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With references from antiquity, literature, and theology, Givens provides acomprehensive review of Mormon theology, showing where it fits into the stream of intellectual and theological thought. Mormons believe in a universe organized out of existing materials and deny the theory of ex nihilo creation. Similarly, Joseph Smith's theology was not created "out of nothing" but out of the existing threads of thought or sometimes in opposition or response to existing theologies. Was Mormonism a response to Calvinism? Yes. Did Mormonism partake of the Universalist impulse? Yes. did Mormonism contain several elements rejected in early Christianity? Absolutely.
Mormons believe that any statement given under the power of the Holy Ghost is authoritative, even scriptural. They have dozens of general authorities who make sometimes conflictingpronouncements. This makes Mormon theology sometimes difficult to pin down. Givens relies primarily on Joseph Smith, as the expounder a Mormon theology. Brigham Young, the Pratt Brothers James E Talmage and BH Roberts are secondary. Bruce R McConkie and Joseph Fielding Smith are hardly relied on at all. Some will take issue with given choices.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Wrestling the Angel again? Why?
Yes. It's pretty dense and I love the way that Givens draws the threads through historical Christian thought and shows both the connections between Mormonism and Christian history as well as the doctrinal innovations of Mormonism and how they came about.
What about B.J. Harrison’s performance did you like?
The narrator's voice is easy to listen to and his cadence and intonation make for easy understanding. The one shortcoming is a good number of misread words - for example reading "emphatic" when the actual word was "empathic" and reading "compromising" when the actual word was "comprising." In most situations context makes clear what the real word is, but it breaks the flow to have words that don't fit the meaning and have to figure out what the actual word must have been.
But, having said that, most of the narration is very good.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful