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I'm a Southern Baptist minister and I embrace the Book of Mormon

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Initial post: Oct 27, 2009 12:23:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2009 12:29:05 PM PDT
A Baptist Minister writes:

I'm a licensed Southern Baptist minister and I embrace the Book of Mormon.

That is, I believe the truths recorded in it. No, I'm not a convert to the Mormon faith, nor am I a member of any particular "spin-off" restoration group such as the RLDS (Reorganized Latter-day Saints), Hedrikites, or Strangites. I'm still a Baptist minister. To be exact, I'm "charismatic Baptist." That is, I still embrace the "born again" experience. I still believe you're saved by grace. By the shed blood of Christ. Salvation is by faith alone in His finished work on Calvary. I still believe in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. I believe and embrace those cardinal doctrines of Protestantism.

And ... I still believe the Book of Mormon too!

I can hear you now. "...A charismatic Baptist minister who believes the Book of Mormon?! Impossible. That's like a Protestant Pope..." No, it's not. It's not a contradiction.

The two go hand in hand, really--Protestant doctrine and the Book of Mormon. They're not at odds. The Book of Mormon is filled with Protestant cardinal doctrines, believe it or not. In fact, I discovered, the Book of Mormon is more "Baptist" than the Baptist hymnal in places. I know that's hard to believe, but it's so. I read the Book from cover to cover and found as a Baptist minister, there is absolutely nothing in it that contradicts the Bible.

For example, the book uplifts the blood of Christ (Mosiah 1:118), declares that salvation is only by God's grace (2 Nephi 7:42), defends the grand theme of salvation (Mosiah 1:108), and
proclaims that salvation comes only through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ (Mosiah 3:8,9).

Other themes such as repentance, atonement by Christ's blood, redemption, and forgiveness run like a scarlet thread through the book as well (Alma 3:86, Helaman 2:71, Alma 13:13, Mosiah 2:3,4).

Thus, our "tongue `n' cheek" title, The Baptist Version of the Book of Mormon. I'm telling you, the grand themes of Protestantism are found recorded through and through. From cover to cover.

I was taught that the Book of Mormon was a lie. We have the Bible and no man was to add to the scriptures lest his soul be damned. And I was taught that the rapture could occur any minute. Establishing a literal kingdom on this earth was pure nonsense. And I believe my convictions were typical. Most protestant/pentecostal Christians today share similar sentiments.

So what are we faced with concerning the Book of Mormon? Is it... Adding to the Bible or Duped by the Canon?

"...You don't really believe in that book, do you?" Or " surely don't believe the Book of Mormon is equal with the Bible, do you?..."
I have chosen to follow the style of the Master. When asked a probing question, He often responded with one. The Pharisees once asked Him about John the Baptist, and...

"...Jesus responded, `I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you...'" --Matt.21:24

When my friends ask, " you believe in the Book of Mormon?" I respond, "I will answer that, but first I would like for you to answer my question, `Why do you believe in the [closed] canon of scripture? Would you give me your reasons?'"

Most can't. They've never thought it through. That's really the issue, you know-not whether or not I believe in the Book of Mormon, but whether or not we as Christians are to embrace the concept of canonization. For that's the perception here-that by embracing the Book of Mormon I've violated scripture's canon.

My friends are convinced I've added to the Word of God. I'm convinced we've been duped by the canon.

To get to the point-not many evangelical Christians realize (I didn't), the concept of canonization became popular with the Church around the time of Constantine, a period when the Church became infiltrated with nationalism and worldly teachings.

Closing the canon [at] 66 books was the outcome of man's wisdom and man's heresy. Canonization has its origin in worldly tradition, is not found in the Bible, and was not practiced by the early Church.

I have discovered, there are two extra-biblical teachings propagated by Protestantism that must be dealt with before most of us will take the Book of Mormon seriously:

1) the doctrine of canonization, and

2) the teaching of the rapture.

Both are cardinal doctrines of Protestantism and both are extra-biblical teachings. That is, neither is supported by the Word of God.

The other Protestant myth...[is] The Rapture

"...Joseph Smith can't be taken too seriously because he believed in a literal city of Zion." I must say, that doesn't sound so strange these days. Many evangelical Christians no longer embrace the rapture.

What about the rapture? Where did the doctrine come from? Did the early saints believe in it?

