Monday, October 10, 2011

Is Mormonism a Cult?

Here's a very good and interesting article by Richard Mouw - "My Take: This Evangelical Says Mormonism Isn't a Cult."

Mouw is an important Jesus-scholar. He's currently president of Fuller Theological Seminary. For me, Fuller is one of the top seminaries I'd recommend to anyone with a calling to study hard and learn much about God and his kingdom.

Some of Mouw's points include:
  • We have to define "cult." Mouw has studied cults. So have I. I have pulled people out of cults, even sending some for de-programming. Mormonism does not have the marks of a classic cult. It's more like another religion. Can it be defined as "Christianity?" That's the real question Mouw is looking at. 
  • Mouw writes: "For the past dozen years, I’ve been co-chairing, with Professor Robert Millet of Brigham Young University – the respected Mormon school - a behind-closed-doors dialogue between about a dozen evangelicals and an equal number of our Mormon counterparts." I haven't done that. So I am listening.
  • Mouw: "We evangelicals and our Mormon counterparts disagree about some important theological questions. But we have also found that on some matters we are not as far apart as we thought we were."
  • Mouw: "Are Mormons Christians? For me, that’s a complicated question. My Mormon friends and I disagree on enough subjects that I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching. But the important thing is that we continue to talk about these things, and with increasing candor and mutual openness to correction."
  • Once more: "While I am not prepared to reclassify Mormonism as possessing undeniably Christian theology, I do accept many of my Mormon friends as genuine followers of the Jesus whom I worship as the divine Savior. I find Mormons to be more Christ-centered than they have been in the past. I recently showed a video to my evangelical Fuller Seminary students of Mormon Elder Jeffrey Holland, one of the Twelve Apostles who help lead the LDS church. The video captures Holland speaking to thousands of Mormons about Christ’s death on the cross."
I'm glad Mouw and other evangelical leaders are dialoguing with Mormons.