Friday, May 20, 2016
Among other things. . .
Mormons have a long way to go before they make even the fringes of Christian orthodox teaching with regard to the Trinity and the deity of Jesus. This is but one of many areas in which the LDS official teaching falls far short of anything close to Nicene Trinitarian teaching or Chalcedon confession of Christ's two natures. I suppose we should be thankful when Mormons hope portions of their past would simply fade away -- don't we all -- but nothing positive can happen with respect to Mormon teaching and Christian orthodoxy until and unless Mormonism is willing to reject such teachings that conflict with Scripture and tradition, reject the canonical status of the Book of Mormon, and submit to the creedal statements that were and remain the litmus tests that bound true teaching.
I can understand the desire of Mormonism to find acceptance within the pale of Christian identity but this is ultimately not theirs to claim. The LDS must acknowledge and confess that basic Christian doctrine regarding the Trinity and the two natures of Christ. The easiest way to do this is to affirm the three ecumenical creeds and to disclaim what Mormons had previously taught. Even with this, there is some distance for the heirs of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young to go before Christians are willing and comfortable to share the name with them. What may be enough for some Evangelicals may not be sufficient for those churches who have fully invested and identified in the catholic and orthodox theology of Trinity and the two natures of Christ. For we note that others who pass themselves off as Evangelical Christians may be more modalists than Trinitarians (Bishop T. D. Jakes, for example). Christianity means nothing unless there are limits and boundaries to its definition. Though some have struggled with this, it should not be too difficult to agree that Nicene Trinitarian doctrine and Chalcedonian Christology is basic.