Mark Paredes has written an interesting article on Mormons and Evangelicals. The article, “Are Mormons Christians? Of Constantine and Karaites,” was published in the JewishJournal.com.
In his article, Paredes compares evangelical Christians with Karaite Jews. He also gives two reasons why many Christians declare that Mormons are not Christians.
The first reason deals with the doctrine of the Trinity. Paredes wrote:
First of all, Mormons are not Trinitarians. We don’t believe in a three-in-one god (or, if you prefer, a one-in-three god). We believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit exist as three separate beings, not as one god. This belief alone is enough for many Christians to eject us from the Christian fold.
To Paredes, the introduction of the doctrine of the Trinity into the life of the church was the work of Constantine and a handful of bishops who met during the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. Paredes wrote: “Mormons are proud to disagree with Constantine and his anti-Semitic bishops on the nature of God, and see no reason why their view should be a litmus test for Christianity.”
The second reason deals with the Book of Mormons and other writings accepted as authoritative by the Mormon church. Paredes wrote:
Another LDS belief that raises Evangelical eyebrows is our acceptance of scriptures in addition to the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. How interesting that on this point Evangelicals are behaving like Jews vis-à-vis Christianity, since Jews believe that there is no need to add an additional testament to the scriptural canon. However, since most Jews also accept the Oral Law and the Talmud as sources of law and tradition, I think that the better comparison is between Karaite Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism.
Karaites believe that the Hebrew Bible stands alone as divinely inspired scripture for Jews, and do not consider the Talmud and the Oral Law to be binding. Just as most Jews believe that the Talmud and other rabbinic writings serve to affirm the truths contained in the Torah, Mormons believe that the Book of Mormon and other LDS scriptures affirm the validity of the Bible. Evangelicals, like Karaites, say that one book is enough.
Based on what Mormons believe, are Mormons Christians? Before you answer this question, you should read Paredes’ article and then decide for yourself whether Mormons are Christians or not.