Author Topic: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam  (Read 669 times)

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Offline maneki_neko

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Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« on: May 22, 2018, 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: May 22, 2018, 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).
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 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: May 23, 2018, 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: May 23, 2018, 12:38:50 AM by Brilko »

Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 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: May 23, 2018, 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: May 23, 2018, 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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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2018, 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: May 23, 2018, 01:13:05 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 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: May 23, 2018, 03:48:11 AM »
You're welcome :)
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 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.
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Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 11:23:51 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.

Okay, thank you for the insight.
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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2018, 01:31:30 PM »
I've found For Dummies, Complete Idiot's Guides and Very Short Introductions for both. I shouldn't have been surprised.
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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2018, 08:47:40 PM »
Friend of mine became Mormon some years back ~ I still blame myself for not ~ well ~ didn't set a good example or tell or talk of true faith ```

Mormons are good people ~ but have no clue ~ he is taught Jesus ~ our Christ is the god of this world (Earth ) and if he or I am faithful we can become gods of our own world ~ you know ~ our own planet ```

They ~ Mormons ~ are mostly honest ~ hard working good people ```



Muslim ~ that's another story ~ if they're good Muslims ~ faithful to their belief ~ they should kill you  ~ if their bad , unfaithful to their faith ~ they can be great fun to be around ~ they might feel guilty for not cutting your throat ~ but ~ fun and friendly ~  until and if ~ their time comes to get back to basics ```


Have a look at their books ~ The Book of Mormon    &  the Koran and there is a book that tells Them how to read or understand the Koran ~ that will be helpful ```





« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 08:53:07 PM by Sethrak »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2018, 09:02:14 PM »
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.

You're forgetting about dissident populations like the Sufis or the Alevis.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2018, 09:08:05 PM »
Sufis are not really dissident. Up until recently most orthodox Sunnis practiced Sufism of some kind.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2018, 09:22:05 PM »
Sufis are not really dissident. Up until recently most orthodox Sunnis practiced Sufism of some kind.

Fair enough, but don't parts of Sufism kind of conflict with the idea that there's a uniform Quranic interpretation throughout Old World Islam?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 09:23:11 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2018, 09:23:56 PM »
Sufis are not really dissident. Up until recently most orthodox Sunnis practiced Sufism of some kind.

Fair enough, but don't parts Sufism kind of conflict with the idea that there's a uniform Quranic interpretation throughout Old World Islam?

The average Sufi subscribed to one of the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence so their interpretation would not conflict with the standards.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2018, 09:27:23 PM »
Sufis are not really dissident. Up until recently most orthodox Sunnis practiced Sufism of some kind.

Fair enough, but don't parts Sufism kind of conflict with the idea that there's a uniform Quranic interpretation throughout Old World Islam?

The average Sufi subscribed to one of the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence so their interpretation would not conflict with the standards.

Ok.
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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2018, 01:42:48 AM »
  What is ~ temerary ? ~ an Irish coffee house ?```
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 01:44:51 AM by Sethrak »

Offline Sethrak

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2018, 01:54:02 AM »
Today's Mormon has little knowledge of the Mountain Meadows Massacre would never take part in such a thing ```

It is not a part of their religion or written in their book ```

Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2018, 02:14:57 AM »
Mormons are good people ~ but have no clue ~ he is taught Jesus ~ our Christ is the god of this world (Earth ) and if he or I am faithful we can become gods of our own world ~ you know ~ our own planet ```

They ~ Mormons ~ are mostly honest ~ hard working good people ```

Yes, after getting to know a few of them a little bit, I find they have a lot of similarities to non-denom restorationist type Protestants who have an unclear Christology.
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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2018, 08:14:17 AM »
You're up early ~ good morning ~ it's 5:12 AM here in the Sierra Nevada mountains at 6800 ft ~ it's a crisp morning ```



seth

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2018, 05:55:13 PM »
About Sufis, what Iconodule said. Alevis have probably always been odd. Anyway, they're both ancient traditions. I wasn't saying Islam doesn't have its own share of disagreement, but, inside these major lines of divergence, there's rigidity. I was kinda ambiguous talking about "closeness" though: I meant Islam has very closed systems with few room for change, not that different schools are close to each other.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 05:56:13 PM by RaphaCam »
"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."

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Offline maneki_neko

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Re: Looking for books explaining Mormonism and Islam
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2018, 09:20:49 PM »
I was kinda ambiguous talking about "closeness" though: I meant Islam has very closed systems with few room for change, not that different schools are close to each other.

Ah, gotcha. Okay thanks that's helpful.

You're up early ~ good morning ~ it's 5:12 AM here in the Sierra Nevada mountains at 6800 ft ~ it's a crisp morning ```

Haha I don't live in North America.  ;D
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