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Confidential Informant

Are Evangelicals "Required" to Believe?

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I keep asking the question in other threads but it keeps getting lost (or conveniently ignored) in the noise of those threads, thus I will give it it's own thread and ask my EV and even my Catholic bretheren to explain it to me.

First, the foundation for the question. Several current threads (and many past threads) have dealt with the question of Book of Mormon geoography, specifically, the location of the Hill Cumorah.

As I've sorted this out in my head, it occurs to me that some of the argumentation that surrounds this is somewhat complex, but I shall endeavor to sort it out.

So, in dealing w/ Cumorah we have two issues we deal wity, the text of the Book of Mormon and various statements made by LDS leaders regarding the location of the Hill over the years.

The critic's arguments trend along these lines: Early mormon leaders (they often include Joseph Smith but there is no evidence for this) claimed that the Hill Cumorah was the same hill in upstate New York (Palmyra) where Joseph uncovered the gold plates. This was, in fact, the dominant view among the LDS for at least a century and a half. However, when certain scholars began to read the Book of Mormon with an eye toward "defending" it they discovered that placing the hill in New York didn't really work. Moreover, they discovered that the Book of Mormond didn't require it and didn't suggest it either. So, the limited geography theory was born. (Actually, it predate this by decades, but it was popularized at this time).

Then along came the critics who, rather than allow the LDS to simply deal with the text, fundamentalistically demanded that they account for their leader's statements regarding geographical locations and attempt to explain the perceived discrepancy between their statements and the "scientific" view, as it were. They reasoned that if LDS prophets were truly inspired then it should be impossible (or at least, improbable) that God would allow them to perpetuate such an egregious error as placing Cumorah in New York rather than Mesoamerica.

Ergo, we no get tortured threads such as the two currently being discussed where the quotes of Pres. Romeny and Elder Watson's letter are invoked like talismanic charms and the claim is made that their statements represent authoritative statements from the Church regarding Book of Mormon geography and anyone who expresses a contray belief is claimed to be "reinterpreting" or "reinventing" the prophets.

Now, I didn't cover all of that in order to rehash the question of the location of Cumorah. Rather, I'm more interested in the logic that underlies it and it's application to Christian, and more specifically, Evangelical views of the Bible. In fine, I'm thinking of the Flood acount from Genesis.

Now, I don't think I need to quote from Genesis the whole account. I'm sure my EV friends are sufficiently conversant in that story to forgo it in favor of a simply rehash of the main themes. 1. The world is utterly evil. 2. God calls Noah to build an ark, fill it with animals and his three sons/daughters-in-law. 3. God sends large rain/fountains of water and Earth is completely inundated. 4. Only Noah, his wife and six others are spared (total of :P who live to repopulate the Earth.

So, there is the story as presented from the Bible. Now, the idea of the global flood has been the dominant view among Evangelicals for at least what? 500 years at least? So we have a parallel here to Hill Cumorah in that we have a story presented from scripture and we have the generally accepted belief about that story.

Some years ago, the scholars and scientist began looking at the flood account and very quickly arrived at the conclusion that no global flood has occurred anytime in the past 10,000 years or more. Thus was born the Limited Flood Theory which postulates that there was a major flood event in the region of the Black Sea which event may have stretched as far East as parts of Europe. Thus, we have a second parallel in that scripture/generally accepted belief is now contradicted by science. However, a viable alternative has been offered. And everyone should be happy (except the most hard-core inerrantists).

But there is a problem, you see, because just like the LDS, the Evangelicals must also deal with the authoritative statements of those whom they accept as divinely inspired leaders. What did they say/believe about the flood?

Christ himself said:

26And as it was in the days of aNoe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. -- Luke 17:26-27.

It can easily be said that Christ himself believed in a global flood which covered the earth saving only Noah and his children while all others were destroyed.

But that isn't the only statement. We also have this: Peter teaching another principle makes a passing reference to Noah and his goup also. He said,

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  -- 1 Peter 3:20

There you have two extremely authoritative statements which clearly support the idea of a global flood and only 8 survivors And it occurs to me that you are left with the same problem w/ your own doctrine as you claim LDS have in theirs. Moreover, you problem is even greater because the authoritative statements regarding the flood come from the Scriptures, your inerrant, authoritative source. Unlike Mormons, who never claimed inerrantism for their prophets and leaders, you have no wiggle room that I can see. Whereas Mormons can argue that their leaders statements were simply uninspired opinion based on the generally accepted but erroneous ideas, I don't think Ev's have the same option because their view of the scriptures precludes it.

