Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod

“The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, together with the vast majority of Christian denominations in the United States, does not regard the Mormon church as a Christian church. That is because the official writings of Mormonism deny fundamental teachings of orthodox Christianity. For example, the Nicene Creed confesses the clear biblical truth that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, is “of one substance with the Father.” This central article of the Christian faith is expressly rejected by Mormon teaching — thus undermining the very heart of the scriptural Gospel itself. In a chapter titled “Jesus Christ, the Son of God: Are Mormons Christian?” the president of Brigham Young University (Rex Lee, What Do Mormons Believe? [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992] summarizes Mormon teaching by stating that the three persons of the Trinity are “not… one being” (21), but are “separate individuals.” In addition, the Father is regarded as having a body “of flesh and bone” (22). Such teaching is contrary to the Holy Scriptures, destructive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and indicative of the fact that Mormon teaching is not Christian.”

Presbyterian (USA)

Presbyterians in many parts of the United States live in close proximity with Mormon neighbors. Historically, these contacts with one another have often involved mutual difficulties. Today Presbyterians are challenged to apply the learnings we are gaining about interfaith relations to our relationships with Latter-day Saints.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), declares allegiance to Jesus. Latter-day Saints and Presbyterians share use of the Bible as scripture, and members of both churches use common theological terms. Nevertheless, Mormonism is a new and emerging religious tradition distinct from the historic apostolic tradition of the Christian Church, of which Presbyterians are a part.

Latter-day Saints understand themselves to be separate from the continuous witness to Jesus Christ, from the apostles to the present, affirmed by churches of the “catholic” tradition.

Latter-day Saints and the historic churches view the canon of scriptures and interpret shared scriptures in radically different ways. They use the same words with dissimilar meanings. When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks of the Trinity, Christ’s death and resurrection, and salvation, the theology and practices related to these set it apart from the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches.

It is the practice of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to receive on profession of faith those coming directly from a Mormon background and to administer baptism. Presbyterians do not invite officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to administer the Lord’s Supper.

Roman Catholicism

Question: Wheter the baptism conferred by the community «The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints», called «Mormons» in the vernacular, is valid.

Response: Negative.

The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Response, decided in the Sessione Ordinaria of this Congregation, and ordered it published.



Michael Patton

Since Mormonism has redefined Christianity in such a way that the answer to the question “Who do men say that I am?” is not in accordance with the biblical and historical understanding (e.g. Jesus Christ is the eternal God-man) and since they reject the doctrine of the Trinity as one God who eternally exists in three persons, Mormons cannot be considered Christian without doing violence to the very essence of what it means to be Christian. The Mormon Church follows a different Christ, redefining the designation “Christian” such that the commonality which does exist between Mormonism and Historic Christianity is minimal in comparison to our differences.

Is the Mormon faith a true representation of Christianity? No.

Can individual Mormons be Christian? Only if their belief about who Christ is deviates from official Mormon teachings. In this case, they may be members of the Mormon Church yet hold a traditional view of Christ. Considering the paramount importance of the doctrine of the person of Christ in God’s self-revelation and considering all of the other false teachings of the Mormon Church it is incumbent upon the Mormon to leave the Church in search of a representation of a  biblical and historic Church. It is also incumbent upon orthodox Christians to stress the seriousness of this issue, yet with gentleness and respect.

See our new course on Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, taught by Robert Bowman Jr. here. (New episodes weekly).

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    393 replies to "Is the Mormon Faith a True Representation of Christianity?"

    • Seth R.

      Michael L.,

      I appreciate the refusal to use the word “cult.” It a word that is so vague in application that it’s use is essentially meaningless in this context. It also has such radioactive brainwashing connotations to most ordinary people that I find its use to be utterly off base or somewhat dishonest (depending on the definitions the user has in mind).

      The question is not whether Mormons believe in One God. We do believe in One God.

      The question is whether this concept of One God requires the Greek philosophical notion of unified essence. That is what the dispute is about.


      I’m sorry I wasn’t being as clear as I should have. When I used the phrase “all that stuff can be left to the philosophers” what I was doing was outlining the common attitude of my fellow Mormons, not my own personal attitude. I actually do go in for “all that philosophical stuff” on a strictly amateur basis. I find it fascinating and think there is too little philosophical rigor in the Mormon tradition.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are some real intellectual heavy-weights in Mormon theology. I just read an article recently wherein a Mormon scholar, in my admittedly biased opinion, completely annihilated an opposing article by William Lane Craig. There are Mormons out there capable of doing the heavy lifting in theology and their responses to traditional Christianity are actually pretty potent.

      But I don’t think most of the people I go to church with go in for theological technicalities. It was that attitude I was outlining. Your comparison to Pentecostals is probably apt to a point.

      Now, about the “replacement theology” thing. First off, I’m not entirely clear on what replacement theology is. You’ve kind of gone beyond the limits of my experience there.

      But if I get the gist of it, you are suggesting that we have somehow replaced Jesus with Joseph Smith.

      I flat out deny this. But since you haven’t offered much clarification on the point, I don’t think there’s much more to say about it than – no, we don’t worship Joseph Smith. No, we don’t replace the Bible. No, we don’t elevate the words of Joseph Smith above those contained in the Bible. And no, we do not look to Joseph Smith for salvation instead of Jesus.

      I can’t give you much more until you are willing to get specific.

      And just a note for future reference – the artifact that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from was a book of paper thin leaves or “plates” of solid gold bound together by three rings. So I would avoid the phrase “gold tablets” in future. There were no tablets. “Gold plates” is the correct descriptive term.

    • cheryl u


      I have not actively been participating in this conversation for a long time now although I have been following it all of the time.

      You made the statement above, “No, we don’t elevate the words of Joseph Smith above those contained in the Bible. ”

      I have a question regarding that comment. I guess I am not sure just what you mean by that. I know several Mormon folks earlier in this conversation, when asked, said that if Mormon doctrine and the Bible contradict each other, they would believe that the Bible is the one in error. In my mind, that is elevating Joseph Smith, or another Mormon responsible for the doctrin in question, above the Bible. Can you please explain? Maybe this is another area where there is a great difference in the way things are looked at among various Mormons?

    • Seth R.


