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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Book Review: "Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidence Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith"

Michael R. Ash has once again authored a masterpiece that is a welcomed follow up to his fantastic volume Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One's Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidence Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith is not only a delight to read but an accessible and approachable work that offers something for all readers regardless of their understanding of LDS apologetics or scholarship. From those who are just being introduced to the subject to the seasoned LDS apologist on the front lines of online message boards and chat rooms, this book is a must read for any Latter-day Saint interested in learning about the latest scholarly material supporting the claims of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Mike's book is divided into several sections, which cover topics ranging from Book of Mormon evidences from both the Old and New World, evidences for the authenticity of the Book of Abraham and evidence for unique LDS doctrines from ancient Jewish and Christian sources. From sections that are a simple paragraph to five page discourses, Mike covers topics such as the Book of Mormon witnesses, Book of Mormon geography, ancient Near Eastern parallels, Book of Abraham astronomy and evidence for ancient Jews and Christians believing in a pre-existence and a council of the gods.

Perhaps the most amiable thing about Mike's book is how simple, to the point, and matter-of-factly Mike presents his information. This makes his book an easy and enjoyable read. Coupled with ample documentation and an appendix outlining various ancient literary corpuses, Mike also stays true to scholarly catholicity. 

In short, Of Faith and Reason is a must read! A fine book that offers powerful and not so easily dismissible evidence for the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Below is a series of videos I produced discussing Mike's book and offering some other recommended reading materials.

Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4