-A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation
By Craig L. Blomberg & Stephen E. Robinson (Downers Grove,Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1997, 228 pages)
This book is really a first–an actual dialogue between an Evangelical scholar, Dr. Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary, and Dr. Stephen E. Robinson of BYU. Both are recognized scriptural scholars in their own respective religious communities.
In the past, mainline Christians, particularly evangelicals and fundamentalists, have spent their time writing expose’s against Mormonism, usually using 19th century sources and quotes from early Mormon leaders to demonstrate how clearly cultic and crazy this movement is.
Meanwhile, LDS Scholars have written in house and preached to the LDS choir, so-to-speak, about how all the regular Christian Churches went into apostasy and how the Mormon Church represents a return to 1st century Christianity.
Basically, both communities have made a habit of talking past each other and really not fairly representing each other’s current practice and theology.
The two scholars confined their dialogue to 4 important subjects areas:
2. God & Deification
3. Christ & the Trinity
Dr. Blomberg did an excellent job presenting the evangelical views on these subjects and the concerns that most Christians have about the LDS positions.
Dr. Robinson presented his views and countered Blomberg’s and the typical orthodox Christian objections to Mormon beliefs and practices.
This is really an interesting conversation and the book really does help to identify the issues that continue to separate the LDS from orthodox Christianity.
Some of the more sensational quotes of early Mormon leaders that are the staple diet in most books about the Mormons, have been shown in this work to be passe and no longer part of the ‘official’ teaching of the LDS Church.
The greatest weakness in this work is the limited area of consideration. Though most of the important issues that divide the faiths, do get addressed within the four categories, there is still some things which do not.
Also, one is left to wonder how typical and mainstream Dr. Robinson’s views are within the LDS context. The LDS church leaders however, obviously have confidence in him or he wouldn’t be teaching at BYU.