      It’s pretty simple. I would probably consider the Book of Mormon a bit less suspect than the Bible because we are a little bit closer to the original source (but only a little bit – mind). But that doesn’t relate to mbaker’s “replacement” idea.

      I do not consider the Book of Mormon to be “the words of Joseph Smith.”

      I consider it to be an additional transmission of GOD’S words.

      So to suggest that I am replacing the words of Jesus in the Bible with the words of Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon is just a silly exercise in question-begging. You automatically assume the very thing you are trying to ultimately argue – that the BoM is merely a product of Joseph’s imagination, whereas the Bible is from God.

      People keep forgetting that we Mormons actually believe in this religion. They keep trying to argue with us as if the falsehood of the religion were already a foregone conclusion. That’s just lazy argumentation. You can’t assume the victory of your side in a debate before you’ve even started.

      The Book of Mormon is not essentially something Joseph made up. It is a transmission through Joseph of a record containing GOD’S words. So if there is any replacement” going on here it is replacing God with the same God – Jesus with the same Jesus.

      Needless to say, I do not find the Mormon concept of Jesus at all inconsistent with the Bible either. So I just don’t buy the accusations that any sort of “replacement” is going on here at all. It really is a Restoration and not a replacement.

    • mbaker

      Actually Seth, I appreciate your attempts of explanation, but here’s the crux of the matter to me:

      You cannot restore something unless you follow it’s original plan. You can replace it, however, by making a copy of it. Now here’s where I see that applying here.

      The replacement for the Bible, which has been agreed upon through thousands of years as God breathed, is the three golden tablets, from which the Book of Mormon is transcribed.

      The Mormon church claims these tablets are a ‘restored gospel’, yet the gospel didn’t need restoration, sinful man does.

      Now, mysteriously, a 13 year old boy comes out of the woods with a story which proclaims God gave him a different version of Christianity, and the Jesus who was originally proclaimed by God Himself and the event witnessed by His apostles, as the ONLY begotten Son of God, is now in Mormonism placed into the status of brotherhood with Lucifer, his evil brother. His place in the Trinity is considered quite different than God’s original plan. He’s given ‘junior’ status in Mormonism, rather than full fledged membership in the Trinity.

      That is replacement theology, because Jesus has been demoted, and redefined as a lesser God than the original.

      I will not be particpating any longer in this discussion because there is no real evidence being presented here that Jesus hasn’t been changed from the Christ of the Bible, so you have lost my interest.

      The word of a 13 boy, with no witnesses simply isn’t enough for me.

      God bless, and thanks for your input.

    • Michael L


      radioactive brainwashing connotations 😎 love it… does it turn the users of the term into “soylent green” ??

      Oh well.

      Let’s assume we have established that Christianity and Mormonism are different faiths. At that time we can engage in a more productive conversation or discussion on who do we think may be more accurate or which one would be a belief system that one as a person may adhere to.

      For instance, Buddhism doesn’t really answer some fundamental questions for me. Neither does Islam. I can’t really get over the “if you work hard enough and are observant of all the rules, then you will get…..”. No matter how hard I try, I will always fall short. Hence those two faith systems for me are “works based”, not “faith based”.

      I would like to pose this question to Seth:

      If only God can forgive sins, for which there is enough evidence in both OT Scripture and in 1st century Jewish tradition and orthodoxy; and if Christ was not fully God, how could it be that He is indeed sufficient for the forgiveness of your sins ?

      (And there’s enough Scripture support for this second piece as well, let’s not debate that)

      For me, that is a fundamental notion of Christianity. I would like to know how Mormonism would answer this challenge.

      And this is not a trick question, I really don’t know how you would. And I do honestly look forward to learning the answer.

      In Him

    • Jared C

      Mick asked:
      ” If only God can forgive sins, for which there is enough evidence in both OT Scripture and in 1st century Jewish tradition and orthodoxy; and if Christ was not fully God, how could it be that He is indeed sufficient for the forgiveness of your sins ? ”

      The answer seems pretty straightforward. Mormons believe that Jesus is Jehovah, i.e. the God that forgives sins in the O.T.

      He is that I AM.

      So he can forgive sins since he is God. Even prior to His coming he was acting as his Father in relation to his children on Earth. On earth he did nothing for himself, just what his Father wanted.

      So the answer is Jesus was “fully” God (even before he came to earth as a Man) but he was not the same as his Father whom he considered to be greater than himself.

      Seth might have another answer.

    • Michael L.


      Interesting.. but is the God that forgives sins in the O.T. the same God who created everything ?
      Is He the creator of the universe ?

      In other words.. is He the same as Jahweh ?

      In Him

    • Seth R.

      Mormon thought typically identifies Jehovah (Yahweh) as synonymous with Jesus Christ. In Mormon parlance, the Father is identified as Eloheim, and the Son is identified as Jehovah. The figure communicating with the children of Israel and others in the Old Testament is not the Father, but the Son.

      Our scriptures flatly state that Jesus was with the Father “from the beginning.”

      Often, our Protestant critics make the mistake of claiming that Mormons believe that Jesus is a “created being.”

      This is absolutely not true. Jesus is not a “created being” in Mormon theology for the simple fact that there is no such thing as a created being in Mormon theology. All matter is eternal in Mormon theology. When we read Genesis 1 about God “creating” everything, we see no reason to conclude it was an ex nihilo creation (in fact the truer reading of the original Hebrew suggests more a dividing or organizing than an ex nihilo “bang”).

      We believe that God “created” the world in the same sense that an artist creates a painting. Not ex nihilo. But more a matter of bringing order from a pre-existing chaos. We likewise do not believe that human beings were ever created out of nothing. We believe that all of us are co-eternal with God. What God did was give spiritual form to us.

      So Jesus cannot be a “created being” for Mormons in the way most Christian apologists mean the term.

      So was Jesus ever “organized” into a spirit form by God?

      Mormon theology can go either way on this point. You are allowed within Mormon theology to conclude that Jesus was so organized by the Father. But I have read some fairly compelling articles from Mormon scholars that our scriptures demand that Jesus be considered to have always been with the Father and was not so organized. I myself am agnostic on the question.

      But I would ask – why is this such a concern to you?

      It seems to me a little late for you guys to be objecting Jesus being a contingent being when your own theology already posits a Jesus who was contingent in that he was born of a woman. That’s a contingent being folks.

