When I was a kid, I was a big fan of the Osmonds (yes, cool points subtracted). I watched the Donny and Marie show every Friday night. This was where I first heard about Mormons. Later, I saw commercials for the LDS church offering the Book of Mormon as a free gift. It was advertised as another testament of Jesus Christ.
Now, I was still a bit confused since I'd never heard before that Jesus visited the Americas after His resurrection which was one of the beliefs of the LDS church that was presented. It wasn't until a few years later I became familiar with the LDS church and knew Mormons personally. You've probably seen a few Mormon missionaries from time to time in your neighborhood and maybe even had a few knock on your door. We all wonder what to say to them as they claim to be Christians just like us, but have a very different set of beliefs. A new book by general editors Eric Johnson and Sean McDowell gives some strategies for sharing the Gospel with Mormons you may know or encounter.
Sharing the Good News with Mormons is a book featuring many different Christian speakers and pastors, from Matt Slick to Mark Mittelberg, who offer different strategies for sharing the Gospel with your Mormon neighbor, co-worker, or the missionary at your door. The approach the authors take is both relational as well as tactical. It is designed to help you not just share information, but to do so in a relational way so as to be winsome and persuasive to members of the LDS church. For example, did you know that Mormons do not like their church to be referred to as the "Mormon Church"? They prefer being called the LDS church or the longer Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These tidbits of knowledge can help you navigate Mormon culture so as to not step on any landmines before you even get started.
With 22 chapters that are divided up into 6 sections, the book makes it easy for the reader to study those methods that appeal to him/her. There is even an appendix with definition of Mormon terms.
One chapter that speaks to my preferred tactic is by Cold Case Homicide Detective and apologist J. Warner Wallace.
Investigating Mormonism: The Case Making Approach
As a detective, Jim Wallace used his skills to investigate cold case homicides - cases where the original eyewitnesses were long deceased and there were no pieces of direct evidence. All he had to go by were the original case notes. As an atheist, Jim decided to apply this methodology to the New Testament. As his step siblings were all LDS members, he also investigated Mormonism and found it lacking evidentially, though he found that orthodox Christianity was both rich in evidence for its' claims and rational in its' descriptions. "What does the evidence suggest about Mormonism?"
Jim points out that criminal investigations focus on five key aspects of criminal activity:
Is there any evidence that Joseph Smith defrauded the public? Here are just a few pieces:
Taken with the other pieces of evidence, you are presented with a cumulative case against Mormonism. It is this same approach that presented Jim with the case for Christianity.
There are many other methodologies in the book which is what makes it such a great resource as we are able to use our gifts well by plugging into one or several methods that fit us.
This is fantastic book that I highly recommend and that I hope you will pick up to begin learning to share the Gospel with those of the LDS church with grace, knowledge, and wisdom.