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Bridging the Divide: The Continuing Conversation between a Mormon and an Evangelical Paperback – November 13, 2007
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As a student of comparative religions (and the Bible), this is the best book I have read in quite some time on the subject. I have always been curiously intrigued by the theology of Mormon Christians (i.e., Latter-day Saints) and how their beliefs compare (or differ) from what is often termed "traditionalProtestant or Catholic Christianity" -- though I will state that the term "traditional" is misleading to anyone who is a serious scholar of Christian history. However, despite my best efforts at research, I find that I am often at a loss to find an objective discussion, publication, or analysis on the comparative theology of Mormon Chrisitaity. I finally had to resort to purchasing the LDS book, "Jesus the Christ," which answered many of my questions on this topic and which I would also recommend to any serious student of Mormon Christianity.
Unlike other comparative publications on this topic by Evangelicals or by Mormon Christians, the authors of this book remained entirely objective and respectful in their discussions. Dare I say that a deep and profound respect and mutual admiration for each other could be felt in its pages? Dare I say that the authors, two highly educated religion scholars, showed an example of how to find common ground? Dare I say to the Evangelical Christian and the Mormon Christian communities that this is how dialogue should occur? Dare I say that this behavior is exactly what Christ himself would want? I wholly enjoyed reading this book. I will be picking up the other book written by these authors so to continue my reading of their respectful and enlightening conversations.
Are there differences in the doctrines we accept? Absolutely. However, my mother and I have learned that while we may disagree about this doctrine or that, we can acknowledge the vital, central force for good that Jesus Christ has been and remains in our lives. For now we avoiding contentious discussions and focus instead on things that we both agree on, among them, that "ye shall know them by their fruits," not by their denominations. This book serves as a role model for effective interfaith dialogue and I commend its authors for their courage in addressing differences in such an honest, open, and respectful manner. On the road to greater Christian unity, it seems to me that Bridging the Divide is something that can only occur when both Evangelicals and Latter-day Saints take the proverbial "high road," as these two men have.
1) The fact that these men, high-respected in their respective traditions, can be friends despite their differences reassures me that my own experiences as a rank-and-file believer with others at the same level are not isolated. That they can remain friends after it is clear that neither is going to convert the other gives confidence that there can indeed be Christ-like love between these two camps.
2) The fact that this pair of speakers can attract a mostly respectful audience wherever they go suggests that rank-and-file believers want to build these friendships.
3) Members of these two traditions have a history of hurting each other with ill-chosen words; this book does a good job identifying words we both use, but with different meanings, that lead to the conclusion that the 'other' is lying to us.
Having finished the book, I have begun circulating my copy around my congregation's outreach leaders so that they may also be enlightened by it.
Other than that, this book does what few others even attempt. (With the exception of the Stephen Robinson/Craig Blomberg book "How Wide the Divide".) An unheated, mature, and rationale discussion of two great religious traditions, sans rancor or entrenched one-ups-manship.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gives a clear picture of differences between Evangelical Christians and Mormons.Published 20 months ago by Elizabeth Symanski
I liked it because it showed that two individuals from an evangelical background and a LDS professor could have open discussion about theological differences and still be civil.Published on March 25, 2014 by wayne demeester
Can evangelical Christians and Mormons be friends? How should we relate to each other? And what about the differences between our faiths? Read morePublished on November 20, 2008 by John Divito
For more than five years, former Christian pastor Greg Johnson and Robert "Bob" Millet, a professor of religion at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, have sponsored... Read morePublished on February 18, 2008 by E. Johnson