Month: October 2007

Evangelical / LDS National Student Dialogue Conference wrapup

First, I sat in a breakout session with John Thomas of Brigham Young University-Idaho, who basically lead a group discussion on “Dealing with Difficult History.”  He recommended for us all to pick up the latest book, written by three LDS scholars on the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Secondly, I briefly sat in to listen to the panel discussion on “Evangelical Churches, why so many, and do they work together?”  The three pastors were Pastor Mike Imperial of First Presbyterian Church, Pastor Dave Nelson of K2 the Church, and Pastor Jim Ayers of Valley Assembly of God.

Because of my time schedule, I need to head back to Idaho Falls, thus missing the last session of the conference, “The Role of Grace & Works As It Relates To Doctrine & Tradition”.  Some one will have to fill me in later on the talks by Dr. Craig Blomberg (Denver Seminary) and Dr. Camille Fronk (Brigham Young University).

Evangelical/LDS Session 3 – NSDC

Session Three:  The Legitimacy of Mormon/Evangelical Dialogue, and Should We Even be talking? 

Dr. William Heersink (Professor of theology and missions, Salt Lake Theological Seminary)

Ten years ago, an LDS friend of mine handed me a book, How Wide the Divide? This book was a landmark volume.

Twenty five years ago, a campus pastor felt burdened to start a school.  It was called the Utah Institute for Biblical Studies, now Salt Lake Theological Seminary.  The founder was kind, seeking to understand LDS in a holistic context and culture.  And today, we would love to have students, even LDS students, pursue our studies offered.

Fifty years ago, an evangelical tuned into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  He sent a large contribution.  They refused his money.  He made a phone call and connected with Richard L. Evans. 

In their conversations, they felt their needed to be a lot more interchange. The Richard L. Evans Chair for Christian Understanding was established.  The first person to hold that chair is Truman Madsen, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School, student under Krister Stendahl and Paul Tillich. 

William Heersink asked Truman Madsen to come up to share a few things about this particular chair.

They gave me a chair but not a desk.  Richard Evans told this evangelical:  We had more in common than in separations.  And this man said, “The two greatest Christians he ever knew was Billy Graham and Richard Evans.”  The responsibility of the chair:  “Your assignment is teach that there are other good Christians but also to convince others that we are Christians.”  This chair has now expanded to three in the chair. Robert Millet, and one to Asia, and one elsewhere.  “Does this get us started Brother Bill?” (more…)

Controversial Questions Live! – NSDC


One of the students asked Dr. William Heersink about how he helped an LDS man to get back into his faith.  Bill shared how he felt alright in affirming this man with his position on salvation and Christ-centeredness to again be active within the LDS church.

To Dr. Truman Madsen: What bothers you the most about the evangelical doctrine?   The notion of the grace alone doctrine and that James is a straw epistle.  Also, Double predestination . . . that God causes damnation.

Evangelical/LDS Session 2 – NSDC

This session concluded last night, the first day of this genesis conference hosted in Salt Lake City for college students.  Please see Standing Together Minstries for full recordings of all these sessions.  These are only paraphrased cliffnotes through my lens.


Session two:  Missional Principles and Guidelines for Interfaith Dialogue

Dr. Doug McConnell (Dean of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Seminary)

 Here are quickly some selected highlights:


“I am an evangelist through and through.” (more…)