Robert M. Bowman Jr.

The LDS conception of priesthood represents a rejection of the biblical teaching that God is the absolutely unique Creator in whom all power eternally and intrinsically resides. Rather than viewing the personal Creator God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ as the ultimate, eternal Power, LDS doctrine identifies as that ultimate Power an impersonal force called "the Priesthood" that both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ attained through a process of exaltation.
In this study, we will put Joseph Smith’s teaching on this subject in some theological context and examine the LDS Church’s teaching on the Millennium in light of the Bible.
In Revelation 3:21, Jesus says that we will sit down on his throne. Does that mean we will become Gods like him?
In this response to chapter 7 of the LDS manual Gospel Principles, we compare LDS teaching about the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to the Bible’s teaching, and focus especially on the issues of the identity, indwelling, and witness of the Holy Ghost.
In this study, we will not be offering any critique of these two chapters of Gospel Principles. Instead, we will discuss the relevance of the two basic Christian values of love and truthfulness that the two chapters so commendably articulate to a very controversial issue: the expression of religious and theological disagreements between Mormons and evangelical Christians.
A Review of The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation
Looking at Chapter 1 of the LDS manual Gospel Principles in light of what the Bible clearly teaches.
In this response to chapter 22 of the LDS doctrinal manual Gospel Principles, we will put this question in historical and biblical context. We will then discuss some of the more important claims that the LDS Church makes with regard to its “restoration” of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The idea of priesthood offices and the roles determined by them are integral to the hierarchy and structure of the LDS church. However, when compared to the Bible both in function and in principle, one can see that the LDS concept of priesthood offices and roles differs greatly from the same roles and their function in the biblical context.
Mormons sometimes appeal to the teaching of “deification” by the theologians of the early church, known as the church fathers, as precedent for the Mormon doctrine of exaltation. This article provides an overview of this sometimes confusing issue.
The teaching of the LDS Church that tithing is an obligation or “law” is not particularly unusual. What is unusual and worth careful evaluation is the teaching of the LDS Church that those who tithe are promised to be spared from the fiery judgment at Christ’s second coming.
In this article, we examine what the Bible says about praying to and worshipping Jesus Christ, and consider what God must be like—and what the Bible says he is like—in order to hear and answer prayer.
Evangelical Christians have some fundamental disagreements with the LDS view of salvation and works. Unfortunately, there is widespread misunderstanding (and not just among Mormons) as to what the evangelical view of works really is. The two chapters of Gospel Principles under discussion here provide an excellent opportunity to clarify this issue.
Looking at Chapter 3 of the LDS manual Gospel Principles: Is Jesus God, or just an exalted spirit child?
Some of the religious activities of the LDS church are similar to the activities of most Christian chur-ches. In some important respects, Mormons view the sacrament much the same way that most evan-gelical Protestants do. While acknowledging these substantial similar-ities, we should also re-cognize some important differences.
Every year, the LDS Church produces a pageant in the little town of Manti, Utah, telling the story of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the origins of the Mormon faith. This review separates history from myth in the Mormon Miracle Pageant.
Covenant Theology is a critical part of interpreting both Mormonism and Christianity. Starting with the Abrahamic Covenant, one must take a careful look at God's covenants with his people, and the important differences between LDS covenant theology and historical Biblical covenant theology.
Turning to chapter 38, which focuses specifically on eternal marriage, we will address two questions. (A) Is there any biblical basis or support for the doctrine of eternal marriage? (B) What is the real origin of the Mormon doctrine and practice of eternal marriage?
Mormons and evangelicals have considerable agreement about the family. Yet they also have some very significant differences in their beliefs about the family as it pertains to its relationship to heaven or eternity.
Start here for a simple, clear overview of the basic issues concerning the Book of Abraham.
This article examines the claims made in Gospel Principles, chapter 4, and discusses how the claims of preexistence and free moral will compare with what the Bible teaches.
Some doctrinal issues are less important than others. Such is the case when it comes to matters pertaining to the Sabbath and other religious special days and observances. Understanding why these things are not to be treated as essential matters of the Christian faith is important. We turn to consider briefly three questions in relation to the LDS teachings and practices pertaining to the Sabbath and fast days.
Occasionally those who deny that Jesus Christ is God have argued that Philippians 2:6 should be translated to say that Christ existed “in the form of a god” instead of “in the form of God.” Greg Stafford is a notable recent advocate of this translation. This article refutes Stafford’s argument, explaining the following points. (1) The absence of the definite article in Greek before the word for “God” (theos) does not change the word’s meaning, (2) Paul, like the other New Testament writers, regularly uses the word theos with or without the article to mean “God,” and on those rare occasions where it means a “god” he makes that clear. (3) In the same sentence, Paul says that Christ did not seize or take advantage of being “equal with God,” an expression hardly anyone has suggested might mean “equal with a god” (and for very good reasons). (4) In context, the expression “equal with God” confirms the standard understanding of the preceding expression to mean “in the form of God.” (5) Similar passages elsewhere in the New Testament about Christ make parallel statements about his deity that also confirm the correct translation to be “in the form of God.”
A look at how this LDS Scripture is used out of context to justify using feelings to know truth.
Covenant Theology is a critical part of interpreting both Mormonism and Christianity. Starting with the Abrahamic Covenant, one must take a careful look at God's covenants with his people, and the important differences between LDS covenant theology and historical Biblical covenant theology.
There is probably no topic or doctrine like that of the person and work of Jesus Christ in which there is so much agreement and disagreement between the LDS and biblical Christian teachings. In this chapter we look at extensive points on both sides, as well as how the LDS Church justifies making changes to the historic and biblical teachings on Jesus Christ.
Aspects of LDS doctrine about the spirit world do not fit with the teachings of the Bible. Some of the issues here may seem of interest only to professional theologians, such as whether spirit is a form of matter. However, when these seemingly academic issues are put into the larger perspective of the whole belief system of the LDS religion, they turn out to be of extreme importance.
Mormons often argue that if, as Christians believe, Jesus can be God and man, then they can have no objection to the Mormon belief that we may become Gods. This article explains why this argument rests on a basic misunderstanding of Christian doctrine.
Mormons claim that the Bible is incomplete because it mentions various books that are not found in the Bible. Were any of these books ever regarded as part of the canon of Scripture?
A Scriptural study of the creation theology found in Gospel Principles Chapter 5. This Bible Study Guide focuses on the importance of a single, infinite creator, and differentiates between Him and His creation.
Some doctrinal issues are less important than others. Such is the case when it comes to matters pertaining to the Sabbath and other religious special days and observances. Understanding why these things are not to be treated as essential matters of the Christian faith is important. We turn to consider briefly three questions in relation to the LDS teachings and practices pertaining to the Sabbath and fast days.
The LDS Church’s claim to be the restoration of the original, only true church on the earth is obviously foundational to its very existence. If it is indeed such a restoration, then all believers in Christ ought to unite with the LDS Church. On the other hand, if it is not the restoration it claims to be, then its very reason for existence falls to the wayside.
Start here for an objective, fair-minded overview of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches, based on its current teaching publications.
Did Jesus really bleed from every pore in Gethsemane? Was this what paid for our sins? In Mormon theology, does the atonement guarantee eternal life for anyone? Mormons and Christians share important terms that relate to forgiveness and eternal life, but define and understand these terms in radically different ways. This article explores these key concepts that define our eternal destiny.
Peter says believers have become “partakers of the divine nature.” Does this statement support the Mormon doctrine of humans becoming Gods?
This article discusses the Mormon doctrines on the Fall, and on Adam, and compares them to the Bible. Answers questions about Adam and the Ancient of Days, and Michael the Archangel.
The focus of this chapter of Gospel Principles is on “the Word of Wisdom,” found in Doctrine & Covenants 89. Much could be said about this subject, but we will limit ourselves to one important question: Is the Word of Wisdom really a revelation from God?
There is no question about the fact that repentance is an essential aspect of the gospel—or more precisely of our response to the gospel. But what is repentance? In this article, we will examine what chapter 19 of the LDS manual Gospel Principles says about repentance and compare it with the teaching of the New Testament.
Part Two of this study looks at how LDS teaching on exaltation (and what it implies about the nature of God and man) matches up to what the Bible teaches.

