Hearts of the Scattered

A controversy has emerged in the Evangelical community of Utah.  Shawn McCraney announced on his television show his rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity.

I watched the program and found that Shawn seems to be reacting against Mormonism and Mormon apologetics perhaps more than the orthodox teachings of Christianity.  His arguments are first and foremost a rejection of tri-theism (a belief in three gods) and second a anti-parrallel driven narrative.  Whereas some Mormon apologist are quick to pick up on any parallel from the ancient world as evidence that LDS particulars are justified, Shawn has adopted the inverse argument that any parrallel to anything outside of Christianity proves it must be heretical (This argument is often employed against Christian spiritual disciplines as proof that they are New Age).  What’s even more troubling is that one of his primary sources is a dubiously conspiratorial, Anti-Catholic book called “The Two Babylons”.

I wasn’t so much concerned with his emphasis against the existence of three gods as much as I was by his unwillingness to engage the arguments that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons. Towards the end of the program a caller challenged him with an argument that’s a low entry point into Trinitarianism and he was unwilling to engage the argument.

Shawn has a confrontational style and without a force to oppose I think he loses what makes him interesting to watch. This is not the first, nor I think the last time he will set himself up against the Evangelical community in Utah. I’m sure many Mormons are pleased to see this fracture, proclaiming a pox on both of their houses.  It will be interesting to see how Shawn and Utah Evangelicals interact in the near future. Some responses have already begun to appear.  My guess is that without correction, Shawn will be disavowed by Evangelicals and his teachings declared just as heretical as Mormonism’s.

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15 thoughts on “Hearts of the Scattered

  1. Shawn’s response is to hold an open meeting: https://www.facebook.com/events/661273200580473/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular
    I think this is a bad idea because in an open meeting (versus private, face to face discussion), all parties have to answer to the expectations of their constituencies and no one wants to lose face. It’s hard to imagine things not getting heated. I can’t be there but some of my pastor friends are going and I think they can speak calmly. Modalism is not the only issue the evangelical community in Utah is concerned about. Another is Shawn’s absolute individualism, along with his excoriation of the church,

  2. Like many post-Mormons I know, it seems that Mr. McCraney still very Mormon in his own way. Theologically, he seems to think like Brigham Young. But he clearly disobeys the rules of any organized religion: i.e. no “loud laughter” nor “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.”

  3. Many para-churches are perpetual self licking icecream cones. Mr. McCraney seems to be onboard with that.

  4. “perpetual self licking icecream cones”

    Interesting image, along those lines, isn’t what McCraney is advocating just milk of the Gospel with the sweetness of “Christian freedom” mixed in?

  5. Jared,

    By and large I think I agree with Tim, but I would see Modalism and Mormonism as two different categories.

    In order to be a “Christian” heresy first the error must come from within the visible Church, second must it must strike at the essence of the Christian religion (a “Christian” heresy most often attacks the person and work of Christ).

    In order to be a Christian heretic a person generally must first be within communion of the visible Church, second hold and teach an error that strikes at the essence of the Christian religion, third understand that their teaching is rejected by the visible Church and fourth fail to repent and correct erroneous and rejectected teaching.

  6. The same thing happens to better sorts than McCraney.

    I’ve personally witnessed Evangelicals talking to each other with classic trinitarian nuance when they thought it was just them in the room. But the moment it came out that there was a Mormon in the room (me), every last one of them started preaching blatant modalism to me.

    Boundary maintenance can be fun sometimes.

    But a lot of the other times it just results in lousy theology.

  7. It’s odd how all of this has played out. There are a number of new videos that I need to watch to see what Mr. McCraney’s new new position is.

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