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How Wide the Divide?: A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation Paperback – April 20, 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Craig L. Blomberg (Ph.D., Aberdeen) is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. His books include Interpreting the Parables, Neither Poverty nor Riches, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel, commentaries on Matthew and 1 Corinthians, Making Sense of the New Testament: 3 Crucial Questions and Preaching the Parables.

Robinson (Ph.D., Duke University) is professor of ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University. He has written Are Mormons Christians? and Believing Christ.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; 35512th edition (April 20, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830819916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830819911
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Craig L. Blomberg is distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of fifteen books and more than eighty articles in journals or multi-author works. A recurring topic of interest in his writings is the historical reliability of the Scriptures. Craig and his wife Fran have two daughters and reside in Centennial, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
...for both authors to express the beliefs of their religions, to the best of their understanding. Finally! An Evangelical gets to state 'his side', and a Mormon gets to state 'his side'... about scripture, God, the Trinity, and salvation... without un-Christian-like rumors and rhetoric.
Both authors are peers who pracice their religions. Both know the doctrines of their denominations. Both say they don't "officially" represent either side... but they try to convey the beliefs to the best of their understanding. From my personal experiences with both sides, both authors are pretty well on target. The Mormon side wasn't written by any of the top Mormon leaders. However, the Evangelical side wasn't written by any of the top Evangelical leaders, either-- and I think that was part of the point of the book.
I wouldn't like someone coming to me and saying, "You believe such-and-such", as if they can read my mind-- espcially if it wasn't true, and they really didn't know what they were talking about. How insulting! ~That is something this book tries to cut through.~ (For example, some thump on the Adam-God theory-- yet, Adam-God is not even in the official Mormon canon, and I have devout Mormon friends who don't embrace that theory.)
The book was a fair look at both sides, done in a Christian spirit of love and respect. It was well worth my time and money.
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Format: Paperback
This book is essentially an exercise in intellectual honesty. Both authors (a) realize that there has been virtually zero healthy books written by Evangelicals and little more written by Mormons on the subject and (b) decide to do something about it. Less than a year before I read this book (subsequent to my having read The New Mormon Challenge, which had inspired me to read this) I remember making the comment, based on my only having read Evangelical Christian(?) critiques of Mormonism, "the term Mormon scholar is an oxymoron." Gosh, I felt [stupid]when I read these 2 books. I'm reading Craig Blomberg, who I have been familiar with for some time as an excellent New Testament scholar, actually losing some points to Stephen Robinson. Needless to say, I was shocked! Those guys weren't kidding in The New Mormon Challenge when they said there actually were good Mormon scholars winning the debate for Mormonism over evangelicalism (this was in a paper presented by Mosser and Owen entitled "losing the battle and not knowing it"). I by no means think we (evangelicals) have lost. I don't even think that Blomberg's points were totally defeated, but the book makes you sure of one thing - Nearly all Mormon-evangelical material in the past has been sub-par. This is the 1st step in making it a healthy relationship. I'll never forget how many times I've heard the phrase, "Mormon's just don't know what they believe." Stephen Robinson deals with this statement well. If nothing else, this book should bring some balance to the discussion, whether you're a Mormon who's never heard strong arguments from the Evangelical side, or an Evangelical who's never heard strong arguments from the Mormon side. It is my hope that this book will be the stepping stone to a plethora of scholarly and fair books on the subjects involved with Mormon-Evangelical relations.
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By A Customer on January 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a Christian looking into Mormonism, I found it interesting to finally read a book that took an honest look at what LDS believe. So many of the books out there are so biased and full of inaccuracies or misleading statements that they are close to worthless.
This book lets a knowledgeable Mormon state his religious views in his own words, comparing them with evangelical positions. An evangelical does the same thing, and the two authors' writings complement each other well. I thought that Robinson was at his strongest in his questioning of the evangelical views of the Trinity, and Blomberg was strongest in stating reasons he believes the Book of Mormono was written in the 19th century. (FWIW, I think they're both right about these.)
I sometimes wonder if the harsh critics of this book have really read it. It's as objective of a look at Mormonism and evangelicalism as you're going to find anywhere. I'd highly recommend it for anyone familiar with evangelical jargon who is studying Mormonism, and for Mormons who want to know what other Christians believe. I think both will be surprised.
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Format: Paperback
I was greatly interested in this book when I saw it, because I am interested both in the study of apologetics and Christian theology, as well as comparative religions. As far as my study of comparative religions goes, I prefer to let the adherents of those religions speak for themselves. So when I saw this book, which is authored by one Evangelical Christian and one Mormon, I was sold.
Though the authors are very direct and honest about how strongly they feel about their positions (as they should be), they are unbelievably charitable. There is a lot to be learned here, not just for those interested in learning the language the other groups speak and how they define some terms differently, but in learning the language we all should speak; that of love.
My only complaints come in some factual blunders committed by the authors. Some of them are pretty big too, and for the most part show an ignorance of history.
The first big one occurs on page 39 when Bloomberg is discussing how the canon of Scripture came about, he refers to the councils of Hippo and Carthage as "Ecumenical" councils. This is simply untrue. The councils were actually provincial or local councils, and certainly did not include all of the world's Catholic Bishops as do ecumenical councils. This may seem minor, but the distinction is actually massive in regards to the authority of the council's decisions.
The next red flag came about on page 57, where Robinson is discussing what it means for Scripture to be inspired. In the last full paragraph of the page, he states what are, in my firm opinion, ideas contrary to 2 Peter 1:20 (even though he quotes that verse in the next paragraph). My advice therefore is simply to refer to that passage carefully as you read this page.
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