Ravi Zacharias at the Mormon Tabernacle?

This past weekend Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle. It was a joint effort together with Greg Johnson’s Stand Together Ministries. I don’t know a whole lot about this ministry, but from what I’ve read it seems too “ecumenical” towards Mormons if there can be such a thing from the Christian perspective. So far the only article I have found on this past weekend is from the Salt Lake Tribune. I hope to get a copy of Ravi’s presentations once available. As the article states this is the first time in 105yrs. that someone other than a Mormon spoke at this Mormon pulpit. The words “Mormon puplit” just sounds weird to me.

Ravi Zacharias is quoted as saying, “When you get the Son, you get the way, the truth and the life.” True and I hope Ravi brought the Son and His message. The 5,000 people consisting of evangelicals and LDS need to hear about the Son. I get uneasy when I hear of this type of “coming together” and there is this much comfort. The gospel is an offense. When I talk to my RLDS relatives about Joseph Smith and Christ they sometimes get offended as they hold Smith as a prophet and salvation is all about being good enough. About this event, Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary thought this to be an historic occasion. Mouw claims Christians have misrepresented LDS beliefs even to the point of false witness. Now it appears the best way to reach Mormons is by finding common ground. This isn’t a bad thing except when you consider that the very main differences we have are the very nature of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ where does one begin? The whole essence of Christianity resting at the vortex of differences makes it tough, in my opinion, to find a common ground. This, however, does not negate the fact that we can have honest dialogue while disagreeing, but we shouldn’t pretend that our differences are small. Mouw admits the differences of eternal measure, but that we can now discuss these issues as “friends” and that’s a great gesture. Problem is, simply being someone’s friend doesn’t save them.

Brigham Young University religion professor Robert Millet, “More than anything, it’s a work of the heart, not of syrupy sentimentality but of seeing others as God sees them.” Now, I have no idea the context of this remark and I don’t understand it. If it was a work of the heart, more precisely, the regenerated heart then we’d see and hear about many of these people becoming Christians. I wonder how Mormon believe God sees everyone?

So until I get to actually hear Ravi’s presentation it will be tough to fully comment. If this article is a good summary of the reactions to the event I think I will be disappointed. A Mormon said it was beautiful and she sounds like she enjoyed the common ground. That is a bit scary to me. Even LDS president Hinckley had positive input. I just don’t know what to think right now. I don’t understand how one can attempt to bridge a gap when the very materials to build that bridge aren’t brought to the building site. How can you evangelize someone without the gospel?

Former RLDS,

in Church Issues,Culture,theology

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Brett December 28, 2004 at 2:11 pm

I have a lot of respect for Ravi Zacharias and was intrigued about his appearance in a Mormom Taberenacle. I too would be interested in the ‘common ground’ that he seemed to find with the Mormons. I too am suspicious of the ‘common ground’ approach to evangelism.
My question is why is someone like Ravi trying to find common ground.

If we look at the Apostle Paul in Acts 17, speaking to the Greeks, we see that he does initially find common ground with them in talking about the idol that is devoted to the ‘unknown God’. Paul however does not remain there as he then tells them about this ‘unknown God’ and then tells them to repent because the day of judgement is near! – doesn’t sound to ecumenical does it?

Anyway I would like to see a text of Ravi’s speech in the Mormon Tabernacle for further comment.

In Him



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