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April 15, 2021 9:37 pm
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when limited or 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 so glad to be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism research ministry with me today is Johnson. My colleague at MRM today we wrap up our look at the first chapter of a book that came out in late 2020, a book titled the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement.
This critiques the various essays that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints posted on their official website.
Between the years 2013 and 2015. The first chapter was titled our Mormons Christian, written by Dr. Craig Blomberg is a professor at Denver seminary and it responds to the essay by that title our Mormons Christian today as we wrap up I want to look at a comment that Dr. Blomberg makes on page 37 where he says our Mormons Christian. Speaking of the essay concludes with an appeal for Christians of all stripes to work together in the social and moral arenas to counter the unethical and anti-family malaise of our modern world.
It asked others to judge the LDS by their overall fruits and in parentheses in the spirit of Matthew 716 through 20, rather than by certain distinctive, possibly divisive doctrines. Now when I read that Eric I have to ask myself, cannot in good conscience do that well what did the apostle Paul do did he decide that he was going to join hands with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the people at the Temple of Diana, or was he going to tell them the truth. Now he always use good tactics and how we went about things but a lot of people hated him for it and why because divisive doctrines and why not, because doctrine is what does separate Mormonism and Christianity. And if we don't have the same doctrine, then we need to be able to resolve our differences by discussing those differences instead of just pretending it doesn't exist.
And that's what it seems like to me. Don't rock the boat is what he saying and, instead, let's just unite and let's work together on the social and moral arenas, and I'm gonna say that's a dangerous thing because this is the here and now. This is all temporal, though I think the eternal is more important and if we spend our entire lives living without telling other people about the truth of what the Bible teaches. Then shame on us because there's gonna come a day where they're going to have to face the judgment throne and you think that those folks are going to appreciate the fact that you kept from them. The possibility of hearing the gospel that is delivered in the Bible. I think they're going to hold contempt for people who did not tell them the truth and it's kind of bothersome because it's almost like you move along move along. Nothing to see here. Let's not forget, folks, this is an organization that claims that your church my church. Eric your church or the state of apostasy were a part of the great apostasy they really had nothing good to say about us, especially in the early years of the Mormon movement and they have made truth claims that need to be challenged.
I think people need to know this well this idea of working together in social and moral arenas obviously is a huge issue with Dr. Blomberg because it comes up at the end of his chapter. If you look at page 49. He starts off by saying my years of study and dialogue actually make me much more hopeful about the genuinely Christian nature of at least a significant and growing portion of the LDS church, especially were views on the atonement and on grace match those we have mentioned earlier, he goes on to say, I thoroughly support joint efforts to combat unhealthy moral and social trends the plea with which the essay ends. I find it unfortunate that evangelicals of my generation have largely resisted such cooperation typically because they think it will confuse others into imagining that we are all alike in my experience that seldom actually happens and even allowing for very rare instances in which it might is it not worth the risk for the sake of the good that would be accomplished in the process and do not those fears of confusing the two movements somehow imply that both LDS and evangelicals would be mute in the process of whatever projects they jointly undertook telling no one who the people were who were involved or why they were doing what they were doing and what are the odds of that ever happening. What we just first of all state that I really don't have a problem with Christians working with Mormons on certain projects. I've often said, though there is a risk of being confused when talking to average Latter Day Saints. If you're not really familiar with the movement and what officially the church teaches that when he says that seldom actually happens. I have to only point back to page 49, when Dr. Blomberg to himself gives the impression that the LDS church or at least some within the LDS church are holding two views on the atonement and grace that seem to match what he believes and I would argue that the people he points to saying that either he misunderstood or their people that have no authority to speak on behalf of the church, so you might say Dr. Blomberg is a poster boy of the concerns that I have as a Christian, and we talked all week about the spell the things that you're talking about. We have covered this entire we can go to our website MRM.org/our Mormons Christian with hyphens between those words and I think we have documented why we disagree with what Craig Blomberg is saying when he says on page 49 that he thoroughly supports joint efforts to combat unhealthy moral and social trends plea with which the essay ends and then he says I find it unfortunate that evangelicals of my generation have largely resisted such cooperation typically because they think it will confuse others into imagining that we are all alike. Now there's a footnote. There, and I have to admit this is kind of bothersome because that footnote is footnote number 67 on page 50.
