From time to time the question comes up, “If a person wants to know more about the Book of Mormon, shouldn’t they just ask the Latter-day Saints?” But my point in writing Understanding the Book of Mormon was to present the LDS holy book from a specifically evangelical Christian perspective. It does show respect to ask Latter-day Saints for their view about the Book of Mormon, and it does help us truly understand more completely. That’s why I did so in writing this book. At the same time, it is also legitimate to express a different perspective. Think of it like this: if you were thinking of buying a Ford truck, would you only ask the Ford dealer? Probably not. Why not? Because you might suspect that the Ford dealer’s view of his own products might not be completely objective. The Chevy dealer’s view of Ford trucks won’t be objective either, but his evaluation might help you get a better idea of the issues and questions.
A couple of years ago I noticed that the LDS Institute (a campus center for Mormon students) at our local college was offering a class on Protestant Christianity. I called the teacher and offered to visit the class to explain some things about Protestant Christians that Latter-day Saints would probably not understand, and to answer any questions they might have. I figured that if they wanted to learn about Protestant Christians, who better to ask than a Christian pastor? The Institute teacher declined my offer, stating that they preferred to follow their own curriculum. I wasn’t offended. I figured that the Mormons have the right to interpret Protestant Christianity from their own perspective.
My book is written in the same vein: to interpret the Book of Mormon from a traditional Christian perspective.