The thesis of Bryan Ready's article, "What Richard Mouw Gets Right, and Dan Delzell Gets Wrong, About Mormonism," is an important theme to consider and discuss. It was posted a couple hours ago, and it's definitely worth exploring.
Bryan objected to my recent article, "Richard Mouw Gets Mauled by Mormonism."
Interestingly, on the day my article went online at The Christian Post, I had the privilege to attend a discussion that involved several Christians along with three Mormons. It was at the home of some good friends of my daughter, and this college-age group meets on Monday night for Bible study. And then every Tuesday night, they meet separately with the Mormons who have been attending the Monday study.
It was on Tuesday, April 19, that I had the privilege to sit down with this group. We had a fantastic time of sharing with one another.
One of the young men, who is a Mormon missionary, asked a critical question that night: "How would I know I was born again?"
It was part of a lengthy discussion that evening, where the Mormons in attendance graciously allowed me to share much with them about biblical theology. And they sincerely shared their heartfelt views as well.
Bryan Ready obviously has a heart for Mormons, and that will give us a great opportunity. I will get to that momentarily.
But first, I would like to reflect on a few of Bryan's points.
For some reason, Bryan didn't address the whole issue of a "created Jesus" as compared to the eternal Son of God. Instead, he claims that "the average Christian" affirms "a heretical understanding of the Trinity."
But can Bryan prove such an incredible claim?
For that matter, can Bryan name even one Christian pastor or one other Christian who flat out rejects the doctrine of the Trinity? Does he know even one Christian who rejects the doctrine that God consists of three eternal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Bryan's thesis is that the average Christian affirms a heretical understanding of the Trinity. But I have talked to thousands of Christians over the years, and I have never met even one professing believer who says that God is NOT three eternal Persons in One God.
If Bryan knows of even one such person, I would sure be interested in visiting with that person to see if he or she truly does believe what Bryan claims the average Christian believes.
Likewise, I have spoken with dozens if not hundreds of Mormons over the years. And I have yet to meet one Mormon who professed a belief that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, and that He is not a created being.
If Bryan knows of at least one Mormon who believes that Jesus is the eternal God, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, I would sure love to visit with that person to see if he or she truly believes what Bryan seems to think Mormons believe about Jesus.
Bryan states, "When you (Christians) have a discussion of what the Trinity really means, they (Mormons) don't have much objection at all."
Wow. Who has Bryan been talking to about the Trinity? I would love to meet those Mormons. If Bryan is correct, then perhaps the Mormon organization is ready to begin teaching the doctrine of the Trinity. And in that case, we need to assist them on that journey.
If the Mormon organization is ready to stop teaching that Jesus is a created being, and that a Christian is saved, born again, justified, redeemed, and forgiven on the front end of their relationship with God, then there is indeed hope for a coming together of Christians and Mormons in celebration of the one true faith.
I have never met even one Mormon who believes what Bryan's church teaches about being born again. As a Southern Baptist, Bryan understands that a person who is born again is someone who has already been forgiven and already received the free gift of eternal life. Does Bryan know even one Mormon who claims to be born again and saved today through faith in Christ alone? If so, I would love to visit with that Mormon.
And not only that, but I would love to sit down with Bryan, Dr. Mouw, and any Christian or Mormon who would like to increase the dialogue between Christians and Mormons. I invite Bryan and Dr. Mouw to our church in Papillion, Nebraska. And if either of them would like to meet for a discussion, I will also invite some local Mormons to join us. Let's have at least 7 or 8 Christians and at least 7 or 8 Mormons who all desire to express love and truth to one another. And it will be every bit as respectful and enjoyable as my visit with the Mormons on April 19.
If Bryan prefers to meet at his church in St. Louis, let's do it. My wife is from St. Louis. I love St. Louis. (And she is sure celebrating the Blues game 7 victory over the Blackhawks last night ... sorry, I couldn't resist.)
All I would ask is that Bryan also bring together some Mormons from his area to meet with us there. And of course, it would be a real treat if Dr. Mouw could join us.
It might be best to meet in St. Louis because I would like to meet some of these Christians Bryan claims to know who don't believe the doctrine of the Trinity. And I would also like to meet some of these Mormons Bryan knows who "don't object" to the teaching that God consists of Three eternal Persons in One God. Bryan makes it sound like many Mormons are open to the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
Christians and Mormons coming together in dialogue is the only way we will be able to get to the bottom of Bryan's thesis. If he is correct, then Mormonism may be getting close to accepting the Trinity and accepting the fact that Jesus is the eternal God, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And if Bryan is correct, then surely there must be at least one Mormon who claims to be born again and forgiven today through faith in the eternal Son of God.
If that is the case, then let's reach many more Mormons with this message which is taught at Bryan's church.
As a Southern Baptist, Bryan knows all about evangelism and what it means to be born again. Let's see if we can find even one Mormon who believes the Southern Baptist position about what it means to be a Christian. After all, this position comes straight from Scripture.
Who knows? There may be other Mormons who would like to join in our dialogue once a date and location are selected.
So where shall we meet Bryan? We can meet at our church in Papillion, or if you prefer, at your church in St. Louis? And anyone reading this is welcome to join us. Let's do it for the kingdom of Christ. And then let's put that video online so that others will be blessed by our fruitful and loving dialogue between Christians and Mormons.
We don't have forever to reach those who have yet to meet the eternal Son of God. But we do have today. So let's get after it. There is no cause more important than the advancement of the Gospel as we "go and make disciples" for our Lord.