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A Different Jesus?: The Christ of the Latter-day Saints Paperback – April 14, 2005
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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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Top customer reviews
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.
That same issue has to be faced when reading A Different Jesus. While Millet uses many citations from several Christian writers (C.S. Lewis, John F. MacArthur, and Luke Timothy Johnson, among others) and the Bible to bolster his points, the crucial source for most of his arguments are quotes from both Mormonism's sacred texts and subsequent writings by Mormon Prophets and theologians. If an individual trying to learn about Mormonism doesn't accept the authority of these sources, then Millet's arguments will make no sense. To be fair, Millet and Mouw state throughout the book that their goal is to provide a basis for understanding, not conversion. Still, without accepting the central premise that Mormonism's sacred texts are divinely inspired, one will end up understanding how Millet gets to his beliefs without comprehending how he could think such beliefs are true.
A Different Jesus probably would make excellent reading for anyone practicing the Mormon faith, because it does highlight the differences between Mormonism and mainstream Christianity. Additionally, anyone who is trying to find their spiritual direction will likely find value in parts of the book (particularly, the chapter titled "Recurring Questions"). But, for those who have defined their spirituality within the context of mainstream Christianity, A Different Jesus will not do much to either change their mind about Mormonism's beliefs or improve their comprehension about those beliefs.