These reports are frequently augmented, so use your REFRESH BUTTON.
Smoke, Mirrors and Disinformation…
The Compromised Ties of the Apologetics Ministries
EVANGELICAL MINISTRIES TO NEW RELIGIONS
Harold O.J. Brown, who has appeared on the Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL [Walter Martin/Hank Hanegraaff] masthead since 1995 as Contributing Editor is also a Consulting Editor for Christianity Today. Brown is on the faculty of World Magazine’s World Journalism Institute/WJI and on the advisory of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity/CBHD. [WJI and CHBD are covered briefly in Spiritual Counterfeits Project Part 1 [WJI] and Part 4 [CHBD]. Brown serves as a representative/ spokesman for the Howard Center / World Congress of Families with Herbert I. London the President/ trustee of Hudson Institute. [Hudson Institute is a Council on Foreign Relations/CFR-related org; many of the Hudson Trustees are members of the globalist CFR.] CRI JOURNAL, Spring 1996 carries a book review by Brown. His listed credentials are Professor of Ethics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School/TEDS and Director of the Rockford Institute Center on Religion and Society.
Understanding how the various World Congress of Families orgs connect…
Rockford Institute births the Howard Center
How long has Howard Center been in operation?
Our legacy goes back to 1976 when Rockford College President John A. Howard founded the Rockford College Institute. When Dr. Howard left Rockford College a year or two later he changed the name of the organization to The Rockford Institute. In October 1997, Dr. Howard and then-Rockford Institute President Allan C. Carlson separated from The Rockford Institute to form The Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society.
Dr. Allen C. Carlson, Howard Center Director… served as president of the old Rockford Institute ...
The Howard Center’s project is the World Congress of Families [WCF]. One of the main offices for the WCF is based at Brigham Young University [BYU is Mormon].
Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family is on the World Congress of Families Planning Committee, as is William Mattox of Focus’s Washington, D.C. political affiliate of Family Research Council. Focus on the Family’s Shirley Dobson, wife of James Dobson [member of the secret Council on National Policy/CNP], is the official Chair of the National Day of Prayer [a project of the Lausanne Consultation’s Mission America]. The National Day of Prayer* encourages the joining together of people of “all faiths.”
One of the World Congress of Families gatherings was held at the headquarters of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs [followed by several planning committee meetings] in 2001. In a letter written prior to the event, Brian Cooper, a FOTF employees and director of an independent ministry to Mormons, Freedom Quest, challenged James Dobson on Scriptural grounds about the wisdom of such a gathering––Christians, Mormons Muslims and Hindus together. He was fired from Focus on the Family. He organized a small group to picket the event and alert other FOTF employees. See transcript of Meeting between Brian Cooper & Tom Minnery.
To quell growing concerns of the FOTF staff, a memorandum was issued by Minnery:
Official Focus on the Family Memorandum
“From the Desk of Tom Minnery”
[Focus on the Family Logo]
DATE: July 12, 2001
To: All Staff
RE: FOF Involvement With Non-Evangelical Groups
Greetings to all! As you may know, for the past few days Focus on the Family has been serving as the host organization for a meeting of the Planning Committee of the Third World Congress of the Family. A few of our employees have had questions about the purpose of this gathering and Focus’s role in the proceedings. You may also be aware that our involvement with this gathering has given rise to outside criticism for our supposed “alliance” with non-evangelical groups like the Mormons and the Muslims. In accordance with our standard policy of keeping staff as fully informed as possible with regard to issues of ministry-wide concern, we have prepared the attached statement explaining both the extent and intent of Focus on the Family’s connections with non-evangelicals. It has been crafted with extreme care, every word having been subjected to the approval of the entire Executive Cabinet. Please study it carefully and feel free to use it in responding to friends, neighbors, and other members of the community who may have questions or concerns about our activities in this area.
