In the News

What Does the Mormonism of Mitt Romney Have to Do with the Ballot Box?

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed column entitled “A Religious ‘Test’ for Mitt Romney,” Tim Rutten ranted against objections raised against support for the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney run for the presidency on the basis of Mormon beliefs as a “dangerous turn in American politics.” Whether it be Warren Cole Smith’s warnings about how a person’s worldview beliefs would influence one’s values and behavior, or Sarah Palin and Catholic archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput’s criticisms against John F. Kennedy’s paradigm for looking at candidates and their religions, Rutten finds that such analysis threatens “the Constitution’s ban on religious test for office.”

Christians are to understand that there is a great divide between Christianity and the Mormonism of Mitt Romney. Mormon beliefs are clearly antithetical to a biblical worldview. Hank Hanegraaff, in the Complete Bible Answer Book, offers a helpful synopsis under the section entitled “Is Mormonism Christian?” Also recommended is Hank’s resource The Mormon Mirage: Seeing Through the Illusion of Mainstream Mormonism.

It is true that beliefs determine values and behavior (please see “What We Think, What We Believe, How We Act” by Gretchen Passantino), so the political candidate’s faith (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, atheism, etc.) does indeed contribute to his or her polices; however, a political candidate’s religious belief is not necessarily the game changer at the ballot box, and there are many other factors to take into consideration in a biblically sound and robust voting strategy (please see “Wise as Serpents: Christians, Politics, and Strategic Voting” and “Is it Permissible for a Christian to Vote for a Mormon?” by Francis J. Beckwith). Ultimately, the Christian must consider whether or not it is possible for churches to support non-Christian political candidates to bring about positive changes in legislation for the common good.

—Warren Nozaki, Research

In the News

John Dominic Crossan

John Dominic Crossan: A “brilliant,” “keen mind,” Jesus scholar who “loves the Bible” or a blasphemer?

A couple of weeks ago after church, I came across the CNN article “John Dominic Crossan’s ‘Blasphemous’ Portrait of Jesus,” which offered a brief biographical sketch of the co-founder of the Jesus Seminar, an extremely liberal committee of Bible scholars whose research into the “historical Jesus” attempts to undermine the Christ of the historic Christian faith. Crossan’s own portrait of the “historical Jesus” is one of a Jewish peasant non-violent insurrectionist. Crossan does profess to be a “Christian,” believes he is “trying to understand the stories of Jesus, not refute them,” and says, “if people finish with my books and now see why Pilate executed him and why people died for him, then I’ve done my job.”

Is not John Dominic Crossan really selling the Jesus of his own imagination, one which can be rightly considered blasphemous? What the CNN article does not mention is that Crossan believes Jesus was crucified; however, contrary to the four Gospel writers and Paul’s affirmation in 1 Corinthians 15, the Jesus Seminar co-founder believes the corpse was left unburied and most likely eaten by wild dogs. As for the resurrection appearances, he dismisses them as “tales” and “wishful thinking.” Finally, the Jesus Seminar method of biblical interpretation is both fanciful and flawed in that it takes a particular scholar’s preconceived notion of the “historical Jesus,” and then distinguishes the passages that fit that imaginary portrait as representing the historical person from the passages that do not fit the imaginary portrait as later mythology. For John Dominic Crossan to deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and go to great lengths to twist Scriptures in support of his own imaginary portrait of Jesus, the title blasphemous fits.

— Warren Nozaki, Research

For further study on John Dominic Crossan, we recommend:

The Search for Jesus Hoax

Answering More Prime Time Fallacies (FALSE Acronym)

The FEAT that Demonstrates the FACT of Resurrection

The Jesus Seminar: The Quest for the Imaginary Jesus

The Jesus Seminar and the Gospel of Thomas: Courting the Media at the Cost of Truth

Jesus and the Earliest Sources: An Answer to John Dominic Crossan

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

Case for the Real Jesus

Apologetics, In the News, Journal Topics

Gay Groups and Evangelical Colleges

A recent online article from Christian Century reports that at some Evangelical Colleges, acceptance of gay groups is growing perhaps due to the efforts of the gay activist group Soulforce. In 2009, the Christian Research Journal published an in-depth article on Soulforce by Joe Dallas. As Dallas writes, “But an error Christians often make when dealing with homosexual activists is to overindulge their desire for us to hear their concerns, while offering none of our own.”

Do you think acceptance of gay groups on Evangelical college campuses is inevitable? How can Christians dialog with groups and maintain fidelity to biblical truth? Should we be in dialog with these groups?

—Melanie M. Cogdill, Managing Editor

Recommended Resources on Homosexuality:

Desires in Conflict
The Gay Gospel?: How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread The Bible
The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible’s Message About Homosexuality