Monday, October 10, 2011

400-408 – David Levy, is an acclaimed neurosurgeon, and has recently written a book on the role of spirituality in health care entitled Gray Matter (Amazon).  In it, Dr. Levy recounts his decision to work more personally with his patients, and particularly, to pray with them, in spite of the effects in may have on his career. "Each chapter focuses on a specific case, opening with a detailed description of the patient's diagnosis and the procedure that will need to be performed, followed by the prayer 'request'..."I have no way of knowing exactly how many nurses, doctors, surgeons, or even other neurosurgeons take the spiritual lives of their patients seriously or pray with their patients as I do. It's certainly not a subject that comes up at medical conferences or with coworkers in the elevator or hospital cafeteria. In fact, if spirituality is not introduced in a way that honors the patient and his or her faith, it can lead to ostracism by the medical community or worse—discipline of some kinds. The role of prayer in health care is itself a gray matter" (Gray Matter, p. 10).

413-423 – David Levy,

428-438 – David Levy,

423 – The Line In The Sand is coming to the Rose Bowl, Saturday November 11th, from 11am-9pm.  It's free, but pre-register at

443-452 – David Levy,

458-508 – Derek Bowen, Coordinator of Seminaries and Institutes for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Southern California (, in Orange and Santa Ana.

• My Summary – Robert Jeffress is saying the same thing the entire Southern Baptist Convention has said for years along with students of cults and comparative religions: that Mormonism is a theological cult by definition – it claims all of Christianity was an heretical abomination before 1820,  it still rejects the Trinity, and still puts their own writings alongside the Bible. However, the issues are the values and principles of the candidates, not their religion.  There's no political or values consistency among religious practitioners – both Zuhdi Jasser and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are Muslim, both Obama and Sarah Palin are Christians, as are Jim Wallis and Jay Richards, both Harry Reid and Mitt Romney are Mormon…. So what?  Jeffress has said many times, if it comes down to Obama and Romney, he won't be voting for the Christian, but the Mormon.  He's speaking as a pastor endorsing a candidate.


(:52) Jeffress Intro – Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 10-000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, introduces Gov. Rick Perry at FRC's Values Voters Summit on Friday (10/7/2011). "I believe in a few months, when the smoke has cleared…"

• (:17) Robert Jeffress speaks with CNN's Jim Acosta on "The Situation Room" after the event on Friday.  "Rick Perry's a Christian. He's an evangelical Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. Mitt Romney's a good moral person, but he's not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity, it has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.  So, it's a difference between Christian and a non-Christian."

(:53) Jeffress CNN #1, John King with Pastor Robert Jeffress, "First of all John, I did not refer to Mormonism as a cult in my opening introduction of Gov. Perry.  And I want to make it very clear that Gov. Perry had no knowledge of what I was going to say.  However, this is not an unusual view John...

(1:03) Jeffress CNN #2, "… credibility to a cult?"

(:36) Jeffress CNN #3, "may be a lesser of two evils"

(:10) RJ "not unusual"

(:11) RJ "not talk with Perry campaign"

(:31) RJ "Romney over Obama"  "Well, I've also said John, that given the choice between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, I would vote for Mitt Romney.  I think it is much better for those of us who are evangelical Christians to have a non-Christian who embraces biblical values in the White House than have a professing Christian like Barack Obama who addresses and embraces unbiblical positions."

(:08) RJ "lesser two evils"  

(:20) RJ "John Jay"

512-523 – Derek Bowen, Coordinator of Seminaries and Institutes for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Southern California (, in Orange and Santa Ana.

Calls – Has the word "cult" become the new theological "n-word"?  Is it bigotry to say "Mormonism is a cult"?  Does a Christian politician now have to say "Mormonism is not a cult?"  Or, should they just not engage the question at all?


// "Rick Perry's a Christian. He's an evangelical Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. Mitt Romney's a good moral person, but he's not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity, it has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity," Jeffress said Friday.

Jeffress appeared on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Sunday and did not back down from those remarks, and said when given the choice, evangelical voters "ought to give preference to a Christian instead of someone who doesn't embrace historical Christianity."

"When I'm talking about a cult, I'm not talking about a sociological cult, but a theological cult," Jeffress said. "Mormonism was invented 1,800 years after Jesus Christ and the founding of Christianity. It has its own founder, Joseph Smith, its own set of doctrines and even its own book, the Book of Mormon, in addition to the Bible. That by definition is a theological cult."

He reminded the "Fox and Friends" hosts that he is part of the Southern Baptist Convention which has itself labeled Mormonism a cult.

Jeffress conceded that if the race were between Romney and Obama, a Christian, religion would not be the only factor on which he would base his decision, and repeated his earlier claim that he would vote for Romney in such a contest.

"I am a pastor first and when asked as a pastor about what I consider to be false religions I have to tell the truth as a pastor, regardless of how unpopular it might be," he said.

• Opposing Views (10/9/2011) Pastor Robert Jeffress: Mitt Romney's Mormonism is "Cult". [From, People for the American Way]

528-539 – Derek Bowen, Coordinator of Seminaries and Institutes for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Southern California (, in Orange and Santa Ana.

