Sizing Up the Divide: Reviews and Replies

Articles
Journal: 38:3

In August 1997, Stephen E. Robinson and Craig L. Blomberg published through InterVarsity Press a book that broke important ground in LDS and Evangelical circles. The award-winning book—How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation—is a bold attempt to conduct an ongoing, civil dialogue between Mormons and Evangelicals.

As the title suggests, HWD asks a significant question. At issue is the degree of difference and similarity between Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals. By addressing these in an insightful, scholarly, and informative manner, the book intends to elicit individual responses to the question the title poses. It does not attempt to impose authoritative answers to the question. That burden is left to the individual readers who, based on the material in the book and careful thinking, must decide for themselves the breadth of the divide. The appearance of HWD is distinctive because it presents, for the first time in LDS circles since the B. H. Roberts–C. Van der Donckt debate of 1902, a well-informed and respectful public dialogue between two scholars who seek to define, explain, and openly discuss their respective beliefs on their own terms, without surrendering to reckless polemics. In this book, the question of who is ultimately right or wrong is temporarily set aside. Because HWD attempts to navigate the sensitive, unfamiliar waters of real religious understanding, it is expected the book will be subject to intense scrutiny for some time to come.