Professor Harold J Berry of Grace Bible College Splurges Nonsense!

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CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
CHAPTER 24
CHAPTER 25
CHAPTER 26
CHAPTER 27
CHAPTER 28
CHAPTER 29
CHAPTER 30
CHAPTER 31
CHAPTER 32
APPENDIX 'A'
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APPENDIX 'C'
APPENDIX 'D'
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JOSEPH SMITH
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PLURAL MARRIAGE COMMANDED BY GOD
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PLURAL MARRIAGE BROUGHT BACK BY EVANGELICALS
LORI MCGREGOR TALKS TWADDLE
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A STINGING COMPLAINT AGAINST CONCERNED CHRISTIANS
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RENDELL'S DISHONEST CLAIMS
DOUG HARRIS BETRAYER & PROMISE BREAKER
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BOGUS 'DR' JAY DEE NELSON
GB HANCOCK
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IS ANTI-MORMONISM CHRISTIAN ?
DANGEROUS FUNDAMENTALISM
"THE GOD-MAKERS"
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ERYL DAVIES
IS GOD IMMATERIAL?
THE VISIBLE GOD
EGYPTIAN INFLUENCE IN ANCIENT PALESTINE
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SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
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TEMPLES
JOSEPH SMITH'S OWN STORY
ELDER OAKS AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
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MISCELLANY
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
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THE PERSECUTION CULTUS
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DAN CORNER CORNERED & PITCHFORKED!
ISAIAH 29 & THE BOOK OF MORMON
BOM CHANGES
AM I AN ANTI-MORMON?
WHY I AM A MORMON
COMPACT DISCS
THE INSANITY OF ANTI-MORMONISM
A FALSE DICHOTOMY - MORMONISM OR CHRISTIANITY - WHY MUST I CHOOSE WHEN I CAN BE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME?
A MORMON ANSWERS
DEIFICATION - THEOSIS CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE
SALVATION FOR THE DEAD - A BIBLE TEACHING
THE CHRIST OF MORMONISM IS THE CHRIST OF THE HOLY BIBLE
THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM
ON THE HOLY TRINITY
BIBLE TEACHINGS THAT DO NOT SUPPORT THE TRINITY - 01
AN EXAMPLE OF ANTI-MORMON FOOLISHNESS
A CASE STUDY ~ ANTI-MORMON ATTITUDES
JP HOLDING'S BOOK, "THE MORMON DEFENDERS"
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR HIM?
THE STANDARD OF TRUTH
BLACK MUSEUM OF ANTI-MORMONISM
THE SALAMANDER LETTER
DANITES - THE MYTH
I HAD A DREAM - A CAUTIONARY TALE
CARELESS TALK - DR MICHAEL L BROWN
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY

 About "Professor" Harold J Berry  -  by Ronnie Bennett-Bray

https://www.scribd.com/document/54278822/The-Failure-of-Anti-Mormon-Scholars-Harold-J-Berry  

Who is Ronnie BRAY?

Ronnie Bray is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – a Mormon. He became a Latter-day Saint through personal conviction that it is the Church of Jesus Christ and the vehicle for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Education

From the age of two and a half years, Ronnie attended Spring Grove Elementary School, retiring from formal education in December 1949, shortly before his fifteenth birthday, without passing any significant examinations, and abysmally failing his examination to attend Grammar School because each of the papers that was sprung on us as a surprise of Titanic proportions was written in foreign languages and covered subjects about which we had never learned. The self-fulfilling prophecy that we were "Mill Fodder" was operative at this time. 

Since becoming a Latter-day Saint at the age of fifteen, he has taught almost continuously in one or other of the Church’s auxiliaries, staring with the Primary Organisation when he was sixteen. When he was seventeen, Ronnie enlisted in the British Army on a three-year regular engagement. By this means, he avoided being called up for compulsory National Service, in which he would have to serve for two years but with a lighter weekly pay. 

In the Army he became a Vehicle Mechanic, of incomparable ineptitude, and also completed several courses under the ægis of the British Army Education Corps, including a module on ‘Principles and Methods of Instruction,’ receiving a First Class Certificate at the end of all modules. 

