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-"How Wide the Divide?"

by Dr. D ~

-A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation

By Craig L. Blomberg & Stephen E. Robinson (Downers Grove,Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1997, 228 pages)

image This book is really a first–an actual dialogue between an Evangelical scholar, Dr. Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary, and Dr. Stephen E. Robinson of BYU.  Both are recognized scriptural scholars in their own respective religious communities.

In the past, mainline Christians, particularly evangelicals and fundamentalists, have spent their time writing expose’s against Mormonism, usually using 19th century sources and quotes from early Mormon leaders to demonstrate how clearly cultic and crazy this movement is.  Meanwhile, LDS Scholars have written in house and preached to the LDS choir, so-to-speak, about how all the regular Christian Churches went into apostasy and how the Mormon Church represents a return to 1st century Christianity.

Basically both communities have made a habit of talking past each other and really not fairly representing each other’s current practice and theology.

The two scholars confined their dialogue to 4 important subjects areas:

1. Scripture

2. God & Deification

3. Christ & the Trinity

4. Salvation

Dr. Blomberg did an excellent job presenting the evangelical views on these subjects and the concerns that most Christians have about the LDS positions. Dr. Robinson presented his views and countered Blomberg’s and the typical orthodox Christian objections to Mormon beliefs and practices.

This is really an interesting conversation and the book really does help to identify the issues that continue to separate the LDS from orthodox Christianity. Some of the more sensational quotes of early Mormon leaders that are the staple diet in most books about the Mormons, have been shown in this work to be passe and no longer part of the ‘official’ teaching of the LDS Church.

The greatest weakness in this work is the limited area of consideration. Though most of the important issues that divide the faiths, do get addressed within the four categories, there is still some things which do not. Also, one is left to wonder how typical and mainstream Dr. Robinson’s views are within the LDS context. The church leaders however, obviously have confidence in him or he wouldn’t be teaching at BYU.

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4 Responses to -"How Wide the Divide?"

  1. APOLOGETICA » Blog Archive » -"How Wide the Divide?"

    […] <<Read my Complete Review>>            *Top […]

  2. Craig Blomberg

    It’s encouraging to see a book now eleven years old still being reviewed! And thanks for so positive and gracious a review. Yes, we were trying to limit the discussion to the most central theological areas so the book didn’t become too unwieldy and yes, Robinson’s views are increasingly shared by more and more LDS, though definitely not all and in a few places his views remain more in the minority but definitely an acceptable minority. Blessings on your blog!

  3. Clean Cut

    I just recently purchased “How Wide The Divide?” and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m so tired of all the misunderstandings and am so grateful for both Dr. Blomberg and Dr. Robinson to help see the truth about where our faiths line up. I took several classes with “Brother” Robinson while at BYU, and I own about every other book of his, so now I’ve added another great one to the collection. He articulates LDS belief very well, and is probably the closest thing you’ll get to a “Mormon Theologian”. I can’t thank both authors enough for their great work. I’m looking forward to writing about my experience with the book on my blog. Thanks for your review…

  4. Dr. D

    Dr. Blomberg, Thanks for visiting and leaving your helpful comments, I am honored.

    Clean Cut, I definitely appreciate the visit and your comments also, please visit again.

    Blessings,
    Michael

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