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Callister’s Infinite Atonement — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 25, 2019 5:08 am

Callister’s Infinite Atonement — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R. M. Today we want to begin looking at a book that was written by Tad or Callister. It's titled the infinite atonement and we should mention that Ted Callister is a pretty popular author in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints's career was being a lawyer. He was a lawyer for 34 years.

He served in the LDS presidency of the 70 until he was honorably released from that position in 2014 and then he went on to serve as the Sunday school. General Pres. so just to give you an idea of his credentials.

This is a man who you would assume does seem to have an understanding of Mormonism and the reason why we wanted to look at his book the infinite atonement even though it was written in the year 2000.

You might say 2000. Good grief. I've had kids are all grown and married by now. But the fact is, even though this book was written in the year 2000. It is still pretty popular. What are the ratings on Amazon for this book. While it has over 400 reviews and more than 90% of them are five stars. In fact, there is not one review under three stars so apparently a lot of Mormons have gone on and registered their idea of what they think about this book and it's still very popular at the time of this recording is rated 35,000 on Amazon which actually is really good. If you have a book that's that old being rated so highly under hundred thousand is considered to be decent and so there are a lot of people who are buying this if you go to a desert red bookstore. It was published by Desiree books it's going to be featured still so many years later. Here's the question I have, why would so many members of the LDS church right so favorably about this book because when you and I look at what Mr. Callister has to say about his view of the atonement, which by the way folks is a pretty traditional understanding if you're Mormon. It's a very traditional Mormon understanding of the atonement and that being the case, why would so many latter-day Saints seem to speak of it so highly because what we have found when we study books like this there traditional understanding of the atonement. While certainly not a biblical understanding of the atonement does seem to fit what we would call on impossible gospel and if a Mormon can't really get the benefits of what they think the atonement offers why in the world with a right so favorably about a book as this that I guess that's what I'm asking, why would they do that while in their mind they read through there and it's has a promising title the infinite atonement. It sounds very gracious to people to be able to receive the infinite atonement. Let me just read you a couple of the five-star reviews on Amazon. This one is from DL and he said I've read this book twice and I can't believe how many questions it is answered for me.

It answered questions that have been in the back of my mind for years. This is not a book you can read from cover to cover in a couple days and digested all it is deep and simple at the same time, it should be essential reading for any and every Christian and another reader writes this, this book has completely transformed my husband and change his heart.

He struggled with pornography for 20 years and is a completely different person.

He has spiritually awakened and now he's a spiritual leader in our home.

I'm reading the book next okay so that's great that's good news that her husband and put away the pornography. But the question that I would like to ask.

Will has your husband put away all the other smaller things quote unquote that are still necessary in order to achieve the benefits of the Mormon atonement. Here's what I found striking the forward is written by former BYU professor Robert L.

Millet, Robert L.

Millet was a very prominent Mormon apologist. I give him that title without any reservations because he wrote a lot of books on doctrine pertaining to the LDS church, and while he was very prominent for many years. He was often touted by his proponents as being one Mormon who seem to be more evangelical in his views.

In fact, I was even cautioned one time about citing anything that Robert Millet had written before let's say 1998 because I was told that Millet had changed his views substantially in years afterwards that I don't believe that I've read enough of Robert Millet's books to know that he's very traditional and a lot of understandings but the fact that Robert L.

Millet wrote the forward to this book makes me think that all these claims that Robert L. Millet is somehow coming towards a more evangelical consensus are are certainly unfounded. Now maybe Robert L. Millet would like to come out and publicly say that he no longer believes a lot of the things that are written in this book I've not seen him renounce any of those things in.

In recent years, but there are a lot of things that are in this book that I think are worthy of note.

If nothing else to just show you folks the traditional Mormonism by the mere fact that this is a very popular book among many members of the LDS church, even to this very day shows it traditional Mormonism is very much alive and for any of you that are out there thinking that the church is changing. Perhaps you need to read this book because if you do, you will see that really nothing has changed.

This is a man who has had great authority in the church and is well respected by not only I think the LDS membership, but I think the leaders of this church and it still being sold at desert rat will we should mention that if you look in the book on the title page word gives the copyright date of 2000. It also says on their first printing in leather bound 2006 folks Desiree book, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not often take books and put them in a leather binding unless they have some significant clout or some significant worth to the membership of the LDS church organist spent some time reviewing this book, but I think what we need to do right now. Bill is set the plate for what exactly Mormonism is talking about when it talks about the atonement that this is what Callister says on page 2.