I’ll close with a word of thanks to each and every one of you who has worked so hard to help us maintain the purity of Focus on the Family’s evangelical witness to Christ. “Let us not become weary in well-doing!” (Galatians 6:9) Keep up the good work, and God bless you all. ~ emphasis added
See how FOTF works directly with Mormons…
World Congress of Families III
David Dollahitec––USA [Brigham Young Univ./BYU/Mormon]
Rabbi Michael Gold ––USA
Mme. Fatemeh Hashemi ––Iran
Farooq Hassan ––Pakistan
Binyamin Jolkovsky ––USA
Anand Kumar ––India
H.E. Moktar Lamani ––Morocco
Gwendolyn Landolt ––Canada
William Mattox ––USA [FOTF’s Family Research Council]
Thomas Minnery–– USA [Focus on the Family/James Dobson/CNP]
Maria Morfaw ––The Cameroons
Margaret Ogola ––Kenya
Terry Olson––USA [Brigham Young University/BYU/Mormon]
Max Padilla ––Nicaragua
Dorothy Patterson ––USA
Austin Ruse ––USA
Joseph Santamaria ––Australia
Francisco Tatad ––Philippines
Fenny Tatad ––Philippines
Christine de Vollmer ––Venezuela [Opus Dei/Council for National Policy Bd. of Governors; CNP Profile]
Peter Westmore ––Australia
The mission statement of the World Congress of Families/WCF states that, all theological differences must be set aside as a requirement for membership. The World Congress of Families is an NGO of the United Nations [non-governmental organization/member], as is the URI/United Religions Initiative–– Circle of Cooperation. See United Religions Initiative/URI becomes a NGO of the United Nations.
Editor’s Note: The National Day of Prayer offered a poster in 2001 which was the image of George Washington kneeling with a teenager [in a tee shirt and jeans/2000 dress- style]. The artist was Alan Freiberg, a Mormon, who is the official illustrator for the Book of Mormon ––those editions which carry illustrations.
Enroth’s endorsement––‘This is a landmark book!”–– appeared on the book cover of A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation, How Wide the Divide? Written by Denver Seminary’s Craig Blomberg and Brigham Young University’s Stephen Robinson, the book was published by InterVarsity Press in 1997.
Endorsements on the back cover included Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary and Consulting Editor at Christianity Today: "Some of us have argued, against the relativizers of religious truth, that dialogue with other perspectives should never preclude efforts at evangelism. But neither should a commitment to evangelism rule out genuine engagement in dialogue… The dialogue between Evangelicals and Mormons is long overdue." ~ emphasis added
"Richard Mouw, is the same fellow responsible for A) the evangelical manifesto and B) the increasing ties between evangelicals and Mormons, including the notorious speech that he and Ravi Zacharias gave at the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City. In this link, it details how Richard Mouw actually apologized for Christian opposition to Mormonism." ("Why Does Rick Warren's Fuller Seminary Have a Psychology Department?")
Doug Groothius’s endorsement was also on the back cover of How Wide the Divide? Groothuis has been listed on the Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL masthead as Contributing Editor since as early as SUMMER1988; and throughout the years [2001 official CRI Journal masthead] He has appeared on the Spiritual Counterfeit Project’s Board of Reference as was InterVarsity Press’s Senior Editor James Sire. Groothuis’s books are published by InterVarsity Press. He is on the faculty at Denver Seminary* with EMNR founders, Gordon Lewis and Vernon Grounds and author Craig Blomberg. Vernon Grounds, Chancellor of Denver Seminary, is a Corresponding Editor at Christianity Today.
*Denver Seminary is a member of the Rockefeller-affiliated Association of Theological Schools/ATS [serving as the accrediting agency to seminaries]
Craig Blomberg’s curriculum–– Foundations of the New Testament–– is highly recommended/promoted through the influential Council of Christian Colleges and Universities [CCCU]. The Council of Christian Colleges and Universities/CCCU, which exerts considerable control over Christian educational institutions, interacts with the John Templeton Foundation. CCCU/Council for Christian Colleges and Universities works in partnership with the JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION.
CCCU offers the John Templeton Oxford Seminars on Science and Christianity
See previous report on Spiritual Counterfeits Project: World Journalism Institute & CCCU.
Blomberg appeared in a special INSP––Inspiration Cable Program–– "Real Answers: Jesus, The Search Continues" with Dead Sea Scroll scholars and John Ankerberg/CNP March 2002:
"Real Answers: Jesus, The Search Continues," a new, original special, will air on INSP/The Inspiration cable network. Ankerberg appears with Dead Sea Scroll Scholars and others including: Craig Blomberg [author of How Wide The Divide?; faculty Denver Seminary], William Lane Craig/Research professor at Biola’s Talbot School of Theology and fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture/CRSC [Discovery has ties to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations/CFR-related Hudson Institute and the RAND Corporation.], Randall Price [associate of Dave Hunt; Price’s World of the Bible Ministries board of reference has CNP/Council for National Policy members: John Ankerberg, Tim LaHaye and David Breese] and Gary Habermas, Professor of Apologetics, Liberty University [President Jerry Falwell/CNP]
EMNR’s Watchman Fellowship promotes the idea of NRM* Dialogues
*NRM = New Religious Movements
The Institute for Religious Research/ Mormons in Transition [Luke P. Wilson]
Luke P. Wilson heads Institute for Religious Research [formerly Gospel Truths Ministry]. Wilson’s articles on Mormonism have appeared in the Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL. Wilson’s Institute for Religious Research is a member of Lausanne’s EMNR / Evangelical Ministries to New Religions.
