COMMONALITY WITH MORMONS
DeseretNews.com, 11/16/13, “Evangelical leader says commonality with Mormons deeper than differences” [Excerpts]: Borrowing an ancient Hebrew word from an Old Testament text, one of America’s leading evangelical Christian scholars told nearly 2,000 young Mormons at Utah Valley University Friday that his faith and their faith, often at odds with each other through the years over doctrinal disparities, “need to find ways we can work together” to find “shalom,” or peace.
“God has placed us in the world, in this nation, and calls us to seek the shalom together,” said Dr. Richard J. Mouw, president emeritus of the Fuller Theological Seminary.
“Evangelicals and Mormons have a lot to...share about the hope that lies within each of us,” Mouw told a capacity crowd at the LDS Institute of Religion. “We need to work together, learning from each other and bearing witness to the hope that shines within us.”
That hope, he said, emanates from the beliefs that evangelical Christians have in common with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—specifically their shared belief in “the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.”
“That’s important to us because we have a lot of disagreements,” he said, noting a number of doctrinal issues that can be divisive in discussions between evangelicals and Mormons, including the Trinity, the nature of God and the relationship between human beings and God.
“We need to talk about those things,” Mouw told his audience, which included LDS general authorities—Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Steven J. Lund of the Seventy—as well as a number of local evangelical pastors, including Pastor Greg Johnson of Standing Together Ministries. “But it’s important for us to talk about those things as we hold fast to the Savior. If we’re all saying, ‘Give me Jesus’ (a reference to the beautiful gospel song presented earlier in the program by the Orem Institute Latter-day Celebration Choir), all of those differences will dissipate into academic rarities that probably aren’t important when considered next to our desire to work together for the cause of righteousness.”
For more than 10 years Mouw has been talking about those issues—both the differences and the commonalities—with a group of evangelical and LDS scholars who meet regularly to share and probe and consider varying theological perspectives.
For example, he said, “we evangelicals have often focused on the origins of the Book of Mormon and questions of Joseph Smith’s prophetic authority, but we haven’t paid attention to the content of the Book of Mormon.”
“But when you stop and read it,” he said, “a lot of the doctrine looks and sounds like our doctrine, with language that sounds like the kinds of things we say.”
He read from the Book of Mormon... about the life, ministry and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and how people need to “repent and be born again…(and) have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness” (Alma 7:14).
“Those are words of the gospel of Jesus Christ that I affirm as an evangelical Christian,” Mouw said.
[TBC: Since much of the Book of Mormon is plagiarized from the KJV, it is not surprising that Mouw finds things to agree with. But the Mormon understanding of Jesus remains “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians:11:4).]
COURT BANS CHRISTIAN RADIO ADVERTISEMENT
ChristianTelegraph.com,.11/25/13, “Court bans Christian radio advertisement” [Excerpts]: The [UK] Court of Appeal has upheld a decision to ban a radio advert asking Christians to report if they have experienced discrimination in the workplace....The wording of the advert was: “We are CCP. Surveys have shown that over 60% of active Christians are being increasingly marginalised in the workplace. We are concerned to get the most accurate data to inform the public debate. We will then use this data to help a fairer society. Please visit CCPmagazines.co.uk and report your experiences.”
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport originally banned the advert after the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre [RACC] claimed that it had a political objective.
Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson agreed the advert was unlawful, saying it was “directed to the political end of making a fairer society by reducing or eliminating the marginalisation of Christians in the workplace.”
But in a strong dissenting judgment, L.J. Elias said that the advert is lawful because it is simply attempting to facilitate debate and was not directed toward a political end.
He concluded: “If an advertisement does not itself constitute a partial political message, why should it be banned?”
EGYPTIAN CRACKDOWN MORE SEVERE THAN MUBARAK
TheBlaze.com, 11/24/13, “Egyptian President’s Crackdown on Protests Reportedly More Severe Than Under Mubarak’s Regime” [Excerpts]: Egypt’s interim president on Sunday banned public gatherings of more than 10 people without prior government approval, imposing hefty fines and prison terms for violators in a bid to stifle the near-constant protests roiling the country.
The new law is more restrictive than regulations used under the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in Egypt’s 2011 uprising that marked the start of unrest in the country. Rights groups and activists immediately denounced it, saying it aims to stifle opposition, allow repressive police practices and keep security officials largely unaccountable for possible abuses.
DON'T FALL FOR NOAH MOVIE HYPE
StandUpForTheTruth.com, 11/12/13, “reasons not to fall for the Noah Movie hype” [Excerpts]: If you’re hoping that next April’s release of the “Noah” film is the next Christian blockbuster that will inspire people to seek God, you might want to hold your wallet—not your breath.
Even the trailer makes it obvious that the producers took many liberties, playing fast and loose with the biblical text.
For example: “Rocks” (that seem to be fallen angels) build the Ark with Noah.... Methuselah (Noah’s grandfather) is a type of witch-doctor, whose mental health is questionable....The Ark lands on a cliff next to a beach [etc.]