On ABC’s this week during his interview with Pastor Rick Warren Jake Tapper asked this question concerning the Mormon church:
TAPPER: Mitt Romney will almost certainly be the Republican nominee, and if that happens, as it looks like it will, he’ll the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be the nominee. A lot of evangelicals have been talking about whether or not Mormons are Christians. Are Mormons Christians?
WARREN: Well, the key sticking point for evangelicals and actually for many is the issue of the Trinity. Orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, Protestant Christians, evangelical Christians and Pentecostal Christians all believe in the Trinity; that’s the historic doctrine of the church, that God is three-in-one. Not three gods; one God in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
WARREN: Mormonism denies that. That’s a sticking point for a lot of Catholic Christians, evangelical Christians, Pentecostal Christians, because they don’t — they don’t believe that. Now they’ll use the same terminology, but they don’t believe in the historic doctrine of the Trinity. And people have tried to make it other issues. But that’s really one of the fundamental differences.
In terms of the question of how what would be called “Mainstream Christianity” it’s a pretty good answer and frankly it’s not a bad question, but if you are going to ask the question I think the better question would be: “Based on your definition of salvation by faith, does a believing Mormon qualify?”
This is likely the most benign “Mormon” question we will hear over the next few months.
I can’t find the full interview online yet but you will want the catch the entire interview with Rick Warren, it was pretty good and he is one of my favorite protestants…
…still theologically wrong a bit, but gotta love him.
Update: On NBC David Gregory went so deep into the Mormon question with his panel including the Cardinal designate of Baltimore and Billy Graham’s daughter that she eventually asked when they would get to Easter since this is “our day”.
The Graham family might be informed religiously but if they seriously believed that Gregory would talk about Easter on Easter Sunday rather than try to support Obama, they certainly aren’t paying attention.