He says the atonement of Jesus Christ is the most supernal mind expanding passionate doctrine this world or universe will ever know, and on page 4 he writes the atonement of Jesus Christ outweighs surpasses and transcends every other mortal event. Every new discovery and every acquisition of knowledge, for without the atonement.

All else in life is meaningless. He uses the word supernal and that immediately made made me think of Mormon apostle Bruce McConkey McConkey like to write word and I should mention Keith's sites, Bruce McConkey, who died in the mid-1980s numerous times throughout this book, which I found fascinating because many modern Latter Day Saints don't really like Bruce McConkey's writings and I think probably because he was so want and I personally don't think that Bruce McConkey had an original idea in his head. He often quoted his own father-in-law, Joseph Fielding Smith in the often cited Joseph F. Smith and things like that. If you read his book Mormon doctrine. He's often citing other people in that book, but Bruce McConkey again, was very traditional in his understanding of Mormonism. He was not at all what you might call a Mormon, progressive, and yet here we have Callister citing McConkie throughout this work you and Eric are usually very cautious.

To quote McConkey because we know that a lot of Latter Day Saints don't respect him any longer. Now I think they're probably misguided because I think McConkey was a very good example of very traditional Mormonism and he was very clear in what he believed. But it's interesting that while we have a lot of modern Latter Day Saints who tend to snub McConkie Callister doesn't seem to have that problem.

Let's take a closer look at what the word atonement means that I'm in a read out of review that is on our website infinite atonement and there's hyphens between each of those three words the infinite atonement on the/after and this is what I wrote the word atonement comes from the Old Testament and can be found throughout the Pentateuch. The Jews acknowledge the day of atonement. On the 10th day of the seventh month with fasting and humiliation as a nation sought forgiveness of their sins. It was a reminder that sinful humans do not have the ability to appease God on their own and then I sighed out of Nelsons new illustrated Bible encyclopedia and this is what it says the high priest who officiated on this day first sanctified himself by taking a ceremonial bath and putting on white garments is from Leviticus 16 for then he had to make atonement for himself and other priests by sacrificing a bullock that's from Numbers 29 eight God was enthroned on the mercy seat in the sanctuary, but no person could approach it, except through the mediation of the high priest who offered the blood of sacrifice, after sacrificing a bullock the high priest chose a goat for sin offering and sacrificed it. Then he sprinkled its blood on and about the mercy seat is from Leviticus 16. Finally, the scapegoat bearing the sins of the people was sent into the wilderness.

The scapegoat symbolize the pardon for sin brought through the sacrifice and that comes right from Galatians chapter 3 in second Corinthians 5. When you take a look at the way that the atonement was labeled in the Old Testament, and then you see how Jesus is the one who brings about the atonement for the New Testament and the book of Hebrews is the best source we can go to when it comes to understanding how Jesus fulfilled what the sacrificial system was so that we could have atonement with God. Let us capitalize like this before we close the show because both traditions. The LDS tradition and what we would call traditional Christian understanding of the atonement. We both have the same word we both have the same type of doctrine, but folks what makes it so different is where the atonement take place.

What does it actually offer to the member of the LDS church as opposed to what does it offer us as Christians. And is it possible to receive the benefit of the atonement as latter-day St., as opposed to as a Bible believing Christian. In those three areas you're going to find some significant differences. So just because a latter-day St. may say we have a doctrine of the atonement. This would be one of those areas where it would be absolutely essential if you hope to communicate properly with your LDS counterpart is to ask them what specifically do you mean by the atonement where the atonement take place. What do you benefit from this atonement and is it possible to receive those benefits. Let me wrap this up by giving you a story from Cory Miller that I think makes sense and is exactly what you're talking about Bill, the Christian asked the Mormon. Let me ask you a personal question. Do you have a mom and the Mormon says yes of course the Christian says I do to. Can you spell that the Mormon says MOM Christian no way I spell it the same way.

Maybe we have the same mom can you spell it backward. Mormon says MOM Christian, surely we have the same mom because it is spelled the same way that only illustrates the fact that we need to go beyond the mere word that both traditions may use and ask more specific questions when we are engaging with the Latter Day Saints. Thank you for listening you would like more information when guarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you'll join us again as we look at another viewpoint is you just listen to today's broadcast viewpoint I Mormonism did you know that you can hear previous shows at your convenience viewpoint and Mormonism podcast is free on the Internet and will help you learn more about the LDS religion. Feel free to listen on your computer or download to your favorite listening device. Just go to and click on the right side where it says on air all of our shows are here so visit today

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