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It would be a tragedy for us to allow t­ heological differences to keep us from laboring together on matters of such importance.

thayne: Who are some of your colleagues that are involved in this dialogue?

millet: This takes two forms. There is a dialogue that Pastor Gregory

some extent we’re working together

thayne: You mentioned “God things.”

Johnson and I participate in quite

already. We could just do it much

I’m not familiar with that term. Does

often, entitled “A Mormon and an

more.

engaging in interfaith dialogue require

Evangelical in Conversation.” Then

learning, in a sense, a new language?

there is the larger dialogue that takes

thayne: Did graduate school promote

millet: No question. For graduate

place between a group of Latter-

your interest in interfaith dialogue?

school, I had to learn an entirely new

day Saint thinkers and a group of

millet: It did. When I started at

vocabulary for the academic study of

Evangelicals. Professor Camille Fronk

Florida State, there were about eight

religion. Now, in my interaction with

Olson and myself in ancient scripture,

or nine of us beginning our doctoral

Evangelicals, I’ve had to learn a new

David Paulsen from philosophy, Grant

studies at the same time, and our

vocabulary to know where they’re

Underwood from history, and Richard

beliefs were across the spectrum.

coming from, so that if they should

Bennett, Spencer Fluhman, and Reid

We had a Roman Catholic, three or

ask me, “Are you a saved Christian?”

Neilson from Church history and

four Southern Baptists, a Nazarene,

I know what they’re asking. They’re

doctrine. Roger Keller and Stephen

a secular Jew, and a Latter-day

asking, “Have you received Jesus

Robinson were also involved with us

Saint. And they were fascinated with

Christ as your Lord and Savior?” My

in the past. So there are usually about

Mormonism. There were a number

answer to that is yes. Or if they want

seven or eight of us on each side in

of things that happened during those

to know if I’ve been born again, I

our Evangelical-LDS dialogue team,

five years that, as I look back on

know what they’re asking. So yes, I’ve

as we call it, and we meet together

it, were, as my Evangelical friends

done a great deal of reading and had

a couple of times a year to consider

would say, “God things.” We would

hundreds of hours of conversation to

a different matter of doctrine. We

say they were inspired occurrences

gain that sort of clarity.

will read in advance an Evangelical document on the topic, whether it’s a

that God orchestrated, causing me to realize the Lord’s hand was in this.

thayne: Would you say that commu­

book or articles, and we’ll read some

Something important was happening.

nication barriers can sometime present

Latter-day Saint material on it. And

For example, I went early to class one

opportunities to actually get closer to

then we’ll have an exchange back

day so I could get some reading in

someone than you otherwise could, by

and forth on ideas, asking, “What do

and a group of young people from the

overcoming such boundaries?

you see in this?” Not too long ago, for

seminar came in. One of them said,

millet: Yes, let me give you an illus­

example, we studied the doctrine of

“We came to study a little bit too, but,

tration. There is a word we use almost

human deification, or theosis.

Bob, let me ask you something. We’ve

every day in our faith that is a bit

been talking about Mormonism.

off-putting for many other Christians.

thayne: Have you seen any positive

Would you take a minute to draw on

It’s the word worthy. They think by

results from this dialogue?

the board what you people believe

the word worthy that we mean I have

millet: We have. I’ll give you an

about God’s plan?” That’s like a huge

made myself worthy and Christ didn’t

example. I received a long-distance

softball being served up to a batter,

have a thing to do with it. I’ve tried to

phone call not long ago from a

and I had enough of those occa­

explain that our equivalent to being

student. She said, “I’m a doctoral

sions and interaction with people of

worthy is equivalent to their being

student at Columbia University, and

all sorts that I think it prepped me

saved. In other words, if I’m worthy,

my dissertation topic is such-and-

when the time was right to want to be

I’m on a course for salvation.

such in American religious history.

engaged in interfaith relations.

I also deal with some LDS beliefs. W INT E R 2 0 0 9 15

2009 Winter Review Magazine (2.1)  
2009 Winter Review Magazine (2.1)  

BYU Religious Education Review magazine provides readers with information about BYU’s college of Religious Education, the Religious Studies...

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