Professor, apologist, and evangelist Dr. Sean McDowell is the first to print a written interview with our President Corey Miller about the new book Miller co-wrote: Leaving Mormonism, Why Four Scholars Changed their Minds (see our website article introducing the book). Here are excerpts from that interview:
Why Would Scholars Leave Mormonism? Interview with Author Corey Miller
Corey Miller is the president of Ratio Christi, an organization that brings apologetics to the university campus. He was also a classmate of mine in the Philosophy program at Talbot Theological Seminary. As a former Mormon, Corey has a special interest in reaching people in the LDS church. He has compiled a fascinating and unique book called Leaving Mormonism: Why Four Scholars Changed Their Minds. I had the chance to endorse this book and highly recommend it. If you are interested in reaching out to the Mormon community, this book is a must-read. Check out this brief interview, and then I hope you will consider getting a copy of his excellent book:
SEAN MCDOWELL: Corey, you are a Christian leader but grew up in the LDS church. What caused you to leave Mormonism?
COREY MILLER: I was invited by a friend to spend the summer in California with his family on the condition that I attend a one-week summer camp at Hume Lake Christian Camp. I had a religion and certainly wasn’t looking forward to the camp for religious reasons, but I overlooked it because I could spend the rest of the summer at the California beaches.
The camp speaker preached on hell and literally scared the hell out of me and heaven came right into me. I’d never thought about the reality of hell much in Mormonism and it created in me an urgent need for grace, yet another concept which I never greatly appreciated until then in light of Mormonism’s near universalist focus. Hell isn’t a serious concept in Mormonism. It made me think seriously about sin in general and my sin in particular. I became immediately aware of my utter sinfulness and need for a savior. Christ’s death became very meaningful to me like never before.
Simultaneous with the message, I also saw the love of Christ, not religion, in people unlike any time in the past. This was intensely attractive. I was invited by that family to return to California for my junior year of high school and be discipled within the church I went to camp with. It was one of the most seminal years of my life.
MCDOWELL: What motivated you to write Leaving Mormonism: Why four Scholars Changed their Minds?
MILLER: Many years ago I saw a vacancy in the literature relative to Mormonism and Christianity, even by those writing at the highest level yet lacking some important element. I knew that I could be one among others to fill that vacancy if and when I would obtain a PhD.
There are many who write as post-Mormons against Mormonism but who are not Christian. There are many who write as Christian scholars who lack background insight as a former Mormon insider. There are many who write both from a Mormon background and are now Christian, but not writing with the highest of academic credentials, an arena where dialogue is now taking place. I knew that originality in publishing would create space and there was an important place in the dialogue that should be filled by those who were former Mormon, current Evangelical, and possess the highest academic credentials.
When completion of my PhD was near, I searched for contributing authors who met this three-fold criteria and discovered only six in the world, four of whom agreed to join the project and one of whom became my co-editor, a former BYU professor, Lynn Wilder.
Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, best-selling author, popular speaker, part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit Ministries, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.
Content in blogs does not necessarily represent Ratio Christi’s views. Details