An Open Letter to Hank Hanegraaff? This is interesting. I have never read anything by Hank Hanegraaff on Mormonism. Share this:ShareFacebookLinkedInEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading...
I didn’t much like the response. Not professional enough in tone. I can accept that sort of stuff from a blogger. As a blog post, it would have been fine. But for something you publish in a respectable journal, I’d like a little less snark.
If I’d been her editor, I probably would have asked her to tone it down.
Of course, if she was responding to McKeever or someone like that, I probably would have been more willing to let her fire away with both barrels. But Hanegraff doesn’t appear to be a professional critic of Mormonism. Just another Evangelical who’s having a stab at the subject. A bit more charity was in order.
The letter gets me all excited to talk about the Holy Trinity again.
. I don’t know anything about the expertise of the blogger, but I was disappointed by the open-endedness of the arguments–i.e., you cannot make forceful statements against what we believe because I quote these experts who say that some things in the book of Mormon might maybe kind of sort of be possible. I am relieved that my faith is very much intact after reading this.
If these arguments have any merit, they are probably harder to present well than what most folks, like myself, would ever have time, brainpower, or willingness to read. Perhaps there are other brief and simple rebuttals of common arguments elsewhere that are more compelling.
Haven’t read Hanegraff, and, bless his heart, probably will not, but hope the accusation is not true that he is not acquainting himself with serious Mormon scholarship. But we have all accused similar things when we think that we are not being taken seriously.
I have not read much anti-mormon lit., so I cannot speak to the snideness that we are accused of (I have heard and read many snide Christians in my day), but after reading this, I do not think that we have a corner on passive- aggressive snideness. On the other hand, does anyone ever view it as charitable to be told that they are wrong about the things they hold most dear?
I didn’t have any problem however, with her tearing apart some of the Tanner’s work. The Tanners often willfully misquote LDS sources and they are smart enough to be fully aware that this is exactly what they are doing.
I don’t care if you believe in a “grace-only” theology and don’t think Mormons qualify. I don’t care if you think creation ex nihilo is the way to go. I don’t care if you disagree with having an ecclesiarchy.
But I do mind when you deliberately selectively quote-mine, rip out of context, or creatively use ellipses to make a quote say something different than what it actually said.
The Tanners are notorious for this kind of activity. I consider both of them more or less bottom-feeders and they have almost zero credibility with me. As far as I’m concerned they deserve whatever they get.
But Hannegraaff is not, as far as I can tell, cut from the same cloth. He’s simply another Evangelical voice who had the misfortune of relying on hacks like the Tanners to do the legwork for him. There is little reason to dump on people like this. Correction ought to be done a bit more gently in these cases.
Just a note: L. Ara Norwood is a dude.
And a success speaker . . .
Seth, I have quotes from about four other recent LDS books in my folder. When I am reading LDS books, statements are always jumping out at me. But I am all for telling people to read the book to get the context or asking the author for further clarification.
I don’t mind a quote as long as a reasonable attempt was made for context. The Tanners would omit entire half pages of material with ellipses though. Often they would omit material that directly contradicted the picture they were painting of whatever Brigham Young or whoever said.
Little excuse for that kind of behavior.
I don’t know, Seth. I respect this brother and sister.
I have had some of the Tanners’ stuff given to me. And much of it seems to be a lot of tedious straight copying of LDS old stuff.
But I was too lazy to trace back to LDS sources to read them all in context. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t read much of the Tanner’s stuff. I am always more interested in reading straight LDS material. Current stuff. Many LDS don’t care much about the “old paths”.
Right now, I am tempted to delve more into the vast amount of scholarly sources that Blake Ostler quotes in his latest book. But I am not nearly the voracious reader as Blake.
It is always interesting the quotes that current LDS pick out from C.S. Lewis.
In my folder, I have a beautiful quote by C.S. Lewis from a current LDS book.
I don’t think C.S. Lewis was a closet Mormon. If you carefully read his stuff, there are real points of divergence.
I myself was deeply ambivalent about portions of the “The Great Divorce.”
Okay, had time to read Norwood’s article. I haven’t read the material by Hanegraaff that he’s responding to, and I know very little about Hanegraaff. I do know a great deal about Walter Martin, and the fact that Hanegraaff is Walter Martin’s heir makes me cynical, but I wouldn’t judge him based on that alone.
Even without reading the source material, I can tell Norwood’s article has problems of its own. It’s always struck me as inconsistent how non-LDS scholars are meant to be the defining word on the Trinity, but their opinion on the Book of Mormon is brushed off as poop on a stick (note that all of Norwood’s sources for the historicity of the Book of Mormon are LDS). Just once I’d like to hear an LDS apologist acknowledge that the complete lack of non-LDS scholars endorsing the Book of Mormon as an ancient document is a serious problem for its credibility. I understand that the situation is something of a tautology (where if a non-LDS scholar realizes it’s an ancient document and converts because of it, his opinion won’t count), but still, I’ve got a degree from BYU and have read the work of FARMS and FAIR pretty extensively, and I’m still not convinced.
It also amuses me that he lists off the standard LDS proof-texts for the apostasy (Amos 8:11–12; Isaiah 24:5; 60:2–3; Acts 20:29; 2 Timothy 4:3–4; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3) with no attempt to support the LDS interpretation of those scriptures. I’m trying to decide if he was intentionally trying to mimic the shoddy proof-texting of evangelical counter-cultists as a tit-for-tat, or if he really is bad enough to think rattling off scriptures helter skelter constitutes effective argument.
This isn’t an apologetic for Hanegraaff by any means; if he actually did use the same worn-out arguments about a decapitated man gasping for breath and the BoM copying from the KJV, etc., then that’s egg on his face. I get that responding to evangelical counter-cultists has become, for LDS scholars, like shooting very stupid fish in a barrel, but if this article is any indication, then they’re getting sloppy about it, and it’s showing.
When LDS quote CS Lewis it always makes me chuckle. Especially given his views of the LDS Church. It would be like me quoting Brigham Young in support of Evangelicalism.
My favorite is The Restored Gospel According to C.S. Lewis, an entire book comparing the teachings of C.S. Lewis to LDS doctrine that never once mentions what C.S. Lewis actually said about Mormonism.
That’s okay though. I’m pretty sure Mormons don’t have anything quite as stupid as Testamints. Some days, I really envy Mormonism’s ability to reign in the worst of its idiots.
Well Darrell, he did have some Evangelical views…
Jack, the reason you don’t get unbiased scholarship on Mormonism typically is because the unbiased scholars don’t really care about Mormonism. Not yet anyway.
There is such a thing as unbiased scholarship?
Of course not. But let’s pretend anyway. It will help the conversation move more smoothly.
“Well Darrell, he did have some Evangelical views…”
So, I guess I can now write a book and title it
“Early LDS Prophet Says Evangelicalism is The True Church”
I took some time to critique your post on the Trinity. Hopefully you will find the feedback useful and not simply negative. I don’t intend a prolonged conversation or debate with you, but I did want to provide some useful criticisms which I believe sharpen the real issue(s).
This is the post I am referring to:
Actually, I just realized it wasn’t even posted by you Darell (unless you are Bill Pratt too!). My apologies for the confusion.
Darrell is all of us. And we are all Darrell.
And I really need to go to bed.
Me too, but I have a night job, and when I am too tired to memorize more Akkadian signs or Hebrew vocabulary, I write blog comments I guess.