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How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation, by Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson (InterVarsity, 228 pp.; $11.99, paper). Reviewed by Francis J. Beckwith, associate professor of philosophy, culture, and law, and W. Howard Hoffman scholar, Trinity Graduate School, Trinity International University (Deerfield, Ill.), California campus. He is the coauthor (with Stephen Parrish) of The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis (Edwin Mellen).

Because it is the first of its kind, this book is a significant work in American religious history. It is an interaction between a respected scholar from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Stephen E. Robinson, a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University; and a respected evangelical scholar, Craig L. Blomberg, a professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. According to its authors, this book's main purpose is to help each community to understand the other's beliefs.

In addition to separately authored introductions and a jointly authored conclusion, this book consists of four parts: (1) Scripture, (2) God and Deification, (3) Christ and the Trinity, and (4) Salvation. In separately authored chapters, each contributor presents his tradition's viewpoint on each of these doctrines, ending each part with a jointly authored conclusion.

Given the book's main purpose and the constraints of its format, Blomberg does an outstanding job of explaining and defending the evangelical positions on these doctrines. Robinson's contribution, however, makes things more murky for the LDS case. Consider only Robinson's discussion of God. Robinson affirms that, in addition to being corporeal, the LDS "God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, ...

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November 17, 1997

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