Thursday, June 14, 2012

I’m a Mormon, Not a Christian

By DAVID V. MASON at the New York Times here. And here is Philip Jenkin's takedown. From the NYT piece:
For the curious, the dispute can be reduced to Jesus. Mormons assert that because they believe Jesus is divine, they are Christians by default. Christians respond that because Mormons don’t believe — in accordance with the Nicene Creed promulgated in the fourth century — that Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Jesus that Mormons have in mind is someone else altogether. The Mormon reaction is incredulity. The Christian retort is exasperation. Rinse and repeat.
This is pretty bad. Apparently the Nicene Creed teaches modalism. Rather, orthodox Trinitarianism actually teaches the Father is NOT the Son is NOT the Holy Spirit, and so on. That is, the three Persons in the Trinity are ETERNALLY distinct. Yet those three Persons are one God. Modalism teaches the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three non-eternally distinct "modes" of one God. Therefore, a modalist could say that Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit because they are three different "modes" of one God. Modalism, like Mormonism, is a heresy according to orthodox doctrine as found in the Nicene Creed.

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