Besides continuing to study the Holy Bible in pocket edition that accompanied him on all his adventures, he enrolled in a distance-learning course at Ruskin College, Oxford, England, in "Principles of Philosophy," graduating with a consistent Grades ‘A.’

During 1953, he attended night classes at Derby Technical College and graduated in ‘Elocution' and ‘Elementary Spanish. 'During military service with the Middle East Land Services, Ronnie taught Bible Studies to an informal group of fellow Christians soldiers, addressed the Anglican Young Men’s Movement on the subject of Mormonism at the invitation of the Anglican chaplain, was frequently called on by his comrades in arms to pray for them, contact their families with unfortunate news, officiate as a spiritual advisor to divers groups of soldiers during Easter and Christmas seasons, and served as an informal but accessible trusted listener and comforter, providing spiritual, social, and other kinds of counsel as need arose. During this period of service in Ægypt and Cyprus, he learned some of the rudiments of Arabic and a useful command of Greek. After demobilisation in 1955, Ronnie served a teaching mission in the British Mission of the Church, labouring in Peterborough, Southampton, Bournemouth, Cheltenham, and Bristol. Besides serving a second mission as a Church Building Missionary, Ronnie continued to teach in Youth programmes, Sunday School classes, Priesthood classes, and has taught Seminary and Institute of Religion. In his late middle years, Ronnie was awarded a Diploma in Social Sciences from Huddersfield Technical College, and thereby gained admission to Leeds University Department of Theology and Religious Studies, from which he graduated with honours in 1992.

Ronnie‘s third mission was as an Institute of Religion Co-ordinator based on the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee.

Ronnie’s doctoral dissertation, “Images of Hate—Ministers of Fear” has not been presented or published, but is used as a resource to Latter-day Saints that are disturbed by or curious about publications and representations made by Anti-Mormons. Ronnie served as the ALERT Specialist on Huddersfield Stake Public Affairs Council and was instrumental in having several textbooks containing errors about Mormon Teachings and belief either pulled from school shelves or being amended to present the truths hotheto distorted by ignorant critics.

For many years, Ronnie has engaged Anti-Mormons and studied their methods, pointing out to them where their failures lie concerning their understanding of what is and what is most definitely not Mormonism.

It is in the spirit of enlightened discourse that Ronnie reads and critiques publication that while intending to throw light on what is, for the authors, the vexed subject of Mormonism, that he undertakes to have them correct their errors. The usual response to his entreaties and explanations is most commonly a telling silence!

Now in his twilight years – he was born in January 1935 – he maintains his interest in telling the truth about Mormonism as understood and believed by Mormons. This response is but one of dozens he has made over the years. If health and the balance of his mortality permit, he anticipates continuing to shed light in dark places for many more years, an it please God to let him.

Whatever your religion, denomination, or spiritual path, Ronnie seeks nothing more than that you understand Mormonism as understood by Mormons, and not as the modern equivalents of the writers of the Arabian Nights would have you understand it. May God guide you and shed his Spirit on you to bring you closer to Himself and to His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, and ever nearer to His truth.

Ronnie Bray – a servant of the Living God and His Christ April, 2011 - MESA, Arizona, USA 

  

Who is Harold J. Berry?

Harold J Berry is said to be, ‘Professor of Bible and Greek at Grace College of the Bible,’ in Omaha, Nebraska.

1  Grace College was originally intended as an inter-Mennonite Bible institute where Christian men and women might further their theological training, that is stated to be fundamental in doctrine, vitally spiritual in emphasis, and interdenominational in scope. Originally called Grace Bible Institute in 1943, the name was changed in 1976 to Grace University, to emphasise the school's newly acquired accredited status. Grace University offers 17 undergraduate and 2 graduate degrees, including pastoral ministries, psychology, music, and teacher education. The campus has a state of the art extensive theological library, a new gym, and a teacher education wing. The teacher education program is one of the biggest programs offered at Grace University. This program started in 1998. This program strives to provide a Biblically integrated curriculum as well as challenging, up-to-date education. Students can choose from a variety of different areas of teaching interest. Elementary and Middle School Education majors automatically receive an additional English Language Learner endorsement with their diploma. Among the possibilities of teacher education programs, students can receive an associate’s degree of education, elementary education, middle school, and high school. Students are also given the opportunity to pursue a degree in music education. There is a class grandly titled, “American Faiths in the 21st Century, "instructed by Harold J. Berry, which is described by Grace College as: Providing] a landscape of faith systems in the current culture of popular "American religions from an evangelical Christian viewpoint." Various faith and belief systems will be taught from their history and doctrines, including what make them different from biblical Christianity. Through this academic  process, students will gain a deeper understanding of their own faith in the light of other beliefs.