      So the objection here is puzzling to me. You’ve already made Jesus a contingent being at one stage of the game, what’s the problem with him being contingent at another stage of the game?

      And like Jared, I do consider the Son to be subordinate to the Father. I think Jesus himself made that more than clear in the Four Gospels.

      Could Jesus forgive sins?


      The Son was perfectly united with the Father. This gave him all the power he needed to do what had to be done. In fact, it gave him all power period.

      What happens when you unite a finite set with an infinite set?

      You get an infinite set.

    • Bridget Jack Meyers

      #316 Seth ~ So where are the Protestants? Honestly, are you guys happy with the job this tag team has been doing of representing your side?

      For the record, I bowed out after a few days because I couldn’t believe the CARM-esque quality of the arguments I was hearing from the other evangelicals/Protestants. I was expecting much better from this blog based on your recommendation a few months ago.

      I’m glad fruitful discussion seems to have eventually evolved, but I think I’m still out. I wouldn’t want to miss the passionate debate on whether or not Kirk Cameron sucks over at Jessica’s blog. 😛

      Oh, and identifying yourself as an open theist now? What have I started.

    • Jared C

      So are you implying that Kirk Cameron is a true representation of Christianity?

      Or are you saying the Kirk Cameron may be a closet Mormon. . .

      I suppose I have to check out that debate.

    • Bridget Jack Meyers

      It mostly just consists of me aggravating my fellow evangelicals as much as possible by making fun of Kirk Cameron. Good times.

      You’d think I was making fun of Billy Graham, the way some people react. Washed-up 80s sitcom star as the poster child for evangelical Christianity is srs bsns.

    • Michael L.

      See… we managed to elevate the discussion a little and then Jared and Jack have to jump in and distract us with this Kirk Cameron stuff…. sjjjjeeeesssss….. 😎

      Been real busy since last night. It’s Maundy Thursday (which yes.. even though I’m not a Catholic is still an important enough day to remember).. so it may be Saturday before I can react on your latest post. Perhaps over lunch I can find some “spare” time.

      Passages that come to mind quickly Deut 6:4
      More importantly.. Gen 24:12 “O Lord God of my master Abraham”. In Hebrew it’s the words Yahweh Elohim..

      יהוה and אֱלֹהִים right next to each other (hope the Hebrew characters show up). Indicating one and the same.

      But the question you raise is an interesting topic. However it would somehow start to lean towards a poly-theistic approach. And as far as I know Christianity, just like any Judaic faith, is strictly mono-theistic.

      How do we overcome that discrepancy ? Or you defute the Mormon faith as being poly-theistic ?

      In Him

      PS:I do have a challenge with the subordination concepts as well, but it’ll have to wait.

    • John C.T.

      I though Kirk Cameron was the anti-christ and a sign of the end times. But I guess I’m wrong if he’s really a closet Mormon.

      Seth, on the eternal existence of the universe. How does Mormonism deal with (1) the physical fact that this universe did have a beginning (the Big Bang), and (2) the logical fact that nothing material (a substance in four dimensions, including time) can have an infinite history? If this universe had eternally existed, we would never have reached this point in time (because there would still be an infinity of time before this point in time).

      On theological issues, I understand that Mormons believe that everyone gets to become a God like God the father/elohim. It seems to me that the logical inference is that everyone will eventually be able to forgive sins (but only on the worlds that we get to create?). Or am I missing something?


    • Seth R.

      John CT

      The idea that a single “Big Bang” started everything in existence is a notion that is about 30 years out-dated in the community of physicists.

      The more common view is of a universe of repeated expansion and collapse, of which the “Big Bang” is just the most recent event. Modern physicists are more likely to posit an infinite universe. The ones who still claim that the Big Bang was the absolute beginning, are typically traditional Christian apologists.

      Besides, modern string theory shoots so many holes in your assertion there, that I don’t see how there can be any confidence left in it.

      As to your other point…

      Ah yes, the old Kalam Infinity argument.

      The problem with this argument is that it artificially segments an set that was never meant to be segmented and then argues from it own artificial assumptions.

      Zeno’s Paradox is, I think sufficient to destroy any confidence in Kalam Infinity as either a proof for God, or as a proof of a finite universe.

      Imagine that I wish to reach out and touch my computer screen.

      According to Zeno’s paradox, the space between me and my computer screen is infinitely segmentable. For instance, in order for my finger to reach the screen it must first travel half the distance to the screen. Right?

      Once it has traversed that half of the distance, it must also traverse another half of the distance. Then another half. Then another half.

      Do you dispute that all these steps and portions must be traversed (even if quickly and instantaneously)? I mean, logically, every distance I’ve mentioned so far has to be traversed in order for my finger to touch the screen. Right?

      By this logic, my finger can never reach the computer screen. Because, before it can do so, it must first traverse every last half-step in the entire set (the mathematical set being the distance between my hand and the screen). Since the set is composed of infinite steps or progressive stages, my hand can never reach the screen.

      Just like we can never arrive at “now” until we traverse each and every one of the steps preceding us.

      But fortunately, I can reach out, traverse infinity and arrive at my computer screen. Just like we can traverse infinity and arrive at now. The problem with Kalam infinity is that it ARTIFICIALLY segments something that was never meant to be segmented in the first place.

      And all you have to do to disprove it is reach out and touch your computer screen.

      Infinity lies ahead of us and behind. And there is no real logical reason why it should not be so.

    • Seth R.


      What is in dispute is not whether Father and Son are “One God.”

      Both Mormon and traditional Christian theology demand this.

      The question is – how are they “one?”

    • Michael L


      Lunch break 😉 Couple of quick comments.

      Your example of the TV monitor (Zeno’s paradox) is easily discredited as well. The matter is not on whether something finite can be divided into a number of infinite segments. Of course it can. Mathematics itself has the perfect example in “Pi”.

      The question is on whether or not something material can be infinite in itself. Meaning it has not beginning nor end. I can agree with your statements on the Big Bang and that most modern scientists will lean towards and “ever expanding and contracting universe”. Yet the question remains where did it come from ? Can something material come out of nothing ? Even if it has been expanding for a long, long, long while and perhaps was contracting before then and will do so again, it still doesn’t explain where it came from ?

