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September 28, 2022 7:00 pm
Stu interviews the author of the book "Introducing Christianity to Mormons " Eric Johnson. Learn about Eric's exciting experience, of bringing the Gospel to the Mormon community.
Currently I gently dig near Mema with storytime Mema and answered prayer for stories that point children to God on the Truth Network for kids your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting just a few seconds in Joliet. Share it the most of all, thank you for listening to The Truth Podcast Network. This is good Truth Network they are some of the nicest people in the world have big smiles.
They knock on your door. They have a religious zeal they actually get on bicycles and do what many Christians don't do they go door-to-door and they offer what they think is the truth. But is it what do Mormons believe what's going on in Salt Lake City at the Temple Mount at Brigham Young University at the heart of Mormonism. Well, one man has written a book to reach out to these folks in a loving, gracious way the book is is entitled introducing Christianity to Mormons. The author is Eric Johnson and Eric is on truth talk right now. Eric, what a treat to have you with us today on Drew talk or have me on through. I appreciate it. This is a book that you sent me and I read and I thought what a wonderful tone because the people get you people get wonky about religion what what is it that they viewed as the ultimate diplomat said he was of the set it you don't ever talk about religion and politics right here in Ohio you start talking about people's religion.
You start in the case of Mormons you start making fun of Joseph Smith will whether whether it's true or not what you say you have for somebody so so that as believers we want to share the gospel. The gospel should be the offense, the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them that are perishing so you have put together a book here. What drove you. What encouraged you led you, stimulated you to write introducing Christianity. Mormons was a great question and I would say that I don't want to be the enemy of the latter-day St. I want to speak the truth in love.
Paul talks about in Ephesians 4 look at somebody tell you that you have something green between your two that's bad news but there's a way to fix that and that's the good news. You can take that out, go to your your mirror and how many of us to walk through an entire day with lettuce in between our teeth and nobody setting because they were kind of embarrassed to say something but I think we as Christians have something that is so valuable we have the gospel according to the Bible and it's good news because it salvation by grace through faith. And it's not by work so I don't want any Latter Day Saints to feel like I'm trying to push anything down her throat or or to unnecessarily criticize. Certainly I don't agree that Mormonism is the same as biblical Christianity and what the Bible teaches. But I want to be able to lay out the case for Christianity in a way that somebody who has an LDS mindset will be able to understand because we have the same language do, that's our problem.
We use the same words we need to be able to understand what a latter-day St. means when he says God, Jesus, salvation by grace, all things that they agree with Scripture that is completely different. You need to know those things, but you also need to know that the Christian gospel to present that to them so that they will best understand he's an author. He is a radio host has his own radio program on the wonderful Truth Network station KU TR my D8 20 and across Salt Lake City across the Wasatch front, Provo 95.3 FM as well and were so honored to have air Johnson with us. The book is introducing Christian Christianity to Mormons. The subtitle of practical and comparative guide to what the Bible teaches. Eric, I want to commend you on making something simple. Keep in the cookies on the island I level on the shelf there because a lot of folks they like to know when they hear they are Lotta loaded words will if you talk to latter-day St. dirt you say will do you believe in Jesus. Of course I believe in Jesus you believe the gospel. Of course I believe the gospel. Do you leave heaven and you believe in heaven and hell. So they're going to check off all the major tenants but the words are different in that the meaning is different and that's where it gets tricky and so to tell us about how to navigate all of that provokes listing maybe folks listing of played Bible ping-pong for hours with her with her Latter Day Saints friends in there like out alive how I get through them out. I get through this armored seems like were just talking past each other. Your right to do that is our problem.
We use the same terms, but we do have different meanings to them.
Now they have their own unique terms as well. But what I did in this book. Every time I use any kind of a unique term that was important. I didn't really spend a lot of time discussing that defining it in the chapter itself. I take them through the italicize word back to the glossary or I put together a dictionary that will help you understand what is it mean when we say grace.
