The EFM Feature
Santorum Romney Finger Pointing

On this great day when Rick Santorum left the race and Mitt for all practical purposes clinched the nomination (much more on that later), I fear that I stirred up a bit of trouble over at our Patheos site.  I found myself disagreeing with Rick Warren’s response to Jake Tapper’s question, “Are Mormons Christian?”  Warren’s response centered around the Trinity, which I thought was a bit of a dodge.  I respond with three questions of my own.  Here’s the first:

1.   Is Warren’s statement correct as a defining characteristic of Christian belief?  In other words, is the creedal belief in the Trinity the dividing line between Christian and non-Christian?

To read the other two (and my attempt at responses), head on over to Patheos.

Comments and Discussion

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7 Responses to I Think I Started A Religious Argument

  1. Viebee says:

    I totally disagree with Rick Warren and was shocked to hear him say that. The bases of Christian faith is the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again. If a man believe that in his heart and confess it with his mouth then he is saved….nothing should be added to this gospel and nothing should be taken away. Mormans believe this therefore they are my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. God knows how to work on the other parts just like He does with other denominations in the faith. None have it all correct.

  2. RC says:

    I concur with all that was said in the post. Truly, David and Nancy French are “Christians”. They believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and try to follow His teachings. To do that in today’s world is a feat in itself. With that said, there are still a lot of individuals who hold title to the word “Christian” as if it were a copyright. ONLY Jesus has the right to judge us, not you or anyone else. Mitt Romney’s “fruit” is evidence and clearly is visible for all to see. If one discards him because of “theological” differences, then that is pretty darn sad.

    Go Mitt Romney – 2012

    • Brandon from NJ says:

      RC and everyone else, I know these comments are old news for you possibly, but Michael Medved delivered a commentary about Romney’s religion which I felt was pretty insightful last summer. He mentioned it in some pretty plain words as well. As for wierdness, there’s “wierdness” or absurdity to be had all around in terms of religions with some sort of claim that can’t be experimentally reproduced. It’s wierd and without proof that there is a God who appeared in a “burning bush”, or who provided manna from heaven, or who asked Abraham and his wives, and his concubines to leave Mesopotamia and worship this discovered only true God, and believe that all the Mesopotamian Gods that your were brought up to believe in were false. Or how about a God who asked a man to unleash all sorts of disaster on Egypt. This isn’t to say that I don’t believe in all these things, but rather, I accept that a great deal of what I believe and worship depends on my own personal conscience and decisions as to how I should worship. And frankly, we could all throw our own little labels around for a long time but accomplish close to nothing.

      A recording of Medved’s remarks from last summer can be found here:

      As for me, Romney is a decent candidate. It doesn’t matter that I don’t agree with his religion, or easily have my own denominational disagreements with about everyone else who posts here, but it’s important that Romney is someone who is optimistic, who isn’t so easily provoked, and recognizes himself as the adult in the room, and behaves as a good sport, both when he is in the process of winning, as well as when he has lost. Even more important to me is the whole admission on his part. Let’s face it: people change their minds on issues, I probably was quite your leftist at one point, but now I lean center. What’s Romney’s story, well, he has changed his mind on issues, but at least there’s humanity in how he changed his mind. I would prefer someone who could change their mind and recognize what their duties entail, something that Romney does, and with a little credit to Terry here,”We’re not voting for a preacher, we’re voting for a chief executive”

  3. G. Kyle Essary says:

    I think there are rather large differences in the nature of God apart from the Trinity, and that the monolatrous/monotheist divide is a big one. So no, I don’t think by historical or theological standards they are Christian. I do think they are Christian in terms of 21st century sociological definitions. This seems to be what you are saying. The theological differences may be large, but most people aren’t aware of why they hold to the views that separate them, so why not make peace since we are all pretty ignorant of why we are divided anyways. I do not think the argument is strong, but it does make me want to ask where you would draw the line? If the title is largely sociological, are all who claim the title Christians?

    • David Walser says:


      As you point out, the correct answer to the question depends on what standards are applied. If by “Christian” you mean, “do Mormon’s believe in the Nicene Creed”, then, no, Mormons are not Christian and they make no pretense in that regard. On the other hand, if by “Christian” you mean, “do Mormon’s try to live by the teachings of Christ”, I think most would acknowledge that Mormon’s (while not perfect) may legitimately claim the title.

      What do most people mean by “Christian”? gives the following definitions:
      1. (adj.) of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings.
      2. of, pertaining to, or adhering to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
      3. of or pertaining to Christians.
      4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ, as in having a loving regard for others.
      5. humane; decent; generous.
      6. (n.) a person who believes in Jesus Christ; an adherent of Christianity.
      7. a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.

      I think a most people would agree that Mormons reasonably meet one or more of the 7 definitions of the word “Christian” provided by So, why should it be controversial to say that Mormons are (in some senses of the word) Christian?

      • Tiankem says:

        How is it even an argument that anyone who belongs to “The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints” is not a Christian? As a member of this faith I can attest that everything about being a Mormon centers around Jesus Christ and His teachings. The definition of what “Christian” is, as written by Kyle, was well stated. It is not theological differences about weather the Godhead is one entity vs. three separate beings, or what our potential eternal progression is after we die, or whether baptism should occur by emersion vs. sprinkling, etc. (the main arguments I have heard).

        A Christian is anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and His teachings and tries to emulate His example in their lives. To be honest, it simply baffles me when I hear anyone say that Mormon’s are not Christian.

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