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Showing posts from July, 2010

WHO “ATTACKED” FIRST?

Early LDS leaders, at times, would speak out against other Christian denominations, often using fierce rhetoric to express their opinion. Personally, I do not feel that such language was an “attack,” in fact, such hyperbolic language was typical amongst religions of the day. Still, many anti-Mormons insist that these aggressive statements were “attacks” on the Christian faith. For the sake of argument, I’ll go along with that accusation.

MEASURING THE DIVIDING LINES

A Review of: Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson, How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997)
When How Wide the Divide? (hereafter HWD?) first came out, it shook the very foundations of Evangelical/Mormon dialogue. Foundations, I might add, that were in desperate need of shaking. In fact, it was first real dialogue between an Evangelical and a Mormon (at least, the first in print). True, not every Evangelical agreed with how Blomberg represented their faith, and not every Mormon agreed with how Robinson represented their faith, a fact that was fully expected by both. In the books conclusion, part of one of the important lessons learned is that “There is considerable diversity among the LDS and bewildering diversity among Christians who attach to themselves the label ‘Evangelical.’”(pg. 192)

CRITICS, APOLOGISTS, AND UTAH STATISTICS

You’ll hear it all the time – on both sides of the coin. “Utah has the highest suicide rate in the nation” chides the critics. “People in Utah live longer than the national average” says the apologist. Heck, sometimes you will even hear Utah statistics come up in sacrament meeting talks and firesides. Regardless of who is using it, the logic seems to always work like this:
Because Utah is predominately Mormon, And because Utah has stat X ------------------------------------------- Stat X must be because of the LDS Church.
Unless one is skeptical of the person speaking/writing in the first place (i.e. if a faithful member hears a statistic from a critic, or vice versa), most of the time this kind of reasoning is simply accepted. But should it be? Should statistical information about the state of Utah be accepted at face value as a reflection on the LDS Church?

PROBLEMS WITH HOW RICHARD ABANES ADDRESSES THE CHRISTIAN QUESTION

A few months ago, I checked out the book One Nation Under Gods – A History of the Mormon Church (New York City, NY: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003) by Richard Abanes from the UVU library. The title itself gives it away as an anti-Mormon publication. Add that to the fact that on the back are raving reviews from professional anti-Mormons Sandra Tanner (who also wrote the foreword to the book), and Hank Hanegraaff, heir the great anti-cultist Walter Martin at Christian Research Institute. No doubt, in an effort to seem more objective, Tanner is identified as the “great-great-grandchild of Brigham Young.” That ought to really impress people.
Anyway, my purpose in picking it up was to study his chapter titled “Is Mormonism Christian?” So, to be clear, I have not read most of the book. Though I casually read through other parts, my main focus has been on that one chapter. However, if this one chapter is at all reflective of the rest of the work (and I suspect it is), then my verdict is tha…

IS THE SPIRIT OF MORMONSIM A FALSE SPIRIT?

Back in April, I had a Facebook conversation with an ex-Mormon who is now some sort of protestant Christian (probably of an Evangelical variety). In this conversation, this individual confessed that when she was a Mormon and prayed about the Book of Mormon, she did feel something. She said, “I don't deny the good feeling. It was there. I just don't think it was God anymore. I think it was a false spirit. Do you believe this is possible?”


The following is my response to her question. She never responded back to me, so I do not know what her thoughts were concerning this answer. So, I just thought I would share it here thinking others may find it helpful in dealing with the same criticism, or that perhaps I may get some kind of response or feedback from someone who disagrees. 


Keep in mind that this response was written to a practicing Christian (as opposed to a non-Christian critic), so the truth of the Bible is assumed in my reasoning of why I feel that it is the Spirit of God t…