For instance, which does the Bible teach: removal or restoration? Joseph Smith, Jr. was called to restore primitive Christianity to the Church in 1830 and Margaret MacDonald, a fourteen year-old Scottish girl, went into a trance that same year. She described a vision where she saw the saints leaving the earth at the return of the Lord. Her "revelation" occurred while living in Port Glasgow, Scotland.

However, ... many fundamentalist/evangelical Christians today have second thoughts about the doctrine, having re-evaluated their position. They no longer believe Christians will be "raptured out" of the tribulation.

There they are-two Protestant myths that must be dealt with before one is likely to take the Book of Mormon seriously: the doctrines of canonization and the rapture.

Let's suppose... that God still speaks today-that the canon is still open-and that there's not going to be a removal of the saints but a restoration of His creation (which includes His people), then perhaps the message of the Book of Mormon is not so "far fetched" after all.

Speaking of the message of the Book of Mormon, what exactly is its message? What is its central theme? Restoration of the covenants in these latter days. That surprised me, blessed me, and witnessed to me.

No, the book is not meant to be used as a tool to proselyte you into some weird sect or cult. No, it's not meant to be used to "make a Mormon" out of you. The Book of Mormon is the most nonsectarian book I've ever read! It's meant for Catholics, for Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Charismatics, Seventh Day Adventists, for Baptists, name it. It speaks to all.

I'll say it again. The central message of the Book of Mormon is-restoration of the covenants in these latter days! And that message is meant for all God's children.

"...For behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have been taken away..." --I Nephi 3:168,169

Let's explore the central theme of the Book of Mormon-restoration of the covenants. Somehow our generation has overlooked the obvious: the Bible is a covenant document!

[A covenant is] the missing revelation among God's children, among the church at large. That's what it is. And how sad. Like Mephibisheth, the majority of today's Christians do not know they have a covenant with the King. And as believers we don't miss the covenant because we don't know we have one. We have no idea-we were destined to sit at the table with the King.
The Book of Mormon is a revelation of the covenants being restored among His people in these latter days. When a people sign a contract they act differently (especially if the contract is with God!). They weigh the consequences. In these latter days we will again begin to know what it means to sign a contract with the Lord of Hosts, and act accordingly. A revelation of biblical salvation will return to his people. Praise His name.

In other words, the central message of the Book of Mormon is---to repent and come unto Christ, which means to establish a covenant with Him. And that message is coming to light in these latter days.

And that's why I embrace the Book of Mormon. Our generation knows very little, if anything, about establishing a covenant with Christ. Protestantism doesn't teach it. Unfortunately, most of us are products of "cheap grace" and "decision-making" Sunday School preaching. Listen to the words of the ancient prophet.

"...Behold, I [the Christ] have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin; therefore whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive; for of such is the kingdom of God." --3 Nephi 4:51
[H]aving read the Book of Mormon through as a Baptist minister, I was astonished at how often I kept running into Protestant themes. Themes such as: the plan of salvation, salvation by faith in Christ, salvation by grace alone, repentance, the gifts of the Spirit, the filling of the Spirit, sanctification, justification by faith, forgiveness and redemption. I could go on.

I kept thinking as I was reading, "...wouldn't it be wonderful if there were some piece of writing available that listed all these themes from the Book of Mormon." I searched and searched for such a work and never found it. (I've noticed, since becoming a part of this wonderful restoration movement, there are very little, if any, writings concerning the restoration written to "non-restoration" saints.)
Like the Bible, the central theme of the Book of Mormon is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. There are over 160 passages in the Book of Mormon that speak of the Lord Jesus Christ. There were 22 men named in the Book of Mormon who saw Christ. Some form of Christ's name is mentioned on an average of every 1.7 verses. The New Testament mentions a form of Christ's name on an average of every 2.1 verses. The name of the Savior appears nearly 25 percent more frequently in the Book of Mormon than in the New Testament. When we realize that a verse usually consists of one sentence, we cannot on the average read two sentences in the Book of Mormon without seeing some form of Christ's name.

"He is Lord" rings loud and clear from its pages like a London cathedral choir harmonizing on a Sunday morning. The sound is resonant throughout the book's pages. The Spirit's witness is there. That same Jesus I discovered in the Bible is also present in the pages of the Book of Mormon. Praise be to His holy name!

"...I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell..." --II Nephi 15:7

I have always liked this verse. One of my favorites, for sure.

"...And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things, from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men, even through faith, on his name..." --Mosiah 1:102,103

"...We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things, who shall come down among the children of men..." --Mosiah 2:4

"...And I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come; yea, the Son, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world; yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name..." --Alma 3:83,84

Let's focus briefly on the man, Joseph Smith. What kind of man was he? The man whom God used to commence the restoration in these latter days. What did he have to say concerning truth and doctrine?

