One Lord, One Faith

By Michael T. Griffith

Synopsis: This book is an examination of doctrines particular to Mormonism, demonstrated to be correct by comparing them to early Christian writings (i.e. the New Testament and writings of the early Church Fathers).

Strong Points: This book has an interesting premise that grabs at the reader and promises a wealth of interesting information. Its approach of demonstrating the genuineness of Mormonism by comparing it to what the Early Christians taught and believed is intriguing and powerful. I like books like this that take an aggressive apologetics approach. And I've long been interested in the doctrinal similarities between Mormonism and Early Christianity. So this book made for an interesting read. Its chapters are short and easy, making it a good, quick read. But it also has lots of interesting information and I learned quite a bit while reading. The author does a good job of introducing concepts to the reader, so if someone has no knowledge of Early Christian Fathers or texts the book will orient them well. There are many chapters as well that focus on all of the major doctrines that people raise objections about, for instance: "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Three Separate Deities," "Our Pre-Mortal Existence," "Godhood: Man's Divine Potential," "The Heavens Are Not Closed: The Church's Open Canon," "Should We Use the Cross as a Religious Symbol?" "Good Works Are Essential for Salvation," and "Secrecy: Higher Teachings and Ordinances in Ancient Christianity." 

Weak Points: A few of the chapters seem to be on subjects that are quite uncontroversial and widely accepted in Christianity (such as "The Savior and Redeemer of the World"). Inclusions like that in the book seem to make little sense, since the book is about proving Mormonism true by showing that its unique doctrines are in line with Early Christianity. Also, the author interpreted the "prophet" that will be "raised up" in Acts 3:22 to be Joseph Smith (p. 94). However, the Book of Mormon designates that "prophet" as Christ (1 Ne. 22:20; 3 Ne. 20:23). While it's conceivable that the prophecy could have a dual meaning for both Christ and Joseph Smith, at no time did the author acknowledge that it was normally interpreted for Christ. In fact, he explicitly said that it cannot refer to Christ because he is "much more than a prophet." This is therefore tantamount to a doctrinal error, and a rather elementary one. I would expect more than that. Also, while the author gave a lot of interesting quotes from early Church Fathers relative to uniquely Mormon doctrines, too often the author chose not to supply such quotes but instead refer the reader to additional reading. Well, I don't want additional reading, I wanted it all conveniently together in this book. It would have been much better if it would have acted more like a stand-alone reference source on the matter, instead of a mere primer which refers you to volumes of more exhaustive sources.

Interesting: 4.4/5

Must Read: 3.7/5

Overall: 3.9/5

Selected Quote: "After having studied ancient Christian writings for many years, I can make the the following statement without hesitation or qualification: The early church did not teach the Protestant doctrine that we are saved simply by having faith in Christ and that our works do not count for salvation." (p. 165).

"To a man, the ancient Christian bishops and apologists believed that baptism was essential for salvation." (p. 173).

 
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