Mormonism 101 – A Book Review

mormonism 101In the past, Mormonism has been labeled a cult and its teachings have been criticized for being contrary to the Bible, a book which Mormons claim to believe. There seemed hardly a doubt that there was a distinction between Christianity and Mormonism.

In recent days, there have been some who have tried to blur the lines between Christianity and Mormonism. One of the most well-known is Glenn Beck, talk show host, author, and political activist. Beck considers himself a born again Christian. In fact, Beck recently gave the commencement address at Liberty University, an evangelical institution whose founder, Jerry Falwell, was the impetus for the Moral Majority movement in the United States.

So, are Mormons Christians? Are the variations in the theologies of these two groups drastic enough to say that there is a wide gap between them? Are those theological variations among what some would consider to be non-essentials or do they redefine some of the key theological ideologies within one group or the other?

Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson have sought to offer answers for those inquiring. With a revised and expanded edition of their book “Mormonism 101,” originally published back in 2000, they painstakingly examine the beliefs of the Mormon Church, the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS). They outline the theologies and ideas embraced by the Mormon Church alongside those embraced by evangelical Christians.

The book is set up well, similar to a systematic theology book. This setup allows for its easy use as a reference tool so that the reader need not read it from front to back but instead can simply peruse the chapters and sections that are most pertinent to their needs at the moment.

McKeever and Johnson offer an exhaustive analysis of Mormonism. They reference the publications of the LDS with footnotes allowing the reader to do their own research should they desire to do so. In the reference to the LDS publications, the authors also offer biblical references to allow the reader to see the contradictions that exist between the claims of Mormonism and Christianity.

This book is a hard read to go from cover to cover. It is mostly academic in nature and I would not consider it “light reading.” That being said, as a reference, this is a great resource to thumb through when seeking answers to the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. If you are looking for a comprehensive analysis of the beliefs of LDS through a Christian lens, this book is an excellent resource.

(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Baker Books. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)

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