FAIR Issues 27: Mormons not Christian? That’s a fallacy of equivocation

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The claim that Mormons are not Christian often rests upon the classic logical fallacy known as “equivocation.” Dr. Daniel C. Peterson explains this fallacy and further explains how, while Mormons do not claim to be traditional Christians, it would be quite misleading to claim that they are not Christians at all.

The full text of this article can be found at Deseret News online.

Daniel C. Peterson is a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic at BYU, where he also serves as editor in chief of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative and as director of advancement for the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. He is the founder of MormonScholarsTestify.org. Daniel Peterson is the author of many books and articles, including Offenders for a Word, which is available, along with other talks by Brother Peterson, at the FAIR Bookstore.

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5 thoughts on “FAIR Issues 27: Mormons not Christian? That’s a fallacy of equivocation

  1. Pingback: 27 October 2011 | MormonVoices

  2. Peter

    I believe that the reason many Christians are so against Mormons calling themselves Christians is that mainstream Christianity identifies themselves as Christian, not baptist, evangelical, etc. Though Mormons are Christians, they tend to identify with the name of the church or with being Mormon. These titles are distinct to Mormons.

    If Mormonism is positioned under the Christian umbrella, it is disruptive to a mainstream Christians identity.

    The reality is that Mormons do not want to be identified with mainstream Christians any more than they want to be identified with us.

  3. Samuel

    I think that evangelicals who claim that Mormons are not Christians confuse the word “Christian” with the word “Protestant.” For some evangelicals, members of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches are not Christian either. So when the next Pastor Billy Ray Hiccup type rants “that them Mormons ain’t Christians,” just mentally substitute the word “Protestant” for “Christian” and you’ll get a better understanding of what he’s thinking and it won’t smart so much.

  4. Deg

    It is good that we have this debate.

    Let us define what being Christian is all about… which is believing and following Christ. Under this definition we are definitely and unequivocally Christian.

    Are we traditional Christians, absolutely not, nor have we claimed to be.

    Do we want to be considered as Christian? Only in the sense that we believe and follow Christ.

  5. Bot

    If the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) restores First Century practices of baptism (by the father of the family), Priesthood authority among worthy male members, temple ordinances, theology of: theosis, salvation requiring both grace and adherance to commandments, and the Godhead as three distinct personages united in purpose.

    The problem is that our Evangelical critics have no idea that these essential aspects of Jesus Christ’s religion were changed in the Fourth Century to comport with Constantine’s Sun worship and Greek mythology. Which is closer to Jesus Christ’s teachings: Fourth Century man-made creeds, or New Testament Christianity?

    There would be no dispute if the Evangelicals (and others) would simply say we do not follow Fourth Century Creeds. Those creeds, however, are not to be found in the New Testament. In fact, 11 of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence were non-Trinitarian Christians – – how can that disqualify a candidate for public office?

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