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Mormons are Monotheistic


Sargon

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Christian scholar Larry Hurtado has stated, in speaking of 2nd Temple Judaism:

In fact, I suggest that for historical investigation our policy should be to take people as monotheistic if that is how they describe themselves, in spite of what we might be inclined to regard at first as anomalies in their beliefs. Such "anomalies," I suggest in fact are extremely valuable data in shaping our understanding of monotheism out of the actual beliefs of actual people and traditions who describe themselves in monotheistic language.

http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Hurtado_Monotheism.htm

I believe that this policy ought to extend to Mormons. We are monotheists, even if we have our own brand of Monotheism. Blake Ostler has describes our brand as "Kingship Monotheism", and has demonstrated that it is paralleled in many respects by ancient Israel. Our brand is in opposition to "Metaphysical Monotheism", but we are all monotheists by virtue of the fact that we speak of and think of ourselves as monotheists.

Thoughts?

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This is how all Judeo-Christian traditions qualify as monotheistic, since the existence of angels and Satan and cherubim and other divine beings all absolutely preclude literal monotheism. Rather than "monotheism" defining Judaism and Christianity, those religions provide the colloquial definition of the word "monotheism." Mormonism is thus only another definition of the word.

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Christian scholar Larry Hurtado has stated, in speaking of 2nd Temple Judaism:

I believe that this policy ought to extend to Mormons. We are monotheists, even if we have our own brand of Monotheism. Blake Ostler has describes our brand as "Kingship Monotheism", and has demonstrated that it is paralleled in many respects by ancient Israel. Our brand is in opposition to "Metaphysical Monotheism", but we are all monotheists by virtue of the fact that we speak of and think of ourselves as monotheists.

Thoughts?

It seems we posted the same thing about the same time... I didn't mean to step on this. We can stay in this thread if you wish.

Mono means one. If Joseph Smith saw two personages in his vision, then it's anything but monotheism. Claiming "we have our own brand" doesn't involve redefining the word and what it means, nor attempting to draw parallels to force the square peg in the round hole. Again this is the basic teachings of Joseph Smith and Mormonism as I understand it, as men can become Gods in the LDS faith. Your thoughts...

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This is how all Judeo-Christian traditions qualify as monotheistic, since the existence of angels and Satan and cherubim and other divine beings all absolutely preclude literal monotheism.

God is the only Divinity of monotheism.

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It seems we posted the same thing about the same time... I didn't mean to step on this. We can stay in this thread if you wish.

Mono means one. If Joseph Smith saw two personages in his vision, then it's anything but monotheism. Claiming "we have our own brand" doesn't involve redefining the word and what it means, nor attempting to draw parallels to force the square peg in the round hole. Again this is the basic teachings of Joseph Smith and Mormonism as I understand it, as men can become Gods in the LDS faith. Your thoughts...

Hi thews. I think that Hurtado's principle as described in the original post (OP) of this thread demands that Mormons be considered monotheists. So what if Joseph saw two personages? Ancient Jewish visionaries often saw God accompanied by other divine personages, yet they are unquestioningly considered a monotheistic faith. For example, see the Ascension of Isaiah, or the Apocalypse of Abraham.

I also suggest that this entirely depends on how we define "god" when talking about monotheism. Mormons obviously use that word in a variety of ways.

God is the only Divinity of monotheism.

You are already trampling on Hurtado's principle. We consider ourselves monotheists, and therefore we are. Your ideological preconceptions notwithstanding.

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It seems we posted the same thing about the same time... I didn't mean to step on this. We can stay in this thread if you wish.

This is where I'm failing to understand. there is a "Most High God," then that is the definition of henothestic and not monothestic. In basic Chrsitianity, Jesus is God in man, or God (the same), which is monothestic (one God). If the LDS believe Jesus Christ is not God, but a God lower than the Most High God, then there are more than one Gods, which is henothestic.

I am fine if you want to look at it like this.

Now it is interesting that you then diverdge from your previous thought In basic Chrsitianity, Jesus is God in man, or God (the same), which is monothestic (one God). But the bible tells us that Christ is the son of the Most High God. Jesus is never identifed as the Most High God.

Also there are other verse of scripture that tell us that that Melchizedek was a priest to the Most High God.

So why the double speak?

I guess that Judiasim and "Christianity" really are Henotheistic, accourding to you.

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You are already trampling on Hurtado's principle. We consider ourselves monotheists, and therefore we are. Your ideological preconceptions notwithstanding.

Brilliant.