Required Textbooks

What They Believe (Lincoln, NE: Back to the Bible, 2006) ISBN: 978-0-8474-6700-6. A 52-page pamphlet written by Berry.

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions (Grand Rapids: MI: Zondervan, 2006) ISBN: 978-0-310-23954-3

Publisher’s Product Description:  

(1) Up-to-date, well-documented, comprehensive coverage of cults, sects, and world religions, from the historical to the contemporary. INCLUDES: Well-known groups and world religions, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Islam, and Baha'i Groups with a significant North American influence, including Santeria, Rastafarians, Haitian Voodo, white supremacy groups, Wicca, and Satanism REVISED, UPDATED, AND EXPANDED TO INCLUDE NEW ENTRIES  AND NEW INFORMATION*Updated information on Islam and its global impact. New entries: the Branch Davidians, Native American religions, Heaven's Gate, Aum Supreme Truth, the Boston Movement, the Masonic Lodge, and many others. Developments in the world of cults and the occult.

(2)Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions is arguably the most significant reference book on the subject to be published. Formerly titled Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions, and the Occult, it provides reliable information on the history and beliefs of nearly every form of religion active today. This extensively revised edition includes new topics, updated information, and a brand-new format for a clearer, more organized approach. The authors evaluate the beliefs and practices of each group from the perspective of the Bible and the historic creeds of the Christian church. You'll also find group histories, numerous illustrations, charts, current statistics, websites, bibliographies, and other useful information. From the Back Cover The Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult is probably the most significant reference book on the subject to be published in recent decades. In addition to traditional, well-known groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Islam, and Baha'i, the Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult deals with groups that are not yet well-known but are making strong inroads in North America, such as Santeria, Rastafarians, Haitian Voodoo, white supremacy groups, and Satanism. The authors evaluate the beliefs and practices of each group from the perspective of the Bible and the historic creeds of the Christian church. Numerous short articles about people, places, and concepts provide brief definitions and descriptions. These articles are cross-referenced to the major in-depth articles that deal with the history, beliefs, and demography of each cult, sect, or religion. The book contains many illustrations and charts and includes an up-to-date bibliography for each of the groups and movements.

 Not everyone agrees with the publisher’s blurb. Amazon carries six reader reviews as of 28 April, 2011 The first reviewer is fulsome and engaging, although the Reverend gentleman makes claims that might not be realised:

(3) Concise and extensive handbook of many of today's cults, July 21, 1998, by xxxxxxxxx@aol.com, Rev. Robert F. Shonholz. This review is from Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult (Hardcover). The strongpoint of this dictionary is its extensive coverage of the hundreds of cults and sects that are around today. While it was impossible to cover all of them, the authors went to great pains to include all the best known ones as well as some that enjoy less popularity. Each article is written from a strong Christological viewpoint, includes an extensive list of primary and secondary resources for further investigation while still being immensely readable. Theological language is either explained or avoided making each synopsis easily understandable for the average layman. Kingdom of the Cults move over, your replacement is here.

The second review is bitingly critical:

(4)  Good cataloguing, horrible interpretation, December 15, 2007, By C. Cornell This review is from: Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World  Religions: Revised and Updated Edition (Hardcover)Though commenting upon an array of religions, cults, and sects so great  you could hardly ask for more, this book is crippled by its own bias. It is written from such a Christian-centred viewpoint that all non Judaic religions become horribly tainted. Just about everything, even religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism which pre-date Christianity, are compared extensively to the Christian faith. The trouble in this is, as any student of subaltern groups knows, that the reader cannot develop an organic understanding of a religion, but rather can only see religions as measured by the yardstick of Christianity. For example, the section on Buddhism is broken down into the following categories: History, Teachings, God, Sin, Salvation & the Future, Morality, and Conclusion. 

