Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
Mormonism and Breaking the Ninth Commandment
Talking Doctrine: Mormons & Evangelicals in Conversation is an intriguing collection of essays from evangelical and Mormon scholars (see my review). In one essay, Cory B. Willson briefly comments on something that an evangelical, Richard Mouw, said in an address at the Mormon Tabernacle in 2004:
The common habit of telling Mormons what they believe without bothering to ask them, Mouw noted, has often led to misrepresenting and even demonizing their beliefs and practices–a form of bearing false witness against our Latter-day Saint neighbors. (80, cited below)
Mouw’s point should be well-taken. Too often in interfaith dialogue there is a tendency to jump on assumed beliefs rather than getting to know the religious “other.” Instead, we should focus on what those religious “others” are actually telling us they believe, so that we do not give false testimony against them. I wrote a post about a vision for Christian apologetics to world religions that focuses more on this topic.
What do you think? How might we map ways forward in interfaith dialogue that does not misrepresent the other side? How could this be better applied to evangelical-Mormon discussions?
[Note: there are some different ways of numbering the commandments. The Commandment Referred to here is “Do not give false testimony against your neighbor” which is commonly known as the 8th or 9th Commandment, depending on how a tradition breaks them up. I stuck with it as the 9th commandment because that’s how the quote had them numbered.]
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Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)
Book Review: Talking Doctrine: Mormons and Evangelicals in Conversation edited by Mouw and Millet– I review the book from which this quote came.
Talking Doctrine: Mormons and Evangelicals in Conversation edited Mouw and Millet (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2015).
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
I agree fully with Mr.Wartick, The only precepts an Evangelical could have in common with LDS are limited to social / cultural. Any religious belief that denies the Deity, eternal God the Son in the person of Jesus Christ is not compatible with Biblical Christianity.
Several years ago I mistakenly allowed a Mormon friend to attempt to proselytize me into LDS Church. I, not being a very savvy Christian at the time, even then could still see the non Biblical content of the presentation. I’ve since, read the “Book of Mormon”. The non Christian beliefs, the LDS Church teaches, are strikingly obvious, on par with most other Christian like cults such as Jehovah’s Witness, Moony’s, only not as dark as the Jim Jones group.
The best Evangelicals (or main stream Protestant / Catholics) could ever hope for is an agreement and participation in opposing the ungodly social trends prevalent today. Doctrinal differences are so grievous, any blending or amalgamation of the two would be out of the question.
We should definitely not straw-man the other side or argue from ignorance.
This is true.
A more Socratic approach (asking questions and stimulating critical thinking) will get you farther in discussions than assumptions. We recently studied with two Mormon missionaries. We gave them something to think about and they seriously started questioning their assumptions. The seed was planted.