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Did Dr. Mouw Get It Wrong? New Jets Essay Says Yes!


David Waltz

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I am also content with this. Perhaps you have forgotten that your first comment to the other posters was, "Wow. The ignorance on this board sometimes displayed by members is only surpassed by that which is sometimes displayed by the critics." That is just a tad unreasonable and accusatory. :P

So, you are content to let the discussion stand...but then you bring up for the first time my initial post in this thread? Ok, new topic to defend I guess.

I haven't (and hadn't) forgotten what I first posted. I still feel that way. Don't you? I have a hard time accepting that you don't think the same thing. It's not unreasonable at all. Let me demonstrate the reasonableness of this claim. Which of the following do you believe:

A. Members of the Church never display ignorance on this site.

B. Critics of the Church never display ignorance on this site.

C. Ignorance is never displayed on this site by anyone.

D. Members display more ignorance than critics on this site.

E. An equal amount of ignorance by both members and critics is display on this site.

Or do you have another option in mind? I stand by my initial post.

In fact, I'll make another statement similar to it: The contenious spirit on this board sometimes displayed by members is only surpassed by that which is sometimes displayed by the critics. Feel free to say it's unreasonable, but I think I can find the proof in some over reaction or other which I seem to recall seeing somewhere on this site....

How about this option,

F. Love, ignorance, spiritiuality, wickedness, brilliance, contention, understanding, anger, and the full range of emotions are displayed by all members of this board, Mormons and non-Mormons alike.

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Dr. Peterson (David and all),

I hope it will not worry you overly much, but I have largely followed Blake in his thinking not because I must agree with Evangelicals, but because I think his path is solid. I think the CoJCoLDS in many areas embraces a more faithful view of the Bible than Evangelicals. My greatest fear is that we might one day mute the Biblical idea that men can become gods through conforming ourselves to Christ in order to not seem so weird. I enjoy inviting our Evangelical brothers and sisters to recognize the glories to which God calls us.

But concerning there being a time before which God was once a man and not God:

I think the Snow Couplet in Joseph Smith day gives little evidence either way.

I think the KFD is better read as Blake reads it as compared with the developed understanding within the church.

I think the Sermon in the Grove is the most problematic piece of evidence against asserting that Joseph Smith understood God the Fatherâ??s incarnation as Blake does, but I have seen Blake discuss this and I think he did a passable job.

I was about to outline some of my thoughts on why our scriptures (and in some cases history) point to the Blakeâ??s view, but it occurred to me that you certainly were aware of Blakeâ??s arguments. I would suggest that Eugene England has offered a very complex structure that might account for all the data in a non-Blake way. I would imagine that you have a way to account for all the teachings to which Blake points when he advocates for his view. That is correct?

I would also like to suggest that Blake as a believing LDS engaged our scriptures and felt the best view of them was the one he has presented (I doubt this has much to do with appeasing Evangelicals). David as a non-LDS has engaged our scriptures and agreed with many aspects of Blakeâ??s thought independent of Blake. It seems to me that both Blake and David came at the question with some pre-conceived notions (like we all have), but with radically different pre-conceived notions. I would suggest it is powerful that they agree in so many areas.

I do not think the President Hinckley claimed that the Snow Couplet had a â??functioningâ? place in Mormon teaching. His claim was largely negative. However, I think it important that he said that we (and/or He I canâ??t exactly recall) do not know much about â??that.â? I have interpreted his statement to be commenting on the idea that God was once a man. In light of this, it seems quite reasonable to say that the more prevalent idea that has developed within LDS thinking must be taken with a heavy dose of caution. I guess Pres. Hinckleyâ??s statement in and of itself is not in any way advocating Blakeâ??s view, but it seems that it is opening the door for views like Blakeâ??s to be considered (or even held as long as such holding is not too dogmatic).

The last thing I wanted to comment on was your view of â??canon.â? The word â??canonâ? has a lot of baggage. I propose we talk about â??standard works accepted by common consent.â? Dr. Peterson, do you believe that the â??standard works accepted by common consentâ? should be placed on a higher plane when determining binding LDS belief than any other source? Do you like Dr. Robinson place the KFD in a pseudo-standard-work category or like others place it in an important by not â??standard works accepted by common consentâ?-category? It seems to me that with or without the KFD there has not been significant GA teaching in probably over 20 years in the non-Blake way of interpreting the KFD. And while I have concern with what some have called neo-orthodox Mormonism, I would suggest to the extent that GAs have spoken like this they support Blakeâ??s view rather than the view you seem to be embracing.