544-554 – Derek Bowen, Coordinator of Seminaries and Institutes for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Southern California (, in Orange and Santa Ana.

508 – Phillip De Courcy's Know the Truth invites you to hear the amazing hymns of Keith and Kristyn Getty this Sunday, October 16th at Kindred Community Church.  For info and tickets go to

• Christian Post (10/10/2011) Romney Not Cultist, Fuller President Says Cautiously.

As Mitt Romney's Mormon faith has become an issue in the GOP presidential nomination race prompting the Latter-day Saints to launch an ad campaign, the President of Fuller Theological Seminary Richard J. Mouw has declared, though cautiously, that Mormonism is not a cult.

"While I am not prepared to reclassify Mormonism as possessing undeniably Christian theology, I do accept many of my Mormon friends as genuine followers of the Jesus whom I worship as the divine Savior," Mouw, head of the Pasadena, Calif., seminary wrote in an article on CNN Sunday.

// Mouw disagrees, saying religious cults – such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology and Hare Krishna – are "very much us-versus-them." "Their adherents are taught to think that they are the only ones who benefit from divine approval," he wrote on the CNN blog. "They don't like to engage in serious, respectful give-and-take dialogue with people with whom they disagree … Nor do they promote the kind of scholarship that works alongside others in pursuing the truth."

Mouw said he had been co-chairing, with Prof. Robert Millet of the Mormon Brigham Young University, a behind-closed-doors dialogue between evangelicals and Mormons for over a decade. "We evangelicals and our Mormon counterparts disagree about some important theological questions," he admitted. "But we have also found that on some matters we are not as far apart as we thought we were," he added.

Mormons reject one of Christianity's central tenets – the Trinity, the belief in one God in three Persons. They also believe Joseph Smith Jr. is the first latter-day prophet who restored the original Christian church in the 19th century in America. They believe the entire structure of Christian orthodoxy affirmed by the post-apostolic church is corrupt and false. Additionally, Latter-day Saints are often criticized for their belief in "divine" books of scripture, aside from the Bible, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

But the Fuller president said Mormons "talk admiringly of the evangelical Billy Graham and the Catholic Mother Teresa, and they enjoy reading the evangelical C.S. Lewis and Father Henri Nouwen, a Catholic. That is not the kind of thing you run into in anti-Christian cults."

Mormons are responding to criticism. After Jeffress' remarks, the LDS issued an official statement. "We really don't want to comment on a statement made at a political event, but those who want to understand the centrality of Christ to our faith can learn more about us and what we believe by going to," it said.

LDS Dems Interim Chair Senator Ben McAdams and Interim Vice-Chair Crystal Young-Otterstrom also issued a statement Friday saying they were "appalled and disappointed by Jeffress' statement that Mormons are not Christian."

This month, the LDS launched an "I'm a Mormon campaign" in 12 cities in seven states of America, featuring ads on television, city buses and billboards asking people to visit the church's website to learn about its beliefs and followers.

The Associated Press on Sunday reported that the LDS was airing ads in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and South Bend in Indiana, home to over 41,000 Mormons.

"A lot of people are not familiar with our faith, Tom Burdett of Noblesville, president of the Muncie Stake (similar to a diocese), said. "The best way to understand Mormons is to meet them and get to know them. The ads are an invitation to do that."

According to a LifeWay Research survey conducted in 2010, 60 percent of Protestant pastors strongly disagree that they consider Mormons to be Christians and another 15 percent somewhat disagree. [75% disagree]

• Peter Wehner (Commentary, 10/9/2011) The Theological and Political Errors of Pastor Jeffress.

// Just to be clear what we're talking about: The Jeffress Standard is religious beliefs should trump competence when it comes to selecting a president (see this interview). This view is of course at odds with those of Martin Luther, who famously said he'd prefer to be ruled by a competent Turk over an incompetent Christian. //

558-608 – Calls 

612-623 – Calls – Frank does a little overview of Mormonism.

608 – Pastors and Church Leaders!  Learn to increase the impact of your church at our IMPACT 2011 CONFERENCE coming up November 1st at APU, with guest speakers Jim Reeves, Dudley Rutherford, Steve Mays and J.P. Jones.  It's free, but pre-register at

628-639 – Calls

639 – Win a signed copy of David Jeremiah's new book I Never Thought I'd See The Day: Culture at the Crossroads by registering at, and catch David Jeremiah's Turning Point weekdays at 11am.

644-654 – Calls

• Mark Steyn (NRO, 10/8/2011) American Autumn: The zombie youth "occupying" Wall Street are contemptuous of the world that sustains their comforts.

• Charles Krauthammer (NRO,10/7/2011) Gone in 60 Nanoseconds: A scientific discovery changes everything we think we know about the world.  

• WSJ (10/9/2011) The Solyndra Economy: Administration emails reveal the reality of politicized investing.

• YouTube (10/8/2011) Occupy Atlanta Silences Civil Rights Hero John Lewis!  Watch this weird cult-like group chant, very creepy.