Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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The Devil Makers: Contemporary Evangelical Fundamentalist Anti-Mormonism
The Devil Makers: Contemporary Evangelical Fundamentalist Anti-Mormonism Massimo Introvigne MORE THAN ELEVEN YEARS AGO ON 31 December 1982 a film entitled The God Makers premiered at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, before an audience of 4,000 Evangelical Protestants. According to Ed Decker, an ex-Mormon who was the main producer of the film, its premiere marked the beginning of an epoch. Decker and his associate Dave Hunt, a well-known author of "anti-cult" books, subsequently published a book version of The God Makers in 1984. Decker later claimed that The God Makers had prevented millions of conversions to the Mormon church between 1982 and 1989. Even Decker was eventually forced to retract this extravagant claim. The God Makers, however, was reasonably successful in Evangelical circles, and on 13 December 1992—ten years after the original film—Decker premiered in a Salt Lake City church the sequel The God Makers II. A book followed in 1993.3 1. Ed Decker and Dave Hunt, The God Makers (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1984), 16. 2. In January 1990 Decker erroneously attributed to Elder M. Russell Ballard a statement that the Mormon church experienced a three million shortfall from projected conversions primarily because of the film (Saints Alive in Jesus Newsletter, Jan. 1990). The speech referred to by Decker, which Ballard delivered at Brigham Young University on 14 November 1989, mentioned nothing about a "shortfall"; instead it celebrated the continuing growth of the church notwithstanding the opposition of "a band of enemies." He included the film The God Makers among his examples. Decker later admitted in his newsletter in July 1990, under the title "We Stand Corrected," that he had "misunderstood" the meaning of Ballard's speech (Saints Alive in Jesus Newsletter, Jan., July 1990). But the claim that The God Makers has prevented the conversion of millions to Mormonism is still often repeated in anti-Mormon circles. 3. Ed Decker and Caryle Matrisciana, The God Makers II (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1993). This new book adds little to Decker's previous criticism of Mormonism