The current IRR home page prominently features a recommended book:
“In his new book Faith of the Fatherless: the Psychology of Atheism, psychologist Paul C. Vitz of New York University argues that the major objections to belief in God are often psychological, not rational.”
Dr. Paul Vitz is on the World Congress of Families/WCF Board of Directors.
May 21-23, 2002
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
hosted by Paul Vitz
Professor of Psychology, New York University
This conference will focus on the notion of the "autonomous self" that lies at the foundation of modern psychology and the ways in which postmodern culture has eroded or swept away this self. Presentations will discuss the difficulty of defining one's self. How can one escape the contemporary fragmentation and loss of the self? What is the meaning of a transmodern self? What fundamental nature of the self is found in embodiment and in strong, especially early, relationships? Can the properties of embodiment and relationships be linked to contemporary theology? How do they relate to cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy?
Pew Charitable Trusts/Sun Oil also funds the Council on Foreign Relations/CFR.
Pew also funded Wycliffe Bible Translators/SIL which facilitated Rockefeller’s genocidal policies in Latin America through pacification of native tribes. See: Strategists for Charter School: Pew Charitable Trusts and CNP: Wycliffe Bible Translators
Mormons in Transition
A related IRR web site, for which there seems to be no direct link from the IRR web page, is Mormons in Transition <http://www.irr.org/mit/default.html>, “sponsored by the Institute for Religious Research.”
(Ed note: The name Mormons in Transition is part of a blatant pattern that we are seeing more and more––the vague implication that the Mormon Church, and not only the Mormon Church but, that many of the false religions are changing for the better––especially through dialogue––the false notion that they are becoming more Christian.)
Mormonism might become “…just another Christian denomination.”
The Mormons in Transition home page carries an article by ecumenicist John Neuhaus, director of the Institute on Religion and Public Life.
“Richard John Neuhaus, a respected advocate for inter-religious cooperation, responds.”
Father Richard John Neuhaus is the author of a number of books, including The Naked Public Square, and is Editor-in-Chief of First Things, a monthly publication of the Institute on Religion and Public Life. The Institute is an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education organization whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society. This article appeared in the March 2000 issue First Things.
The Neuhaus article rambles on and on about “much to admire in Mormonism”…
Neuhaus and the old ecumenical spin working together on cultural issues for the family and respect for our fellow religious person:
…Although there is this curious thing of recent years that many conservative Christians warmly welcome Mormons as allies in various cultural tasks. To cite but one recent instance, it was an alliance of Catholics, evangelicals, and Mormons that was instrumental in persuading the people of Hawaii to reject same-sex marriage…
There’s a Mormon on the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life:
…Ours is an interreligious enterprise [Neuhaus’ publication is First Things], basically but not exclusively Jewish and Christian. Dr. Bruce Hafen is on our Editorial Advisory Board. He has held prominent positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), including that of provost and dean of the law school at Brigham Young University. I can’t say that many of my friends are Mormons, but some are. We are obliged to respect human dignity across the board, and to affirm common discernments of the truth wherever we find them. Where we disagree we should try to put the best possible construction on the position of the other, while never trimming the truth. That will become more important as Mormons become more of a presence, both in this country and the world. There are about ten million of them now, with about one-half of the membership in the U.S.…
Marriage becomes the common ground for Moonies, Mormons and Christians:
…One thinks, for instance, of the Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. There are other similarities between Mormonism and the Unification Church, such as the emphasis on the celestial significance of marriage and family. According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, "Gods and humans are the same species of being, but at different stages of development in a divine continuum, and the heavenly Father and Mother are the heavenly pattern, model, and example of what mortals can become through obedience to the gospel."
