Wheat and Tares Apologetics

Apologetics has obviously been on my mind recently. In previous posts I discussed how certain kinds of apologetics might be pursued at places such as BYU. Indeed, I believe that religious institutions such as BYU should produce apologetics in the sense of scholarship that explains, explores, and defends the truth claims of Mormonism. I also believe that this scholarship should be fit for a university, meaning that it should largely meet the criteria of scholarship within the broader academic community.

In this post, I’d like to discuss one kind of apologetics. An apologetics represented in pieces such as Greg Smith’s review of Mormon Stories. This kind of apologetics is one part of the classic FARMS approach to apologetics. And unlike other parts of the classic FARMS approach, this approach is inappropriate for places such as BYU. I might even go so far as to venture that a determination to pursue this approach, despite its shortcomings, is largely responsible for the desire to replace some of the leadership at the Maxwell Institute.

The kind of apologetics I want to discuss is what I call Wheat and Tares Apologetics. Wheat and Tares Apologetics is aimed at sifting the good guys from the bad guys. It aims to answer the basic question–is This Person/Organization a trusted source for learning about Mormonism? Or, more broadly, should LDSs trust This Person/Organization? Since apologetics tends to be done in defense of a perceived threat, most of Wheat and Tares Apologetics is geared toward showing why some individual or organization is a “tare” rather than a “wheat.” Continue reading “Wheat and Tares Apologetics”