The Mormon Jesus and the Nicene Christ

Richard J. Mouw

Abstract


Mormons should have no real problem endorsing the central thesis of Nicaea's Christological formulation--namely, that the Son is of homoousia, "of one being," with God the Father.  If we take that claim in isolation from everything else in the creed, it actually comports quite nicely with Mormon Christology.  After all, Mormons are famous for having taught that members of the Godhead and human beings are "of the same species."  This means that not only are the Father and the Son "of the same substance" but they also share that metaphysical character with all human beings.  That is exactly where the theological problem comes up between Mormons and traditional Christianity and Judaism who have been united in their insistence that the Creator and the creation--including God's human creatures--are divided by an unbridgeable "being" gap.  God is the "Wholly Other'.  So, does that leave us at an impasse, beyond which no significant dialogue between Theists and Mormons is possible about the person and work of Christ?  I think not.  I want to point to two potentially productive foci for pursuing the conversation: soteriology (i.e., the theology of salvation) and the historical development of doctrine.

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