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Callisters Infinite Atonement — Part 7

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
April 2, 2019 4:36 pm

Callisters Infinite Atonement — Part 7

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 edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Johnson my colleague MRM we continue looking at a book by Tad R Callister. He wrote the infinite atonement. The foreword was written by Robert L. Millet, which tells me a lot because a lot of the things that Ted Callister has to say in this book about the Mormon view of the atonement is, in my opinion, very traditional and often times Robert L. Millet is touted by some as being a little more progressive in his theology, sounding much more like an evangelical. Now I don't hold that position personally, but it is interesting that Robert L. Millet would put his name on this book.

As someone who supports the teachings in it as we been bringing out Callister is very traditional in his understanding of Mormon theology when it comes to how you get the benefits of the atonement of Christ as a latter-day St. I gave his credentials yesterday and today I want to repeat the fact that this book is one of the few books written by person in the Mormon church that has been given the leather bound status. In other words, this book was published in 2006 with a leather binding. That's not something that Desiree book often does. In other words, for a book to get a leather binding by Desiree book.

This book has to have some theological significance to it. So this is not something that can be sidestepped or ignored, and I think this is why a lot of Latter Day Saints of spoken of this book with much approval. The problem of courses are the same people that approve this book really doing what Ted Callister says must be done in order to receive the benefits of the atonement and that's what we're looking at today and yesterday show. We ended with Callister siding on page 176 doctrine and covenants section 1, verse 31 and 32 were Callister says while the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. He has nonetheless promised he that repentance and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven. Oh, that's all you have to do is just keep all the commandments.

It sounds pretty simple when you put it in a one line sentence. The problem of course is you have to look at the Mormon definition of that word, repentance, and this is what were talking about repentance in Mormonism is a confession of sin and a forsaking of sin never to repeat this sin again so you must not only stop doing all the things that are wrong, you must continually do everything that is right and that of course becomes problematic when we look at sinful humankind and this would include even Latter Day Saints that are trying very hard to be the best they can possibly be. How does Callister explain this true repentance in his book, Eric.

He writes on page 178. It is a burning resolved to make amends with God at any cost. Such a change means quote we have no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually." And that's from Isaiah chapter 5 verse two and if he's interpreting Mosiah 52 from the book of Mormon where it says we have no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually as merely a desire or as I would understand repentance to be a change of heart to do what is right. I don't really have a problem with that kind of interpretation of Mosiah 52 but if you're going to take that and draw the conclusion that the people who said that in the book of Mormon never sinned again or never had any desire to do evil ever again. That's where I would have a problem because I don't think any human being comes to that point. It's one thing to have a desire not to do evil yeah sure.

As Christians we should have a desire not to do evil.

We should have a desire to do good continually. Sometimes, desire, and sometimes the actions of the person who has that desire are not always one in the same page 179, he says repeatedly throughout the Scriptures. Repentance is associated with the heart. It is a new heart, a broken heart, a changed heart and a contrite heart, and you mentioned last week Bill about the issue of most Mormons do, they take this as seriously as what Callister is talking about. Do they go to their church services with red eyes, because they been crying all night in sadness about their sins and repenting sincerely that they're not going to do those things again and the reason why I brought that up last week shows is because that's kind of how Spencer Kimball does explain it. The pizzas are suffering when it comes into this repentance. Kimball, in his book the miracle of forgiveness makes it very clear that there is quite a high bar. If a Mormon is to truly prove himself as one who is renouncing his sins.

How does Kimball explained that in his book the miracle of forgiveness, pages 354 355. The former transgressor must have reached a point of no return to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation of the sin where the sin becomes most distasteful to him, and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life. Now that desire or urge to sin being cleared out of his life and how you might say will isn't that basically what Mosiah 52 is saying that Callister sites before, I don't know. I don't think that's the same description being given here because the desire urge to sin must be cleared out of his life. That's not really the same as saying you have no more of a desire or disposition to do evil but to do good continually, there's a big difference between what I see in Mosiah 52 and what Kimball is implying here on pages 354 and 355 of his book the miracle of forgiveness. On page 180 Callister writes there cannot simultaneously be repentance and rationalization. Rationalization is the world's answer to sin.

