(LANCASTER ONLINE) — In a November Pew Research Center survey, about half of the white evangelical Christians polled said Mormonism is not a Christian religion.
Jan Shipps, a noted scholar of Mormon history and professor emeritus of history and religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, said that evangelicals have been taught to treat Mormons as "heretics."
The tension between evangelicals and Mormons owes partly to the fact that, for years, "they were tilling the same fields," as they sought converts in American suburbia, she said.
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When evangelicals realized that Mormons were winning converts, the "development of the evangelical argument that Mormons aren't Christian was emphasized very strongly," said Shipps, who is a United Methodist.
But there are stark theological differences, too, between traditional Christians and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.