In every section except for History and Conclusion, Buddhism is compared to Christianity, even though Buddhism predates Jesus by hundreds of years. The authors do not even attempt to hide such bias, openly declaring that they will portray Buddhism only through Christian lenses on page 42 

The section on Christianity itself is almost laughable. The masturbatory, emotive waxing on the noble history of Christianity (and its inherent correctness!) in the conclusion is hilariously sad. "Yet despite persecution, moral laxity, heresies challenging it both from within and without, the church of Jesus Christ prevails... It has experienced dark moments, but even as the darkness of the first Good Friday gave way to the brightness and splendor of the resurrection and the empty tomb, so too has the church experienced a glorious history with a future that will be brighter still when Jesus and the church - that is, when the bridegroom and the bride - unite forever.” (Page 72) If you want a comprehensive list of religions, cults, and sects, this will do -but if you want to understand them and see them from a relatively neutral viewpoint, go elsewhere. P.S. Zoroastrianism doesn't have its own encyclopedic entry. Hello!? The People's Temple (the organization/cult of Jim "Purple Kool-Aid" Jones)which had perhaps 1000 members at its height gets its own section, but not a religion which heavily informed both Christianity and Islam and which still boasts 200,000 members world-wide today.

The third review is even less complimentary:

(5) This Dictionary Rapes The Truth, November 10, 2008, By Tami Jackson "of SunTiger MOJO" (Greater Seattle Area)This review is from: Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World  Religions: Revised and Updated Edition (Hardcover)Most of us buy books to educate ourselves and NOBODY wants to spend time researching false facts that only make us grow more ignorant and misinformed. Yet that is exactly what this so-called dictionary attempts to do; promote ignorance and slanderous lies (when it's not simply providing partial truths).The authors clearly did NOT research the occult or much about the other religious groups they write about. Not only do they repeatedly credit Satanism for beliefs completely unrelated to that Sect, but also they mutilate any respectable definition of the peace sign -- calling it the "Satanists Pentacle" (when penta is the prefix meaning "five" and there are no five points inside a peace sign). Regarding the Wiccan Rede -- the authors erroneously attribute it to Aleister Crowley who had NOTHING to do with either Wicca or with the Rede, as an ethical principle that's regularly drummed around many neo- pagan circles. Many would argue Crowley had nothing to do with ethics at all. In fact, he purported "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole law" (feel like having sex with your neighbor's infant? Do it!) while the Wiccan Rede states "An it harm none, do what ye will." The authors also falsely claim that Satanists follow the Rede, when they are not at all compelled by Wiccan dogma, but (according to the Satanist Bible) follow their own rules to do whatever's the OPPOSITE of Christianity. The two examples, provided above, are but the tip of the iceberg for how inaccurate is this dictionary. (I hope you find this review helpful/truthful because I utterly adore books and education and we'd all benefit from promoting intelligence instead of lies.) Best advice in regards to this "dictionary": Save your money. THESE GROSSLY IGNORANT PAGES ARE NOT FIT FOR THE BOTTOM OF THE BIRD CAGE.

More appreciative is the brief review by Paul Deary

(6)  This review is from: Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions: Revised and Updated Edition (Hardcover) Hey - ordering Amazon has a fantastic way of being proficient. It has been helpful and informative (the book that is).

How then can a Professor of the Bible argue against plural marriage and claim it is unbiblical? Berry uses s facile argument out of context to press his point, saying,

(7) Although some men in Bible times had many wives, this was not God’s will, according to Deuteronomy 17:14-18. Instead of polygamy, the Bible teaches the sacredness of the commitment of one man and one woman to each other until death separates them.