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Christian scholar Larry Hurtado has stated, in speaking of 2nd Temple Judaism:

...

I believe that this policy ought to extend to Mormons. We are monotheists, even if we have our own brand of Monotheism. ...but we are all monotheists by virtue of the fact that we speak of and think of ourselves as monotheists.

Thoughts?

Good point.

"Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are ONE God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." D&C 20:28

Richard

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When it comes to evaluating monotheism, I believe we ought to consider the liturgical practices and the language of prayer of the group in question.

For example, Mormons pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. The Savior stands as a conduit to God. Christ is a mirror reflecting the brilliant glory of God the Father. We worship God the Father by worshipping Christ. The two are so infinitely one in all things that it is appropriate to refer to them as "one God." Were it not for Jesus Christ, it would not be possible to have the relationship with God the Father we seek. They have entered into a covenant with each other which erases any distinction in will, desire, and method.

As Mormons, we couldn't fathom worshipping Jesus Christ without worshipping God the Father. It isn't even possible. The same holds for the opposite. We can't fathom worshipping God the Father without worshipping Jesus Christ. It isn't possible. They are two gods, and two persons of the same god. One is the "Most High God" and the other is the "Son of God", both equally divine. We direct our worship to both of them simultaneously, making them a package deal which alone is deserving of our reverent devotion and worship.

We think of ourselves as monotheists, and therefore we are. All preconceived ideas about "monotheism" notwithstanding.

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You are already trampling on Hurtado's principle. We consider ourselves monotheists, and therefore we are. Your ideological preconceptions notwithstanding.

Mormons believe in more than one God. Why try to hide what you really believe?

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I understand Latter-Day Saints to hold a monolatrous view rather than a monotheistic view. Monotheism by definition denies the existence of other deities. Monolatry allows for the existence of multiple deities though only one is worthy of worship.

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God is the only Divinity of monotheism.

Nope. Angels and dead kings are called 'elohim in the Hebrew Bible, and early Christian texts calls many things "divine" (theia) which aren't God. The Bible is not monotheistic. Post-biblical Christian theology asserts monotheism and has to ignore much of the Bible to do it, but there is no formal monotheism in the Bible.

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I understand Latter-Day Saints to hold a monolatrous view rather than a monotheistic view. Monotheism by definition denies the existence of other deities. Monolatry allows for the existence of multiple deities though only one is worthy of worship.

And the Hebrew Bible and New Testament are explicitly monolatrous. Both appeal to several divine beings other than God, and the Hebrew Bible refers dozens of times to other deities (favorably) and even to God's offspring (favorably).

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Mormons believe in more than one God. Why try to hide what you really believe?

No, we don't "believe" in more than one God. We acknowledge the existence of other gods, although we have no clue who they are or where they came from.

We worship one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, just as the Standard Works testify.

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Mormons believe in more than one God. Why try to hide what you really believe?

I understand Latter-Day Saints to hold a monolatrous view rather than a monotheistic view. Monotheism by definition denies the existence of other deities. Monolatry allows for the existence of multiple deities though only one is worthy of worship.

Both of you are ignoring the principle that Larry Hurtado described. You are importing your own ideas about what "monotheism" has to be, and are judging the Latter-day Saints with it. Instead, try letting those who claim to be monotheistic dictate the meaning of "monotheism."

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My thoughts had been written moments before I saw this thread: I posted them here: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/09/social-trinitarianism.html#links

If I wasn't clear above, I believe that Christ taught, and the Catholic faith teaches, a modified monotheism. The most rigorous monotheism is not possible to the Catholic...

I concede that like myself, Mormons can hold to a modified monotheism.

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I prefer to call it "inclusive monotheism" because our goal is to become God (singular).

The problem arises because we fail to take God in one of its oldest forms, which is a plurality. A table is one in every sense of the word. If there's only one table in a room, the only way to split it into three is metaphysical. Mormons view the word "God" as a plurality. Unlike a table, which has but one element, God has at least three elements: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Joseph Smith came along and said, yes, but what if we can also become part of that plurality? If we become one with God, we become God.

"That they may be one, even as we are One," Jesus said of the Twelve. If we become as God, and if we inherit all that the Father has, being the sons of God, is it not reasonable that we, too, might attain this Oneness and become part of the Eloheim?

It's a simple concept. If one reads the scriptures from first to last in this context, there's nothing that contradicts it, plus it eliminates the metaphysical aspect of it all and makes it simple.

