Academic journal article Theological Studies

Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-Day Saints

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-Day Saints

Article excerpt

Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-Day Saints. By Stephen H. Webb. New York: Oxford University, 2013. Pp. ix + 217. $27.95.

In this volume Catholic theologian Webb elaborates on a chapter-length argument in his Jesus Christ Eternal God (2012), where he posits that Mormonism's theologizing on the materiality of spirit positions it to better respond to modernity's naturalist challenge to religion. This is not, as the subtitle unfortunately suggests to the polemicist, an argument for Mormonism's veracity. Rather, W. uses Mormonism's "bigger set of ideas" (182) to prod those who resist any thought of "materialist metaphysics" for fear of undermining divine sovereignty.

Although the Calvinist-Mormon debate frames the book, it is not W.'s real interest. His ultimate objective is to show Christianity's historic susceptibility to a materialistic metaphysic and the need to recover it. Mormon heresy is rooted in this countertradition, he argues, and usefully provides a model for restoring the ideal that "nature is already thoroughly supernatural right down to the smallest atom, and the supernatural is nothing more than nature in its most intense and concentrated form" (148). …

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