Plural Marriage as commanded by God in the Holy Bible is available at:

http://www.yorkshiretales.com/allaboutmormonism/page_plural_marriage_commanded_by_god.html 

  

We have seen by the previous passages that Berry is wrong, since polygamy is encouraged by the will of God, and the Bible says so. Continuing to address plural marriage, Berry makes the extraordinary statement,

It is interesting that Mormons now deny their church ever taught this doctrine.

We do not!

What is interesting is that Berry provides no reference for his untruthful and nonsensical claim. He cannot do so because it is not true. Mormons know their history and acknowledge plural marriage as taught and practised during about fifty years of the first Mormon century, and was terminated to conform to the ruling of the United States Supreme Court that held the Edmunds-Tucker law to be constitutional. Berry concludes that segment of his pamphlet with,

 It is obvious that the Mormons have rewritten the Bible to match their theology rather than taking their theology from the Bible.

What is obvious is that in the first place, plural marriage has been shown to be not only approved, but also encouraged by the word of God, and in the second place, it is obvious that Professor Harold J Berry does not know his Bible! Not only does the Professor not know his Bible, but he does no know Mormonism, yet has written many short pamphlets as described at the [continued under in red font]

44 Berry, Op. Cit. p. 25

45 Ibid. p. 25

46 Ibid. p. 25

[continued from broken paragraph above] beginning of this work in which he undertakes to tell his students what each denomination or faith teaches. His failure as a scholar of Mormonism reaches new depths each time he essays to address a different tenet or principle of the Restored Gospel. For example, he writes:

 For the Mormons, salvation depends on a person’s works. This is evident from their doctrine of baptismal regeneration—the teaching that a person cannot be saved without water baptism.

47   Latter-day Saints do believe that water baptism is essential to salvation, not because salvation is generated by the baptismal ritual, but because it is a Bible teaching that,

 Except a man be born again of the water and of the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

48   While Berry may pout and blame this idea on Mormons, for what reason I leave to your imagination, but it is not a Mormon invention and he is wrong to suggest otherwise. Evidently, Berry does not believe what is written in the Holy Bible he worships and so discards water baptism as a required ordinance or entrance rite into the Kingdom of God, but also as a direct commandment of the Saviour, and goes as far as to say that baptism achieves nothing and is unnecessary. Berry might find it impossible to hear what a Mormon has to say, so I will let those closer to his own heart and cred interpret the meaning of this verse spoken by Jesus Christ to all believers. Although the following are somewhat lengthy, since they speak from Berry’s side of the house, as it were, I shall quote them verbatim and at whatever length the commentators thought necessary to express their understanding of the sacred words of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Be born of water - By "water," here, is evidently signified "baptism." Thus, the word is used in Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5. Baptism was practiced by the Jews in receiving a Gentile as a proselyte. It was practiced by John among the Jews; and Jesus here says that it is an ordinance of his religion, and the sign and seal of the renewing influences of his Spirit. So he said Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." 

47  Ibid. p. 27

48  John 3:5

  

It is clear from these places, and from the example of the apostles Act 2:38, Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12-13, Acts 8:36, Acts 8:38; Acts 9:18; Acts 10:47-48; Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33; Acts 18:8; Acts 22:16; Galatians 3:27, that they considered this ordinance as binding on all who professed to love the Lord  Jesus. And though it cannot be said that none who are not baptized can be saved, yet Jesus meant, undoubtedly, to be understood as affirming that this was to be the regular and uniform way of entering into his church; that it was the appropriate mode of making a profession of religion; and that a man who neglected this, when the duty was made known to him, neglected a plain command of God. It is clear, also, that any other command of God might as well be neglected or violated as this, and that it is the duty of everyone not only to love the Saviour, but to make an acknowledgment of that love by being baptized, and by devoting himself thus to his service. But, lest Nicodemus should suppose that this was all that was meant, he added that it was necessary that he should "be born of the Spirit" also. This was predicted of the Saviour, that he should "baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire," Matthew 3:11. By this is clearly intended that the heart must be changed by the agency of the Holy Spirit; that the love of sin must be abandoned; that man must repent of crime and turn to God; that he must renounce all his evil propensities, and give himself to a life of prayer and holiness, of meekness, purity, and benevolence. This great change is in the Scripture ascribed uniformly to the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; Romans 5:5; 1 Peter 1:22. "Cannot enter into" - This is the way, the appropriate way, of entering into the kingdom of the Messiah here and hereafter. He cannot enter into the true church here, or into heaven in the world to come, except in connection with a change of heart, and by the proper expression of that change in the ordinances appointed by the Saviour.

