bible has any modern relevance at all.”
Starr’s heavily annotated paper (including four pages of references) is here:
Biblical Condemnations of Homosexual Conduct (PDF) by Justin Starr
LETTER FROM A YOUTH PASTOR: FOUR LDS RESPONSES TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A Presbyterian youth director recently contacted FAIR for information about “what the LDS church really believes.” The youth director freely admitted that his goal was “to refute the LDS church to the kids,” but he wanted to be sure that he was doing so with accurate information about LDS doctrine and beliefs. As is usual in such instances, a number of FAIR members responded independently to the youth director’s e-mail. Some respondents answered the query by taking a point-by-point approach to the issues, while others gave a general, holistic response to the e-mail.
The youth director’s e-mail and four of the responses have been put on the Website. The responses are interesting, and represent different ways that Latter-day Saints can respond to these and similar questions. The original e-mail and the responses make for fascinating reading.
Read the article:
FAIR ONLINE BOOKSTORE
Hot Off the Press! Specials on the latest FARMS release: “Glimpses of Lehi’s Jerusalem,” as well as Matthew B. Brown’s book, “Plates of Gold: The Book of Mormon Comes Forth.” FAIR is pleased to offer the newest work from the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, “Glimpses of Lehi’s Jerusalem,” available immediately at a 20% savings.
This book presents a solid, scholarly context for the words of Nephi, Jacob, and subsequent Book of Mormon prophets in reference to their Israelite origins. It adds depth and perspective to Old Testament studies as well, and its list of suggested readings provides a starting point for further research of a fascinating yet understudied period of scriptural history. Nineteen distinguished scholars unite their expertise in twenty-two chapters to portray the city and its times, including politics, culture, archaeology, women, agriculture, literacy, law, history, prophecy, and religion from the vantage points of Israel, Egypt, Babylon, and Arabia.
You can read more about this book and others on sale this month by visiting the FAIR Bookstore:
FINDING THE FAIR WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET
There are actually two ways to reference the FAIR Website from your Web browser: http://www.fairlds.org and http://www.fair-lds.org.
The main FAIR Website is reached using the fairlds reference (without the hyphen between “fair” and “lds”). This takes you straight to the FAIR home page and displays the basic site menu, the “FAIR hot spots” and the “What’s New On the FAIR Website” list. If you are familiar with the FAIR Website, this might be the fastest way for you to find what you need.
The second Web address, fair-lds.org (with the hyphen), takes you to a page that presents highlights from the FAIR Website organized by topic. For example, the fair-lds.org page shows you a collection of papers relating to recent DNA discussions, several new or hot items in the FAIR bookstore, a pointer to the FAIR Topical Guide, and many more. Of course, you can go straight from here to the main FAIR Website by clicking on the entry under “FAIR: Your Mormon Apologetics Gateway!”
If you know of anyone who might benefit from the resources available at FAIR, be sure to let them know where our Website is. Better yet, get them to subscribe to the FAIR Journal and help them keep up-to-date on developments in the field of LDS apologetics!
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).
FAIR JOURNAL ARCHIVES
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