For Immediate Release
Interviews available on request
– Are Mormons Christians? Does it Matter When We Vote? –
New York, NY – June 29, 2007 – Beliefnet.com, the leading online community focused on issues of spirituality and inspiration, is hosting a heated exchange about whether Mormons can truly be called Christians. In a blogalogue at www.FaithOff.com, two of America’s most noted and respected religious voices are sounding off on this question and exploring how it could potentially affect the 2008 presidential election. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., evangelical theologian and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, believes that Mormons cannot be called Christians according to traditional Christian orthodoxy. Orson Scott Card, an award-winning sci-fi author and committed member of the Church of Latter-day Saints, begs to differ. Card says that’s like calling Mormons heretics - as early Catholics branded Protestants.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. Says: Mormons Aren’t Christians!
“Are Mormons ‘Christians’ as defined by traditional Christian orthodoxy? The answer … is easy and straightforward, and it is ‘no.’
Mormonism rejects traditional Christian orthodoxy at the onset - this rejection is the very logic of Mormonism’s existence.
Contemporary Mormonism presents the Book of Mormon as ‘another testament of Jesus Christ,’ but the Jesus of the Book of Mormon is not the only begotten Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, or the one through whose death on the cross we can be saved from our sins.
Mormonism is not Christianity in a new form or another branch of the Christian tradition.
The central argument of Mormonism – that the true faith was restored through Joseph Smith in the nineteenth century in America and that the entire structure of Christian orthodoxy as affirmed by the post-apostolic church is corrupt and false.”
Orson Scott Card Says: Mormons are the only Christians with Authority of Christ
“Each time a group of Christians comes up with an unfamiliar way of understanding the scriptures and our relationship with God; there are other Christians who are quick to insist that anyone who believes like that can’t really be Christian.
But what if we don’t let Mr. Mohler define the question in such a way as to specifically exclude Mormons before the debate begins.
What if we define ‘Christians’ as the way most people would: ‘Believers in the divinity of Christ and in the necessity of the grace of Christ in order to be saved in the Kingdom of God.’
The ordinary meaning of the word … definitely includes Mormons; and when you say Mormons are not Christians, most would take that to mean that Mormons ‘do not believe in the divinity of Christ,’ which would be flat wrong.
But let’s remember now why we are having this discussion. It’s because Mitt Romney is running for President of the United States, and Mitt Romney is a Mormon.
Mitt Romney is not running for Pope of America … his religious beliefs are not irrelevant. Far from it. Americans should care very much about religious beliefs that will affect how a President would fulfill the duties of his office.”
In addition to the Card/Mohler blogalogue at www.FaithOff.com, visitors to Beliefnet.com can join discussion groups and participate in a poll exploring how Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is likely to influence the 2008 presidential vote. Additional features explore Mormon verses that influenced the Romney family.
About Dr. Mohler
Dr. Mohler serves as Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary and has contributed to such works as "Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment," "Here We Stand: A Call From Confessing Evangelicals," and "The Coming Evangelical Crisis."
About Orson Scott Card
Mr. Card is perhaps best known for his best-selling novel, Ender’s Game, which has sold more than 2 million copies and continues to be a best-seller today. He has also written screenplays for animated children's videos from the New Testament and Book of Mormon.
Beliefnet, winner of the 2007 National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online is the largest spirituality online community, attracting more than 2.8 million unique visitors per month according to Media Metrix. More than 9 million people subscribe to daily email newsletters. The company is independent and not affiliated with a particular religion or spiritual movement. Beliefnet, Inc. is a privately held company funded by employees, individual investors, Softbank Capital and Blue Chip Venture Company.