Several weeks ago, two customers asked me for a book recommendation for their uncle. They were Christians, but uncle was getting baptized in the Mormon church. I of course assumed that they wanted some appropriate anti-Mormon literature that might coax their wayward family member back into the fold. I was a little confused when they said they had called LifeWay, and were told that since it was a Baptist bookstore, they wouldn't have any Mormon materials.
"That's very odd," said I. "If there's any bookstore in the region that's going to carry anti-Mormon apologetics, it's going to be LifeWay!"
Whoops. They wanted LDS literature: some kind of Mormon version of what you'd give a Christian upon baptism or confirmation. I apologized for my misunderstanding and said that he probably already had a Book of Mormon, and the only other thing of interest we had would be the new biography of Joseph Smith - which is surely not LDS-sanctioned. We didn't carry the LDS version of the Bible, either, and we had now established they would not be interested in a copy of Kingdom of the Cults.
My customer said that his family had been converted three years ago at the local evangelical megachurch, and only heard them mention Mormonism once, and that's when a teaching pastor said that they weren't Christians. The gentleman said that didn't seem a very kind thing, to talk about other religions that way.
That afternoon I got a call from Josh Hearne about a radio program he'd just heard; there was some discussion on how it was bizarre that Evangelical Christians consider Mormons not to be: they certainly "seemed Christian enough." Oh, boy. I wrote a post questioning this "cult" appellation, and asked Josh to write one on this niceness deal. That essay is below.
Spring Break: Grad School Edition
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