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My adviser is Professor Randall Ballmer, and he said he could help with me this, but he really thinks I should work closely with you on the topic.” Well, it’s a new day. Because I have a good relationship with Randy Ballmer at Columbia, the first thing he thought of was, “Well, you need to call Bob.” You know, I would hope I would do the same if somebody were doing a serious dissertation on an Evangelical topic that was a little above my pay grade. “You know who you need to call? You need to call Richard Mouw at Fuller Theological

So in the long run what I mean is this: it’s a kingdom project.

Seminary or Craig Blomberg at Denver Seminary.” That’s the way

Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I

It’s colleagues in the battle against

it ought to be. And so I think there’s

believe that. I think God has his hand

ethical relativism.

been enough water under the bridge

in it. It hasn’t come without some

now as far as clearing the passageway.

criticism and it hasn’t come without

thayne: I want to shift gears and talk

I anticipate additional publications

some difficulties—you always expect

about some of your other projects. What

will come of that. People are thinking

that. It hasn’t come without risk, but

other projects are you working on?

about our beliefs. As a very current

frankly, no progress is made if you

millet: Oddly enough, I’m currently

illustration, in the newest edition of

don’t risk something. I would have

doing a good bit of reading on athe­

Christianity Today there is an article

to say that of my twenty-five years at

ism. Not to become one, of course, but

entitled “Keeping the End in View,”

BYU, the last twelve have been the

I am concerned with how our people

and the subtitle is “How the Strange

most personally and professionally

are responding to atheism. There is

Yet Familiar Doctrine of Theosis Can

rewarding work I’ve ever done.

currently an upsurge in interest in the

Invigorate the Christian Life.” Now, I

new atheism, as it’s called, and they’re

don’t think that came out of nowhere.

thayne: What are some challenges

Why? Because the editor in chief of

you have faced in your interfaith

Christianity Today is David Nith, one


thayne: So you’re reading

of our dialogue partners and a very

millet: We’ve had to specify very

Christopher Hitchens?

dear friend.

carefully that what we are doing is

millet: Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett,

So in the long run what I mean is


not purely ecumenical. When people

Harris. And I’ve read about ten or

this: it’s a kingdom project. I remem­

think of ecumenical things, they get

twelve responses to atheism. It’s a

ber explaining this to a member of

very nervous because they think of

project I started on my own. Then,

the Twelve some years ago when

swapping doctrines. You get rid of

out of the blue, I discovered a group

he said, “Tell me about what you’re

the Trinity, and I’ll get rid of baptism

of faculty members in other colleges

doing.” After I explained it to him, he

for the dead. That is not at all what

who were doing the same. We are

sat back and he became very sober

any of us want. They don’t want that,

planning a major conference on the

and said, “Whew, this is big.” And I

and we don’t want that. It’s deeper


said, “Well, it is.” He says, “No, I mean

understanding. It’s greater clarity. It’s

kingdom big.” And I knew he meant

greater appreciation. It’s friendship.

larger than The Church of Jesus 16 B YU R E L I G I OU S EDUCATIO N REV IEW

thayne: So do you find this kind of serendipity occurring frequently?

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...