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Richard Mouw Speaks Out.


smac97

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There have been several recent threads about Dr. Richard Mouw. This morning (11/10) Christianity Today published an article by Dr. Mouw, Shoot-First Apologetics: What a dead bluebird taught Walter Martin about defending the faith:

I was chided recently by someone who was upset with me because of my extensive dialogues with Mormon scholars. "How can you engage in friendly conversations with people who believe such terrible things?" he asked me. I tried to explain that if we are going to criticize Mormonism, it should be on matters that they actually believe, not on what we think they believe. I said the best way to know Mormon beliefs is to actually engage in dialogue with Mormons.

"You don't need to have dialogue with Mormons to know what Mormonism is all about," the person retorted. "All you have to do is read Walter Martin! He had those folks figured out!"

...

I wanted to explain to my critic that I had been exposed to Walter Martin's views on Mormonism long before he had discovered Martin's writings, but my critic made it clear that the conversation was over. Even more than touting my credentials as a Martin reader, I would like to have said that in my dialogue approach, I was following good counsel that I learned from Walter Martin himself.

'It Looked Like a Grackle'

The advice came while I was a college student, in a tribute that Walter Martin wrote to Donald Grey Barnhouse. In addition to serving for 33 years as pastor of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Barnhouse was a national radio teacher...

Martin told of a time when he had been asked to lead a theological discussion on apologetics at a staff retreat held at Barnhouse's farm in rural Pennsylvania. During a lengthy break, Barnhouse and Martin strolled the grounds. Barnhouse carried a shotgun on the walk, which he used to shoot at scavenger birds, like crows and grackles, who bothered his favorites, the bluebirds.

At one point, Barnhouse interrupted the conversation to fell a bird in the distance. When he saw that he had hit his target, he exclaimed, "That's one grackle less to bother my bluebirds."

When the two of them got closer to the fallen bird, however, Barnhouse saw that he had actually killed a bluebird. He was obviously distraught, but after a few minutes he observed to Martin that there was a spiritual lesson in what had just happened. He had been searching for a way, Barnhouse said, of warning Martin about jumping too quickly to the conclusion that someone is an enemy of the gospel.

"You are right in defending the faith against its enemies, but you are too inclined to 'shoot from the hip,' even as I was when I fired at this bird. In the excitement of the moment, it looked like a grackle, but a closer examination would have saved its life and my feelings. It is not wrong to contend for the gospel, but it is wrong to shoot first and ask questions later. What you think might be a grackle, an apostate, or an Antichrist might well be a bluebird you looked at in a hurry."

...

Not long ago, I came across a comment by G. K. ChestertonĂ¢??another sharp-witted defender of the faith who was concerned that we sometimes shoot from the hip in identifying enemies of the faith. "Idolatry is committed," Chesterton warned, "not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils." A nice way of putting it, I thought to myself. But not as memorable as Walter Martin's story of bluebirds and grackles.

What a decent man Dr. Mouw seems to be.

-Smac

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Regarding what Richard Mouw said - "I said the best

way to know Mormon beliefs is to actually engage in

dialogue with Mormons".

That is a pretty naive statement on his part.

Suggesting someone to read the Book of Mormon

would not suffice because many things the LDS

Church teaches is not found therein.

I think the best way is to read "Gospel Fundamentals"

or "Gospel Principles" and then engage them in dialogue.

Many if not all new converts into the LDS Church do not

learn what others would consider peculiar Mormon beliefs

until after they are members.

Jeff

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Jeff, no one should join the Church merely on the basis of understanding a few beliefs, or even many. A person should join the Church because they have had a spiritual witness that it is God's Church on earth. Then nothing of the doctrine is "peculiar" in the sense you mean. It is God's doctrine, and you just have to learn to conform your will to His.

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Not to add too much stink to the thread, but strictly from an ornithological perspective:

Bluebirds are some of the punks of the bird "kingdom." They're predatory, territorial, and downright mean. They're beautiful, but they attack other birds, squirrels, and even cats and dogs, if such creatures dare to invade their space--especially around a common, human-placed, feeder.

Still, I think there is a lesson to be learned from Mouw's (ala Barnhouse's) comments.

Best.

CK "And I happen to like grackles" Salmon

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Not to add too much stink to the thread, but strictly from an ornithological perspective:

Bluebirds are some of the punks of the bird "kingdom." They're predatory, territorial, and downright mean. They're beautiful, but they attack other birds, squirrels, and even cats and dogs, if such creatures dare to invade their space--especially around a common, human-placed, feeder.

Still, I think there is a lesson to be learned from Mouw's (ala Barnhouse's) comments.

Best.

CK "And I happen to like grackles" Salmon

Hey CKSalmon.... Are you thinking Bluebirds or Bluejays?

in Christ

Steph

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Jeff, no one should join the Church merely on the basis of understanding a few beliefs, or even many. A person should join the Church because they have had a spiritual witness that it is God's Church on earth.

In the Bible, God's Church is not a visible organization

known by a certain name. It is instead the body of

believers.

Borrowing from the KJV: Know ye not that ye are the

temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in

you?

This is Christ's church in the New Testament, not

some group or denomination.

Jeff

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Not to add too much stink to the thread, but strictly from an ornithological perspective:

Bluebirds are some of the punks of the bird "kingdom." They're predatory, territorial, and downright mean. They're beautiful, but they attack other birds, squirrels, and even cats and dogs, if such creatures dare to invade their space--especially around a common, human-placed, feeder.

Still, I think there is a lesson to be learned from Mouw's (ala Barnhouse's) comments.

Best.

CK "And I happen to like grackles" Salmon

Hey CKSalmon.... Are you thinking Bluebirds or Bluejays?

in Christ

Steph

Ouch.

Ornithologically outmatched...

I'm melting.

I...kdf...asdkfj..asdf...

Yes, I was thinking about bluejays.

Good call.

Punks!

CKS

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Stargate,

Regarding what Richard Mouw said - "I said the best

way to know Mormon beliefs is to actually engage in

dialogue with Mormons".

That is a pretty naive statement on his part.

Suggesting someone to read the Book of Mormon

would not suffice because many things the LDS

Church teaches is not found therein.

First, he didn't "suggest someone to read the Book of Mormon." He suggested "actual engage[ment] in dialogue with Mormons."

Second, I disagree that the suggestion you inaccurately ascribe to Dr. Mouw is "pretty naive." Reading and becoming familiar with the foundational scriptural text of a particular belief system is a very sensible way to learn about that system's beliefs.

Third, everything the LDS Church teaches is found in its scriptures.

I think the best way is to read "Gospel Fundamentals"

or "Gospel Principles" and then engage them in dialogue.

That dialogue would necessarily be very basic. That's not a bad thing, of course. But there's a lot more stuff out there.

In the Bible, God's Church is not a visible organization

known by a certain name. It is instead the body of

believers.

In the Bible, God's Church is a visible organization known by a certain name. It is also the body of believers.

Borrowing from the KJV: Know ye not that ye are the

temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in

you?

Amen!

This is Christ's church in the New Testament, not

some group or denomination.

This is Christ's church in the New Testament, which is a particular, visible group.

Unsubstantiated, because-I-say-so assertions are rather boring, aren't they?

-Smac

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