A Comparative Analysis with Foreword by John Frame
by Peter Benyola
Many years ago I visited Salt Lake City and was part of a group that toured the Mormon Tabernacle. We also went around the Temple, but it was not permitted for non-Mormons like me to go inside the Temple. Throughout our tour, a Mormon official lectured us on the history of the sect and promoted its teachings. Toward the end of the tour, our Mormon guide shared with us a conversation he had had with a Roman Catholic priest. Of course, the Mormons believe that the Roman Church is apostate. The priest told our guide that if indeed the Roman Church is not a true church, then the Mormon Church is the only alternative. The Mormon Church, he said, alone maintains the authoritative stance that the Roman Church has attempted to sustain over many centuries.
There are many interesting points of comparison between the two bodies. Both acknowledge the Bible as the word of God, but both believe that the Bible should not be read without an authoritative source of interpretation. Both churches claim the role of authoritative interpreter for themselves. Both acknowledge that salvation comes through the grace of God; but they both insist that this grace comes to us through the medium of the church, and with the addition of good works.
My friend Peter Benyola has studied these two churches and has carefully evaluated their similarities and differences. His book on this subject is a helpful discussion. The parallels between Roman Catholicism and Mormonism provide additional grounds for rejecting both bodies as authentic churches of Jesus Christ, and they underscore the nature of the authentic gospel of Scripture:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
— Dr. John M. Frame
J.D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
Author, Apologetics: A Justification of Christian Belief and A History of Western Philosophy and Theology