Author Topic: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam  (Read 90 times)

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Offline maneki_neko

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Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« on: Yesterday at 11:13:29 PM »
Hi everyone, pretty much as the title says. I'm looking for reasonably fair and balanced books explaining the inception and beliefs of the two religions. I was not raised knowing much about either, but my husband's job lately has put us in touch with more and more Muslim and Mormon coworkers and I would like to understand their world better.

Regarding Islam, does anyone know of a book that discusses it within the context of its relationship with Orthodoxy? Thanks.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 11:40:30 PM »
Can't really help you on Islam.


No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie is the standard for Joseph Smith himself.

Mormon America: The Power and the Promise by Richard and Joan K. Ostling (a pro-Mormon book, but interesting for understanding them).

The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith by Matthew Bowman

One Nation Under Gods by Richard Abanes

By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus by Charles M. Larson (focusing specifically on one of Smith's biggest frauds, the "Book of Abraham")

The New Mormon Challenge by Carl Mosser, Francis Beckwith, and Paul Owen

The Journey to Orthodoxy site also has testimonies of ex-Mormons (and ex-Muslims).
It's the double-edged sword of being lazy and being bored.- Reliant K

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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 11:51:46 PM »
Many years ago the Concordia Publishing House printed a series of small books titled "How to respond to.....".  Some of the cults included "the Mormons"; "the [Masonic] Lodge"; and "the Jehovah's Witnesses". 

I cannot recall whether they had one on Islam--I think they did, but my memory is distant and blurry.

Concordia is the publishing house of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which is one of the Protestant groups closest to the Orthodox in belief and practice.   

Offline Brilko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #3 on: Today at 12:35:18 AM »
You might look at What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an by James R. White. He had an Arabic-speaking Christian teach him the language so he could study the Quran and Hadith.

He is a Calvinist who is concerned with being fair to the Muslim teachings and approach Muslims with love. I am no expert on Islam, but his work looked good to me. Just keep in mind, especially with his other stuff, that he is very Calvinist.

I would avoid anything by Ergun Caner. The evidence seems solid that he was never the expert he claimed to be.
« Last Edit: Today at 12:38:50 AM by Brilko »

Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #4 on: Today at 12:37:48 AM »
Concordia is the publishing house of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which is one of the Protestant groups closest to the Orthodox in belief and practice.

Okay thank you.

Volnutt, can you give me more background on the authors/bias of the Mormon books? Are they secular historians or evangelical? Coming from an evangelical background I'm highly skeptical of most of the works that group puts out "against" other religions, since experiencing them to be so incorrect about Orthodoxy.
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Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #5 on: Today at 12:39:10 AM »
He is a Calvinist who is concerned with being fair to the Muslim teachings and approach Muslims with love. I am no expert on Islam, but his work looked good to me. Just keep in mind, especially with his other stuff, that he is very Calvinist.

Okay thanks for the rec. I'll consider it, but I'm also trying to "detox" from Calvinism and replace it with Orthodox understanding so I might not pick it up just yet.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #6 on: Today at 12:48:15 AM »
Sam Chamoun is an honest and knowledgeable Islam-basher, but he's too temerary to deal with some aspects. I've written a couple of texts exposing contradictions on the Quran, often based on him but sometimes on original research, but with more moderate and complacent approaches, but it's all in Portuguese. His website is called Answering Islam.
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Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #7 on: Today at 01:08:07 AM »
Concordia is the publishing house of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which is one of the Protestant groups closest to the Orthodox in belief and practice.

Okay thank you.

Volnutt, can you give me more background on the authors/bias of the Mormon books? Are they secular historians or evangelical? Coming from an evangelical background I'm highly skeptical of most of the works that group puts out "against" other religions, since experiencing them to be so incorrect about Orthodoxy.

Fawn Brodie was one of the first women history professors at UCLA, a pioneer of the genre of psychobiography (Thomas Jefferson being her other big subject). She grew up Mormon but was excommunicated for writing No Man, though she'd been drifting away before that. I don't know where she wound up, religiously.

Richard Ostling is from one of the most respected dynasties of LDS writers. Matthew Bowman is a history professor who got his degree from the University of Utah, though I don't know what his actual religion is. He writes about both Mormon and Evangelical history.

Mosser, Beckwith, and Owen are all philosophers (Beckwith eventually became Catholic, Mosser is probably some kind of Protestant but he's also known for defending theosis to Western audiences), their stated goal in New Mormon Challenge was to be as "merely Christian" as possible. The intro to the book was written by the Lutheran Richard Mouw, who's known from promoting Mormon-Protestant dialog.

Larson and Abanes are both Protestants of some kind. Both works are fairly respected as far as I can find (though I don't think Mormon writers like either). An interview with Larson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWiiFk9u2wA
« Last Edit: Today at 01:13:05 AM by Volnutt »
It's the double-edged sword of being lazy and being bored.- Reliant K

Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #8 on: Today at 02:07:54 AM »
Volnutt, thank you for the info, that helps a lot.

I guess more clarification for those who can help with a book about Islam; I'm not looking so much for an exegesis of the Quran as I am the practical reality of how that plays out in the life/worldview of the general Muslim laity. I imagine there is some similarity to Protestantism in that some may say the Quran has the final say, but the reality is the authority lies in who/how one interprets the text.

So a historical approach as to its creation/relationship with Orthodoxy and (probably in a separate book) an idea of the general kinds of Muslim sects and their worldview in modern times.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #9 on: Today at 03:48:11 AM »
You're welcome :)
It's the double-edged sword of being lazy and being bored.- Reliant K

Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:19:37 AM »
I guess more clarification for those who can help with a book about Islam; I'm not looking so much for an exegesis of the Quran as I am the practical reality of how that plays out in the life/worldview of the general Muslim laity. I imagine there is some similarity to Protestantism in that some may say the Quran has the final say, but the reality is the authority lies in who/how one interprets the text.
Interpretation of Quran is very strict and constant among different schools/sects, so even if Islam has the potential to be as fragmented and personal as Protestantism, the closeness and clearness of Muslim traditions in practice doesn't leave room for experimentation. Conversely, though, there is a lot of chaos in "Western Islam", both hardcore fundamentalism of the Wahhabi sect to novelties like "Muslim feminism" being well represented.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.