What is footnote 67 say precisely the main arguments given to me repeatedly by counter cult ministry leaders Sandra Tanner and Bill McKeever in private communication and oral conversation after the publication of Robinson and Blomberg. I why the divide. Now remember the context was working with Mormons and social capacities. I can't recall ever having a conversation with Dr. Blomberg about that. I have never spoken to the man personally face-to-face. Now he says that these arguments have been given to him repeatedly by people such as Sandra Tanner and myself in private communication and oral conversations repeatedly. I've never talked to the man.
However, I have had a concern with some things that Dr. Blomberg has said in one of them was back in California when I heard him speak and he made the comment that people such as those that are involved in counter cult ministry and there were several of them there listening to him at that time probably would not be happy if the church was to turn towards a Christian consensus because they would be out of jobs or should I not find that to be a bit offensive in 2012. I was watching a webinar that Dr. Blomberg was putting on from Denver seminary and what you know basically said the same thing so obviously this is something that he's repeated more than once.
I have to assume because I heard it twice and what are the odds of me just catching that haphazardly because I don't follow Dr. Blomberg around, but I find it troubling that he found it necessary to name me and Sandra and I might mention if I'm to be thrown under the bus.
What better person to be thrown under it with than Sandra Tanner whom I have a lot of respect for her many years of service in the ministry of Christ reaching out to the LDS people. But when he says repeatedly in private communication and oral conversation. I have to be honest there. I don't know what he's talking about so I decided when I read this to write Dr. Blomberg. I have his email address and so I expressed my concerns the things that you're talking about right now and I swear he part of an email that he sent me back. This is December 16, 2020 and this is what he wrote me he says I am sorry you were anyone else found my comments condescending, even after rereading them.
They don't appear that way to me and they were certainly not intended as such, I am sorry also that your friends memories are failing them on this point though, I can empathize, as I realize, even at a younger age than they what I can no longer remember that others close to me, assure me. I did or said. Bill and I had numerous written exchanges after how why the divide first came out but I have long since deleted those. In fact, I once had a hard copy of filed letters I received from people in the late 1990s when we still wrote those and I'm pretty sure Bill's first correspondence with me. His most irate one was in that kind of a letter, let me ask you Bill.
Do you have any record of any letters that Dr. Blomberg has ever sent you know I don't and I went back through all the letters that I have saved over the years, some going clear back to the 1990s. I don't recall having any correspondence like that.
Certainly not numerous correspondence. I don't recall that at all that we do have a review of how wide the divide, and I think we are very cordial and what is said in that article. In fact, most of our criticism and that review is against Dr. Robinson.
Not so much, Dr. Blomberg, and for him to say that I was irate. I can't even imagine me responding that way to a person with the caliber of a Dr. Blomberg.
I just can't imagine me doing that for him to say that there were numerous written exchanges.
I'm just wondering Bill if he is conflating the review that we did.
We did say perhaps some things he didn't appreciate in that review, and thinking that that was a written correspondence will be quite honest I think it's a bit irresponsible of him. If he does not have the evidence that shows what he's accusing us of why would you put our names in your book. I just think it was poor form and he does and that email with me and he says thanks for your care and concern and careful reading to delve even in the footnotes, which sadly I find increasingly you people actually read Bill you and I read footnotes is not an end of this is on the same page as what he is writing in this chapter. Overall does he answer the question. He never answers the question, our Mormons, Christian. There's no real firm yes or no on that question. He seems to think that because he knows of some people within the LDS church that according to his opinion seem to be agreeing more along the evangelical lines that that's a good thing.
All I would say it would be a good thing to do. But does that represent the church. Let's be serious here.
If he was to go up to it but say Jeffrey Hollen whom he mentions and say you know what Mr. Holland I am so glad and that's speech you gave on the atonement because it sounds like you're coming closer to apostate Christianity, you think Jeffrey Holland would agree with that assessment does Jeffrey Holland really think that a person can have the full benefits of the atonement if they never go to the temple if they never get married in the temple and they never pay their ties. I wonder if Dr. Blomberg is ever thought to ask these gentlemen a question like that. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter is research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is