Archive for September 27th, 2008


Heretical Christians


     Meridian Magazine is an online LDS magazine.  This week it contained which to me was a surprising article.  It was reporting on an article in a journal called “First Things” that consisted of a discussion between Elder Bruce D. Porter, a LDS General Authority (member of the First Quorum of Seventy) and Gerald McDermott, a Christian professor.  The discussion was whether Mormonism was Christian or not.

     The thing that I found surprising was the following quote from Elder Porter.  After saying that Mormons were Christians, he added.  “To the title Christian a critic of Mormonism may add any modifiers he deems appropriate – unorthodox, heretical, non-Nicene, different – but blanket assertions that we are Christians are a poor substitute for informed argument and dialogue.”  I read it about three times to make sure I read it correctly.  A LDS General Authority prefers that critics of Mormonism describe it as heretical Christianity rather than non-Christian?  It would seem logical that he would then say that critics of Mormonism may call Joseph Smith a heretic.

      Not only did I find that quote surprising but also the fact that Meridian Magazine reported it with approval.  By this am I to conclude that it won’t bother most Mormons to use those terms?  I personally have difficulty seeing Mormons not object if Christians regularly began to describe Mormonism as heretical and Joseph Smith as a heretic.  But that sure seems to be what Elder Porter is saying.  He would prefer that to being called non-Christian.

      To see the article, go to


September 2008

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