So, my question. You have spent so much time demanding that Mormons account for the statements of their leaders, which you deem authoritative, in contrast to scholarly and scientific opinion. I now want you to account for the clearly authoritative statements from Biblical figures (i.e. your accepted divine leaders) which clearly contradict current scholarly/scientific opinion.

Any takers?

C.I.

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We Mormons only have to deal with a lost civlization.

The poor Evangelicals have to deal with every civilization on earth which should be lost, but which aren't.

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To start, it would be rather easy to interpret the scriptures cited as references only to the regions in which the flood occurred. That is, everyone (except <_< within the scope of the limited flood perished. To Noah's family, and we must assume that they would be the source of the subsequent story, that would have been tantamount to the world.

Of course, you are right about the literal worldwide interpretation, and your analogy to the Book of Mormon geography fits. I do enjoy pestering young-earth creationists about the Ark, though. How did Noah get hold of those Antarctic invertebrates for the Ark? And what happened to all the plants under that sustained water pressure (not to mention all of the biodiversity in fresh- and brackish water systems)? I probably derive the same kind of distorted glee that our critics do about the Book of Mormon challenges..... :P I'll repent later.

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To start, it would be rather easy to interpret the scriptures cited as references only to the regions in which the flood occurred.

But that's just the point. Should they get a "limited flood theory" despite nearly two thousand years of near universal belief in an inerrant text proclaiming a universal flood, but we aren't allowed a "limited geography theory," when we do not believe in either inerrant scripture nor infallible prophets? This is another example of the frequent double standard Evangelicals use when critiqing the BOM vs. defending the Bible.

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Good question.

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The Lord is my Banner

Good grief! For a minute there I thought your quotation line read: "The Lord is my Bammer"! :P

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The Lord is my Banner

Good grief! For a minute there I thought your quotation line read: "The Lord is my Bammer"! :P

Bammer? Bammer? Maybe he would like to answer the question posed? I must admit, I'm rather disappointed. I thought they'd be ever so anxious to clarify why it's okay for them but not for us. Go figure.

C.I.

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Maybe no one is responding because you are using words with more than one syllable. It also could be that your post is in paragraphs, try condensing it into one long paragraph, maybe add a few sentences where all the words are in caps. Maybe then you might get a response.

Ok, the above is a cheap shot at a certain young poster that appeared here recently, I am feeling nasty today, just ignore this post.

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Maybe the reason that no one is responding is due to all the wonderful discussions that have been going on lately, everyone that would argue (debate nicely) with you is on the queue! :P

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Okay

First of all before I start let me say that I do not have all the answers. I like Deuteronomy 29:29 that says "There are secret things that belong to the Lord our God." So there's alot in the Bible that I have questions about but am I supposed to know all the answers or know everything?

No

However this is imy understanding of the global flood. I have always interpreted the global flood as being in the known lands of the Middle East and Asia. Does that mena global as we know today with S. America, Asia, No America etc.? No.

I would suggust to you that the global flood is over the known world of the Middle East

:P

MU Eagle

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Guest johnny_cat
I would suggust to you that the global flood is over the known world of the Middle East

Does this mean you subscribe to the limited-geography theory? :P

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Good grief! For a minute there I thought your quotation line read: "The Lord is my Bammer"! 

LOL Dr. Hamblin ( I think you are Dr... not Mr.)

I have a blog called Jehovah-Nissi "The Lord is my Banner". But incidentally it died today.. so tech support is looking at it.. *sigh* If not there goes my LDS/Political writings heh.

Peace to you,

Adam

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I would suggust to you that the global flood is over the known world of the Middle East

It's laudable that you can accept such a notion. However, it is only half of the point. Peter the Apostle held to the notion of a global flood which only 8 people survived. Being as how he was an Apostle and the divinely appointed leader of the Church at that time, and being as how his understanding is ensconced in sacred writ, how can you now disagree with Peter (and Christ, and the Bible for that matter)?

To the contrary, if you don't find that Peter's, Christs, or the Bible's statements are "inspired" as to be difinitive, then why should LDS be constantly chastized for supposing that Romney's or JF Smith's ruminations on the location of Cumorah are less-than-authoritative also?

