I’ve been looking into a lot of apologetic material on Christianity. For those that don’t know, apologetic materials defend the faith and comes from the Greek word apologia.
One of the things that strikes me most is how out of it some of the commentators are on this topic on the defense and offense side of apologetics. By defense, I mean defending what the person in question believes. On the other hand, there are those that argue against specific beliefs, which I believe the be the offensive side of the coin. On the offensive side, I mostly have been looking at words for or against Mormonism, and realizing that some of the same arguments for the Book of Mormon being false are some of the exact same reasons for the Bible being false.
One of the major problems with the Book of Mormon, as I’m reading in An Insider’s View of the Book of Mormon by Grant H. Palmer (who is a Latter-Day Saint), is that Joseph Smith may have never looked at his golden plates while “translating” them, but used the seer stones or Urim and Thummim” to put together the manuscript for the Book of Mormon. I find this to be highly problematic only with the word “translate” as we may not recognize this as translating according to a 21st century standard. As the Book of Mormon says in its “Testimony of the Three Witnesses,” the book was translated “by the gift and power of God.” In other words, through Revelation.
It is a common statement for Atheists that I know to point out the possible boiling in oil of John the Beloved. Also, some say that the testimony of the book of Revelation may have been just a bad dream, so Christians shouldn’t take it so literally. I have no problem with it being a dream, as I have no problem right now with the Book of Mormon being seen only through seer stones. God will reveal things how He may, and to take away from that is limiting of all parties, including God.
There are historical problems with the Book of Mormon’s Nephites and Lamanites being on the American continent. Yet there are historical problems with the Bible. The placement of Herod’s killing of the infant boys in Matthew 2:16-18 seems to have never happened. Josephus doesn’t mention it, and it would have been mentioned as the killing of babies would have been seen as a horror to be recounted. Studying in my Christian Ministry degree, many Christians seemed to believe that facts would reconcile with this horror as we progress, yet it has not been reconciled yet.
Christians that point out the DNA evidence against the Hebrew blood in the Native Americans can hear this: Don’t point out DNA evidence against the Book of Mormon and then discount it when evolution is pulled into the fray. DNA evidence points to our being related to monkeys and being biologically old. Taking Archbishop Ussher as our proof of 6,000 year earth is as problematic as pointing out the Hebrew Lamanites/Natives on the American continent.
As I said, apologetics can be problematic. While we should take scientific proof into account as believers, is that all we have been taking since our conversion experiences? I think not.