Well, first of all, Joseph was extremely tolerant of sects, of those not sharing his Christian point of view. This is a side of Joseph that's not well known even by those inside the restoration movement, let alone by those outside it.

On one occasion, in a sermon, he said, "...If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear down on them? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better. I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by force or reasoning, for truth will cut its own way. Do you believe Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation which he revealed? So do I. Christians should cease wrangling and contending with each other, and cultivate the principles of union and friendship. I am just as ready to die defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination." --Sermon, 1843

While mayor of Nauvoo, Joseph passed an ordinance "...that the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Latter-day Saints, Quakers, Episcopals...and all other religious sects and denominations whatever, shall have free tolerance and equal privileges in this city..."

It was "against the law" not to show charity and tolerance toward those of other sects in the city of Nauvoo, the city Joseph built.

Again, what kind of man was he?...

a group of prominent politicians...wanted to know about Joseph's Christian beliefs. Butterfield asked what the main difference was between his faith and that of other Christians.

"...The most prominent difference is this: Sectarians all circumscribe by a peculiar creed, which deprives them of the privilege of believing anything not contained therein. The Latter-day Saints, on the contrary, have no creed, but stand ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time."

The Prophet appealed to the President US on behalf of his people. Terrible atrocities have occurred in Missouri. He had ... a meeting with Van Buren. The Prophet preached the gospel to bureaucrats. Representative Matthew S. Davis [NY] tells about a meeting in the capital by Joseph.

This US Representative, met Joseph Smith face to face, [and] I believe answers our concerns ... in a letter he sent to his wife ...

"...I went last evening to hear `Joe Smith,' the celebrated Mormon, expound his doctrine. I, with several others, had a desire to understand his tenets explained by himself.

He is not an educated man; but he is a plain, sensible, strong-minded man. Everything he says, is said in a manner to leave an impression that he is sincere. There is no levity, no fanaticism, no want of dignity in his deportment. In his garb there are no peculiarities; his dress being that of a plain, unpretending citizen. He is by profession a farmer, but is evidently well read.

During the whole of his address, and it occupied more than two hours, there was no opinion or belief that he expressed, that was calculated, in the least degree, to impair the morals of society, or in any manner to degrade and brutalize the human species. There was much in his precepts, if they were followed, that would soften the asperities of man towards man, and that would tend to make him a more rational being than he is generally found to be. There was no violence, no fury, no denunciation. His religion appears to be a religion of meekness, lowliness, and mild persuasion.

Towards the close of his address, he remarked that he had been represented to be a Savior. All this was false. He made no such pretensions. He was but a man, he said: a plain, untutored man, seeking what he should do to be saved.

Throughout his whole address, he displayed strongly a spirit of charity and forbearance. I have taken some pains to explain this man's belief, as he himself explained it. I have changed my opinion of the Mormons. They are an injured and much-abused people."

"...I have changed my opinion..." said the U.S. representative, and, concerning the Book of Mormon and the man, Joseph Smith, it is my prayer- [that] so have you [changed your mind].

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 12:36:11 PM PDT
You don't understand that the Biblical teaching is not that Joseph Smith couldn't have gotten secret texts, glasses, and a visit from an angel. That is not the basis for Christian rejection of the Book of Mormon. Not at all.

It is St Paul's teaching in Galatians
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! "

And implicitly you must accept this because the same answer has to be made to Islam and Rev Moon. If it was an angel, does it matter ? No, it-does-not.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 12:41:01 PM PDT
Amen, Fine Nice Young Person. Shame on you Mr. Baptist minister for trying to lead others astray.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 12:52:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2009 12:53:38 PM PDT
What do you mean ? I said nothing about that -- on purpose...I was pointing out what St Paul meant, namely that it doesn't matter if it's true or if there is an angel, or anything like that.

You misunderstood.

And honestly I suppose you are being sarcastic but even that I can't tell.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 12:59:26 PM PDT
Fine Nice Young Person's post:
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Obviously you didn't read the article. The Baptist's Preacher premise is that indeed the BoM teaches the same Gospel the Bible does, there is no contradictions. It is not "another " gospel.

OH, the LDS church is one of, if not thee, least accursed churches on the planet. Indeed, it is the most blessed.

Yours in Christ, Brother Niv

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 1:01:26 PM PDT
Sean B says:
So it is, so it is. ...well worth a 10 minute read.

