In re-reading the comments in that post of mine, a double standard appears even more obvious than before. Our critics insist that prophets must be held up to the standard of infallibility in every word they speak. Yet they concede that Christian theologians and reformers can disagree on non-essentials. After all they're just men. Apparently, however, the Latter-day Saints are not allowed to hold this same position.
I propose a level playing field. Latter-day Saints must be allowed this same rational, and without the double standard! When it comes down to it, most of the quotes of speculative nature that critics bring up are NOT essential, fundamental, or saving doctrine at all. (For the record, I personally reject the opinion that "God had sex with Mary"). Even prophets can have their own personal views. After all, these prophets are "just men" too.
David O. McKay wisely reminded us all that when the Lord calls a man to be a prophet, he does not unmake the man! (See "What Is Our Doctrine?").
The original post and quote by Stephen Robinson concerning what constitutes official Mormon doctrine is imperative to understand for Latter-day Saints and critics alike. To it I also recommend the article "What Is Our Doctrine?" by Professor Robert Millet.
Another thing counter-cultist critics love to do is hijack the general term "Christian" and monopolize it to mean a traditional, orthodox, nicene Christian who believes in the post-biblical dual natures of Christ and the post-biblical doctrine of the Trinity. According to them, anyone who does not believe this extra-biblical stuff cannot be considered a "biblical Christian" at all. To them I recommend reading Robinson's classic "Are Mormons Christians?".
I also recommend the following from a former counter-cultist critic who now respectfully disagrees with Mormon theology. She's an informed and engaging Evangelical Christian (and a BYU grad too!). She shares her wisdom and insight in answer to "infrequently asked questions", which I now quote from:
Question: Do you think Mormons are Christians?
I hate this question. The answer is, etymologically, Mormonism is a Christian religion. Its founder was raised in a Protestant tradition, so arguably Mormonism sprang from Protestant Christianity. If you don’t think it came from Christianity, where did it come from? Buddhism? Hinduism? No. It came from a branch of Christianity and everybody knows it.
Furthermore, Mormonism is in fact Christocentric. Like it or not, its doctrines and theology do derive from what Mormons regard as the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have as much claim to the title “Christian” as anyone. (BTW, don’t spout off to me about Mormons believing in a “different Jesus.” It means you’re probably too stupid to be reading this blog and should click away at your earliest convenience.)
What other Christians usually mean when they say Mormons are not Christians is that Mormons are not true Christians. The Christianity practiced by Mormonism is corrupt and incomplete, so Mormonism is a Christian heresy.
If you’re Mormon and what I just said offends you, it shouldn’t. You teach the exact same thing about non-LDS Christians. I say heresy, you say apostasy. It’s the exact same concept. Each of us thinks the other is not practicing full Christianity.
I think non-LDS Christians have very little to gain by igniting a semantics war over the word “Christian.” The issue should not be whether or not Latter-day Saints are Christian, it should be whether or not their theology is correct, which it isn’t. In general, I’m happy to grant the term “Christian” to Mormons as a courtesy so that we can move on to talking about things that actually matter.
Question: Is Mormonism a cult?
No. Only stupid people think this.