And Neuhaus splits fine hairs on various types of dialogue:
…Few dispute that Islam is a new and another religion, and Muslims do not claim to be Christian, although they profess a deep devotion to Jesus. Like Joseph Smith and his followers, they do claim to be the true children of Abraham. Christians in dialogue with Islam understand it to be an interreligious, not an ecumenical, dialogue. Ecumenical dialogue is dialogue between Christians. Dialogue with Mormons who represent official LDS teaching is interreligious dialogue.
Mormons just might be the future of Christianity:
…One must again keep in mind that Mormonism is still very young. It is only now beginning to develop an intellectually serious theological tradition. Over the next century and more, those who are now the "dissidents and exiles" may become the leaders in the forging, despite the formidable obstacles, a rapprochement with historic Christianity, at which point the dialogue could become ecumenical.
…The leadership of the LDS will have to decide whether its growth potential is enhanced or hampered by presenting Mormonism as a new religion or as, so to speak, another Christian denomination. Sometimes they seem to want to have it both ways, but that will become increasingly difficult…
As for the rest of us, we owe to Mormon Americans respect for their human dignity, protection of their religious freedom, readiness for friendship, openness to honest dialogue, and an eagerness to join hands in social and cultural tasks that advance the common good. That, perhaps, is work enough, at least for the time being.
About John Neuhaus’ publication First Things: Religion and Public Life
First Things is published under the auspices of Christian Leadership Ministries/CLM, an affiliate of Campus Crusade for Christ.
See Transformation of the Church/TOC database, Control over Christian Educational Institutions.
First Things Journal – Editor: the ecumenical Richard John Neuhaus; also Christianity Today, advisory editor; on the advisory board of Ethics and Public Policy Center/EPPC with EPPC President Elliot Abrams [CFR], Jeane Kirkpatrick [CFR] and John C. Whitehead/Chairman of the board for the Federal Reserve/CFR; collaborated with Chuck Colson [Wilberforce Forum] on the ecumenical document Evangelicals & Catholics Together Document, 1994.
First Things Editorial Board: Midge Decter [Heritage Foundation and Hoover Institution]; Michael Novak [CFR]; George Weigel [CFR]
First Things Editorial Advisory Board includes: Jean Bethke Elshtain; Carl F. H. Henry [former/founding executive editor of Christianity Today; currently on the World Journalism Institute faculty], Max Stackhouse [Professor of Christian Ethics Princeton Theological Seminary; director of the Princeton Seminary’s Project on Public Theology]
Ed. Note: Jean Bethke Elshtain, First Things editor/advisor, is also on the Wilberforce Forum [Chuck Colson and Nigel Cameron] board of reference; faculty at the University of Chicago Divinity School [Assn. of Theological Schools/ATS member] as the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Scholar of Social and Political Ethics; Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center in Research; Co-Chair of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life with E.J. Dionne, who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; board of the The National Commission for Civic Renewal
Jean Bethke Elstain and the Martin E. Marty Center
The Martin E. Marty Center is the institute within the University of Chicago’s Divinity School where Jean Bethke Elshtain is on the faculty. The Marty Center, named after Martin E. Marty, was “founded to promote public religion endeavors. Marty serves on the John Templeton Foundation advisory and is a researcher at the Park Ridge Center For the Study of Health, Faith and Ethics. John Kilner, President of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity/CBHD, worked at Park Ridge Center previously. The Center for Bioethics and Wilberforce Forum are promoted as the Christian answer to the genetics/ethics problem, but CBHD and Wilberforce Forum are, in fact, a vehicle for controlling Christian opposition on this matter. The two are funded by undisclosed foundations and corporations. It is quite possible that Sir John Templeton contributes to their coffers.
First Things Institute on Religion and Public Life [John Neuhaus]
Recipient of Grants totaling: $6,147,500 between the years 1989-1998 from: Olin Foundation, Sarah Scaife Foundation, Carthage Foundation [Scaife], Bradley Foundation, Castle Rock Foundation [Coors family]
How Wide the Divide?