I mean, the idea of grace and Mormonism is God's enabling empowered to keep the commandments will that's completely different in Christianity which says is actually what provides forgiveness of sin through faith alone, and so whenever you're in doubt when you're talking to a latter-day St.
My recommendation is to ask what you mean when you say salvation by grace alone. I am an annual fee when they start talking you'll understand my salvation by grace is certainly believe the Mormonism as well as the atonement, but only for the ability to get to one of three kingdoms of glory that all people get to go to the really is in a Helen Mormonism misses the three different degrees. The goal is to make it to the top kingdom called the celestial kingdom where godhood or eternal life takes place where you can be with your family forever, but they not believe that you are called exalted or get eternal life through faith alone is going to require a lifetime of work. One leader called it that perfection is an achievable goal. He said that God doesn't give commandments that can't be kept, which is it, which is true according to their unique Scripture. They do believe in the Bible is.
It is the word of God as far as is translated correctly is how Joseph Smith, the founder, but it also the book of Mormon, the doctrine and covenants in pearl of great price. So he he he was using what the unique to those three unique scriptures to support what I believe Mormonism teaches that you must keep the commandments of God continually, and unless you do. God says where I am. You cannot go that is found in doctrine and covenants section 25 verse 15 well so you start out with chapter 1 the Bible, God's special revelation how important is it to lay down quickly. The source of authority was especially talking to Mormons who they say they do, but they really don't believe the Bible because they can immediately say will we do like that interpretation yet they do have that in their Scripture and Latter Day Saints certainly will go to the Bible to support unique doctrines parentheses first Corinthians 1529. They use that support the idea that you can be baptized on behalf of dead people and a latter-day St. temple yeah I mean that as a something that it is so important to me. I spent the first two of the 10 chapters talking about the Bible's authority. It it it. Infallibility is inspiration. The how how archaeology in the history help support the idea that we have an accurate Bible. Unfortunately, in Mormonism, Joseph Smith said that the Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly. What is meant by translation with US latter-day St., what is that what is that me know if they will many corrupt priests came in and fix things and change things fall when you take a look at the amount of biblical evidence. Everything from the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Old Testament. We have a whole scroll of Isaiah is the same as the Masoretic text thousand years later and if you look at the New Testament we have over 5000 Greek manuscripts we have complete copies of the New Testament from the fourth century that that's something amazing how would a priest have been able to get in and change all 5000 of those plus the 24,000 in other languages, plus all the writing of the church fathers who used a copy of the Bible word by word this so that unfortunately for many Latter Day Saints that article he gets in the way. There's a distrust of the Bible and when they leave Mormonism they don't want to read the Bible. They don't want to look Christianity and that's unfortunate. Well talk to those folks. To learn more about air Johnson Richter, you could break the book is introducing Christianity to Mormons.
The authors Eric Johnson, the subtitle is a practical and comparative guide to what the Bible teaches in these chapters, and you got great chapters of the Bible, God's special revelation. The New Testament, trustworthy and reliable jeopardy. The existence of God.
Reasonable reasons for belief.
The nature of God. Chapter 4 attributes worthy of worship.
Jesus Savior of his people. Chapter 5, chapter 6, the resurrection, the cornerstone of Christianity. Chapter 7 the Trinity, one cost three persons various very important bedrock doctrine of the faith which is not part of the latter-day same belief system justification chapter 8 and syndication chapter 9 growing in faith. Chapter 10 and a bunch of appendix a bunch of scriptures and how you can get the book and more about the author.
