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How Wide the Divide?: A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation

by Craig L. Blomberg, Stephen E. Robinson

Buy the book: Craig L. Blomberg. How Wide the Divide?: A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation

Release Date: April, 1997

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Craig L. Blomberg. How Wide the Divide?: A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation

A good book for reference, but ultimatley their opinon.

The authors are very capable men. The book is at least an attempt to objectivly explain one's own religon without attacking another's religion. I've found that often Christians think that the only way to share their own religion is to attack others. For Mormons it is a good course in understanding other christians. For evangelicals it is a good way for them to learn that Christ intended his Gospel to be shared with love, not by tearing others down, but building them up. However Ultimatley this book is only these two men's opinon. Robinson can in no way speak for 10 million Mormons living today, not to mention the millions that have lived since 1830. As A Mormon I sometimes found Robinson more interested in trying to ignore real differences in the religions. There are differences between Mormons and evangelicals, otherwise God would not have saw fit to inspire Joseph Smith to restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ. And I'm sure Blomberg doesn't speak for the who know's how many Evangelical Christians, or Christians in general there are. Overall its a good book, it probably glosses over differences in order to make the thesis of the book fit, but an intelligent reader can easily see where they are straining to find common ground where there is probably none.

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Good book, but leaves important issues unstudied

You have probably never read a book like this before. As far as I know, never before have two scholars, one evangelical, one LDS, co-written a book that carefully examines the issues that divide the two traditions without descending into name-calling and contention. Blomberg and Robinson deserve to be commended. In a field where evangelicals usually write that Mormonism is a cult that is not even deserving of the name "Christian" and where Mormons bash "born-againers" nearly as badly, it's refreshing that two deeply devoted scholars can find common ground. When I was LDS I met several Mormons who believed in Jesus, trusted in him, and were born again by any standards evangelicals cared to name; and I'm glad that at least one Baptist, Mr. Blomberg, has come to recognize this.

On the other hand, I am only giving this book three stars for the following reasons: First, it is technical and dry in places, especially when discussing theology. Second, I have nagging doubts that Mr. Robinson is representative of Mormonism as a whole, especially the Mormonism that I was once a part of. While Mr. Robinson is beyond doubt a committed Mormon in good standing with the Church and his books are published by the Church-owned press, he is far more grace-oriented than any Mormon leader I knew of; the average bishop, stake president, or apostle is much more likely to stress works and obedience to the Church than Mr. Robinson. Finally, and most importantly, there while Blomberg and Robinson find a great deal of common ground on the issues they discussed, there were many issues that they did NOT discuss, where agreement is far less likely. For me, the central issue of Mormonism is temple works. The temple stands at the heart of Mormonism, literally and figuratively. All the rest of Mormonism is geared to getting people to go to the temple where they can receive ordinances that Mormons believe can be done nowhere else and without which it is impossible to recieve the highest reward in the afterlife. As a former Mormon who has been through the temple, I found these temple ordinances to be deeply occultic, even demonic. If the temple did not exist, it would be much easier for me to consider Mormonism as a slightly unorthodox sect of Christianity. As it stands, and acknowledging again that there are many good, even born-again people in the LDS Church, I would have to say that the the divide that separates Mormonism from the gospel of Christ is wide indeed, and I wish that Blomberg and Robinson had spent some time examining this crucial issue in their otherwise outstanding book.

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