It's the double standard I wish addressed.

C.I.

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I would suggust to you that the global flood is over the known world of the Middle East

It's laudable that you can accept such a notion. However, it is only half of the point. Peter the Apostle held to the notion of a global flood which only 8 people survived. Being as how he was an Apostle and the divinely appointed leader of the Church at that time, and being as how his understanding is ensconced in sacred writ, how can you now disagree with Peter (and Christ, and the Bible for that matter)?

To the contrary, if you don't find that Peter's, Christs, or the Bible's statements are "inspired" as to be difinitive, then why should LDS be constantly chastized for supposing that Romney's or JF Smith's ruminations on the location of Cumorah are less-than-authoritative also?

It's the double standard I wish addressed.

C.I.

CI

What scripture are you refering to? Can you quote that please?

MU Eagle

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He already did in his first post:

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  -- 1 Peter 3:20

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Excellant question, I can see only 4 possible answers

1. The Bible is wrong about what both Jesus and Peter said (and thus disproves the Inerrant Bible belief)

2. Jesus and Peter lied and God let that lie continue even until today (Not sure I want to even think of Jesus lying)

3. Jesus and Peter made a mistake and God let that mistake continue even until today. (Thus allowing that leaders can believe and teach one thing and later be found to be wrong without affecting the belief system as a whole)

4. Science is completly wrong (does away with"archeological proof" arguments)

Each answer poses a special problem for Christians of many flavors. but the inerrant Bible thumpers in particular.

MU and others ????????

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What about: "5. We misunderstand what they said."?

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So, my question. You have spent so much time demanding that Mormons account for the statements of their leaders, which you deem authoritative, in contrast to scholarly and scientific opinion. I now want you to account for the clearly authoritative statements from Biblical figures (i.e. your accepted divine leaders) which clearly contradict current scholarly/scientific opinion.

Any takers?

C.I.

Jesus said He only spoke what the Father told Him to, and sinse God cannot lie, Jesus did not tell any lie. If Jesus said it was so, He would know. That some men think they know better, that some men can give some reason to disagree with God, now is there anything new with that? :P

If Jesus said so that is the truth of the matter. Have any scientists risen from the dead or created life from a rock or made a planet and universe to prove what they said is really the truth?

Science is so far behind Gods knowledge and works that it is laughable to question God or Christ.

How's that take? <_<

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How's that take?

Perhaps true; but precisely the same could be said of the BOM and DC. Self-proclaimations of divine authenticity may create reason to believe, but not a logical argument. You have failed to engage the real issue.

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What about: "5. We misunderstand what they said."?

pretty hard to misunderstand "only 8 people survived" by Peter, and the Noah story in Genesis.

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Science is so far behind Gods knowledge and works that it is laughable to question God or Christ.

How's that take?

Is that your final answer?

If so, we'll put you down for #4 (Science is wrong) and expect that you will NEVER post anything about archeologocal proofs about either the Bible or the Book of Mormon since science has no clue.

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If Jesus said so that is the truth of the matter. Have any scientists risen from the dead or created life from a rock or made a planet and universe to prove what they said is really the truth?

If scientists had done this, it would be in peer-reviewed journals so that the information could be evaluated by outsiders before it made it into the literature. Who, outside of the Bible, are the reviewers for the Bible? Jesus Himself said that if He bears witness of Himself, His witness is not true; other witnesses were necessary. What is your external witness that the Bible is true?

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Some years ago, the scholars and scientist began looking at the flood account and very quickly arrived at the conclusion that no global flood has occurred anytime in the past 10,000 years or more.

Sigh. The so-called 'evidence' against the global flood has been answered numerous times. In fact, this old chesnut is hauled out so frequently by the anti-christian camp, I grow tired of responding to it.

Many dedicated researchers have responded to this issue. For a start, try:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/flood.asp

http://www.trueorigin.org/arkdefen.asp

http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-311.htm

http://www.nwcreation.net/geologyflood.html

Perhaps the 'scholars and scientists' you refer to (but do not cite) have ignored these important contributions. It wouldn't be the first time.

[Note: This post was mostly intended as satire. Hopefully the use of the condescending 'Sigh', the obligatory chesnut reference, and the use of proof by sheer volume (there's hours of material to read in those links), have made that obvious.]

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