Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 1 (Winter 2015) - Page 73

VOLUME 11 NUMBER 1 2015 STEPHEN H. WEBB, MORMON CHRISTIANITY: WHAT OTHER CHRISTIANS CAN LEARN FROM THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS (NEW YORK: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2013) Paul Louis Metzger What can traditional Christians learn from Latter-day Saints? This provocative question receives rigorous consideration in a book titled Mormon Christianity by Stephen H. Webb. Webb—a formerly Evangelical, now Roman Catholic, scholar—advances an ongoing dialogue between historical Christianity and Mormonism, a dialogue that has been building momentum for several years.1 According to Webb, the Mormon moment generated by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign opened up the door to a longer-term interest in Mormonism, a phenomenon he refers to as “Mormon Ecumenism” (1). Webb hopes that fresh consideration of Mormonism will provide a helpful challenge to many Christian minds and imaginations. Mormon Metaphysics The distinctive feature of Webb’s ecumenical effort is his emphasis on metaphysics (meaning “big ideas”). Webb’s thesis is that “Mormons have an original, fascinating, and provocative metaphysics” (25). What is so provocative—and appealing—about Mormon metaphysics? It is the notion of DOI: This is a slightly edited version of the review (titled by the publisher) “Are Mormons More Christian Than We Think?” originally published in Christianity Today on May 28, 2014. The review is republished with permission by CT. 1. Three other volumes involving scholars with a connection to Evangelicalism that stand out in this regard are How Wide the Divide? A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation by Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997), Claiming Christ: A Mormon-Evangelical Debate by Robert L. Millet and Gerald R. McDermott (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2007), and Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals by Richard J. Mouw (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012). 72