      The purpose of Kalam is not to segment something like your example, or like Zeno’s paradox. The purpose is to demonstrate that you cannot arrive at a given point without having a starting point. In the example given, you cannot arrive at half without knowing where you started from to measure what half is. That’s what denounces Zeno’s paradox. Kalam says that you cannot arrive at now if the material world is infinite since you do not have a starting point. Hence if it has a starting point, the question is where it came from.

      Or at least that’s my paraphrased understanding of Zeno and Kalam.

      But back to what this means for God, if God exists before anything material exists, He himself has to be infinite. Not very, very, very old.. but infinite. And that, combined with the fact that we believe that Christ is the same as God, would make Christ infinite. Not just very, very, very old as I believe the Mormon doctrine would explain it.

      Your last post is surprising to me. I thought the Mormon doctrine specifically said that (paraphrasing.. I’ll have to look it up tonight or when I have more time)

      “Jahweh and Elohim are different persons, with a different physical body, yet united in purpose”.

      If they are different persons, even though united in purpose, doesn’t that make them different Gods ?

      For instance, a platoon of soldiers is united in purpose, yet each and every soldier is quite distinct in person. It doesn’t make them one.

      We strongly believe in one God, one essence. It’s the mystery of the Trinity. And yes that word came from the Early Church Fathers because the Bible speaks to that all throughout and we couldn’t (and still can’t) quite figure out how one can have three persons yet be one. But it’s what we believe. You can call this one essence a derivative of Greek Philosophy, and I will accept that, but until we find a better way to explain this mystery, I’m ok with that.

      Alternatively it would mean accepting that either
      a) they are different physical persons, which is poly-theistic and poses problems how one could create the world (Gen 1:1 says Elohim) and the other save the creation (Yahweh aka Christ)
      b) It would mean they are physical and therefore finite, which would mean that they had to come from somewhere, which means someone had to create them, which means there’s another “Uber Gott” somewhere.

      Feel free to correct me on either one of these two conclusions.

      In Him

    • Seth R.

      The point in using Zeno’s paradox was to point out that Kalam infinity makes an argument from false assumptions by artificially segmenting something that was never meant to be segmented that way, and then playing logic games with it. Infinite sets simply behave differently than finite sets. Any mathematician knows this.

      So saying that infinity must be divided into a successive chain of causal reactions is to make an artificial and unnecessary argument. If you want a more thorough Mormon argument on this topic, I’d recommend this article by Blake Ostler responding to Protestant scholars William Lane Craig and Paul Copan:

      There’s a bit of theoretical mathematics to wade through in there. But it outlines the argument in more detail than I have space for.

      You wrote:

      “If they are different persons, even though united in purpose, doesn’t that make them different Gods ?”

      In short, no.

      The view demanded by Mormon scripture (notice I am sticking to Mormon scripture and not wading into what ordinary lay Mormons may or may not mistakenly or correctly believe) is not one of merely three individuals playing for the same team.

      The Mormon godhead of Father, Son and Spirit are profoundly unified. It’s much more than just playing for the same team. They literally inhabit each others’ minds. They are perfectly united in will, purpose, thought and love. It is a union to a degree incomprehensible to mere human beings. We can only approximate it (as Jesus has commanded us to do).

      The Mormon notion of “God” consists of one will, one purpose, one power governing the universe. Not three wills. One.

    • John C.T.

      Seth says: “The idea that a single “Big Bang” started everything in existence is a notion that is about 30 years out-dated in the community of physicists.”


      It is currently the undisputed status quo. Both the steady state and expanding and contracting universe theories have been discredited as not having any mathematical or physical grounding. Current theories regarding multiple universes are acknowledged as speculative and not susceptible to scientific proof. The bouncing universe (expanding and contracting; i.e., bouncing in and out of existence) falls prey to eventual entropy in that each bounce has to be smaller than the one before and also falls prey to the infinity argument. The eventual “heat death” of the universe was acknowledged already in the 19th century when the second law of thermodynamics was developed. That law states that every physical process is in an inevitable decline toward complete entropy (no organized energy). Theories like the bouncing universe were popular in the 70’s (when I voraciously read science stuff), but were abandoned as untenable. So Seth’s contention is 30 years out of date.

      In fact, the present state of cosmology on this point is aptly summarized by Paul Davies, “Today, few cosmologists doubt that the universe, at least as we know it, did have an origin at a finite moment in the past. The alternative – that the universe has always existed in one form or another—runs into a rather basic paradox. The sun and stars cannot keep burning forever: sooner or later they will run out of fuel and die.” (Paul Davies, “The Big Bang – And Before,” The Thomas Aquinas College Lecture Series, Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif., March 2002.) Also read “The Arrow of Time, Entropy, and Universe Origins”, by Andreas Albrecht, Paul Davies at P. Davies has a PhD in physics from University College London (1970)and is theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, author and broadcaster. He now works as a College Professor at Arizona State University, where he is setting up a research institute that will examine fundamental concepts in science. Davies previously held academic appointments in the UK, at the Universities of Cambridge, London and Newcastle upon Tyne.

      Furthermore, in 2003 Arvind Borde, Alexander Vilenkin, and Alan Guth were able to prove that any universe which has on average been globally expanding at a positive rate has a past boundary and therefore cannot be infinite in the past. Vilenkin stated, “Cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” Also, “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” (Alex Vilenkin, Many Words in One: The Search for Other Universes (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), p. 176.

      I wouldn’t consider any of these guys typical Christian apologists. Nor would I consider something published in the 21st century to be out of date.

      BTW, your comment on the Kalam argument is not a defeater of that argument.


    • John C.T.

      “The point in using Zeno’s paradox was to point out that Kalam infinity makes an argument from false assumptions by artificially segmenting something that was never meant to be segmented that way, and then playing logic games with it. Infinite sets simply behave differently than finite sets. Any mathematician knows this.” I take it, then, Seth, that you are not a mathematician. The difference between finite and infinite sets is not relevant to the Kalam argument, at least not in the manner you suggest. In addition, Zeno’s (apparent) paradox was already solved in his time (he’s the one that made the error in reasoning).

      Blake Ostler, while smart, is no PhD level thinker. He has a BA in philosophy, a BSc in psychobiology, and a law degree and is a practicing lawyer. So I initially have my doubts that his reasoning is stronger than Craig, who has two earned PhDs. However, what counts is not the level or number of degrees but the strength of the reasoning.

