A Look at Mormonism: Where is the Evidence?
by Eric Chabot
We all know that Mormonism is getting plenty of attention these days. It seems that this is creating a tremendous opportunity for Christians to brush up on some apologetic issues. Whenever I teach an apologetics class, I tend to see a fair amount of confusion over the relationship between faith and reason. Some Christians think that if we try to use reason and evidence, God won’t be happy with us because He can only be pleased by faith (Heb. 11:6). So allow me to give an illustration as to how most Christians can’t avoid using reason in evangelistic encounters. For the follower of Jesus, there is the call to “make disciples of the nations” (Matt.28:19). Any attempt to reach out to a lost and needy world will result in several encounters with people from a variety of spiritual backgrounds.
Which Revelation is True?
Biblically speaking, the acceptance of revelation is of fundamental importance to the Christian faith. The word “revelation” comes from the Greek word ” apokalupsis” which means “an “uncovering,” or “unveiling.”
One of the most important themes of the Bible is that since God is infinite and transcendent while man is finite, God takes the initiative in revealing himself to mankind. Since Christianity as well as several other faiths claim to be founded on divine revelation, it is impossible to not utilize reason and evidence to examine the revelation claim in its religious and historical context.
The Orthodox Christian claim is that Jesus is both God and man/Jesus is an uncreated being. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah as foretold in the Tanakh (the acronym that is formed from the first three parts of the Hebrew Bible: Torah (the first five books of the Bible), Nevi’ im (the Prophets), and K’ tuvim (the Writings) as well as the second person of the Godhead, equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 1:1; Col. 1:15-19; Phil. 2: 5-11).
Mormonism claims to be founded on divine revelation. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, claimed to have received personal revelation from God on the basis of two visions, (the first allegedly given to him in 1820, the second one in 1823). The Bible asserts that Jesus is that He is uncreated (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17) while the Mormon claim is that Jesus is a created being.
Let’s Be Intellectually Honest
The issue of religious experience/personal revelations demonstrates that there needs to be the willingness to implement critical thinking. There also needs to be a call to intellectual honesty. The issue of religious experience brings up an interesting point in apologetic dialogue. Which revelation is true? What god is the individual encountering? In evaluating any religious claim, there are a few guidelines…
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