Evangelical / LDS Session 4 – NSDC

These two speakers were totally opposite each other, both in topic and presentation. 


Session four:  Spiritual Formation and Interfaith Dialogue

Dr. Jerry Root (Wheaton College, Associate Director of the Billy Graham Center)

 Complexities surrounding truth 

A few soundbites . . .

“Truth is narrow; opinion is open; and wisdom knows the difference.”

“Every year that you grow, you will find me bigger” – Aslan to Lucy

“You can’t really know yourself until you know God” – Calvin

“In the midst of complexity, there are no last words, but that does not mean there are no sure words.”

 Complexities surrounding the truth seeker 

A few more . . .

Infinitude is not a liability. It opens us up to awe and worship.

We are finite.  We are fallen, goofy, nice way to say we are sinners.  Because we are goofy we can drift to improper forms of dialogue.  All communication is persuasive.  And consequently, there is a possibility to manipulate.

Definite – to be able wrap words around the finite.  How do you define God?

 Complexities surrounding dialogue 

The worst of bad men are religious bad men – C.S. Lewis.

What is the foundation underlying pride?  Pride is the apex.  Beneath pride is fear and insecurity.  The antidote is perfect love.  But we have never been loved like that by another mortal.  Only God loves perfectly.

Dr. Richard Bennett (professor of Church History and Doctrine & Covenants, Brigham Young University)

Good afternoon, brothers and sisters.  That is a hard act to follow.  I am thrilled by what you had to say, Jerry.

During my mission years ago, we gave a lecture at a Bible Baptist Church in Texas.  We were fasting because we didn’t have any food.  We were on bicycles in the heat of the day.  When we got back to our porch, there was a giant watermelon.  A note on top said:  “To the Morman [true spelling] elders from the Baptist Youth Group”.  I am truly thankful.

I woke up this morning and felt impressed to change everything I say.

Dialogue and doctrine of the Holy Ghost

I love this time to dialogue but I must tell you.of a couple of bad experiences.

1.  I was talking to one of my colleagues about this very forum and learning from you.  He said, “Dick, what can you learn from anointed eyes?”  I said, “Plenty, why don’t you come?”


2.  In a soup kitchen up in Canada, a minister realized he had some Mormons in the line.  He said, “I am going to ask you to leave because you are un-Christian.”

These true experiences make my heart bleed.

John 14:16-18 – We Latter-day Saints use the King James Version, but you probably have a good one, too.

John 14:26

The Holy Ghost is the great teacher.  We know nothing until the Holy Spirit sanctifies it in our heart.

Richard took us through several other verses.

When the Holy Ghost is alive and well in me, my life takes on whole new meaning.

Mosiah 3:19, 5:1-2

It is not enough to just become a member in our church; one must follow the enticement of the Holy Spirit.

II Nephi 31:16-21

D&C 84 – the light of Christ radiates from men and women of all faiths.  It can teach us, build us, and refine us.

I have enormous respect for people of other faiths.  The big question is not can we just help one another, but can we help each other come to Christ?

We can pray together.  We can sing together.  We can sustain each other in times of trial, tragedy, and personal loss.  We can be Christian to one another.

Can we not worship together?  I believe we can.


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