Friday, August 07, 2015

Mormons & Evangelicals in Conversation

Richard J. Mouw and Robert L. Millet, ed.  Talking Doctrine: Mormons & Evangelicals in Conversation.  Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2015. 

What surprised me somewhat was the wiggle-room that some of the evangelical contributors were willing to grant to Mormonism, regarding the question of whether Mormon beliefs are acceptable or objectionable.  One evangelical contributor questioned whether the Mormon belief that God the Father was corporeal is really that objectionable, since Christians hold that Jesus, as God, was a corporeal human being.  Another evangelical contributor referred to a discussion that she had with a Mormon about whether God the Father ever sinned.  The Mormon was saying that he could have, but that Jesus’ sacrifice would have atoned for it.  The evangelical contributor said that this was when it dawned on her that this Mormon really loved Jesus, just like she does.  I was surprised that she did not regard his view as offensive, as a number of evangelicals probably would.  A number of the evangelical contributors did not seem to regard Mormon beliefs about God as necessarily objectionable, or as something that places Mormons outside of the pale of Christianity.  If there was an area that the evangelicals deemed to be non-negotiable, it would probably be that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, that this is the belief that makes one a Christian.  There were evangelicals and Mormons who insisted that Mormons accepted this, and some evangelicals said that Mormon emphasis on good works can serve as a counter-balance to the tendency of some evangelicals to dismiss the necessity of a holy life.


  1. Wrong "Father", wrong "Jesus", wrong "Spirit", wrong "Scriptures", wrong interpretation of "Scripture", founded by a demonstrably false prophet.

    Yep, I can see how modern evangelicals could mistake them for regular everyday garden variety Christians.

  2. Steve, do you know of any analyses of the current Mormon-evangelical dialogues that have been taking place over the past 15 years?

    1. Not offhand. In the past, both Richard Mouw and Clark Pinnock were criticized for syncretism. Blomberg was criticized for failing to discuss whether Stephen Robinson's version of Mormonism represented official Mormon theology. Paul Owen, former Mormon, is conflicted.