49 Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Berry blames the Holy Bible teaching of Jesus Christ that baptism by immersion for the remission of sins was invented by the Mormons!

Mr Berry, your scholarship failed because your research did not take place. Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail!

NOTES 

(8)John 3:5 Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit - Except he experience that great inward change by the Spirit, and be baptized (wherever baptism can be had) as the outward sign and means of it. 

(9)53 v. 5. ‘of water and of the Spirit’—A twofold explanation of the "new birth," so startling to Nicodemus. To a Jewish ecclesiastic, so familiar with the symbolical application of water, in every variety of way and form of expression, this language was fitted to show that the thing intended was no other than a thorough spiritual  purification by the operation of the Holy Ghost. Indeed, element of water and operation of the Spirit are brought together in a glorious evangelical prediction of Ezekiel (Eze 36:25-27), which Nicodemus might have been reminded of had such spiritualities not been almost lost in the reigning formalism. Already had the symbol of water been embodied in an initiatory ordinance, in the baptism of the Jewish expectants of Messiah by the Baptist, not to speak of the baptism of Gentile proselytes before that; and in the Christian Church it was soon to become the great visible door of entrance into "the kingdom of God," the reality being the sole work of the Holy Ghost (Tit 3:5).

(10)54 The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water. It is also probable that Christ had reference to the ordinance of baptism. Not that all those, and those only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be subjects of the kingdom of heaven.

(11)55 53 Wesley's Notes

(12)54 Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

(13)55 Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

 

As to Berry’s reproach to Mormons for teaching that without water baptism a person cannot be saved, it should be clear that Christians within and without Mormonism, including our Lord Jesus Christ, are diametrically opposed to Berry’s insistence that salvation is available without water baptism.

A Professor of Bible should know what it in the Bible he professes to teach. Evidently, Berry does not, and so he falls out of step with the Holy Bible and with those of his own persuasion. Berry's explanation of the original intent of 1 Corinthians 15:29 is risible in its sheer folly. He chooses to teach us that baptism for the dead is nothing more than new believers being baptised to replace old believers as they die off.

Of all proffered explanations for this verse that most commentaries glide past as if it was not in the HOLY BIBLE, Harold Berry’s is the most ludicrous.

It is a verse that makes sense to Latter-day Saints because it highlights a doctrine that has been lost in historic Christianity yet it is entirely consonant with the characteristics of deity to seek to redeem the lost whether they are dead or alive, and the doctrine of baptism and salvation for the dead that are not in Christ is further evidence of how great is the Father’s love for his children. 

Let us read what the great commentators have had to say about it.

(14) ‘Else what shall they do ...’ - The apostle here resumes the argument for the resurrection which was interrupted at 1 Corinthians 15:19. He goes on to state further consequences that must follow from the denial of this doctrine, and thence infers that the doctrine must be true. There is, perhaps, no passage of the New Testament in respect to which there has been a greater variety of interpretation than this; and the views of expositors now by no means harmonize in regard to its meaning. It is possible that Paul may here refer to some practice or custom which existed in his time respecting baptism, the knowledge of which is now lost. The various opinions that have been entertained in regard to this passage, together with an examination of them, may be seen in Pool's Synopsis, Rosenmuller, and Bloomfield. It may be not useless just to refer to some of them, that the perplexity of commentators may be seen:

(15) It has been held by some that by "the dead" here is meant the Messiah who was put to death, the plural being used for the singular, meaning "the dead one." (2) by others, that the word "baptized" here is taken in the sense of washing, cleansing, purifying, as in Matthew 8:4; Hebrews 9:10; and that the sense is, that the dead were carefully washed and purified when buried, with the hope of the resurrection, and, as it were, preparatory to that.(3) by others, that to be "baptized for the dead" means to be baptized as dead, being baptized into Christ, and buried with him in baptism, and that by their immersion they were regarded as dead.(4) by others, that the apostle refers to a custom of vicarious baptism, or being baptized for those who were dead, referring to the practice of having  some person baptized in the place of one who had died without baptism. This was the opinion of Grotius, Michaelis, Tertullian, and Ambrose. Such was the estimate, which was formed, it is supposed, of the importance of baptism, that when one had died without being baptized, some other person was baptized over his dead body in his place. 

