Offenders for a Word

Offenders for a Word October 23, 2007

The classic Daniel Peterson/Stephen Ricks historical defense of LDS doctrine, Offenders for a Word, has been put up on the FARMS website, along with a slew of other volumes.

The approach they take is one described by Stephen Robinson in  Are Mormons Christians? Some categorize Mormons as non-christian by what he calls the  doctrinal-exclusion argument, somethig like this.

1) Mormons hold belief x.

2) Belief x is not a belief of historical Christianity.

3) Therefore Mormons are not Christians.

Peterson and Ricks make the following logical  argument.

1) Mormons believe x.

2) Prominent theologian Z in century w also believed and taught x, and he/they are always considered to be Christian

3) Therefore, Mormons cannot be excluded from being Christian for holding belief x.

It’s a fairly simple framework, and an effective counter-argument. Mostly.

I’m not a fan of how the menus work on the FARMS page. Linking directly to the book doesn’t allow you to access other chapters without clicking on multiple links, since whatever section you click on replaces the full menu of all books. Clunky it may be, it’s good to see it online.

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