Once again that scene in I, Robot comes to mind, where Spooner blows away a robot and looks at the lady and says, “Somehow, I don’t think ‘I told you so’ really says it all” or something to that effect (I haven’t invested in the movie yet). When Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Seminary, wrongly blasted everyone who had accurately represented the LDS Church in their evangelistic and apologetic efforts over the years (as we have documented–see the entries for 11/22, 11/24, and 11/30), I said that he had just been used, hopefully unwittingly, by LDS apologists so as to provide to them the very kind of weapon they long for. And I didn’t have to wait long for the fulfillment of my prophecy. Today I read a review of Douglas E. Cowan’s Bearing False Witness? An Introduction to the Christian Countercult published in the FARMS Review, written by none other than Louis Midgley. Now, first, yes, that’s the same Douglas Cowan who could not even begin to offer a meaningful defense of his statements about me when I challenged him to do so (here’s the correspondence). But, of course, Midgley, never one to be objective, finds the work very useful. But I could not help but get the feeling that Midgley’s review was but a pretext for trumpeting Mouw’s statements in print. The article begins,
Richard J. Mouw
Now, that was from Mouw’s foreword to The New Mormon Challenge edited by Francis Beckwith, Carl Mosser, and Paul Owen (yes, one and the same, the Paul Owen of reformedcatholicism.com, Alexander the Coppersmith himself). Mouw simply ramped up the volume on 11/14 in Salt Lake City in the Tabernacle. The context of the same words made them ring all the louder. The entire final sections of the “review” are dedicated to a discussion of Mouw, and the response to him, leading to these words:
I desire genuinely friendly relations with evangelicals. But the anarchy that is Protestantism does not permit our friends to put a stop to the excesses committed against the faith of the Saints by countercultists. As the firestorm over Mouw’s remarks seems to demonstrate, even a modest request for countercult probity is likely to generate an additional target within evangelical/fundamentalist ranks. The result, for evangelicals courageous enough to speak the truth, will likely be more rancid Caliban mischief.
FARMS knows the best way to insulate Mormons from the impact of the apologetics community is to marginalize those who would truly seek to proclaim the gospel to them with power and with biblically-consistent love. And Mouw’s words, first in print, and then in person, are the perfect tool. Thank you, Dr. Mouw.