      However, it appears that Ostler misunderstands mathematics (he has no mathematics degrees, so that is not surprising), particularly in regard to infinite sets. His reasoning regarding the “sizes” of infinite sets is idiosyncratic and contrary to accepted set theory (let’s ignore Craig, who prefers to agree with mathemeticians who developed this area of knowledge, and just deal with the PhD level mathematicians themselves). In otherwords, he’d be failed if he put his answers on an exam in an university math department. There is no book in existence on set theory, written by a credible mathematician, that would agree with Ostler’s approach.

      John Inglis

    • Michael L

      YEAH ! What John C.T. said ! 😉

      Sorry … not a math-wiz nor a physicist.. over my head on those. But I will read the articles.. never too old to learn.

      But from a lay perspective, I always understood that Kalam tried to demonstrate that the universe and time cannot be infinite, since you would never arrive at the Now without a begin point. Not to demonstrate that things can’t be segmented infinitely. But I’ll re-do my homework.

      Back to my more lay argument that even if the universe is contracting / expanding, etc… where did it come from ? Nothing material can be infinite.. it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t need a PhD in physics to convince me of that. It can be old. Very, very, very old (and I’m ducking all the projectiles that are heading my way by the 6 day creationists 😎 ) but nevertheless not infinite.

      It could potentially be endless, but I’m not well versed enough in the differences of the laws of thermodynamics and all that to be of much help in what John C.T. posted. The only thing I remember on the 2 laws is that they only held in a closed environment.

      In summary, I may not understand all the physics involved, but I find it extremely hard to accept something physical can be infinite. It had to start from somewhere or something. Since I believe Mormon doctrine states that God is a physical being (DC 132). How can something physical be infinite ? And God is clearly infinite, if not who created Him ?

      You noted… They are perfectly united in will, purpose, thought and love. It is a union to a degree incomprehensible to mere human beings.

      And how is that different from the essence ? Which you noted was a Early Church Father doctrine influenced by Greek philosophy ?
      I thought Mormon doctrine clearly stated that they are different ?

      I think you brought up McConkie earlier (or on a different post). Didn’t he confirm and acknowledged the existence of multiple Gods ? And didn’t Talmage publish the same at some point in time ? I’ll have to get back to my research, but it’s what I recall. I even recall Joseph Smith saying this, but it may have been in teachings, which is admittedly not necessarily doctrine.

      So if they’re different beings and physical (meaning finite).. how does that not make it poly-theistic ? I really struggle with that.

      In Him

    • Seth R.

      Have you had a chance to read the article John?

      I don’t know what your credentials are. But I know my own are such that there is a definite limit to how well I will be able to pursue this argument on mathematics and physics. I minored in philosophy in college, but my graduate degree is in law (yes, you guessed right mbaker).

      I’ll have to keep my own arguments at the intuitive level I imagine.

      From that standpoint, why shouldn’t the universe be eternal? It has been asserted that everything requires a “cause.”

      I would dispute this assertion. I do not think everything does need a cause. In fact, I think it is just as logical to argue that some things “just are” and always have been.

      I also don’t really like the sort of God that ex nihilo requires. What was God doing before making the universe? If we accept the traditional Christian notion of a philosophically sufficient perfect being, why did he feel the need to shake things up?

      If God was perfect, then why change the state of affairs by creating us? After all, any change from perfection would be “not perfection,” wouldn’t it?

      I’ve heard Christian arguments that creation was a natural outpouring of God’s love, but this is no answer. Why didn’t God do it sooner, if it was so great? Why did he wait an eternity before the “Big Bang?”

      The Kalam infinity argument doesn’t even solve the artificial problems it creates. Sure, it demands a finite UNIVERSE. But it doesn’t get rid of the problem of infinite regress of causes. It simply kicks the problem out of the universe we know and experience. But infinite regress persists when you ask what God was doing before the Big Bang moment, and what sort of causes within HIM resulted in deciding to do it when he did. Since you are forced to concede that God himself is eternal, we are still stuck with an infinite regress of causes – it’s just we now call them “God” as sort of a cop-out excuse for shelving them indefinitely.

      By the way John, I do appreciate the tone that you, mbaker and Michael have been working to maintain in this debate. Thanks for that.

    • Seth R.

      Michael, Mormons find the notion of “essence” to be both unbiblical, and utterly foreign to the religion of the Bible. It’s an unnecessary innovation in our estimation.

      It is this idea of “essence” that gives you guys such problems in trying to explain the Trinity. Consider Augustine’s outline of the notion of Trinity:

      1. The Father is God
      2. The Son is God
      3. The Father is not the Son
      4. There is only one God

      I agree with others here that all FOUR of these statements are demanded by the Bible. But here’s where we have problems. Take any three of those elements on their own (in any order) and you have a logically coherent statement. Combine them all together and you have nonsense.

      Yes, I know. It’s “a mystery.” But mystery is no excuse for logical incoherence. Just being mysterious doesn’t mean you get to violate the most basic rule of logic – the rule of non-contradiction. You can’t both be something and not be that same something at the same time.

      In fact, I would posit that it is impossible to have faith in, or believe a doctrine that is incomprehensible. Which renders the doctrine of the Trinity, as posited by traditional Christianity, not only inaccessible to human worshipers, but essentially irrelevant in the faith life of human beings.

      I would assert, in fact, that some of the most ardent adherents for the traditional doctrine of the Trinity in traditional Christian circles are actually modalists, though they’d never admit it. The human need for logical viability in worship is rather strong. This makes sense, because you cannot really worship a being that makes no sense. Which is why all trinitarians end up leaning toward one heresy of another. Claims of allegiance to the mystery of the Trinity often seem to me more pretense than substance.

      But why doesn’t the Trinity work? I’ll identify the culprit – it’s the Greek philosophical innovation of “essence” or “substance” or whatever you want to call it. If you remove the ridiculous and tyrannical demands of these Greek constructs, the problem of Augustine’s four propositions becomes much more manageable.

      You end up with a softened concept of “One God.” And a workable concept of “One God.” It is only the Greek demand that Father and Son share the same essence that yields absurdity here. Once you throw out this essence nonsense, you can solve the Trinity problem by simply stating that Father and Son are one in mind, will and purpose. You still have one will governing the universe and the primary practical concern of the monotheist is met.