A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation
By Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson
Some of us have argued, against the relativizers of religious truth, that dialogue with other perspectives should never preclude efforts at evangelism. But neither should a commitment to evangelism rule out genuine engagement in dialogue. This book is a model of a frank exchange conducted with deep integrity. The dialogue between Evangelicals and Mormons is long overdue. I hope this much-needed, fascinating and important book gets widely read in both communities. ~ Richard J. Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary
Blomberg and Robinson are bold men for writing a book that will undoubtedly draw fire from every side. I may reserve some fire of my own for parts of their conclusions. Yet after over 165 years of writing about each other, it is high time that Evangelicals and Mormons began to talk to one another. This book offers a tentative, but hopeful, first step in that direction. ~ Ken Mulholland, president, Utah Institute for Biblical Studies
No evasions here. No euphemisms. No petulance. This volume is an incisive person-to-person dialogue on critical religious issues that pulls no punches and makes no concessions. It is enjoyable, very informative and historic. It is the first time two well-informed and articulate Evangelical and Mormon scholars have publicly joined together to overcome mistrust, acrimony and differences while unselfconsciously reaffirming their individual convictions. The result is marvelously revealing. ~ Spencer J. Palmer, professor emeritus of comparative religion, Brigham Young University
For too long, relations between Evangelicals and Mormons have been marred by mistrust, misunderstanding and misrepresentation. . . . This book is a truly remarkable breakthrough. . . . This is must reading for Evangelicals, Mormons and all who seek a worthy model for understanding and loving their religious other. ~ David Paulsen, Richard L. Evans Chair for Religious Understanding, Brigham Young University
Although it is sure to spark controversy on both sides of the divide, this significant book respectfully addresses many of the crucial points of contention between Mormons and Evangelical Christians in a way that avoids both hasty polemics and superficial agreement. ~ Douglas Groothuis, assistant professor of philosophy of religion and ethics, Denver Seminary
This is a landmark book! The first of its kind--and engaging dialogue between scholars of two 'opposing' religious communities presented in a context of civility and mutual respect. It will have substantial significance both to Mormons and to Evangelicals, and is sure to generate discussion. ~ Ronald Enroth, Professory of Sociology, Westmont College
No small step for the two writers, this book is a giant step toward better understanding of some influential contemporary Evangelicals and Mormons. All can learn from this model of respectful dialogue, although readers from either side may differ at points with their representative writer and wish some other crucial issues could have been featured. The remaining deep differences illustrate the urgent need for scholars and evangelists to transcend their specialties and integrate Old Testament, New Testament, historical, Systematic, apologetic and practical concerns. ~ Gordon R. Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Denver Theological Seminary
In interfaith discussion, as in life, understanding begins with listening, which at its best includes restating what the other is saying to his complete satisfaction. It has happened too rarely on either side of the separate Evangelical and Mormon traditions. In this volume, Professors Blomberg and Robinson demonstrate determined goodwill to listen and accurately restate the insights and idioms of each tradition. Their characterizations are careful and rigorous. Their comparisons and contrasts are to the heart of issues and not glancing hit-and-run stereotypes. The book stirs hope that the Evangelical and Mormon communities may together follow this example, this first step toward mutual perception, and that willful misunderstandings will be replaced by what each tradition advocates in the name of Jesus: love. ~ Truman G. Madsen, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy and Religion, Brigham Young University
The Watchman Expositor Vol 15 : No. 4, 1998 [a publication of Watchman Fellowship]
New Religious Movements and Interreligious Dialogue
~ edited for purposes of this report. See Watchman Fellowship web site for full text. ~
By Jason Barker
Formal interreligious dialogue, as the process is defined in these articles, has occurred between the world religions for over a century. Beginning with the World's Parliament of Religions in 1893, major episodes in dialogue have occurred almost every decade. The founding of the World Council of Churches in 1942 increased the pace of interreligious and interfaith dialogue…
The Current Status of Dialogue with NRMs…
The remaining relatively unexplored frontier for interreligious dialogue is with new religious movements (NRMs). The most significant dialogue between an evangelical and a Mormon has been How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation (henceforth referred to as HWTD), published in 1997 by the evangelical InterVarsity Press (interestingly, HWTD was originally to be co-published by InterVarsity Press and the LDS Church-owned Deseret Books)…
Reactions to HWTD have been mixed. Many counter-cult organizations have reacted against some of the difficulties in Robinson's presentation of Mormonism. Critics assert that Robinson's opinions are representative of neither historical Mormonism or current LDS leadership. For example, Francis Beckwith* notes:
The more interesting divide is not between Robinson and Blomberg, but between Robinson and the founder of Mormonism. Consequently, the agreements between Robinson and Blomberg in their joint conclusions should be taken with a grain of salt, keeping in mind that Robinson, by his own admission, does not speak for the LDS Church, even though some church members agree with his views.
