Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A different Jesus?

When we first moved here to Utah Jim and I sat and listened to one of the Mormon General Conferences on television. At that time their leadership quite emphatically declared that Mormons were not Christian, they didn't want to be associated as being Christian. Now, twenty-four years later, they are desirous to be considered Christian, in fact, are quite hurt if one is to say they are not. One of their big responses is, "Of course, we are Christian, we have Jesus Christ in our name!"

For us who are believers, and understand who Jesus Christ is, we understand that Mormons are not Christians. There are, for the sake of this blog, two factors to be considered. The first is the difference between the Biblical understanding of who God The Father is and the Mormon understanding of who God The Father is. The second is grasping who Jesus Christ is.

There is a new book out that deals with LDS scholarship in a very respectful and responsible way. It "recylces no previous material and duplicates no one's effort" of the past. Instead, responding to the best LDS scholarship, it offers freshly researched and well-documented rebuttals of Mormon truth claims. Most of the chapter topics have never been addressed, and the citicisms and arguments are almost entirely new." It doesn't "merely challenge Mormon beliefs; it offers the LDS Church and her members ways to move forward." "The biblical, historical, scientific, philosophical, and theological discussions are fascinating and will appeal to Christians and Mormons alike." The name of the book is The New Mormon Challenge. General editors are Francis J. Beckwith, Carl Mosser, and Paul Owen.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, President Gordon B. Hinckley made a statement while addressing Mormon church members in Paris and Geneva in 1998. This is from the LDS Church News Archives, Saturday, June 20, 1998, 'Crown of gospel is upon our heads.': "In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints "do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. He, together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages." For those who would like to read the entire article the link is http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/libstory_church?dn98&9806210091.

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