A Southern Baptist pastor from Independence, Missouri, has embraced the Book of Mormon and vouches for its doctrine.
This is according to the pastor, Lynn Ridenhour. Ridenhour is a “licensed Baptist minister” and “had a marvelous conversion experience to the restoration gospel as proclaimed by Joseph Smith” according to his blog. He has a PhD from the University of Iowa and has taught at Liberty University. He has also been involved with the “charismatic renewal” since 1972 and runs the WinePress Publishing Company.
The two go hand in hand, really–Protestant doctrine and the Book of Mormon. They’re not at odds. The Book of Mormon is filled with Protestant cardinal doctrines, believe it or not. In fact, I discovered, the Book of Mormon is more “Baptist” than the Baptist hymnal in places. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s so. I read the Book from cover to cover and found as a Baptist minister, there is absolutely nothing in it that contradicts the Bible.
Ridenhour claims he can believe the Book of Mormon because canonization is unbiblical…
That’s really the issue, you know—not whether or not I believe in the Book of Mormon, but whether or not we as Christians are to embrace the concept of canonization. For that’s the perception here—that by embracing the Book of Mormon I’ve violated scripture’s canon. My friends are convinced I’ve added to the Word of God. I’m convinced we’ve been duped by the canon.
To get to the point—not many evangelical Christians realize (I didn’t), the concept of canonization became popular with the Church around the time of Constantine, a period when the Church became infiltrated with nationalism and worldly teachings. Closing the canon to 66 books was the outcome of man’s wisdom and man’s heresy. Canonization has its origin in worldly tradition, is not found in the Bible, and was not practiced by the early Church. And I’m aware—that’s a shocker.
Ridenhour says the Book of Mormon is full of Protestant themes…
Back to the title of our pamphlet, “The Baptist Version of the Book of Mormon.” Setting aside the title’s “tongue ‘n’ cheek” tendency, there is an element of truth I’m getting at. As I said earlier, having read the Book of Mormon through as a Baptist minister, I was astonished at how often I kept running into Protestant themes. Themes such as: the plan of salvation, salvation by faith in Christ, salvation by grace alone, repentance, the gifts of the Spirit, the filling of the Spirit, sanctification, justification by faith, forgiveness and redemption. I could go on.
Does it surprise anyone that the Ridenhour, who denies canonicity, is a charismatic? It shouldn’t. If God is still speaking, why should the canon be closed? And if the canon isn’t closed, why shouldn’t the Book of Mormon be considered Inspired Writ?
It gets stranger every day.
[Contributed by JD Hall]
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