Despite this criticism, Beckwith states that the book "is a significant work in American religious history."
In contrast to the opposition of the critics of HWTD, many evangelical scholars have been encouraged by the attempt at irenic dialogue. Ron Enroth speculates that one reason for this academic approval is that "members of the academy are not as threatened by the format and content of this particular book as some counter-cult ministries seem to be." In response to charges that Robinson does not accurately represent Mormon thought, Blomberg states that Robinson, even though a theological "progressive," is accepted as representative of the LDS mainstream by not only a wide spectrum of Mormons, but also by some evangelical critics of the LDS Church. Robinson, in his own defense, notes that he has received no criticism from other Mormons for his presentation of LDS doctrine, pointing out that LDS leadership would remove him from his position if his teachings were to contradict Mormon orthodoxy…
Dialogue between evangelicals and the LDS Church can be advantageous to the coexistence of both groups in contemporary American society. Mormons are becoming increasingly involved in social and political activities commonly supported by evangelicals (such as efforts against abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and the legalization of homosexual marriage). Dialogue will allow both groups to understand the areas of society in which they can work together while respecting the religious boundaries that necessarily separate them. To be effective, however, this dialogue must adhere to guidelines, such as those laid out in the previous article, that will allow an increase in mutual understanding without compromising doctrinal integrity.
Prospects for Dialogue with NRMs…[and the ecumenical beat goes on!]
The World's Parliament of Religions is an organization that continues to this day in hopes of bringing the world’s religions together into one religion. Chuck Colson [member of the secret Council for National Policy/CNP] received an award of $1 million from the John Templeton Foundation for his contribution to “progress in Religion” at the gathering of the World Parliament of Religions in 1993.
Francis Beckwith is Ethics Editor for the Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL and has been with CRI since 1988.
Note that Enroth is in the middle of the dialoguing.
Note how Mormon Robinson is labeled by Blomberg as “progressive”; is there a scale of progression towards Christianity?
Note that this article could well serve the World Congress of Families as their raison d’ etre.
Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL ~ Nov-Dec 1997
How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation
James White [EMNR member org Alpha & Omega Ministries]
…Dr. Blomberg has told me in no uncertain terms that he does not consider Momonism a valid Christian faith, and that he actually wanted to discuss this issue in the book, but the editors did not feel such a discussion should be included. One cannot but question the editorial judgement shown by InterVarsity Press, a widely respected Christian publisher, in offering this volume to the reading public.
Ed Decker comments:
As mentioned in an earlier Newsletter, the Mormon Church has come up with its most successful and most non-Mormon ad campaign in its history.
Today, its television and radio ads talk about calling a toll free number to get a free copy of the Holy Bible...and the doors are opening as never before. One can only wonder if Thomas Nelson Publishing realizes or even cares how many innocent people are seduced through this glib bait and switch tactic into the dark side of Mormonism and on to a Christless eternity because of the Bible it publishes for the LDS church! Will the money they make from it still be worth it when they stand before God at the White Throne judgment?
We called the publisher and they said their policy is that it is O.K. to sell anything to anyone who can purchase the item (Bible) in public. The publisher said they wouldn’t alter the integrity of the Bible in anyway such as translation or special interpretations. But the inside cover page says it is from the LDS Church.
Saints Alive is in the process of submitting a written inquiry to obtain an official response from Thomas Nelson Publishers about the ethics and decision making process used in setting up their deal with the Mormon Church.
Here is an excerpt letter that accompanies the free Thomas Neslon-LDS bible:
Dear Friend: Thank you for your interest in THE BIBLE. Like you, millions are discovering that the message that can change the world hasn’t changed. If, after receiving THE BIBLE you would like to know more about how the teachings of Jesus Christ can help you and your family, representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will gladly arrange a visit that is convenient to your schedule. They will also bring you a free copy of The Book of Mormon. May the message of The Bible help you find the greater love and happiness we all desire.
Sincerely, Stephen Allen (signed) Public Programs
P.S. Along with The Bible, you’ll want to read THE BOOK OF MORMON: Another Testament Of Jesus Christ. This powerful scripture supports and clarifies the teachings in The Bible.
Ed Decker comments:
The fact is, Mormons are not Christians. The simple gospel of Jesus Christ is not enough, because without “Exaltation” to Godhood, the ultimate reality of the Gospel is not the same taught by the LDS Church. Christians are follower of Christ and take His place of righteousness as “co-heirs” and Mormons seek their own righteousness to become Gods in their own righteousness.