Bad Arguments against the Personhood of the Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Does this mean that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal power of God?
The Hebrew and Greek words for “Spirit” come from roots meaning air, breath, or wind. So, is the Holy Spirit God’s breath?

Canon

Doctrine

In this study, we will examine the LDS Church’s teaching about the “gathering” of Israel. It turns out that this doctrine is directly tied up with its founding document: the Book of Mormon.

Historical

Take the 2004 ABC documentary with a grain of salt.

Inerrancy

This article explains why anyone who believes in Jesus ought to believe Scripture to be inerrant because Jesus viewed Scripture that way.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Trinity

How the Watchtower Misrepresents the Doctrine of the Trinity
Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses’ objections to understanding Matthew 28:19 to support the doctrine of the Trinity.

The Joseph Smith Translation

Is the LDS view that the Bible is corrupted and untrustworthy a fair and accurate assessment? Did Joseph's changes to the Bible restore parts that were lost from the original manuscripts? In this response to GP chapter 10 we provide an overview and short evaluation of each of the major Mormon scriptures and how they compare to one another and the Bible.
Several changes to the book of Hebrews in Joseph Smith’s “translation” reflect Smith’s lack of understanding of the Bible.

The Restoration

This article looks at Amos 8:11-12 in its historical and biblical context and responds to the Mormon claim that this passage predicts a total apostasy.
Detailed, multi-page outline citing about a thousand biblical texts, showing that the doctrine of the Trinity is deeply grounded in the teaching of the Bible.
Shows that the Mormon belief in Heavenly Mother is not taught in the Mormon scriptures or by Joseph Smith, and explains the significance of this fact.
Robert M. Bowman discusses the appearance of large sections of the King James Version of the Bible in the Book of Mormon, and how much of the Bible Joseph Smith may have memorized.
Joseph Smith claimed to have over a dozen visitations from the angel (resurrected being) Moroni as well as a dozen or so other visions or visitations from heaven, most famously his “first vision” in which he says he saw the Father and the Son in 1820. This article lists these reported experiences of Joseph Smith and provides basic information and references for each of them.
Response to skeptic Dan Barker’s analogy caricaturing the God of Christianity.

LDS Testimony

Is the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus a model of knowing something is true on the basis of a “burning” feeling in your heart? Rob Bowman explains why this is not the case by examining Luke 24:32 in context.