Thursday, May 17, 2007

An Article VI Exchange with Kevin McCullough

For those interested in such things, over at Article VI Blog my co-blogger John Schroeder and I had an interesting and cordial discussion with talk radio host and blogger Kevin McCullough (at left). Here's how it began: I had said this a few days ago about Kevin's comments on why Mormons are not Christian:

Here's another example. I think McCullough's piece is downright silly, but my real problem with this stuff is that it opens the door to bashing Romney because of his faith.

Kevin took exception to my calling his post "silly," and John and I had an e-mail exchange with him. He posts that exchange here.

I recommend Kevin's entire post as an example of respectful discussion between a Mormon and creedal Christian on a difficult subject. For my part, I apologized for calling Kevin's heartfelt comments "silly." I think everyone involved in the discussion learned something.

One subject that I think deserves more attention is the definition of terms we use in discussing Christianity. Many orthodox, or creedal, Christian commentator claim that Mormons are not Christian. As I note in the comments below, when such writers say "Christian" in that context, they mean orthodox, or creed-accepting Christians. Mormons are adamantly not orthodox or creedal or protestant, so there is no disagreement on that point.

The problem: What most people hear when Mormons are described as "not Christian" is "they don't believe in Jesus Christ." That, of course, cannot be said about Mormons. The entire discussion would benefit from more precision by creedal Christian commentators. We have a more detailed discussion of this issue at Article VI Blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problem with Mr. McCullough's column is that he takes a word, "Christian," which has had a generally accepted, broad meaning for literally hundreds of years and changes its meaning to a very narrow, non-standard definition and then says that Mormons aren't included. But the IMPRESSION that he gives (and perhaps means to give) is that Mormons aren't included under the standard definition. It is very like the way the homosexuals took the word "gay" and changed its usual meaning so that now it cannot be used in any other way. I have no problem with his disagreeing with Mormon theology--it is his semantic trick that I object to.

Thursday, May 17, 2007 6:52:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

Anonymous, I know what you mean. For years I had the same reaction. Now I know that in an academic sense, when our creedal Christian friends say we are not Christian, they mean "orthodox" Christian-- a definition we happily agree with. The discussion would be a lot more civil, less confusing, and less hurtful if they would be more careful about defining their terms.

Thursday, May 17, 2007 9:10:00 AM  
Blogger The Kosher Hedgehog said...

Well, one thing's for sure. You all ain't Jewish.

Thursday, May 17, 2007 4:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I am, at least distantly on my mother's side. But in the ethnic sense, not the religious.

Friday, May 18, 2007 6:18:00 AM  

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