Friday, February 25, 2005

Ravi Zacharias at the Mormon Tabernacle

This will be old news for some, especially all you experienced bloggers who are coming from the Stones Cry Out link (thanks Rick and to the rest of you, thanks for stopping by) . . . . On November 14, 2004, Ravi Zacharias had the opportunity to speak at the Mormon Tabernacle! The longer I think about this, the more amazed I get. Here are links to two letters reflecting on the event, one from Ravi himself and the other from Craig Hazen , who also participated in the event. I have mentioned this amazing happening to a few here at Grace, but this needs to be shouted from the rooftops!


Joshua Erdman said...

Yeah I ordered the CD from his website a week ago.

Thomas said...

Craig Hazen's letter was interesting reading, especially this passage:

However, those LDS who had a more finely-tuned sense of theology (very rare among Mormons, even in their leadership) would have recognized some pointed challenges on sin, salvation, the nature of God, and the state of the human heart. Almost everyone in the audience clapped even when Ravi mentioned the Trinity--except for the BYU professors who knew it was not in concert with LDS teaching and sat more stoically at that point.It's not that Mormons don't have any less a "finely-tuned sense of theology" than anyone else, it's that the Mormon theology of the Trinity is in a bit of a flux. Thanks to some comments on the nature of God made by Mormon leaders from about 1844-1857 and not much discussed officially since then, many Mormons are not aware that the Book of Mormon is explicitly Trinitarian, and more explicitly so than even the Bible, Johanine comma and all.

Essentially, the Mormon doctrine of the Trinity is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God, and that their oneness consists of everything but unity of substance. It follows, and is explicitly reiterated, that Christ is God, despite many Mormons' error of monarchianism.

The Mormon Church is facing some serious challenges from higher criticism and science, including genetics and anthropology, to its historical claims, and accordingly sometimes seems to have retreated a bit into its unique culture as a source of strength. The finer points of theology are discussed far less than orthopraxy.

But if you get down to what Mormons really accept as canonized, binding doctrine, you'll find that it has more in common with historic Christianity than I think either Mormons or evangelicals would expect.