Why would this man go this route. What about his testimony. How did Eric come to know the Lord. Eric and we ask you that on the other side of the break sure if are those that can't hang around or maybe want to come back later. Listen to the whole broadcast but we have our podcast or Truth Podcast Network introducing Christianity.com that's the website for more on the books are right Eric to get the website right there okay just for the book for folks to go watch a little video and you don't get the whole enchilada. Proverbs 1130 the fruit of the righteous is the tree of life, and see that witness souls is wise. How are you winning souls to Jesus. What about souls that are of a false variation of false belief that looks close to Christianity, but is far far away unwanted today. A special guesses on with us were on truth talk and were talking air Johnson, the author of the book introducing Christianity to Mormons. This is a great read by the way, this, this book will help you beef up on your theology. Eric you is important that we know not just what we believe, but why we believe it so your your current due to deeper dive with with people to buy this book, I think it's important that every Christian knows what he or she believed that they would on their own faith I taught in Southern California for close to two decades of the Bible, department head of a large Christian school in El Cajon California and and I taught juniors.
I thought it was so important to be able to help them understand how to own their own faith because we were losing so many who would graduate and then go to atheism or agnosticism or nothing at all.
And that's what happened in Mormonism as well. People are leaving the LDS church. They're not running to Christianity about 10%.
According the surveys say that people become Christians. Evangelical Christians after they leave Mormonism but 45% become atheist, agnostic or nothing at all. No hope whatsoever. So that's what I want to do. I want to help the Christian understand the power of our product. I perpetuated with a degree in advertising marketing from San Diego State. I'm not trying to minimize the gospel itself, but we have a product that is incredible.
The Bible is true. The evidence for that. The idea that there is a God. I think there's great evidence for that as well and that Jesus is the Savior, but it requires your faith and so I want to be able to share that with everybody I ever run into. Just so that's is so encouraging and there's so many Mormons out there that struggle with their faith because they see you videos like more of the book of Mormon and the Bible.
They seem videos like the Bible and archaeology in there like you can't you just can't make this stuff up and I give you this is a word of this come from, but easily if you if you bludgeon and you hit them with all this evidence, and they say okay I'm telling Mormonism lead. Doesn't that that doesn't solve the deprive of the soul.
Eric you select one of what what what we say often Lord were teaching folks how to share their faith is. You know it's not about winning an argument, but about winning his soul. How will this book help people be equipped to better win souls and not just arguments things that I do do in them. Each chapter is I include a story, a real-life story I change the names if I remembered the names but of encounters I've had with different people, mainly Mormon and a and to be able to use those encounters in each chapter to show how the information can be used. I think the information is valuable not just for Latter Day Saints. I think this is valuable for anybody for us to be able to have that hard question given to us to go with his brain doing Garnica 75 the one that will stop many Christians but it's not that hard to explain that Jesus was praying to the father but the father and Jesus are not the same person there. There are three hose on what and so I talk about this idea. It is an incomprehensible doctrine we we can't fathom it. But that's the way God is God is transcendent. He is above our thoughts. We are not going to be able to fully understand who we as we can understand him being eternally in existence, but that's what is taught in the Bible, we can't understand how three and one but I think when we get those kind of hard questions we need to be able to have answers. That's what first Peter 366 16 says it says to always have an answer for everyone who asked you to give the reason for the hope that you have that were supposed to do. It is this with gentleness and respect and I hope when people read this book. I hope they say that I have tried to be as kind as I can while I'm still trying to be straightforward. We call it compassionate boldness, no love. It's also about your work with with MRM and all in with your your radio program dysfunction. He wanted to hear your podcast, your broadcast radio Mormonism research ministry. The website MRM.org has been around 1979 founded by Bill McKeever who still of the president of of this organization I work with him like we both live in in Salt Lake City area of Utah we been on 8/27 2011 we had a radio show when we were in California back in the early 1990s when they were gonna open a temple for about three years. We did a live show this is a tape so we thought that would be better in the 14 minutes shows per day. We have over 3000 in our archive of people want to go to MRM.org/podcast. There's an index there that will take them to all of our shows we try to hit the cutting edge issues and hopefully people who listen to it will learn a lot about what Mormonism is what it's all about but also what's happening right now what her current affairs and what are the leaders St. right now. The website also includes a number of excellent articles. We have a different features on their we have a videos as well. So it's a great resource and anybody wants to learn more about Mormonism.
