Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Biblical Roots of Mormonism by Eric Shuster and Charles Sale

There has long existed the belief in this world that Mormons don't believe in the Bible. It is true that as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we do talk quite a bit about The Book of Mormon and to some smaller degree The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, three pieces of scripture that are unique to us, but we have always revered the Bible as being the word of God. In the new release "The Biblical Roots of Mormonism," we are given the opportunity for three things:

1. To show our friends of other faiths that we do, indeed, believe in the Bible

2. To strengthen our own understanding of the things that are taught in the Bible

3. To come to a greater understanding of just how the Bible is the foundation of our LDS teachings and to see how truly interconnected it is to our other scriptures

I have always been interested in learning more about the gospel, but have never been nor claimed to be a theologian. This book was written at the perfect level for me, intelligent enough to teach me, but not so far over my head that I felt intimidated. Rather, I felt as though I'd been taken by the hand by two kindly Sunday School teachers and taken on an interesting journey through history.

The book uses an interesting format I found particularly helpful. Each chapter is divided into topics - for instance, chapter one is focused on premortal life. We then read the biblical teachings on the subject, with the pertinent verses quoted, and then we read the Mormon understanding of those verses. This format allows the LDS reader to become more familiar with what the Bible says on those topics, and it allows the reader of another faith to understand why we believe the way we do.

I think this book is a valuable resource for any home. Each member should increase their familiarity with the Bible and know how to find the verses within it that are needful to explain our beliefs from a missionary standpoint. Friends of other faiths will find it useful in finding common ground with family members or co-workers who are LDS. Whatever your reason for reading it, you will find your testimony of the life of Christ strengthened and broadened.

I received a free copy of this volume in exchange for my review.


Charlie Moore said...


I find it interesting that for a religion that doesn't believe in the Bible that we're spending an entire year studying the Old Testament (and we do this every few years). Same with the New Testament.

I do think a caveat should be mentioned that we (LDSer's) believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly (Article of Faith.)

This book sounds interesting. Are the authors LDS?


Chuck Sale said...

Thank you, Tristi.

Eric Shuster and I decided to write The Biblical Roots of Mormonism because we saw a gap in the LDS literature.

In the understanding of many people, especially our non-Mormon Christian friends, the biblical foundations of Mormonism are a bit shaky. We wondered about this.

As Mormons, we had become entirely comfortable with the biblical accompaniment that modern revelation provides. We loved and accepted the Bible as the word of God - and likewise The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine & Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, the Word of Wisdom, and the declarations of modern prophets. When we surveyed the LDS literature, we found that this comfortable ground of combined ancient and modern scripture was mapped comprehensively.

But there was a gap.

What was not clearly mapped or comprehensively documented was whether Mormonism could in its essentials stand on biblical foundations alone. Would Mormonism be reduced to a fiction if it were not shored up with The Book of Mormon and other modern revelation?

We decided to find out.

We limited ourselves to the Bible. We placed this limitation upon ourselves over some two years, the time required to complete the book.

We did not doubt then and we do not doubt now the truth and beauty of modern revelation. However, we question whether everyone is capable of accepting modern revelation directly, without passing over a biblical bridge.

Our own conversion process and the sincere questions of our non-Mormon friends, especially those who revere the Bible, led us to conclude that many people do not accept modern revelation because they do not see its biblical foundations.

Thus our mission: to discover and reveal those foundations to the world.

Whether we fulfilled this mission is a judgment to be made by our readers. We are grateful that initial reports have been universally positive.

Chuck Sale
Co-Author of The Biblical Roots of Mormonism

Momza said...

I love this book.
Eric and his wife Marilyn, invited a Catholic friend of ours, who was looking into the Church, to their home to visit and discuss Eric's other book, "Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest". Eric & Mrilyn also accepted a speaking engagement for a fireside,
and was just wonderful.

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