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Is Mormonism Christian?

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By Craig L. Blomberg page 315 "New Mormon challenge"

Uses of the term Christian with respect to a religious Movement. page 317

Historic Christianity?

"To address the question"Is Mormonism Christian?" obviously requires a New Testament definition of Christian. The Greek counterpart Christians occurs only three times in the New Testament (acts 11:26  26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16, each time in a context of "outsiders" seeking a label for the fledgling Jesus movement. No formal definition of the term ever appears in the Bible. Probably the most common way the term is used in contemporary English is to denote a person who is a member of an Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant church........ The world Book Encyclopedia article on "Christianity begins as follow :" Christianity is the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. MOST followers of Christianity, called Christians are members of one of the three major groups, Roman catholic, Protestant or Eastern Orthodox. Based on this definition, Mormonism is clearly not Christian, nor has it ever to be so."

Mr. Blomberg just forget what he pointed out at the page 316

"With absolute incredulity Mormons often hear or read the charge that their faith is not Christian. How could it not be Christian? After all isn't the very name of Jesus Christ in the name of their church? Isn't their Book of Mormon subtitled "Another testament of Jesus Christ"? Is not the apex of its story line a record of an appearance of the resurrected Christ to the people inhabiting the New World? And is not the purpose of the Book of Mormon as well the LDS Church's extensive missionary program to encourage and provide opportunity for people everywhere to "come to Christ"? Jacob 1:7. Moreover, Latter-day saints  worship Christ as divine Son of God, the Messiah of Israel, and the savior of the world. They believe that he suffered as the atonement for sin, that he boldly rose from the dead, and that he will one day return, as the New Testament teaches, to set up his Kingdom on earth."

If we consider the core of the Protestants' doctrine that it is enough to believe in Christ to be saved it seems to me that we have enough evidence that LDS people would be saved according to their doctrine. I guess that Mr. Blomberg has not a clear idea about what means to be a Christian, the cold definition of an encyclopedia is not enough even the Jews knew the Law but knowing is one thing and practicing is another one so I would suggest the reader to take a look at this before to go ahead.

http://www.bibleman.net/Are_the_Christians.htm and Christianity according to the Bible

Mr. Blomberg  says: "Indeed, the uniquely Mormon scriptures declare that all Christendom after the apostolic age prior to 1830 was a church " which is most abominable above all other churches," whose founder is the devil (1 Nephi 13:5-6) In Doctrines and Covenants 29:21 that "great and abominable church" is called the "whore of all earth"

Like I wrote earlier these writers don't even know what the other wrote in the other articles in fact at page 42 of this same book. by Mr. Hazen we have this:" The sources of the anti-Catholic sentiment and their ubiquity in the colonies and the young republic are well known. Likewise well known is the fact that anti-papal expression could be used to support a wide range of causes. But what better cause than that of the Protestants resterationists seeking to throw off the shackles of corrupt human tradition bequeathed it by the "whore of Babylon" herself? Although some in the "burned over district"  ( so called because it was a hotbed of religious fervor and revival movements) and beyond may never had contact with a Roman Catholic, they were certainly familiar with periodicals such as "the Protestant" "Priestcraft" "exposed and Primitive religion defended" and "the anti Romanist" that painted the picture of nefarious apostates "covering their hypocrisy with the cloak of religion, and with more than serpent's guile, worming themselves into the confidence and affections of their unsuspecting victims. Even a more mainstream newspaper like the Rochester observer used language such as "the Beast" and the "mother of abominations" to describe the Roman church."

See Mr. hazen is just saying that the Protestants started all of this against the Catholic church but no one is doing the same charges that they are doing against Joseph Smith, is this honest and fair? Best of all Mr. Hazen at page 37 says:" The Mormons of course, were not the only ones reasoning in this way. The notion of primitivism, also called restorationism or restitutionism by historians, was ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING RELIGIOUS FORCE OF THE DAY. American religious historian Nathan O. Hatch called it the "quest for the ancient order of things"; all the varieties of Christianity that were springing up in the early republic seemed to have a root a "common conception that Christian tradition since the time of the apostles was a tale of sordid corruption in which kingcraft and priestcraft wielded orthodoxy to enslave the minds of the people" and that pure Christianity could only be encountered if one could get back to its uncorrupted forms...... Popular religious leaders such as Elias Smith, Lorenzo Dow, Alexander Champbell, Francis Asbury, Barton Stone and William Miller all preced Joseph Smith with a robust call to return to the pristine era of the New Testament church...... according to these people there was a falling away from the original apostolic teaching and order in the dark ages that culminated in the near extinction of the true church...... The Reformation heralded a valiant attempt to return to New Testament teaching, but it had FAILED to cast off many of the creeds and traditions of men that still stood in the way of a full relationship with the Christ of the New testament."

So it seems clear to me that the charge on Joseph Smith should be put on their shoulders too, clearly they believe in the same thing about the "whore of earth" and the great abominable church and above all in an apostasy from the New Testament time, after all, why Luther left the Caholtich church? What were the charges that He nailed on the door of the Church many centuries ago? Why him and Calvin and other founded new Churches? I guess you know the answer the believe in the same idea that Joseph Smith and the other mentioned above that he church of the New Testament was gone.

