06 October 2008

Mormonism is Christian and then some

Just as I wade into Doctrine and Covenants, I pick up this month's issue of First Things and find a point-counterpoint article by Bruce D. Porter and Gerald R. McDermott entitled, "Is Mormonism Christian?" And tonight on PBS they are broadcasting, The Mormons, a four-part series. Guess I'll have to watch.

In the meantime, the First Things article supplies an answer to my earlier question about whether Mormons believe God is omnipotent. The word "omnipotent" is used as a title of Jesus Christ by the prophet-king Benjamin in Mosiah 3:17, The Book of Mormon.

3 comments:

blainn said...

That was an interesting discussion you linked to there. The second writer had a few factual errors (since Mormons consider Jesus to have been the god of the Old Testament, it's hard to claim that we consider him to have been "just a man"), but managed to make the case that Mormonism is different than mainstream Christianity -- big shock. There would be no need of restoration if the existing canon was complete and accurate, so, of course Mormonism shows a different understanding of key and important issues. However, "different" does not necessarily equate to "wrong."

What he left out was the part where mainstream Christianity holds title to Jesus and trademark to the term "Christian," and how a group of churches who can agree on little beyond the Bible and a handful of extra-canonical creeds get to decide who is let into the "Christian" club.

His view is not his alone, nor is it new by any stretch of the imagination, and his expression if it is one of the more thorough and respectful I've seen.

The Doctrine and Covenants is a bit different than the Book of Mormon, and the historical setting against which the sections are brought forward can help. http://www.boap.org/LDS/History/ has an adaptation of B.H. Roberts "History of the Church" and has links to scans from the original work which might be useful as well.

Scooper said...

Blain,
Thanks for the link to an online History! As to who determines membership in the Christian club, we all know who has the last word on that. He said, "Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us," (Luke 9:50) and "Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me." (Mark 9:39)

blainn said...

Then we're singing from the same page.

And you're welcome. I definitely want to encourage you in your inquiry -- I'm impressed by what it's been producing.