Blomberg and Beckwith share EMNR 2000 platform…
Previously found: < www.emnr.org/conf.htm
EMNR 2000 Conference
Last updated Feb. 2000
Postmoderism and Spirituality: Do the Pieces Fit?
Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR) is pleased to announce the gathering of a nationally-recognized team of experts in Denver, Colorado, on February 18-20, 2000.
They will assemble to explain and make sense of the changing shape of religion in the West. This noteworthy group of Christian missionaries, degreed theologians, and researchers into “cultic” or non-traditional religions will address the theme, Postmodernism and Spirituality; Do the Pieces Fit?
This conference, which is open to the public is sponsored by EMNR and is being co-sponsored by….
Although the orientation is Christian, people of all faiths and those of no faith are welcome to attend…
On the morning and afternoon of the Main conference (Feb. 18th), there will be a special Summit conference intended primarily for EMNR members or for prospective members who are involved in countercult ministry.
Who are the main speakers?
A number of speakers will be highlighting the full conference program, although there will be some super-interesting workshops as well. Here’s the line-up of our main presenters:
• Dr. Norman Geisler, dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary…
• Dr. Doug Groothuis, professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary…
[Christian Research Institute CRI JOURNAL Contributing Editor since 1987; previously worked with the Campus Crusade-affiliated Probe Ministries; endorsed Craig Blomberg’s book along with EMNR/Evangelical Ministries to New Religions founders Gordon Lewis and Ronald Enroth.]
• Dr. Phil Roberts, North American Mission Board , Southern Baptist Convention
[Roberts is an EMNR board member and involved with SBC interfaith dialogue––Roman Catholic.]
• Carl Mosser [member of the Evangelical Theological Society]
• Francis Beckwith [Christian Research Institute CRI JOURNAL Contributing Editor and later Ethics Editor since 1988; fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture/CRSC; fellow at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity/CBHD––supported by corporations & foundations [Nigel Cameron and John Kilner]. See: EMNR Part 4: Discovery Institute
• Craig Blomberg [Author of the ecumenical How Wide the Divide?: A Mormon & An Evangelical in Conversation; Blomberg’s New Testament curriculum is endorsed/used by CCCU/CUGN. See below.] See also: SCP, Templeton & CCCU
Topic of the Mosser/Beckwith/Blomberg speech was “Evangelizing Mormons in the Next Millennium: A New Focus on Scholarship?”
more about Blomberg…
CCCU/Council for Christian College’s and Universities / Christian University Global Net / CUGN Curriculum Series
[CCCU sponsors the CUGN Internet courses]
Christ-centered Distributed Learning for Learners Worldwide
Two renowned Bible scholars lead you through the courses -- Dr. Craig Blomberg (professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary) and Dr. Douglas Stuart (professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). The courses also include supplemental teaching and study resources from Philip Yancey [Christianity Today editor at large], Ray Stedman, Robert Gundry, and others.
The Worldwide Church of God:
EMNR’s Model for Mainstreaming Mormonism
During the early 1990s, after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong and a multitude of scandals that eventuated in class-action litigation, the Worldwide Church of God changed some of their false doctrines, or at least the public perception of its doctrines. In 1993, the WCG accepted the doctrine of the Trinity, which it had previously denied. In 1997, the WCG was accepted into the membership of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE).
[Recall that the NAE is the organization which revived the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) from the "dying embers" of Great Britain's Evangelical Alliance (EA) which was founded in 1846 in Freemason's Hall, headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England. For documentation of this background, see: The Masonic Roots of the EA/WEF/NAE and An Interlinear History of the NAE/WEF & Lausanne.]
Some ex-members of the WCG claim that this move to ‘orthodoxy’ is all window dressing; that the Worldwide Church of God has not changed. Despite their warnings, many Christian ministries who were contacted by ex-WCG members began public dialogues with WCG leaders, promoting the notion that the Worldwide Church of God is now a mainstream Christian denomination.
[See also: The British-Israel Conspiracy: Worldwide Church of God & Discernment Ministries]
Included in this dialoguing were Christian Research Institute’s Hank Hanegraff, Paul Carden, Eric Pement [EMNR board member], Alan Gomes [who attended Fuller Theological Seminary] and Bob & Gretchen Passantino [members of EMNR through Eric Pement’s Cornerstone Apologetics Research Team [CART] affiliated with Cornerstone Magazine/Jesus People USA, who have appeared as speakers at EMNR conferences]. The Passantinos have appeared as speakers at EMNR conferences; Bob Passantino at EMNR's Rockford Conference, 1989 and Gretchen at EMNR's 1994 Philadelphia Conference.].
