This is Gerald McDermott, the evangelical theologian some of you think has embraced heresy by sugegsting that the Mormon Jesus and the classical Christian Jesus are one and the same. The point of our op-ed in CT online was to say that, when considering presidential candidates, we are voting for a president, not a theologian. And that plenty of other presidents have had wacky theologies. On the LDS and Jesus, it is a fact that the Mormon view of Jesus is better than the Jehovah's Witness view, which is fully Arian. They do indeed believe Jesus is fully God--altho, as some of you have rightly said, their Jesus was not always God. He "grew" into God. If you read my statement in context, you will see that I let stand uncorrected the evangelical [correct!] accusations that Mormons add to revelation and assert that humans are of the same species as Jesus and can someday attain his status. I also add that Mormons reject key Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and creatio ex nihilo. If you read our forthcoming book (Claiming Christ), you will see that in every chapter I make it clear that the LDS Jesus is not the Jesus of classic orthodoxy. Gerald McDermottDr. McDermott, I appreciate your sincere desire to clear up the confusion that has resulted in the wake of the CT article that you co-authored. I am especially glad to hear you say that you clearly differentiate the LDS Jesus from the orthodox (and biblical) Jesus in your upcoming book with Robert Millet. I plan on buying and reading Claiming Christ when it comes out.
At the same time, I do not know how you can maintain: "On the LDS and Jesus, it is a fact that the Mormon view of Jesus is better than the Jehovah's Witness view, which is fully Arian. They do indeed believe Jesus is fully God." While I have no problem insisting upon the defectiveness of the JW Jesus, the LDS Jesus is no less defective. The LDS do not believe that Jesus is fully God--if we are defining God consistently. The only way one could maintain that the Mormons believe that Jesus is fully God is by committing the fallacy of equivocation, for the God we refer to is nothing like the God of Mormon doctrine. The word "God" is not some nebulous, abstract notion. God has revealed what divinity is to us.
Essentially, the LDS church redefines "God" when they apply it to Jesus. And in this case, they are no different from the JWs. Both refuse to accept Jesus as the eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient God. Both are distortions of our one, true Trinitarian God. As you have stated, the LDS Jesus is not the Jesus of classic orthodoxy. He is a false Jesus--an imaginary Jesus who cannot save.