One Lord … One Faith!

By Mark E. Petersen

Synopsis: This book, published in 1962, is a collection of articles written by Mark E. Petersen, however, it is unclear what the specific purpose, audience, or context of the articles were originally, before they were compiled into this volume. It does seem, however, that one or a few of the articles near the end of the book borrow from his talks given at BYU, as at least one chapter stood out as familiar after listening to his BYU talks. Most of the articles deal with various false doctrines from other religions, and why they are scripturally unsound: For instance, the chapters on the nature of God and baptism. Other chapters were discussions about various ancient idolatrous practices condemned in the Bible. Others offered practical advice about careers and marriage.

Strong Points: As one would expect from Mark E. Petersen, there are many profound insights to be found throughout the book, and doctrinal nuggets. He is as stirring of a writer as he was a speaker, and has the ability to bring a message across with all of its weight and importance impressed upon the reader. The book started off with some great anti-communist quotes right at the very beginning, which were great. The book ends with a powerful chapter that stirs introspection and moral self-examination in the reader.

Weak Points: While the book did contain doctrinal nuggets, they were sparingly precious throughout the book, because much of it contained large amounts of incredibly redundant scripture quotes. Most of the book’s chapters were extremely repetitive in that they listed large blocks of the same scripture from varying Bible translations, with commentary delayed until the end, making the presentation suffer. This curious presentation was supposed to provide insight for the reader, but it only served to tax the reader’s interest, as it amounts to a lot of reading virtually the same thing over again before the point is driven home. And this format goes on for the great majority of the book. And then other relevant scriptures, which I would have liked to have seen quoted in the presentation to help build the case, are listed merely as references but not quoted, so the reader is obliged to look them up. Why quote the same long scripture five times, but then merely mention others in passing only by their reference? If more illumination is given from a different Bible translation, then give the passage in that specific translation only, or a maximum of one other translation. It is very monotonous and burdensome to the reader and takes some commitment to slog through, even though this is not a long book. Then, of course, there was the curious and shocking statement that appeared to convey that “necking” and “petting” were inappropriate, even within marriage (p. 206-207)! In the end, this book suffered from no clear sense of purpose and relentless monotony.

Interesting: 2/5

Must Read: 2/5

Overall: 2.5/5

Pages: 228

Selected Quotes: “…the Communist line of atheism is being accepted by more and more people, much as we may despise and oppose the political views of these same Communists.
“Communist views on religion are certainly no less to be abhorred than Communist views on politics. …
“Is the Communist line of atheism to be victorious in America?
“And will that kind of victory – if it comes – lead to political surrender also?
“Heaven forbid!” (p. 1-2).

“To turn our back upon the Lord, even through indifference, is to ally ourselves in part at least with our greatest and most deadly enemies who do the same thing.
“Faith is the foundation of our civil liberties and all our valued blessings. It is our only hope for security in the future.” (p. 3).


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