      And it’s completely Biblical.

      By the way Michael, why exactly would a being with a physical form be “limited” in your estimation?

      Just because our God has a body, does not mean his body has him.

    • John C.T.

      1. The universe having a beginning and having a cause are two separate issues. As for having a beginning, as far as science (physics and math) goes, it’s conclusive that people that do the stuff for a living agree that our current universe does have a beginning. If any one of those geniuses thought that Ostler’s math had legs, they’d be using it. Instead they speculate on expanding universes, multi-universes, etc. Anything to get behind the beginning of our universe. So I can accept Mormons speculating on things existing before this universe; I can even accept a Mormon taking it on faith alone that there was something before this universe. However, I cannot accept math from someone (Ostler) who does not have any degrees at all in math and who has come up with some idea related to set theory that no math PhD genius ever has, even though the atheist geniuses would love to have some alternative to speculating on multi-universes.

      2. The argument from causes is not that everything has a cause (which Christian philosophers accept as not being true–God does not have a cause), but that everything that we observe in this material universe has a cause. All material things that we have ever observed have causes. There is not one thing in this universe that anyone can point to that does not have a cause. Therefore, this universe (being material) must have some kind of non-material cause. What that cause is, can be argued. If one is a non-materialist in terms of mind, then one non-material thing that can have physical effects is mind (a spirit–which of course Mormons reject. Mormon theology, from what I have read recently, declares even spirit to be a kind of material, though much less substantial than physical material things like rocks and atoms). So of course a god (mind, spirit) would be a non-material thing that could have a material effect. But of course the argument is not conclusive (maybe there is something else besides god that would have material effects but we just haven’t discovered it yet, or maybe we’ll find something material that does not have cause).

      3. Your argument against the trinity does not hold; it is not a defeater. Incoherence would only be true if it were claimed that Jesus is both identical to the Father and also not identical to the father. However, Christians claim that Jesus is not identical to the Father. Both are god, but neither are identical to each other. Neither of them alone exhausts all that is god. Ontologically, in terms of their being, what Jesus and the Father are the same in respect of, is not what that in which they differ. Furthermore, unlike Mormonism, Christians are not restricted to dealing with only material substances. God is not material and thus the use of “essence” or “substance” to describe god is only metaphorical and does not refer to anything material. God is spirit, and whatever “spirit” is, it permits the Father and Jesus to both be it in the same way without becoming identical to each other. It’s mysterious only because we understand very little of the spirit realm: only what we can experience by having a spirit joined with a body (us as humans) and what God has revealed in scripture.

      4. The birth of Jesus was not a new instantiation of Jesus. It was a being of pure spirit joining himself with his created universe in such a way that he shared completely with humankind whatever it is that makes us both material and uniquely human. That is, Jesus was formerly only fully God, but now he is still fully god but also fully human.

      The dialogue with the Mormons on this thread has been quite enlightening. I have no problem with them using Christ and Christian to describe themselves–they do believe in Jesus, do use the Bible, and it is a free country. However, the Mormon view of Jesus is so significantly different from ours that they truly are a different religion (though founded on scriptures that include our Bible). From our standpoint they would be a heresy as much as an Arian or Socinian. Of course, I can accept that they view us in the same way. Good thing we have freedom of religion. When we all stand before Jesus, we’re both going to tell him “did we not give water in your name? did we not heal in your name?”, but Jesus will tell one of us, “depart from me, I never knew you”.

      Now, all that being said, I’m still enjoying learning about the similarities and differences between Mormons and traditional Christianity. It’s often turning out to be quite a bit different from what one can read on the anti-mormon web sites. So, Seth et al., continue to poke us for as long as you find it interesting.


    • John C.T.

      Further responses to pokes.

      Seth: “If God was perfect, then why change the state of affairs by creating us? After all, any change from perfection would be “not perfection,” wouldn’t it?”

      Actually, not true. A Greek, platonic view of perfection requires no change, but a Christian view does not. First off, if we understand that all of our thinking about God must be centered on Jesus, who alone is the perfect revelation of God’s very being (Heb 1:3), it’s not clear how anyone could conclude that God is timeless. Jesus is God incarnated in time. He is the Word made flesh in time. Second, the Bible says “the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14), for example. This was an action God took. But to say the Word became flesh entails the Word wasn’t always flesh. Before Jesus appeared on the scene, the Word was not flesh. Third, the hellenistic assumption that all change implies imperfection was misguided from the start. While change that implies improvement or decay certainly signifies imperfection, not all change occurs for this reason. A perfect being may change in response to changing circumstances simply because it’s appropriate to change in this way, not as a way of improving or worsening. So, for example, we (and God) experience emotion. It’s not imperfect to change from rejoicing to grief to righteous anger in appropriate response to the circumstances and other people. In fact, it would be imperfect if one (including God) could not respond appropriately.

      Seth: “I’ve heard Christian arguments that creation was a natural outpouring of God’s love, but this is no answer. Why didn’t God do it sooner, if it was so great? Why did he wait an eternity before the “Big Bang?”” Ah, that would simply be because before the creation of the universe (with its four dimensions, including time), there was not time. Without time there was/is no “before”. There was no “sooner”.

      As to what God was doing? Sharing love between the three. As to what that means, God doesn’t tell us. However, asking what God was doing is a trivial question, because it presumes that God existed, which is the main point. If God chooses not to tell us what he was doing, or how, that’s up to him. Not telling us what He was doing is irrelevant to his invitation to us in the here and now to experience his abundant life and salvation.


    • John C.T.

      Further response to pokes.

      Seth: “But it doesn’t get rid of the problem of infinite regress of causes. ” Yes it does, because the issue of an infinite regress of causes only applies to those things that have causes, are material, and are located in time. All material things that we can observe have causes, are material, and are located in time. God, however, is not material, is located outside of time (or at least was before he created time), and has no cause.


    • John C.T.

      BTW. Upon rereading my recent posts, I see that they can be taken to have a bit of a snarky tone in places. It’s the nature of blogs that they are generally whipped off quickly (form me, often while I’m on hold). No such tone was intended; if offence was given, I apologize. Blogs are a bit of a rough and tumble world, so I never take offence either.


    • Michael L.

