Monday, September 7, 2009
Book Review - Leap of Faith - Confronting the Origins of the Book of Mormon - Bob Bennett
While Mormons are used the shallow treatment and quick dismissal the Book of Mormon usually receives from unbelievers, any honest person who spends time studying it will have to admit that it is much more complicated and profound than the world gives it credit for. In his book Leap of Faith, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett uses his experience in helping expose 2 famous forgeries about his former employer, Howard Hughs, to demonstrate how difficult it would be for Joseph Smith, or any other 19th century “3rd party”, to have forged the Book of Mormon. Unlike most Mormon apologetic works, Senator Bennett acknowledges that there are several things about the origins and content of the Book of Mormon that would cause a reasonable person to be skeptical and suspicious of its forgery. After all, however improbable it is that an uneducated farm boy could write a complicated 700+ page manuscript in 65 days, without any internal inconsistencies, containing a complex and little known mid-eastern writing style called chiasmus, a detailed description of geography of the Arabian Peninsula no westerner had until the 20th century, descriptions of Asiatic style warfare, Egyptian names ext, ext... we have to admit that it is still more probable than an angel giving Joseph Smith some golden plates which he translated using the power of God. Bennett concludes that either conclusion about the Book of Mormon - the most elaborate and masterful forgery of all time or inspired ancient record - requires a “leap of faith”. He leaves it to the reader to decide in which direction to leap.