Hank Hanegraaff marketed his Dialog with Hank: WCG A Church Reborn “you will be encouraged and enlightened …” [series of taped discussions with Joseph Tkach Jr., Pastor General of the WCG and Greg Albrecht, Editor of Plain Truth Magazine] through CRI’s EQUIP bookstore.
Christian Research Institute/CRI Gretchen Passantino’s revised entry on the Worldwide Church of God found in Walter Martin’s Kingdom of the Cults is posted on the WCG web site:
The Worldwide Church of God: from Cult to Christianity
The following appeared in Appendix A, pages 471 to 473, of Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter Martin (Bethany House Publishers, 1997). It is reprinted here by permission of Bethany House. The late Dr. Martin was founder of the Christian Research Institute, and original host of The Bible Answer Man radio broadcast. He was succeeded by Hank Hanegraaff.
This updated appendix replaces the 1985 edition's chapter 12, "Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God--Anglo-Israelism." Some statistical material has become out of date since the book was printed.
By Kurt Van Gorden
Edited by Gretchen Passantino
The Worldwide Church of God: From Cult to Christianity…
Christianity Today published WCG apologist Ruth Tucker’s “From the Fringe to the Fold: How the Worldwide Church of God discovered the plain truth of the gospel.” Tucker is a professor at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School/TEDS. TEDS is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America/EFCA denomination.
See Biblical Discernment Ministry’s exposé: Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) –– A Smorgasbord of Heresy
Doug LeBlanc, who has appeared as Contributing Writer on Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL masthead since 1997, is an Associate Editor for Christianity Today.
Found on the Christian Research Institute’s EQUIP web site:
The Worldwide Church of God: Resurrected into Orthodoxy
By Doug Le Blanc
Evangelical Responses. [Ruth] Tucker speaks warmly of her friends in the WCG leadership. “I’ve always appreciated their openness and their honesty. I never once caught them misrepresenting anything to me.” Does she consider the WCG an orthodox Christian denomination? “Absolutely. Categorically. I would sign my name on the dotted line,” she told the JOURNAL. “I’m not saying they necessarily have the right take on the Old Testament feasts or eternal punishment, but their thinking is much clearer on salvation by grace and on the Trinity.”
Nor does Tucker believe the Worldwide Church of God should change its name, although it’s very different from the WCG of Herbert Armstrong.
“Let this go down forever in history, that a movement outside orthodoxy can turn to God, turn to truth, and hold its name high,” Tucker said. “As a church historian, I cannot cite anything else like this.”
Philip Arnn of Watchman Fellowship has been more skeptical of the WCG’s changes, but he too believes the denomination has made significant progress.
“The doctrinal changes are extraordinary. On all the cardinal doctrines — the nature of God, soteriology, the identity of the body of Christ — they are now orthodox.…
Doug Le Blanc a Christian Research Journal, contributing Editor and an Associate Editor at Christianity Today
CRI JOURNAL, September-October 1997 carried a full-page advertisement BABYLON: Past, Present…and Future “available… simply call Plain Truth Ministries” [publishing arm of the Worldwide Church of God]. Many of the CRI JOURNALS have carried full-page ads for the Jesus Film–– a project of Campus Crusade for Christ serving as a promo for the Lausanne Consultation for World Evangelization/LCWE.
EMNR Roundtable Talks with WCG’s Joseph Tkach…
An EMNR conference provided yet another venue for the Worldwide Church of God to advance the belief that WCG is no longer a cult:
The EMNR Chicago, IL Conference (1998)
Roundtable I: Changes in the Worldwide Church of God
Joseph Tkach [WCG], Greg Albrecht [WCG], James Walker, John Morehead, James Bjornstad
Roundtable II: Q & A with Worldwide Church of God, Joseph Tkach
EMNR’s interlocking member org Watchman Fellowship sells Tkach’s book.
Transformed by Truth, Joseph Tkach
Other books Watchman offers:
Another Gospel––Ruth Tucker
More Smoke, Mirrors and Disinformation…
The Compromised Ties of the Apologetics Ministries
Evangelical Ministries to New Religions – Part 4