Evangelicals and Mormons Together?

Evangelicals and Mormons Together?

After your heart rate returns to normal, know that this is not real. At least not yet. Gary L.W. Johnson warns in a new book, By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification (Crossway; 2007) that EMT may be just around the corner. In his chapter, Johnson responds to a 1994 book by Keith Fournier entitled A House United: Evangelicals and Catholics Together: A Winning Alliance for the 21st Century (NavPress; 1994). Fournier claims to be a both Evangelical and Roman Catholic. Johnson responded by writing,

“According to him [Fournier], an evangelical is one who knows Christ as Savior and Lord and tells others about him. If this is all it takes to be considered one of today’s evangelicals, we should prepare ourselves to be accosted by evangelical Mormons or Moonies, each clamoring to be recognized at such. And why not? They can easily subscribe to Fournier’s definition…” (By Faith Alone, p. 194).

And that’s exactly what’s beginning to happen. Johnson uses the Fournier book as a backdrop to introduce a newer book by Robert Millet a Mormon professor at BYU. His book is titled, A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (Eerdmans, 2005) and is endorsed by Richard Mouw, the president of Fuller Seminary. Mouw, a professed Calvinist, wrote the foreword and afterward. He writes, “a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ does not require that we have all our theology straight” (195). Of course he is right that our relationship with God (thankfully) does not wait until “all our theology” is straight. But Paul is also clear that getting the essential doctrines of the gospel wrong is to be a “foolishly-bewitched-fool” (Galatians 3:1-4).

If the mainline evangelical community backs away from a clear public defense of the gospel and fails to uphold the doctrine of a sinner being made right with God through justification (the legally imputed righteousness of Christ) alone, it’s not a stretch to think Evangelicals and Mormons will eventually come together, too. Al Mohler closes the book with these words: “We can only hope and pray that contributions like this important volume can help to awaken evangelicalism to its doctrinal peril. Otherwise, nothing genuinely evangelical will remain of evangelicalism” (208).

Beneath the Greek references and complex debates this book is a great reminder of the gospel’s simplicity and that makes it a great reminder how, apart from God’s sovereign grace, we walk around in the rut of this world, blindfolded to gospel of life. Oh, how we all need God’s illuminating grace to break into our spiritual blindness and raise our dead hearts! Thank you Jesus!

Check it out for yourself. By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification is a collection of articles by writers like David Wells and Al Mohler on the topic of justification. They discuss current controversies over the gospel and deal with E.P. Sanders, James D.G. Dunn and N.T. Wright (just like the Crossway release earlier this year, Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness by Brian Vickers).

Title: By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Jusitification
Authors: Gary L.W. Johnson and Guy P. Waters, editors
Reading level: 3.5/5.0 > moderately difficult
Boards: paper
Pages: 214
Volumes: 1
Dust jacket: no
Binding: glue
Paper: normal
Topical index: yes
Scriptural index: yes
Text: perfect type
Publisher: Crossway
Year: 2007
Price USD: $17.99/$12.99 from Monergism
ISBNs: 9781581348408, 1581348401

5 thoughts on “Evangelicals and Mormons Together?

  1. The other day I heard Richard Land on the radio. The announcer introduced him as a Southern Baptist heavyweight and played a clip of Richard Land encouraging and advising Mit Romney on how to go public with his faith ( he told him to pull a kennedy”)

    That bothers me for many reasons, but especially one major reason, and it has nothing to do with politics.

    It has everything to do with the confusion that is inevitable to come with mormonism being considered a christian group. Having a Baptist be on the radio seen giving friendly advice to a mormon just adds to the confusion of where differences between the two groups lie.

    The differences are large. In an age where people are generally confused concerning biblical texts in this country , I dont see it as a good thing.

    I wont even get into the issue of politics.

    It just concerns me. I guess I am afraid of the confusion that will occur.

    Thanks for the book recomendation. It has piqued my interest.

    Press On,

    Steven

  2. Do you know which is the only passage in the Bible which contains the phrase ‘by faith alone’?

  3. Hello Marc. James 2:24 is the only passage in Scripture that uses the phrase. Genuine faith is evidenced (or justified) by genuine words from the heart. That’s why James writes: “show me” (v. 18). … This is frequently mistaken for a different and biblical theme of justification (being declared righteous by God) by faith alone apart from any works of obedience on the sinners part. This broad theme is encapsulated beautifully in Romans 3:20-28, 4:5, 14, 10:4; Galatians 2:16, 3:11; Philippians 3:9. Justification is by faith alone, the genuineness of that faith is “shown” by its works. Blessings! -Tony

  4. I’m a former LDS Bishop and am the LDS Interfaith Relations director in Orange County. Two Baptist pastors from First Baptist of Cypress went with me an a tour through the Newport Beach temple before it was dedicated. I attend Saddleback Church at least once a month, and met for an hour there with Pastor Rick, Pastor Tom Holladay, and LDS scholar Robert Millet. I especially love the worship music of Rick Muchow there.
    You may be interested in my recently-set-up blog called “Changing Focus of Latter-day Saints”, where I show very recent (in the last few weeks) examples of our changing emphasis. it is at http://changingfocuslds.townhall.com … Let me know what you think.
    Steve StClair

  5. A comment back to Mr. St. Clair.
    I’m guessing that Mr. Warren or Mr. Holladay did not have the love for you to cause them to open their mouth and explain to you that you are on a path to destruction did they? By not telling you this, and by pretending that Mormons are Christians, we do both groups a grave disservice. My LDS friend, please understand, we love you, so we say; turn from your wicked ways, and your idolatry. Repent and turn toward the God of the Bible and put your trust in the Jesus of the bible, and you will be saved.

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