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 www.ldsmag.com/ideas/080923porterprint.html