I think I have rambled on for long enough. I believe the CoJCoLDS is largely orthopraxic in our unity. 1 month ago, you and I both raised our hands to sustain the Gordon B. Hinckley as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator (and as President of the Church). That is sufficient for our unity as I see it. These questions are interesting, but I hope not dividing.

Charity, TOm

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Very interesting discussion, all. I was wondering if any of you might possibly have a link to Ostler's work online, or perhaps even a summary of his views in this matter. It would help me follow the discussion a bit better if I had a handle on the specific issues involved.

Take care, everyone :P

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Hello Rhinomelon

I am working on response to Tomâ??s thoughtful post, but thought I would briefly interrupt myself and attempt to answer your inquiry. The following I posted on another FAIR thread should prove to be useful:

>>Are there any mormon philosophers who have worked this idea out?>>

Yes, Blake Ostler. However, many Mormons (I am relying on numerous past posts on this particular mb) do not accept his conclusion which is: Our God the Father is the â??First Godâ?.

See Ostlerâ??s: Exploring Mormon Thought â?? The Attributes of God Vol. 1, chapter 3

http://koffordbooks.com/mormon_thought.shtml

And: Exploring Mormon Thought â?? The Problems of Theism and the Love of God Vol. 2, chapter 12 â??God The Eternal Fatherâ?

http://koffordbooks.com/released.shtml

Plus:

http://tinyurl.com/yfc5uy

Thread link: http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?showto...19231&st=20

An important link I forgot to mention in the above post was Blakeâ??s insightful defenses for his views against challenges that were being posted at the â??New Cool Thangâ? blog:

http://www.newcoolthang.com/index.php/2006...d/251/#more-251

Hope this helps,

David

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There is a misconception perhaps among both Mormons and Catholics that if we will dress up our beliefs and practices in a way that muffles that which is most distinctive, the Protestants will come running. It is my opinion as a Catholic that Protestants aren't going to come to Mass because we lessen genuflections and penitential/sacrificial aspects the liturgy, or because we allow eating of meat on most Fridays. Likewise they probably aren't going to be attracted to CoJCoLDS if the wearing of holy garments are made optional, or baptism for the dead is pronounced to be suspended.

Presumably, Protestants by and large, are happy as Protestants. I know I was. I was not drawn to watered down versions of any church. If I was going to believe that the Catholic Church was true, why should I think it was wrong about Mary. It's all or nothing. If I were convinced the Church apostatized, I am obligated to leave my baggage about the eternality of God at the door anyway when I consider the truth claims of the CoJCoLDS. Undoubtedly there are a few everywhere who for reasons not associated with truth, would be willing to switch to this or that church, if only they didn't hold a paritcular unpalatable practice or belief as non-negotiable. But it is a disservice if our churches cater to the types who are willing to compromise their own beliefs to join us, instead of holding forth with crystal clarity those distinctive views, which will perhaps alienate the compromiser, when the real truth seeker isn't looking for compromise.

That was the sermon which I point at my church more than you who are LDS. I am friends with Dave and Tom too. Perhaps I come too much under Dave's still non-LDS influence when he convinces me that the the LDS canon cannot eliminate the possibility of Ostler's view? On the other hand, while it could accomodate the Snow Couplet or King Follet Discourse if I understand him correctly, to use these documents which are so far not considered Scripture, to shed light on the Standard Works cannot be done without opening a Pandora's Box. To appeal to non-Scriptural authority could erupt into the need to defend other non-Scriptural authorities which at different times have been held forth with gusto, but are now dismissed as non-canonical.

If I were LDS, that is the reason I would lean toward the view of Ostler, not because it also happens to be more palatable to non-LDS Christians.

For Tom...did you note how Dr. Peterson mentioned that the Couplet is foundational or some similar word to his theology, although he agreed with the President's description on the King Show? He also said that you never hear of it in sacrament meeting. That sounds similar to how I understand deification as a Catholic. We aren't preaching sermons on it, but it underlies everything. Maybe it wasn't you, but I know somebody was admitting that we can quote this or that theologian or mystic who believed in deification but it isn't taught explicitly to the people at church. I think it was your Catholic Mom who did a knee jerk when you pointed it out in her own catechism. I would suggest that perhaps the situation for us is similar to how Dr. Peterson described the LDS view of God being once a man.

