INTERVIEW: Evangelical pastor and LDS professor hope to model “proper godly conversation” at local event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy: An Evangelical-Mormon Conversation

Dr. Brad Wilcox is a professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU and and LDS author. His talk “His Grace is Sufficient,” is popular amongst both LDS and evangelical people. Dr. Steven Crane serves as the senior pastor in Eagle, Idaho at Eagle Christian Church and teaches part-time at Boise Bible College. Both men joined Neal Larson and Cala Curtis on KID Newsradio to talk about their upcoming event “An Evangelical-Mormon Conversation.” 

Listen to the full interview below:

 

When BYU professor and LDS author Brad Wilcox first met Evangelical pastor, Dr. Steve Crane, he was on his way to an LDS youth fireside.

Wilcox said he and Crane enjoyed talking so much, he ended up being late to his fireside.

“I got so involved in talking to Steve and we were having such a good time just visiting, they had to call me and tell me, ‘um, where are you,'” Dr. Brad Wilcox, one of the event’s speakers and a BYU professor, told KID Newsradio.

It’s this level of comfort both men hope to convey to a southeast Idaho audience in their upcoming event, An Evangelical-Conversation: Two Friends Discuss Grace, God and Their Faith. The event is not a debate, but rather a model of “proper godly conversations,” Dr. Steve Crane, an evangelical pastor in the Boise area, said.

“We avoid talking about what matters most because we just don’t want to get into a fight,” Wilcox added.

Crane says members of both faiths often talk past each other, using the same words, but ascribing different meanings to the common language of their faiths.

“Our purpose is really to promote dialogue and discussion between the Evangelical community and the LDS community,” Crane said. “Part of what we want to do is we want to stop and say, ‘OK, how do we view these different things,’ and have real honest conversations.”

Wilcox says conversations like the one they hope to model are crucial to churches and faiths of all sorts, especially as new data reveals people are becoming less religious. A 2015 Pew Research Center study revealed Americans increasingly describe their religious as “nothing in particular.”

“Altogether, the religiously unaffiliated (also called the “nones”) now account for 23% of the adult population, up from 16% in 2007,” according to the study. 

Wilcox acknowledges there will be differences when people of differing faiths engage in dialogue, but doesn’t mean one side needs to win and one side needs to lose.

“We’ve got to support each other because right now organized religion is on the defensive,” Wilcox said.”We want to show [our audience] that an evangelical pastor and a BYU religion professor can be friends and we can talk together civilly without it turning into a big debate…where somebody has to go to heaven and somebody has to go to hell.”

Crane believes starting conversations between Evangelicals and Mormons will allow the two faiths to work together effectively and will improve relationships.

The free event is Thursday, June 8 at the Civic Auditorium at 7 P.M. Tickets are available at www.bradandsteve.com or on their Facebook page.