About The Article
Abstract from Apologia Report 4:8 (March 1, 1999):
MORMONISM "Mormon Scholarship, Apologetics, and Evangelical Neglect: Losing the Battle and Not Knowing It?" by Carl Mosser and Paul Owen -- this paper, originally presented at the 1997 Far West Regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, appears here for the first time in print for the general public. It has generated a great deal of controversy for months. Mosser and Owen allege that LDS theological and apologetic scholarship is advancing at an accelerating pace while that of its evangelical opponents has been falling behind. (If this is true of Mormonism, it is even more true of world religions in general -- and perhaps of countercult apologetics as a whole.) Many observers' concern centers on Mosser and Owen's categorical rejection of nearly all evangelical responses to Mormonism -- and it is obvious from this article that they at least know the field. For example, Jerald and Sandra Tanner are said to be "keen students of Mormon history, but do not have the skills necessary for a full-scale rebuttal of Mormon scholarship. The one true exception is F.J. Beckwith and S.E. Parrish...."
Conversely, "the only two significant attempts [to respond to the present "robust apologetic" of the Mormons] (apart from the Tanners) are an article by James White and a recent book by John Ankerberg and John Weldon." White's article ("Of Cities and Swords: The Impossible Task of Mormon Apologetics" in Christian Research Journal Sum '96, p28-35) is described as a total failure and the Ankerberg/Weldon book (Behind the Mask of Mormonism, [Harvest House, 1992]) is condemned as "among the ugliest, most unchristian, and misleading polemics in print." Lengthy, ground-breaking work. Trinity Journal, Fall '98 (rec'd Feb 16 '99), p179-205.  As you might imagine, Weldon sees it differently. His initial response, provided specifically for Apologia Report readers, can be seen at
From Apologia Report 4.8 -- March 1, 1999
A comment from the publisher of Apologetics Index:
Many Mormons have used Mosser and Owen's paper in support of LDS beliefs. However, the following comment, by Carl Mosser, should be noted:
1) We say that currently evangelicals are *needlessly* losing this battle. The Mormons have an advantage only because of evangelical neglect, not because their arguments are compelling. 2) It should be obvious that we have read as much of this stuff as anyone, probably more than even most Mormons have, and we remain unconvinced. This ought to be a little troubling to the Latter-day Saint who looks to FARMS for inspiration. We have read a good chunk of their best scholarship as charitably as we can and remain unpersuaded.