      I’m not ignoring this post. I just got home (9:40 PM CST).. it’s been hectic at work. I’ll catch up tomorrow and respond.

      By the way John, I do appreciate the tone that you, mbaker and Michael have been working to maintain in this debate. Thanks for that.
      DITTO.. and you’re more than welcome. It’s been quite educational.

      Most Christians revert to some modalist understanding of the Trinity (paraphrased from your comments)

      AMEN on that ! Read any T.D.Jakes lately 😉 Dangerously close.

      that Father and Son are one in mind, will and purpose. How about love ? Or feeling ? Or strength ? Or wisdom ? Or …..

      My understanding of “essence” is the whole. I don’t think you can limit it to those 3 attributes. Hence the word “Essence” to describe the whole.

      Still leaves the challenge of how something physical can be eternal ? Which it can’t.. so who created it ?

      Besides that.. I’ll have to respond more at length tomorrow. Consider this a small courtesy post to let you know I’m still very much engaged and interested.

      In Him

    • Seth R.

      Michael, you should note I did mention love as one of the things they are united in.

      Let me outline what I think the philosophical concept of “essence” means. To me the word/concept means that you share in every attribute fully. The Wikipedia entry puts it:

      “essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity.”

      It originates the idea with Aristotle, who linked it to the notion of “ousía” or substance. From which we get Nicea’s use of the term “homoousios” (hope I’m spelling these right). Basically “one substance.” The Nicean Creed shoehorned this extra-biblical Greek innovation into the Bible to combat the Arian notion that Jesus didn’t always exist, but was rather created ex nihilo by God.

      Since Mormons don’t believe in ex nihilo at all, the same concerns don’t apply to our debate in the same way.

      Here’s the thing Michael, the idea of homoousis takes this notion of unity to an utterly unwarranted degree. You added to my list of mind, will and purpose the ideas of love, wisdom, power, and feeling. I imagine there are others.

      But here’s the thing, you can posit a Father and Son united in ALL of those respects without positing a union of “substance.” You can get there without homoousis.

      Homoousis, in fact, requires you to unify Father and Son in EVERY respect. So you are essentially saying that Father and Son are the same in every conceivable respect, and yet still different. Which is incoherent. Which Mormons reject.

      Here’s the key, I think, to the Mormon concept of Father and Son:

      It’s a voluntary relationship. It is not required by some essential nature. The Son voluntarily loves and unites with the Father. It is not something he is forced to do like a metal filing is forced to stick to a magnet. Jesus Christ could choose to not unite with God (as can we all). There’s nothing in Jesus essential nature that forces him to be “God.” Jesus gains that status by his union with the Father – as he has always had it from the beginning (at least from the beginning we know of – before which, all is speculation). And it’s all voluntary (and thus more admirable I would argue).

    • Seth R.

      mbaker (and Jack),

      I picked up on Open Theism formally when Jack suggested that some of my statements sounded compatible with it and linked me to other resources on the movement. Upon reading them, I found it meshed very closely with a lot of things I already believe and had believed for some time.

      But I came to these beliefs by reading the scriptures and thinking about it. Not by engaging in philosophical analysis and argument. A lot of it started when I was dealing with the common Evangelical criticism of Joseph Smith and some alleged “failed prophecies” he made. I think a key example used was how in one of our books of scripture – the Doctrine and Covenants – some guy is called to go on a mission to preach the word in a revelation from God. Then he died before he ever went anywhere.

      We got into a big debate about what constitutes a failed prophecy and the Mormons in the argument inevitably tossed the biblical example of Jonah back at our critics. Once I got thinking about the story of Jonah in detail, I gradually ended up with conclusions that were pretty decidedly Open Theist.

      It’s not a completely happy union with Mormonism however.

      The biggest problem is that Open Theism generally posits a rather linear and time-constrained universe – including a God that operates within time.

      But a multitude of uniquely Mormon scriptures make it quite plain that God is, at least in some sense, timeless. So anyone who wants to wed Open Theism with Mormonism (as some modern Mormon scholars are doing) is going to have to deal with that problem.

      I’ve got a couple half-baked theories, but I can’t claim to have found the silver bullet on that one.

    • Bridget Jack Meyers

      #380 Seth ~ As I said over on LDS & Evangelical Conversations, I’m genuinely glad that the Open Theism links were useful to you. Right now I’m reading a book on Arminian theology myself, trying to understand it better.

      I appreciate the discussion from all parties. I’m too much of a neophyte at philosophy to feel like I have much to add, but it’s been interesting to lurk and read.

    • Michael L.

      Since it’s now the day after April 10th 😉 and I promised I would answer here goes.

      First off, it’s been hectic, so my humble apologies for the delays. And the next two-three weeks don’t look any better unfortunately.

      I also took the time to read most of this blog again this afternoon and consequently this will probably be my last post on this topic. However I do think I will start another thread, here or somewhere else, because there were some really good topics that came up. They were a little on the periphery of what we’re discussing here, but merit some attention nonetheless.

      I do appreciate the difference in what we are trying to understand in what the unity between the Father, the Son and the Spirit really is like or what it should be. It’s a great discussion on the Nature of the Trinity (and let’s accept that term to indicate their union, whatever it may be). That being said, I think it would merit a separate thread.

      Concerning the original topic on whether “ The Mormon Faith is a true representation of Christianity” I think we are somewhat running in circles. Jared pointed that out in #185 already.

      I think that “our”, with which I mean most Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox and which I will call “traditional”, interpretation of the Trinity is quite different from the one adhered to by the Mormon doctrine. This is not necessarily a debate on who has the right interpretation, but one has to admit it is different. I will grant that the “traditional” view can lead to quite a lot of misinterpretations, modalism not in the least. On the other hand, the Mormon interpretation can lead to another danger in that it seems awfully close to a poly-theistic view. Three distinct phyiscal personae, even though united in purpose, would still make for three different gods, unless they were indeed one and the same in entire being aka essence. I have no problem using a word from Greek philosophy to describe this. Just like I have no trouble using genetics or physics to describe my belief that there is one God and creator. It’s not because something grew or is used outside Christianity that we can’t use it.

