Over the past two centuries relations between Mormons and evangelicals could at best be described as guarded and suspicious and at worst as antagonistic and hostile. In recent years, however, evangelicals and Mormons have frequently found themselves united against certain influences in society—militant atheism, growing secularism, ethical relativism and frontal attacks on marriage, the family and religious liberty.
With this background, a group of nine Mormon and ten evangelical scholars undertook a remarkable journey over a period of fifteen years to discuss differences and investigate possible common ground. The essays in this book reflect thoughtful, respectful and nuanced engagements on some of the most controversial topics that have inflamed passions in the past.
Evangelical contributors include
Among the Mormon participants are
They and thirteen others consider what they have learned about honest, frank and respectful dialogue while also taking up key doctrines for both communities. The results may surprise you as the nature of God, authority, grace and more are all discussed with both candor and generosity.
"The ongoing Mormon-evangelical dialogue has been a model of charitable listening and mutual education, but also of challenging confrontations expressed in just the right way. This book features high-level exchanges growing out of that dialogue, with an unusually compelling mix of exposition, apologetics and evangelism (from both sides to both sides). It is an important landmark on an important journey."
"Some people wonder why they should engage in conversation with persons of other faiths. Short of conversion, what is to be gained? Here is the answer from Mormons and evangelicals who have been talking to one another for many years. They tell you what they learned and how these conversations changed their lives. One cannot help but wonder if this is not the kind of talk the world needs more of."
"Fifteen years ago, the prospect of evangelicals and Mormons engaged in theological conversation struck some as preposterous and others as hopeful. Talking Doctrine demonstrates that the balance tilts decisively toward the latter rather than the former."
"Times are changing. For nearly two centuries, wariness—if not hostility—has marked the relationship between Mormons and evangelicals. But in the past fifteen years a small but courageous band of academics on both sides has met to see what could be done. These thoughtful essays by dialogue participants mark a major contribution to that effort. They describe the history of the project, designate places where bridges might be built and call for honest respect where they cannot. Simply put, the book offers a valuable moment of repose for measuring the past, taking stock of the present and offering hope for the future."
"Richard Mouw and Robert Millet have compiled an outstanding collection of essays that place Jesus' core message at the center of interfaith dialogue: true disciples interact in love and mutual respect. These pioneers of the evangelical-Mormon conversation have much to teach us all by their words and examples alike."
"The book is very readable and speaks to all people, no matter the level of awareness of Christian doctrine, because all readers can benefit by improving how they approach other religions. Whatever pulls readers to engage this book, even if only curiosity, it will be worth their time."
Prefaces by the Editors, Richard J. Mouw and Robert L. Millet
Part I: The Nature of the Dialogue
1. The Dialogue: Backgrounds and Context, Derek J. Bowen
2. Reflections After Fifteen Years, Robert L. Millet
3. What Drew Me to Dialogue. . . and Why I?m Still Talking, J. Spencer Fluhman
4. My Dreams for Mormon-Evangelical Dialogues, Craig L. Blomberg
5. Responding to Millet and Fluhman, James E. Bradley
6. A Serious call to Devout and Holy Dialogue: Going Deeper in Interfaith Discussions, Gerald R. McDermott
7. Apologetics as if People Matter, Dennis Okholm
8. From Calvary to Cumorah: The Significance of "Sacred Space," Richard E. Bennett
9. Mormon-Evangelical Dialogue: Embracing a Hermeneutic of Generosity, Rachel Cope
10. Temple Garments: A Case Study in the Lived Religion of Mormons, Cory B. Willson
11. Mormons and Evangelicals in the Public Square, J. B. Haws
12. An Evangelical at Brigham Young University, Sarah Taylor
Part II: Specific Doctrinal Discussions
13. How many Gods? Mormons and Evangelicals Discussing the Debate, Craig L. Blomberg
14. The Trinity, Christopher A. Hall
15. Divine Investiture: Mormonism and the Concept of Trinity, Brian D. Birch
16. Praxis: A Lived Trinitarianism, Bill Heersink
17. Theological Anthropology: The Origin and Nature of Human Beings, Grant Underwood
18. "How Great a Debtor": Mormon Reflections on Grace, Camille Fronk Olson
19. Authority Is Everything, Robert L. Millet
20. Revealed Truth: Talking About Our Differences, Richard J. Mouw
21. Two Questions and Four Laws: Missiological Reflections on LDS and Evangelical Missions in Port Moresby, C. Douglas McConnell
22. Becoming As God, Robert L. Millet
23. Is Mormonism Biblical? J. B. Haws
Afterword, Robert L. Millet