06 December 2007

Mormonism and Christianity

As I have said, as an historian of medieval history I am fascinated to see that the nature of Christ has become a topic of political conversation. It all hinges on whether or not people who vote their religion will accept voting for a Mormon. Mormonism is a religion that I know very little about, but I thought it was surprising that Romney and his supporters sometimes seem to be insisting that he a Christian. My memory was that Mormons did not claim that.

Now I find an interesting comment on the topic from a Mormon reader over on Andrew Sullivan's blog. We will have to wait to see how this plays out. A myself wouldn't vote for Mitt because he seems so craven in changing his views to anything the base wants, but I think I would have voted for his father in an instant. He was a fine man and a decent politician.

Keep in mind that the comment could be a plant by political opponents, or from someone with an ax to grind, or simply someone who doesn't know what he is talking about. But it does match up with what little I know.

Update: Yet another reader of Andrew Sullivan writes in with a rebuttal to the post I link to above. You will notice that Andrew doesn't seem too impressed with the differences being discussed. This is getting interesting. Positively medieval. And I at least do not mean that as an insult.

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At 06 December, 2007 14:45, Anonymous Joey said...

The term Christian is a contentious one. There are people who celebrate Christmas and call themselves Christians. There are people who simply enjoy the lessons of Jesus and call themselves Christians.

To me there is only one criteria to decide that: If you believe that Jesus is God, then you are a Christian if you don't, you aren't.

Yay Deism.


At 06 December, 2007 16:03, Blogger Elliot said...

I keep getting flak from Mormons for saying Orson Scott Card (a Mormon) is a non-Christian. In retrospect I should've phrased it differently. Orthodox Mormons do believe they're Christians; in fact they believe they're the only true Christians, everyone else having fallen away.

Of course drawing a circle that excludes everyone else only ends up isolating yourself. So perhaps saying "We are the only true Christians" is a self-defeating oxymoron.

At 07 December, 2007 10:42, Blogger Clemens said...

True - though Joey's definition is itself a bit narrow. There were the Arians, for example, who did not believe that Jesus was the equal of 'God' and they can be considered Christians, though not by the 'Orthodox' church at the time (and certainly not by the Catholic Church now). So where do we draw the line? Or should there even be a line? What exactly IS the nature of Christ? Are Christians monotheists? Are Mormons? Are Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, etc, Christians? They seem to be real monotheists but lost the Orthodoxy battle.

It would be a good discussion question in class but I am not sure I am willing to deal with the resulting fallout.


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