      And I really cannot rhyme a view that is dangerously close to poly-theism to my understanding on who God is. There’s too much in the Bible indicating there is only one God. Deut 6:4 not in the least, but in my daily reading earlier this week I hit Psalm 81. Verses 9 and 10a struck me so clear. There is only ONE God. And if we need to resort to “essence” to clarify or try and understand in our finite human minds to understand why Christ was also that one God while yet fully human, I can accept that.

      If you go back and read posts 154, 161, 168, 170 and 181, you can read back as to what my arguments are. Jared did ask some good questions as to what does this mean for the nature of salvation, which is why I think this merits a new post.

      Unless you can proclaim that Jahweh and Elohim are one and the same. That there is but ONE God, who is the eternal God, creator of all and that we are not eternal and his physical creation, that we have no prior existence before being born, etc… I think we have to come to the conclusion that we agree to disagree on the matter of whether The Mormon faith is a true representation of Christianity

      Other questions remains such as:
      * What are the differences in interpretation of the Trinity amongst the faiths that call themselves “Christian”
      * What does it take for someone to be “Saved” (even though I don’t like that term personally)
      * What does it really mean to be a “Follower of Christ”

      Perhaps some ideas for CMP to post. If not I’ll see if I can write an article over on my blog in a couple of weeks.

      Until then, God Bless, take care and I look forward to continued discussions. Perhaps even one day, God willing, a face to face conversation.

      In Him

    • John C.T.

      Well said, Michael L.


    • Seth R.

      That sounds like a good last word to me as well. Thanks Michael.

      I don’t want to re-open the issues Michael has summarized so well. But I would just leave a couple thoughts:

      You are never going to get most Mormons to relinquish their claims to a monotheistic worship paradigm on what most of us view as a mere philosophical technicality. We will always consider ourselves monotheists for the simple reason that we worship one entity and we only believe in one controlling entity in the universe.

      Yet we take very seriously Jesus’ call for all of us to become one in the same way he and the Father are “one.”

      Also, I would suggest that Protestants, as a whole, have not taken the fully Biblical doctrine of theosis seriously enough. I’m not talking about the Mormon version. I’m talking about the sort taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Bible is packed with this doctrine. It’s a shame Protestantism hasn’t made better use of this “talent” left to it by the Master.

      Anyway, it’s been nice debating here. I’m glad the conversation turned out better than the first portion of the thread I read. This blog has more than redeemed itself as far as I’m concerned. Thanks to those willing to have a respectful dialogue.

    • Alan Coughlin

      When I click on the link for the podcast of the lesson on Jehova’s Witnesses and Mormonism, I get a message in the iTunes store that says, “Your request could not be completed.
      The item you’ve requested is not currently available in the US store.”
      Any idea what I can do about that? Thanks.

    • Yo

      The reason most “christians” reject the Mormon faith is that they do not understand it. Nor do they understand their own faith or its history.

    • […] older blog entry with a very lively discussion at that time at the Credo House blog, called “Is the Mormon Faith a true representation of Christianity?”. Very helpful post and you can find some more of my comments and thoughts in the comments […]

    • Steve Skeete

      If the foundation on which all Mormon doctrine is based is the doctrine that: “as God was man is, as God is man will become, then Mormonism is totally unrepresentative of Christianity.

      Mormonism reminds me a lot of the homosexual movement. It seeks to identify with Christianity because it wants what the Christian Church appears to have in the society- acceptance and respectability.

      That is why the Bible remains one of their “inspired” books while God, Jesus, heaven, saints and marriage mean something totally different.

      I can’t think of a better time to expose this Mormon equals Christianity business than now while a Mormon is seeking to be President of the United States of America.
      It is time America knows that while one may be President and Mormon, one cannot be Mormon and Christian.

    • A.H.S.

      I know I have come in waaaay too late for the discussion and I have tried to keep up with most of the near 400 comments. I just want to address one thing. I come from a Mormon family. We left the Mormon church when I was 6 years old due to my mother insisting on it. She had to threaten my father that she would take herself and us kids and move away. She wanted him to come, but she wasn’t going to force him. The reason she felt so convicted was that apparently, there are some prophecies that said if these particular prophecies (not sure what they are, my parents don’t really open up about it) did not come true by the pronounced date, that it basically meant the entire religion was false. I am curious. Does anyone know about these prophecies? My parents were deeply in love with the moral grounding and sense of community that the Mormon church seemed to provide but one cannot ignore something as black and white as false prophecy.

    • NM

      I believe as a Christian (and according to Scripture) that the world was created out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo) by God, which when viewed with contemporary science with the Big Bang Cosmological model, makes sense.

      Is it true that Mormons believe that God created the world out of pre-existing material?

    • David C.

      Mormonism is a cult, and they do not teach the Truth. It is plain as day, as people here seem to understand. I would add that I would never vote for a Mormon for President of the United States.

    • cheryl

      Basic guideline:

      Any group that has anything added or subtracted from the Bible is considered a cult. We don’t need any other book adding to the Bible. Period. God says those who do that are in danger of hell fire.

    • Francis

      “Is the Mormon Faith a True Representation of Christianity?” is not a valid question. The simple, unpleasant, and potentially offensive answer is, Mormonism is not Christianity. It is not a sect, it is not a heresy, it certainly is not a cult. It is altogether another religion.

      This is where I think Rob Bowman (much praise to his valient effort in refuting Mormon theology) TOTALLY missed the point. When you go off the very basics of Christianity, there is simply no way to call it Christian anymore. And what is more basic than monotheism? What is more offensive to the Christian God than henotheism or its ugly step-sister, polytheism? Imagine saying this to Jesus Christ or any of his apostles: “First God himself who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, is a man like unto one of yourselves, that is the great secret…. I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined that God was God from all eternity…. God himself; the Father of us all dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did,… You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves;… No man can learn you more than what I have told you.” What is the point in debating trinity, or salvation by grace through faith, when they don’t even believe that God is one and only? Or that God merely describes a titler that is “one and only”?

      Yes Mormonism came from the fringes of Christianity. Yes it uses Christian, specifically Protestant, vocabulary. But likewise Buddhism came from Hinduism, likewise it re-defines and re-uses much of Hindu vocabulary, you’d be crazy nowadays to call Buddhism a sect, a heresy or a cult of Hinduism.

      In this day of rashly called Obama Atheist, Muslim or at least non-Christian, let’s at least do justice to Romney. He is NOT member of a cult, he’s simply member of a different religious group.

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