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A Different Jesus?: The Christ of the Latter-day Saints Paperback – April 14, 2005

3.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A humble, inviting foreword by evangelical Christian leader Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, sets the stage for this groundbreaking book by a Mormon scholar that compares LDS beliefs about Christ with traditional Protestant (and to a lesser extent, Catholic and Orthodox) views. Millet, a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, has spent years in formal conversation with evangelical friends (including Mouw) and coming to understand their beliefs as he presented the LDS viewpoint. This book is offered in the same spirit of dialogue, with no traces of the smugness or shrill tone that often characterize apologetic works. After providing a brief overview of LDS origins and history, Millet offers the LDS perspective on knotty theological issues such as Jesus' premortal life, the reliability of the Bible, the need for a "restoration" of the New Testament church, the nature of humanity, the mechanics of salvation and the eternal fate of those who've never heard the gospel message. Millet is as at home in the writings of such evangelical heroes as C.S. Lewis, J.B. Phillips, John MacArthur and Max Lucado as he is in the teachings of LDS prophets like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Gordon Hinckley. The book's honest and searching tone is deepened still further by Mouw's gracious afterword, in which he respectfully identifies issues where he disagrees with his Mormon friend. (Apr.)
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From the Back Cover

Foreword and afterword by Richard J. Mouw

Are Latter-day Saints Christian, or do they worship a different Jesus? In this engaging book based on the foundational Mormon documents, Robert Millet clearly explains why Latter-day Saints claim to be Christians and compares their understanding of Jesus with the views of traditional Christian believers.

A leading Mormon scholar who has spent much of his career in conversation with traditional Christians and their writings, Millet discusses what constitutes Christianity and examines how the Latter-day Saints fit or do not fit within that rubric. Intended to inform rather than to convince or persuade, "A Different Jesus? clears away misconceptions and doctrinal distortions that characterize more polemical works about Mormonism. Millet points out the many beliefs that Latter-day Saints hold in common with traditional Christians, yet he also emphasizes differences where they exist.

"A Different Jesus? initiates and will foster a significant dialogue between Latter-day Saints and traditional Christians. Of special value are a lengthy chapter that answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Mormonism, a glossary showing how key theological terms are defined by Latter-day Saints, and evangelical scholar Richard Mouw's foreword and afterword, which help set an agenda for future discussions between these rich religious traditions.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (April 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802828760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802828767
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book, unfortunately highly controversial in some Protestant circles, is the product of the friendship of Robert Millet, who teaches ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, and Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

Its publication clearly marks a significant advance in the relationship of evangelicals and Latter-day Saints. In the past all that was available in Protestant bookstores was the badly informed, highly polemical literature written by the partisan anti-Mormon element of the countercult industry.

Without realizing it, those who have turned to this literature for an understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ have done something analogous to consulting Nazi propaganda for an understanding of the faith of Jews or to old Communist propaganda for an understanding of American life and culture.

Latter-day Saints can also benefit from giving careful attention to Millet's presentation of their faith to Protestants. If there is a weakness in Millet's book, it stems from his inattention to the historical elements in the faith of the Saints and thus his inattention to the sophisticated literature on the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Sorting out theological issues for evangelicals, as useful as that is, still leaves the crucial truth questions bracketed. However, by publishing Millet's book, Eerdmans, a leading evangelical press, has now made available in Protestant bookstores a sound, nonpolemical presentation of the fundamentals of the faith of the Saints.
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Format: Paperback
I also recommend _Claiming Christ: A Mormon-Evangelical Debate_ by Robert L. Millet and Gerald R. McDermott.

Pastor McDermott, who is a Lutheran pastor and college professor has concluded after careful study that, "Evangelicals and Mormons agree on lots of things about Jesus. Many evangelicals are surprised to learn, for example, that Mormons believe not only that Jesus is the Son of God but also that he is God the Son. I find that many evangelicals have somewhere picked up the idea that Mormons deny the deity of Jesus Christ. They are often amazed to learn that, unlike Jehovah's Witnesses and other groups they typically classify as "cults," which do indeed deny the deity of Christ, Mormons declare emphatically that Jesus was and is incarnate God. ... I have to say that evangelical agreement with [Mormons] on Jesus is significant and, when compared to a history of evangelical denunciations of Mormonism, remarkable." (pg. 63,64)
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I am a born-again Mormon, and I love this book. Millet does an excellent job of describing how members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints see Jesus Christ, what it means to us to have faith in him, and how we perceive that we are saved by his grace. He beautifully describes MY faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, God the Son, and my Savior and Redeemer.

This book is written with the intent to inform rather than to persuade. There is no proselyting in this book. It is simply a thorough description of who Christ is to the Latter-day Saints, what we believe about him and why.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who sincerely wants to understand how Mormons view Christ. They will come away well-informed, and with a deeper understanding of whether or how the Jesus we believe in is fundamentally "different" than the Jesus they believe in. Those who value increased understanding as indispensable to loving one's neighbor will enjoy this rich resource.
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Format: Paperback
As a former evangelical of 32 years and now member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in the heart of the bible-belt I have had many opportunities to dialogue with my evangelical brothers and sisters. Invariably when discussing our views on faith the old familiar "You follow a "different" Jesus" accusation pops up. Before getting stuck in this semantic loop I sometimes attempt to circumvent this stumbling block and get on to more fruitful interaction by initiating the following dialog and illustration.

-ME: Is the Jesus that you follow the same Jesus that we read about in the New Testament?
+EVANGELICAL BROTHER: "Yes"
-Did this same Jesus, after his resurrection, walk, and talk and eat with his disciples in a very real and physical way?
+ "Yes, he did"
-Sometime after this event did this same Jesus ascend in a very physical way and promise to return in the same fashion someday as was witnessed by others?
+ "Yes"
-So this same Jesus is at this very moment located somewhere in the universe right now is he not?
+ "Yes, i suppose so"
-Could this same Jesus come and stand here right next to us in a very real and physical way right now if he so chose?
+ "Yes, i suppose he could"
-For the sake of illustration let's pretend that this same Jesus did in reality choose to physically be here- and that he is standing right here next to us right now. Could we not speak and interact with him in the same fashion that you and I are interacting with each other right now if he so chose to do so?
+ "Yes"
-I could put my hand on his shoulder just like this could I not?
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