Mormonism and Christianity

 Posted by on 7 April 2007 at 1:42 pm  Religion
Apr 072007

Paul and I had a short discussion a few weeks ago about Mormonism. After I posted my entry on Mark Skousen’s essay on Ayn Rand, Paul discovered that Skousen is Mormon. He suggested that I change the entry to reflect that, but I replied that Mormonism is a form of Christianity, so my description of him as Christian was fine. Paul mentioned the new covenant of Mormonism. I suggested that Mormons accepted the Apostles’ Creed, so that made them Christian, whatever silly stuff they added to it. Neither of us cared too much, nor knew too much, so that was pretty much the end of the discussion.

Three questions:

  • Do Mormons consider themselves Christians? (I’m pretty sure the answer to that is yes.)

  • Do other Christians consider Mormons Christians? (I suspect that varies greatly. Some Protestants probably don’t consider Catholics Christian and vice versa. That’s the fallacy of the frozen abstraction, I think.)
  • Most importantly: Are Mormons properly classified as Christians? In other words, do their core doctrines vary fundamentally from those of Baptists, Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Quakers, etc, such that their religion should be considered an alternative to Christianity rather than just a form of it? (I don’t know enough about Mormonism to say.)

I don’t care much about the particular case of Mormonism, but I am interested in the conceptual classification of systems of belief, as well as the core principles and boundaries of Christianity.

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