Sunday, September 28, 2008
Mormon Debate At First Things
Outstanding debate between a Mormon and an orthodox Christian at First Things. As my readers know I think Mormonism is a good analogy to the religious creed of America's key Founders [Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and others]. All of them, including Jefferson and Franklin, were more likely to identify as "Christians" in some sense than "Deists" (although they may not have viewed these concepts as mutually exclusive; a popular definition of Deism at the time of the Founding was simple belief in one God, meaning all God believers were "Deists," not a very meaningful definition; hence Jefferson could speak of the "Deism" of the Jews). Mormons too consider themselves "Christian." Yet Mormon belief is inconsistent with enough orthodoxy that orthodox Christians claim "this isn't Christianity." Ditto with the religious beliefs of America's key Founders. In short, if Mormons can't pass the "Christian" test, then neither could (or likely could) Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and many other Founding Fathers.