Restored Christianity? page 318

"Instead the LDS claim that their church is the restoration of the original Christianity of Jesus and the apostles. In order to support this claim, Mormons argue that the original church underwent a great apostasy as Jesus' apostles died off, produced in large measure by the corrupting influences of Hellenistic philosophy as the gospel traveled increasingly into non-Jewish territory. Thus, the major doctrinal developments of the second through sixth centuries of Christianity, culminating in the various creeds and councils, cannot be seen as the logical outworking of New Testament Christianity but are aberrant deviations from the faith. Not until the revelation given to Joseph Smith was true Christianity ever again restored. There are several historical observations that make this reconstruction of early Christianity untenable, however. First, WHILE IT IS UNDENIABLE THAT BOTH HELLENISTIC CULTURE IN GENERAL AND NON- CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY in particular influenced THE FORM OF POSTAPOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITY, the amount and suddenness of transformation required to defend the Mormon view of apostasy simply cannot be elicited from the ancient sources available to us. A slow process of change over several centuries led to the emergence of the highly institutionalized Rome Catholic Church, QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THE MORE informally organized churches of the New Testament (another way to say apostasy, QUITE DIFFERENT), BUT NO ONE EVENT OR PERIOD IN EARLY Christian history can be seen as determinative of this shift."

Well maybe Mr. Blomberg even though he admits that there was an apostasy he wants to know when precisely happened and a specific issue for that.I can try to furnish some events and periods, hoping that Mr. Blomberg could agree on them.

I agree that the process was slow but to say that there was no event or period is like to say that the Protestants were protesting for nothing or not? The process was slow but when the Pope started the crusades, inciting people to kill his enemies, the selling of indulgences, selling the kingdom of God to sinners and killing the people who had a different opinion probably Mr. Blomberg should agree that this was too much, or maybe he can tell us what he is looking for for a BETTER apostasy or maybe these events were reasonable for him. To maintain that there was no apostasy or just a little one is just to try to say a big LIE, especially considering the escalation in the events mentioned above, apostasy was huge and especially at the top, in fact their movement, the Protestants were right to protest, instead if the apostasy was just a little bit why they were so angry? Mr. Blomber has no ground, on my opinion to maintain his point because the evidence of history and especially his background are furnishing the evidence of the apostasy.

Mr. Blomberg at this point prefers to focus his attention on Hellenistic philosophy but it doesn't matter what the problem was  he admitted in his own words:"  First, WHILE IT IS UNDENIABLE THAT BOTH HELLENISTIC CULTURE IN GENERAL AND NON- CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY in particular influenced THE FORM OF POSTAPOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITY, " and history has proven that apostasy was huge and at large when Protestant came forth so I won't comment further this subject.

A NEW FORM OF CHRISTIANITY PAGE 322 323

Mr. Blomberg in this part trying to discredit Joseph Smith use just his personal assumptions and doesn't provide any proofs of his opinions. For example:" He heard countless preachers from numerous denominations (Protestants) who passed thorough the Palmyra, New York, area and READ VORACIOUSLY FROM LOCAL LIBRARIES (there is a note here but no proof is given if Joseph Smith was really a voracious reader, in fact Mr.' Blomber has to point out:) Whether o NOT we will be able to pin down one SPECIFIC literary source for the general plot of the Book of Mormon is probably IRRELEVANT"

This is no fair! If you want to prove your point you need to provide something not just assume.

Reading this whole book I am amazed from this. These people maintain to be professional Bible scholars and instead to use the Bible to make their points they use philosophy, history and above all a bunch of pure speculations. While speculations could be right it should be kept in mind that speculations could be wrong too!

His final comment is hilarious

"LDS scholar Eugene England has claimed that "some evangelicals' intolerance for Mormons has taken extreme forms, including the claim that Mormons are not Christians" But is the conclusion that Mormonism is not Christian NECESSARILY an extreme form of intolerance? FOR THE REASONS that have been discussed in this chapter, I DO NOT believe it is. However, it is true that evangelicals have often made such claims in a very uncharitable manner"

Mr. Blomberg is just saying that he has found a kind way to offend us, in fact I am sure that if you tell him that his faith it is not Christian he will be totally offended. But Mr. Blomberg in a very good a charitable way conclude " the claim that Mormonism is not Christian in NEITHER INTOLERANT NOR EXTREME UNCHARITABLE"

Thanks Mr. Blomberg you are a very kind a charitable person. Reading this book I have a feeling that the writers are just having more fun in offending us in a very special way, maybe I am wrong but the feeling is there.

To put an end on this topic I should say that Christianity is not a way to think but just a way to live. I am surprise that a scholar and philosopher as Mr. Blomberg doesn't get this important point

Matthew 7:24
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19

Matthew 21:28
28 ¶ But what think ye? A [certain] man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

Matthew 21:29
29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

Matthew 21:30
30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I [go], sir: and went not.

Matthew 21:31
31 Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, The first.

So it doesn't matter what we think but it matters what we do. Doctrine are important the plan but when people don't understand doctrine as Peter didn't understand the resurrection they are not disqualify as our Professor Blomberg think, maybe Mr. Blomberg has the same attitude of John

Mark 9:38
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbade him, because he followeth not us.

Mark 9:39
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Mark 9:40
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

Mark 9:41
41 ¶ For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Fortunately we will be judged from God and not from Mr. Blomberg and according to God if you do some good in your life according to His will you won't lose anything whatever Mr. Blomberg can think and this is for everyone not just for LDS people. Christianity is a way to live not just a way to think.

Does the Book of Mormon reflect an ancient near eastern background?

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:26  

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