I remember the first time I read the Book of Mormon. I read about one chapter each night before retiring for bed. I was absolutely floored. After all that had been said about the book, I was (and am) convinced that it was the best kept secret of the LDS church. I was totally puzzled at how those who were familiar with it could set it on the table and watch their TVs. I carry one with me everywhere I go - I read it at the bus stop and on the city bus each day.

The first time I read it, I came to a passage in the last chapter, Moroni 10, that says that when I receive the book, I should consider and ponder upon how good the Lord God has been to His people down through the ages - God is merciful. The prophet also, amazingly, encourages the future reader to ask God the Father, in the name of Christ, if the book is true. He says that those who ask sincerely, with real intent, and in faith, will know by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true, the same way we know the truth of the Bible or anything else.

I went into my closet that night so I could be alone. I knelt down and prayed to God, remembering his goodness and mercies towards people and more specifically, me. I then asked, specifically, "is the Book of Mormon true?" I felt the Holy Ghost telling me in my mind and heart that it is true. It is as if I had a warm, peaceful feeling come over me. Also, in my mind, I understood that it is true. It is difficult to describe in words, but when communication happens between God and man, it is as real as radio waves or anything else. I have felt the power of the Holy Ghost many hundreds of times since as I have read and pondered the message in the Book of Mormon.

A further witness has come to me in the ensuing dozen or so years since as I have continued to learn the principles in the book more fully and develop the faith to implement them in my life. Chiefly, I have drawn closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have received the needed power to flee temptation. My mind has been opened to things eternal. The proof of the book is in the effect it has in my life.

What joy! What peace! What love!


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:05:02 PM PDT
i'll confess not reading the entire statement but, does it seem consistent with the Gospels that Jesus would feel the need to make a new personal visit to this wilderness of north america where reading, writing, government, commerce, and mass communication were basically nonexistent? if so why was this visit totally lost in history until this special prophet smith magically uncovered it centuries later. why was there so little fruit (as in NONE) from Jesus' personal visit and huge battles of mighty tribes that they all basically split back up and forgot all knowledge of Jesus? why has the smithsonian museum not found any of the complex metals and textiles from this era? by comparison, israel has many traditional sites and ruins of places vividly described in the synoptic gospels? you sound sincere so i don't mean to ridicule you, but really, what did Jesus have to say that was so important that He couldn't have said the first time around? i'm not being sarcastic, these are my problems (besides the nefarious reputation and life of smith himself)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:08:53 PM PDT
Sean B says:
Angels have been used by God to communicate his will to man throughout the Bible. Is there something in the Bible that you think is saying that God will no longer use angels as a part of his work in the last days? Or is it that you just have a hard time believing in angels nowadays? This is not a criticism, just an honest question... you should consider the Book of Revelation in regard to God's continued use of angels to preach the gospel message even into the last days...


Posted on Oct 27, 2009 1:22:51 PM PDT
neonpisces says:
30,000 Protestant denominations, plus one.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:28:20 PM PDT
mr. critic's post:
(besides the nefarious reputation and life of smith himself)

Perhaps Mr Critic could use your list of quotes?

Yours in Christ, Brother Niv

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:29:57 PM PDT
neonpisces's post:
30,000 Protestant denominations, plus one.
Are you implying the baptist preacher is a new denomination?

Yours in Christ, Brother Niv

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:38:02 PM PDT
Truth says:
In the very least it is another gospel.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:38:11 PM PDT
NOt saying that at all. The same Bible says there are also bad angels, and St Paul gives the way to discern, as one would expect, and as one would need to know.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:39:26 PM PDT
FNYP: Pastor Ridenhour - the Baptist Minister-author of the piece - will disagree with your calculation. The Pastor has been and still is involved in charismatic ministry for - probably - more years that you have been alive, and he knows the Bible.

It is a nonsense for anyone to say to another that their is 'another gospel,' for now do they know that their own version of sectarian Christianity is not 'another gospel' and that they - in this case, you - are in danger of condemnation?

Paul is speaking about Christians, to Christians, warning them - as he often did - that from within the Church itself heresies would arise and many would believe them. The problem with finger-pointing christians is their failure to recognise the weakness of their own posiitons.

The example of Christian humility was demonstrated by the Beloved Apostle who, when Jesus said, one of you will betray m,e, asked Jesus, "Lord, is it I." He did not point to someone else and ask, "Lord, is it him?"