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My thoughts had been written moments before I saw this thread: I posted them here: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/09/social-trinitarianism.html#links

I concede that like myself, Mormons can hold to a modified monotheism.

Thanks 3DOP. Larry Hurtado comments on Catholicism:

I have suggested for a working principle that we should take as "monotheism" the religious beliefs and practices of people who describe themselves as monotheistic. Otherwise, we implicitly import a definition from the sphere of theological polemics in an attempt to do historical analysis. Protestants, for example, might find some forms of Roman Catholic or Orthodox piety involving the saints and the Virgin problematic forms of monotheism, and this might constitute a fully valid theological issue to be explored. But scholars interested in historical analysis, I suggest, should take the various Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions as representing varying forms of Christian monotheism. If we are to avoid a priori definitions and the imposition of our own theological judgments, we have no

choice but to accept as monotheism the religion of those who profess to be monotheists, however, much their religion varies and may seem "complicated" with other beings in addition to the one God.

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It seems we posted the same thing about the same time... I didn't mean to step on this. We can stay in this thread if you wish.

Mono means one. If Joseph Smith saw two personages in his vision, then it's anything but monotheism. Claiming "we have our own brand" doesn't involve redefining the word and what it means, nor attempting to draw parallels to force the square peg in the round hole. Again this is the basic teachings of Joseph Smith and Mormonism as I understand it, as men can become Gods in the LDS faith. Your thoughts...

Christ himself was a "Monotheist", yet he also is "God", and he was also a man who even in the Bible said that he wasn't "good, but only the Father was good".... God the Father is the only God we worship in the strict sense, thus we are Monotheistic. Christ himself also worshiped the Father. So, Christ being revealed in vision with the Father, since after all he is the intermediary between us and the Father doesn't somehow makes us "not" monotheistic.

Don't use the flawed thinking that Muslims use to claim Christians "aren't" monotheistic because of the Tinity. Further, a child becoming himself a Father does not make the first Father any less than the Father of the generations. And in the case of man and Israel, God the Father is our only Father. It's the same in Judaism, Christianity, and Mormonism. Remember, even Judaism believes in Christ, just not the one that lived, they are still looking for a later version. So, are they somehow not monotheistic because they believe in Christ also?

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Mormons believe in more than one God. Why try to hide what you really believe?

We're not hiding anything. It's quite open as it is written in the scriptures for all to see. Hurtado's "Kingship monotheism" and "Metaphysical monotheism" seems logical to me. We have one God. We do not worship any other gods that happen to have their own galaxies or worlds to tend to. If you cannot seperate the different forms of monotheism, broaden your knowledge, don't try to limit ours.

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Don't use the flawed thinking that Muslims use to claim Christians "aren't" monotheistic because of the T®inity. Further, a child becoming himself a Father does not make the first Father any less than the Father of the generations. And in the case of man and Israel, God the Father is our only Father. It's the same in Judaism, Christianity, and Mormonism. Remember, even Judaism believes in Christ, just not the one that lived, they are still looking for a later version. So, are they somehow not monotheistic because they believe in Christ also?

Interesting wording.

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Christ himself was a "Monotheist", yet he also is "God", and he was also a man who even in the Bible said that he wasn't "good, but only the Father was good".... God the Father is the only God we worship in the strict sense, thus we are Monotheistic. Christ himself also worshiped the Father. So, Christ being revealed in vision with the Father, since after all he is the intermediary between us and the Father doesn't somehow makes us "not" monotheistic.

Don't use the flawed thinking that Muslims use to claim Christians "aren't" monotheistic because of the Tinity. Further, a child becoming himself a Father does not make the first Father any less than the Father of the generations. And in the case of man and Israel, God the Father is our only Father. It's the same in Judaism, Christianity, and Mormonism. Remember, even Judaism believes in Christ, just not the one that lived, they are still looking for a later version. So, are they somehow not monotheistic because they believe in Christ also?

I like this, it is a good explination of how I view it. The only thing I would change is that we are not monthesitic in the sense that there are more Gods/gods we only acknowledge one of them. Hence Henotheistic is probably a better term, but in the interest of this thread we are monothestic for the same reason other chirstians are monothesistic and that is because we choose to define our selves as such at times.

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Remember, even Judaism believes in Christ, just not the one that lived, they are still looking for a later version. So, are they somehow not monotheistic because they believe in Christ also?

I may be mistaken, but I don't think they generally consider their future Messiah to be a god. Neither did the ancient Jews, hence the confusion when the Messiah showed up claiming to be a god.

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