Repentance is the Lord's. How many times on the street spell we asked Latter Day Saints if they are doing everything that's been commanded of them and what do we often times get is a response. I'm trying my best. I'm doing everything I possibly can. Spencer Kimball address that in his book the miracle of forgiveness pages 164 and 165 and he says that trying is not sufficient, nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin to try is weak to do the best you can, is not strong, you must always do better than you can.

People are good at rationalizing their sin and according to Mormonism that's not going to be good enough. Callister seems to understand.

I think what Kimball wants to get across in his book, because as you said, it's not merely a desire or wanting to change, it's an absolute change in it has to be in every area of your life, Kimball said, but when you look at Ted Callister's book he seems to say pretty much the same thing but in a different way.

For instance, when I see what he writes on page 186 under subheading an absolute forsaking but repentance requires more than sorrow. True repentance requires an absolute forsaking and I think that's exactly what Kimball is trying to get across in his book, but if you go to the bottom of page 186 in the book the infinite atonement by Ted Callister. He raises this question, but for how long must I forsake. I think that's a fair question. It's a question that you and I have asked on the streets many times, but look at the way Callister response to that, he says the answer is always the same when there is a mighty change of heart and a new mind to make the Lord's will supreme in our lives, regardless of our own passionate desires when there is an unequivocal resolved to put behind us are former ways.

There is a measuring rod, but it is one primarily of attitude not time these implying here that, of course, you're supposed to be doing this perpetually from the time you've made that decision till the time you die.

And again, we would ask how many Latter Day Saints is sincere as they may be doing that. But then he goes on page 192. He refers to Mammon. The Syrian talked about in second Kings name and the leper went to the prophet Elisha seeking to be healed. We might wonder what would've happened if Naaman the Syrian had dipped himself three times in the river Jordan and then abandon the cause. Would he be three sevens clean or what if he had dipped himself six times and given up. Would he be sick.

Sevens clean. We know the answer. The cleansing came only after the seventh dipping after total submission to the word of God and then what a cleansing followed the Scriptures record quote his flesh came again like onto the flesh of a little child." And that's from second Kings 514 so it is with the center. The spiritual leper.

There must be a total submissiveness to the will of the Lord a broken heart and a contrite spirit, even confession if necessary to complete the seventh dipping and then the spirit is made clean like onto the spirit of a little child I have a problem when someone takes passages from the Bible that have a specific meaning, and in this case it was a physical healing for Mammon. The Syrian physical healing that he can try and liken that to a spiritual cleansing, but I think you're going to run into problems using this story in a case like that because it's right he had to dip seven times in the river Jordan.

At first he was pretty upset about that because the river Jordan isn't one of the most cleanest of rivers, so he gives other rivers. What can I go there where it was much cleaner, so he's complaining about the formula that God is going to used to bring about a physical healing in his life but to say that an individual in order to get a spiritual cleansing has to do exactly what Mammon did to get his physical cleansing I think is taking the passages and stretching them way beyond what was intended.

Certainly, you have to have the desire to be clean.

Certainly you have to submit to the Lord and what he asked in order for that cleansing but nowhere do we find in the New Testament.

All these long list of things that must be done in order to get the forgiveness of your sins. It's made very simple. According to Paul and that is we are justified, forgiven, made right. How by our faith in what Jesus did for us all the things that he is listing here and what he does throughout this book would be under the classification of sanctification.

Certainly, a believer should have a desire to live a life differently than the way they lived it before, but changing your ways is a part of sanctification. It's not what justifies the believer at the very beginning of their spiritual walk. Mormonism makes the same mistake that all religions do that you have to do something in order to receive God's favor, but Christianity according to what the Bible says is a description of who you are and what you do is a relationship of who you are. It's living out what God has given to you.

It's called in Galatians chapter 5 the fruit of the spirit, but you can never put the good works in all of the good things that you do ahead of the idea that were were saved by grace alone, and not by works.

I think some Latter Day Saints would accuse us of nitpicking, because we certainly do believe that there is a faith unto works. They would argue, will we have the same thing but no they don't. And I think Callister brings it out very well in this book. It's not the same thing when you think as I mentioned yesterday that you have to add anything to what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary.

In order to receive the forgiveness of your sins, what you've just said there is that what Jesus did was not enough, there was something that was lacking in that sacrificial act that he made on behalf of his people on the cross of Calvary.

It's blasphemous to say that what Jesus did on the cross was not enough to save his people from their sins, and that is exactly what Mormonism does teach and I think that's exactly what Ted Callister is implying in his book, thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

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