If it was an angel sent from God, then it does matter, yes it does. it matters very much. Try to get out of the habit of thinking about God's messengers [angels] as being always agents of Lucifer.

The trouble with those that see demons everywhere is that they see God nowhere because they are looking for the wrong thing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:40:10 PM PDT
Where is he leading you astray? Which principles he quotes from the Book of Mormon are wrong?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:42:47 PM PDT
"It doesn't matter if it's true or if there is an angel, or anything like that"

I am not using sarcasm. Perhaps I have misunderstood what you are trying to say. ???

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:43:25 PM PDT
If it is the same, then it is not another gospel.

What does the Pastor say?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:44:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2009 1:54:57 PM PDT
mr. critic's post:
why was there so little fruit (as in NONE) from Jesus' personal visit and huge battles of mighty tribes that they all basically split back up and forgot all knowledge of Jesus?
Because you are not looking in the right places.

For example, I have been reading this book of late....
These Early Americans: External Evidences of the Book of Mormon.

I like best the authors statement that, after all his travels in China, Japan, the far east, that he couldn't find any evidence of those cultures in MesoAmerica. But he found tons of stuff linking The Middle east cultures to it!

Yours in Christ, Brother Niv

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 1:48:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2009 1:50:17 PM PDT
Yes of course he will disagree which is why the emphasis is on the fact that what St Paul said is in Galatians, a book of the NT, collected and interpreted under the authority of the Church.

We have the issue just the way you pose it. IT is a matter of authority. Pastor Ridenour against the authority of the CHurch. Exactly.

Just pose this in the opposite fashion and you will see immediately why you and the Rev are wrong : I'm a Southern Baptist minister and I reject the Book of Mormon -- on my own authority.

See, doesn't work either way :) [ Yes, I am smart as a whip, thank you ]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 2:02:57 PM PDT
Mr Critic: Making assumptions about a matter with which you have not taken time to familiarise yourself is just a waste of time. Please read and then treat of the subject material.

The Smithsonian does NOT undertake any kind of archaeological or anthropological surveys.

The piece was written by Pastor Reverend Lynn Ridenhour of the Southern baptist Church [Duly Licensed and ordained in that denomination for 35+ years] The invitation is to comment on his statements, but that requires reading before any on-point comment can be made.

Reputations are won and lost by a glance, a whisper, a truth here, a lie there, and many other forces that arise from friend and foe alike. Why do we doubt the truth about a good man, but eagerly embrace all the dredgings and stains that cling to a man of evil reputation, not knowing whether the plaudits and condemnations are merited by either?

Jesus, like his Father, will go to where he wills to go, and to whom he will to visit, and when he wills to do so. It does not have to make sense to earthlings, because, if God deems to act according to his own will, he will do so. Our part in his activities lies solely whether our opinion is that he is wasting his time or laying the foundation of a good work.

Smith did not 'magically uncover' the plates from the place where they had been placed for safe-keeping - that's not the same as 'lost.' He was led there by an Angel of God.

You will agree, that not all the Palestinian sites mentioned in the Bible have been located? That does not mean that they were never there, nor does it mean that the events described as happening there did not take place.

If we here either historians, archaeologist, or anthropologists, and so forth, then such 'proofs' would be essential. But to the faith community such 'proof' is neither sought nor necessary. Faith comes by the witness of the Holy Ghost into the heart of a seeker who is prepared to yield his life unto Christ, and to follow him to the end, as sure of the promises of God as if he had been taken to heaven and shown the very place where he would be with God forever.

Faith is the 'substance,' the 'reality,' of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. They that are Christ's have no need to see the ruins of the walled city of Jericho [not found!], nor to contemplate the sacrifice of Christ at the place where his cross was mounted, on which instrument of death he suffered and died to redeem us.

Thomas said, "Unless I see and feel - I WILL NOT BELIEVE!"

He saw, felt, and worshipped.

Jesus said, "Blessed is he that has seen and believed; but even more blessed are those that have not seen, yet believe."

Faith provides to the blessed all that is missing from the seeker.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 2:05:42 PM PDT
He is a member of an old and well known denomination.