(16) That this custom prevailed in the church after the time of Paul, has been abundantly proved by Grotius, and is generally admitted. But the objections to this interpretation are obvious

(a) There is no evidence that such a custom prevailed in the time of Paul.

(b) It cannot be believed that Paul would give countenance to a custom so senseless and so contrary to the Scripture, or that he would make it the foundation of a solemn argument.

(c) It does not accord with the strain and purpose of his argument. If this custom had been referred to, his design would have led him to say, "What will become of them for whom others have been baptized? Are we to believe that they have perished?"

(d) It is far more probable that the custom referred to in this opinion arose from an erroneous interpretation of this passage of Scripture, than that it existed in the time of Paul is evident that he sought to please himself and his Anti-Mormon referents rather than serve the cause of truth, hewing to the line of right, wherever the chips might fall.

As a scholar, teacher, and author of “Mormons—What They Believe,” Harold Berry fails miserably. He does not weight, assess, or argue from for and against material on Mormons and their belief system towards his conclusion. Rather, he takes thirty pages to render his conclusion, and on the final page and a quarter, he wallows in the mire of his own making and considers he has performed his work.

If this is the standard of scholarship from this luminary of Grace College of the Bible, I hesitate to ponder what standard of graduates they discharge having had their heads filled with such arrant nonsense as is found in the continuous toxic flow of bigotry that is the effluvium of Professor Berry.

Berry’s Parting Shot

Berry says – and one can almost hear his feigned exasperation,

(17) If Mormons were Christians in the New Testament sense of the word, they would accept what Jesus Christ says about Himself and what he says about mankind. They would accept the fact that all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that the only way to obtain salvation is by personally receiving Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 3:23; Acts 16:31).

Bray’s Parting Shot

(18)Mormons are Christians in the New Testament sense of the word because they do accept what Jesus Christ says about Himself and accept what he says about mankind. 

(19)Latter-day Saints accept what Jesus Christ says about Himself in the New Testament. 

(20)Latter-day Saints do not accept what extra-biblical theologians and philosophers have made up about the Jesus Christ of the Bible because they have converted him into an enigma that no one can comprehend in the way they define Him in the many conflicting formal Creeds. The Christ Jesus of the Creeds we reject on Biblical grounds. 

(21)The Jesus found in the Bible we totally embrace. Mormons do accept the fact that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and unreservedly accept that the only way to obtain salvation begins by our receiving Jesus Christ as Saviour and then remaining faithful to him and being obedient to the commandments of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son who shed his blood and died for us. It is through the Atonement of Christ that we are righteoussed and able to stand cleansed of the consequences of our individual sins before God in his throne in Heaven.

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Further Reading 

For those that have doubts about the Jesus Christ of Mormonism there is probably no better book than "Jesus The Christ," by James E Talmage. It can be downloaded free from Gutenberg Projects, or read online at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22542 

Talmage's "Jesus the Christ" is a masterly dissertation about the Mormon Jesus who is the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Read it yourself without the intervention of the Harold Berrys of this world that will designedly lead you down wrong paths for personal, vindictive ends. 

Whatever your position within Christianity, reading Talmage's book, "Jesus the Christ" will bless and enrich your life as it opens your understanding about the person and work of our Saviour, redeemer, and Advocate Jesus Christ who is God the Father’s only Son, our Saviour and Redeemer, even Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Further information about Major Errors of Anti-Mormons is available free of charge at: http://yorkshiretales.com/allaboutmormonism

 

       Ronnie Bray – Christian Mormon