Top critical review
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Only For A Select Audience
on June 5, 2006
If a person's spiritual quest leads them to examine Mormonism, they will need to resolve a key issue very quickly. That issue is: do divinely inspired texts on which to base Christian beliefs exist outside the Bible. If the answer is yes, then a further exploration of Mormonism is possible. If the answer is no, then Mormonism is a dead end for one's spiritual growth.
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.