I visited Whitley City, KY, some years back. I met the Mormon pastor. He said that at the major crossroad there stood a baptist chapel on each corner, all different denominations, and that their pastors hated Mormons but preached out of the Book of Mormon every Sunday.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 2:11:34 PM PDT
The problem with the post is that it presupposes that the closing of the canon was bunk and cannot be defended today. The Book of Mormon teaches doctrines many things that the Bible also teaches, but so do many other books. This fact alone does not make it worthy of addition to the canon. The argument for a closed canon is not simple, but complexity is not always a symptom of falsity:

1) The minister who wrote the original post argues that the closing of the canon was a result of men's heresy. True, the canon was in flux until hundreds of years after the last book currently in the canon was written. Plenty of folks made lists of books that should be considered canonical, and each of these "canons," granted, bore the mark of the theological agendas of its writer. However, the final form of the canon was recognized by the church as a whole. Again, this in itself does not undermine the legitimacy of the canon. The Holy Spirit works through the church. Of course, everything the church does is not inspired or perfect, but for the entire community of faith, led by the Holy Spirit, to recognize only certain apostolic books and books associated with apostles as canonical carries weight not against the closing of the canon, but for it.

2) The most important argument, however, for the closing of the canon is redemptive-historical. God's revelation is given accompanying his great acts of salvation. God creates the world, men fall, God creates a people for himself, redeems them from Egypt, and then gives them the law. In response to this, Moses writes the Pentateuch, which (authoritatively) records and interprets these saving events, an inspired record and interpretation which itself is part of God's revelation of himself to us. Similarly on through the Old Testament it goes...God acts to save his people, and concurrently acts to reveal himself through the record/interpretation of that event. God's final great saving act was in Jesus Christ: his life, death, resurrection and ascension as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Yes, of course God still saves people, but the final revelatory, salvic act of God (according to Hebrews), the beginning of the age to come, was in Jesus Christ. Accordingly, in the subsequent years, God inspired people to write (in the NT), the authoritative record and interpretation of this final, historical act of redemption. And, as part of this record/interpretation (importantly), God inspires the book of Revelation to reflect on the work of Christ and its effect on the lives of believers as we endure persecution throughout history and on the culmination of history with the judgement, redemption of creation, and the consummation of history. The Christ event was sufficient revelation for reflection upon that event to include not only reflection on its effects on our lives, but also on its consummation until the end of the age. Further new revelation is not necessary. The ultimate (read: final) revelation came in Jesus. Hebrews is clear on this point.

For what it's worth, Mormons have, in some respects, a closer view of the eternal state to that of the Bible than do many evangelical Christians. Our ultimate destiny is indeed to live and work, in physical bodies, on a redeemed earth, a New Earth, a completely reborn creation, perfect in way that even Eden was not. We will not spend eternity as disembodied souls floating around somewhere in the clouds. However, we don't need the Book of Mormon to tell us this. It's in the Bible.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 2:13:25 PM PDT
You may or may not be 'as smart as a whip' but whether you are or you are not is of no importance. The pastor has his position re: the Book of Mormon, and states it, presents his case for it, and gives examples that support his claims.

You need to remember that I have never met the Reverend gentleman, nor am I in cahoots with him, nor is any part of his statement from my hand. He speaks for himself.

Perhaps you will advance from the position where you throw the bathwater down the drain and the baby with it, and address what the pastor says. If you feel the need to rebut what he says you need to do it where your reasons [workings out] can be seen.

If you just enjoy putting people down without explaining why, apart from indigestion, then you are not as smart as a whip and are unqualified to 'discuss' anything which would explain why your contributions are demeaning, shallow, and off-point.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 2:22:05 PM PDT
kelly says:
well your a southern baptist minister whose going staight to hell - enjoy the ride buddy!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 2:22:25 PM PDT
It is a fiction that the 'whole Church agreed' on the composition of the canon or on any doctrinal issue. There is no present doctrine of Christianity that has not been hotly disputed at one time or another, and some important doctrines are still far from settled. McQuarrie's "Christ in Modern Thought" shown not only the earliest moves, changes, blind alleys, fights, strictures, and all-out fights about what to make of Jesus, but even after it is all said to have settled down it hadn't. It took around nine centuries to come to more or less full agreement about the exact nature of God, Jesus, and their relationship to humanity, and the whole lot apieces fell in C17, and rattles along even now. No one knows where it will end.

It is probably one of the finest subjects for discussion if the participants can be persuaded to leave their swords at home or at least, by the door.

What is in the Book of Mormon is, as is what is in the Bible, the word of God, and what you will find to satisfy your spiritual hunger in the Bible will not be in every book of the Bible, but I doubt that you advocate casting aside every part of the Bible that does not deal with the direction to heaven.

To God be the glory - great things he has done!
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  62
Total posts:  494
Initial post:  Oct 27, 2009
Latest post:  Jan 27, 2016

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