Hey Tom...one more thing...I have seen you are busy with "Crimson Catholic". Wow. That guy is sharp. But so are you Tom, you haven't stopped running. Anyway, I spent several hours on a post that is about to drop out of sight here to page three without any LDS response on the subject of original sin. I think most LDS are usually uninformed about our teachings, and that is to be expected. I am uninformed about LDS teachings. Really I am except for what I pick up here and there. However, I am convinced that there is MISinformation anong LDS on the subject of original sin, at least as Catholics view it. You know enough about your view and ours to critique it better than anyone I know. If you get a chance...In my defense, of course I know about the "stain" of original sin. However, my "LDS definition" was with an attempt to avoid jargon that could further mislead. Frankly, precision is difficult without using jargon.

Heh...can you tell I've been on vacation this week? Have to go back tomorrow though.

Regards,

R

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Thanks for the link, David. I'm leaving for California in a couple hours, so I'll have to dig into it more on Tuesday when I return. Until then, keep the discussion rolling! :P

Presumably, Protestants by and large, are happy as Protestants. I know I was. I was not drawn to watered down versions of any church.

Good point. I much prefer straight honesty about beliefs, instead of trying to water things down in order to make things more palatable. I've had a couple LDS friends suggest that I could convert to the LDS faith while still maintaining my convictions regarding the Trinity and the "otherness" of God. This strikes me as naive at best, dishonest at worst. If I ever convert, it is, as you say, all or nothing.

Take care, everyone <_<

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Hi Tom,

Though your post was primarily directed to Daniel, you sort of â??left the door openâ?? for others to contribute; so, I would like to make few comments. You wrote:

Tom:>>I hope it will not worry you overly much, but I have largely followed Blake in his thinking not because I must agree with Evangelicals, but because I think his path is solid. I think the CoJCoLDS in many areas embraces a more faithful view of the Bible than Evangelicals. My greatest fear is that we might one day mute the Biblical idea that men can become gods through conforming ourselves to Christ in order to not seem so weird. I enjoy inviting our Evangelical brothers and sisters to recognize the glories to which God calls us.>>

Me: Deification is certainly Biblical; deification is clearly taught by the Church Fathers; deification has been, and is currently, taught by Catholic Christianity (RCC and EO); and even some EVâ??s are warming up to the ideaâ??IMHO, I do not think a muting of â??the Biblical idea that men can become godsâ? is on the horizon.

Tom:>>But concerning there being a time before which God was once a man and not God:

I think the Snow Couplet in Joseph Smith day gives little evidence either way.

I think the KFD is better read as Blake reads it as compared with the developed understanding within the church.

I think the Sermon in the Grove is the most problematic piece of evidence against asserting that Joseph Smith understood God the Fatherâ??s incarnation as Blake does, but I have seen Blake discuss this and I think he did a passable job.>>

Me: I agree that the Snow couplet is open to interpretation; Blakeâ??s view was voiced by other Latter-day Saints on ZLMB a few years before he published his books, and I personally have argued with many anti-Mormons that the couplet could be applied to Jesus Christâ??s incarnation/condescension. As for the KFD and Grove Sermon, given the fact that transcription variants exist in the textual traditions of both, I concur with your assessment.

>>I would also like to suggest that Blake as a believing LDS engaged our scriptures and felt the best view of them was the one he has presented (I doubt this has much to do with appeasing Evangelicals). David as a non-LDS has engaged our scriptures and agreed with many aspects of Blakeâ??s thought independent of Blake. It seems to me that both Blake and David came at the question with some pre-conceived notions (like we all have), but with radically different pre-conceived notions. I would suggest it is powerful that they agree in so many areas.>>

Me: I was influenced early on by LDS apologetic works that effectively dealt with many â??commonâ?? anti-Mormon criticisms via a limiting of the scope of â??officialâ? LDS doctrine, and certain statements by various LDS presidents/prophets and/or authorities who have strongly suggested that authoritative doctrine needs to be found within the confines of the LDS Quad (though, of course, maintaining that the Quad itself can be expanded at anytime via the proper channels).

Tom:>>I do not think the President Hinckley claimed that the Snow Couplet had a â??functioningâ? place in Mormon teaching. His claim was largely negative. However, I think it important that he said that we (and/or He I canâ??t exactly recall) do not know much about â??that.â? I have interpreted his statement to be commenting on the idea that God was once a man. In light of this, it seems quite reasonable to say that the more prevalent idea that has developed within LDS thinking must be taken with a heavy dose of caution. I guess Pres. Hinckleyâ??s statement in and of itself is not in any way advocating Blakeâ??s view, but it seems that it is opening the door for views like Blakeâ??s to be considered (or even held as long as such holding is not too dogmatic).>>

Me: Agreed. Later today I hope to start a new thread to discuss some of the reasons why I believe that the concept of God the Father having been a mortal man before becoming God is problematic within the confines of the LDS worldview.

Grace and peace,

David

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