We invite them to go there to that website MRM.org in the right Google talking about that Eric.
You were so that ministry dear Johnson, special guest today is introducing Christianity to Mormons. Eric, what, what's your big passion take us up to 5000 feet any people are obviously you have to get into this book is going to really help them truly help them develop a heart of compassion and understanding for what Mormons believe, so they can reach them with the good news of Jesus Christ who is the only solution but to take us to the to your in game what you want. Everyone listing the only good old's book what what is it you want to be the the in game on that I would like that everybody who reads this book to understand that we are commanded.
I was just reading Romans 12 the day and and were commanded to to sacrifice in our love for other people. If we have the truth, and we hold it to ourselves and we don't tell somebody because were too embarrassed or well Mormons are Christians. They will when you look at their doctrine since they help every single teaching of this church denies or dirt or distorts the fundamental pages of Christianity. Every single one. I mean, yes, they have the same language, but they mean different things than I think it is do that we need to be able to have the ability to present the biblical gospel in a way that a Latter Day Saints could understand. So if you have Latter Day Saints in your lives that work it in your neighbors.
Maybe your family like I do. I have family you want to be able to communicate in such a way that they can see that you really do care about them.
It's not about winning the debate because that's not going to get anywhere but at the same time it is about presenting the truth in a way that is much different than the way the latter-day St. understands it were so great we took some time to hang out with us today. Eric Johnson. The book is introducing Christianity Mormons the website for that book is simply introducing Christianity.com. Please share this podcast. This broadcast with your friends, your Christian friends or Mormon friends. Eric quickly what you say to the Mormon listener out there. We we I'm sure I know we have a lot of Latter Day Saints listeners that listen to our Truth Network stations are many affiliates across the country which are appealed to them.
Right now it is your challenge to them in terms of weighing out with the truth of what true biblical Christianity is versus Mormonism was a a follow their whole life old you say to look at all sides of the issue. I have done that my life when I was 16 years of age I I I saw that Jim Jones 1978, had a thousand people drink poison Kool-Aid and that just really threw because I grew up in the Christian church so I started looking at all the different religions reading their Scriptures talking to the adherence I would challenge Latter Day Saints the possibility that you could be wrong. Is there you don't know everything. Read the Bible and in the in a way that you've never read before.
Read the book of John read the book of Romans.
Ask yourself as you read those those books is this the same as what my church teaches and I think an honest person would say no. The gospel is so different than what Mormonism teaches in the gospel of what Jesus Christ is done for you is not about all you have done or can do for you, and I think it's Nephi or Nephi that verse it says your sit in the book of Mormon says you're saved by grace after all that you can do that second Nephi 25, 23, which is a lot different than Ephesians 289 saved by grace through faith. This is not of ourselves. It is the gift of God not by works, lest any man should boast second Nephi 2523 says yes you're saved by grace you get one of the three kingdoms of glory. But to get XL patient you have to do all you can do that but nobody can do that and that's the best.
By the way, the master of deception, the evil one. The great schemer in his crafty wiles.
Second Corinthians 10 talks about how he comes as an angel of light.
Think about Angel Angel of light will return earlier today and honey deceives so he puts a little bit of grace in their then he just throws enough little little of the bad stuff of works and inlet is like you, I heard I heard once it rat poison is like less than 1% poison is and I can easily didn't taste good.] So that's that's how the enemy works and work as a sink refused to says word to be aware of his schemes and I love how you graciously confront darkness but to shine the light in your book introducing Christianity to Mormons. Eric Johnson your blessing mid thanks for hanging out with us today are truth talk think you have me on to the website again introducing Christianity.com and be sure.
Please download this podcast we will podcast network with later on will make this available and you can pass along all because your friends is a blessing and then listen to it and have a conversation. Have a couple coffee. I have a ice cream or yogurt a smooth initiate and talk about what's really important. Who is Jesus why he came, and now he only can change your life in fuel your deepest pain and forgive your sins. God bless you. This is the Truth Network