Jump to content

FYI: New Column (By Yours Truly)


Daniel Peterson

Recommended Posts

1.

Except that the true early Christians viewed the Holy Spirit as female.

Debatable.

But fine by me, in any case.

2.

It's time, I think, to award the prize for the most memorable response to my little column.

The competition has been fierce, with entries from as far afield as Vienna, Austria, and from several members of the faculty at BYU (including the University's president, whom I ran into on Saturday afternoon). A number -- including, perhaps significantly, all at the University -- have liked the column. A number have not. Certain right-wingers have condemned me for my acceptance of Harry Reid as a Christian. Certain left-wingers have condemned me for my acceptance of Glenn Beck as a Christian. I've been accused of doing propaganda for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, and of having seriously damaged evangelical-Mormon relations. Several, such as bcspace (performing over on the Stalker/Toady Board), have accused me of disingenuousness and even of outright dishonesty.

But the winner is . . . Markk (who used to post here):

Responding to my column, he compared me to Joseph Goebbels.

Link to comment
It's time, I think, to award the prize for the most memorable response to my little column.

The competition has been fierce, with entries from as far afield as Vienna, Austria, and from several members of the faculty at BYU (including the University's president, whom I ran into on Saturday afternoon). A number -- including, perhaps significantly, all at the University -- have liked the column. A number have not. Certain right-wingers have condemned me for my acceptance of Harry Reid as a Christian. Certain left-wingers have condemned me for my acceptance of Glenn Beck as a Christian. I've been accused of doing propaganda for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, and of having seriously damaged evangelical-Mormon relations. Several, such as bcspace (performing over on the Stalker/Toady Board), have accused me of disingenuousness and even of outright dishonesty.

But the winner is . . . Markk (who used to post here):

Responding to my column, he compared me to Joseph Goebbels.

Coming from Markk, I don't know if that's an expression of admiration, or just jealousy.

Regards,

Pahoran

Link to comment
Anyone can say they believe in Christ and accept his Atonement, but do they actually believe and practice the doctrines and truths Christ has given us? If they don't, they don't really accept or believe in Christ.

Need the name Jeremiah Wright be mentioned here? Or Desmond Tutu?

How about the Klan? They consider themselves Christians of a very pure sort.

Link to comment

LOL Perhaps I should have said "anyone who wants to". But I've known several who also claim a belief in or acceptance of Christ and/or his teachings. But among those that we normally call christian there is enough variety of belief to determine (relative to the true Church) the level of actual "christianity".

Actually, I've met and known some folks who claim adherence to and acceptance of Christ, who were also adherents of an eclectic school of Hinduism (they were followers of one Sai Baba).

Anything really, is possible.

Link to comment

Likewise, I'm skeptical of the claim that "the only way to [measure and judge (somebody's) Christianity] is to look at [his or her] behavior." That's an important standard, surely, but not the only one. There are very righteous Buddhists and adulterous, thieving Christians.

And yet, righteous Buddhists are ultimately living Christian principles (anything that is true in Buddhism also being a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ), while adulterous, thieving Christians are Christians in name only, whether or not they accept the core rudimentary concepts of the Apostles Creed. This is precisely where questions arise.

In any event, I think it the work of the devil to sow discord within the Kingdom over politics.

I think it also likely that it is the work of the Devil to assume or imply unity and oneness with any plethora or combination of values, beliefs and sympathies, as unity at some point begins to imply accord, agreement and congruence.

There is a reason why Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney pose little problem, but when the name Harry Reid enters the discussion the apple cart turns over. The onus of this state of affairs, in my view, is on Reid, not on the messenger.

My political views are extremely strong -- no less firmly held than yours, I expect, and (more or less) on your side of the spectrum -- but I do not allow them to sunder my fellowship with the Saints, and I will object to that whenever I see it. Brother Reid is a fellow Saint, to the best of my knowledge, just as Brother Romney and Brother Beck are.

I respect and support your views here, but must still ask a fundamental question: Brother x is a fellow Saint - up to what point? Is there a point - not behavioral per se, but at which beliefs, values and perspective place one outside the class "fellow Saint", and if so, what would this be? If not, how far could fellow Saint status actually extend?

Link to comment
But it is not usually the one who expresses the doctrine who sows the discord.

Whatever one thinks regarding whether or not bc overreacted to DCPs article, and whether or not he "politicized" this thread, this is a profound, if often overlooked observation, and perhaps the major reason some LDS (usually of a certain political persuasion) don't dare go near gospel/political discussions, and why they can be so divisive.

Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword; it is always the messenger of the gospel principle who is shot while those made to squirm because of it cry "bigot!" and "fanatic!"

Politics is just one of many areas in which he who expresses the doctrine places his hands on the apple cart and starts counting backwards from three.

Link to comment

but must still ask a fundamental question: Brother x is a fellow Saint - up to what point?

Is there a point - not behavioral per se, but at which beliefs, values and perspective place one outside the class "fellow Saint", and if so, what would this be? If not, how far could fellow Saint status actually extend?

Link to comment

Well, thanks for running away into an irrelevant point that has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject at hand.

That's becoming the standard approach I suppose.

I find it quite relevant. IMO, Jesus would want us to make no distinction among our fellow Saints, but rather, show kindness to each other regardless of any disagreement that may exist.

Link to comment

I find it quite relevant. IMO, Jesus would want us to make no distinction among our fellow Saints, but rather, show kindness to each other regardless of any disagreement that may exist.

The question at hand has no relation to being kind, civil or nice to anybody. It has no relation to how we treat others in our personal contacts. The question is at what point does a Saint become not-Saint.

At what point, in other words, because our worldview and the manner in which we see the world diverges so far from the gospel, do we in begin a process of apostasy - not from the Church necessarily - but from the gospel.

Apostasy does not just involve some kind of immoral conduct. Does it not also many times involve intellectual alienation from gospel teachings?

If so, then all I am asking is at what point does this become critical?

Link to comment

The question at hand has no relation to being kind, civil or nice to anybody. It has no relation to how we treat others in our personal contacts. The question is at what point does a Saint become not-Saint.

At what point, in other words, because our worldview and the manner in which we see the world diverges so far from the gospel, do we in begin a process of apostasy - not from the Church necessarily - but from the gospel.

Apostasy does not just involve some kind of immoral conduct. Does it not also many times involve intellectual alienation from gospel teachings?

If so, then all I am asking is at what point does this become critical?

Hi Droop,

Considering how many times I am wrong about something in a single day, let alone the past month or even the past year I am skeptical of our -- meaning regular ole' human Latter-day Saints -- in judging whether or not others qualify to be called 'Saints' based on their political or other views.

That would be quite the burden to take upon oneself!

I'd rather not worry about it and just take people as they are -- learning from their unique perspective even if I vehemently disagree with their views.

Seth

Link to comment
Need the name Jeremiah Wright be mentioned here? Or Desmond Tutu?

No.

How about the Klan? They consider themselves Christians of a very pure sort.

And they may well, some of them at least, be Christians.

Bad Christians and good Christians vary with respect to the adjective, but they share the noun.

And yet, righteous Buddhists are ultimately living Christian principles (anything that is true in Buddhism also being a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ), while adulterous, thieving Christians are Christians in name only, whether or not they accept the core rudimentary concepts of the Apostles Creed. This is precisely where questions arise.

That may be so, or it may not. But it wasn't any part of the subject of my column.

I think it also likely that it is the work of the Devil to assume or imply unity and oneness with any plethora or combination of values, beliefs and sympathies, as unity at some point begins to imply accord, agreement and congruence.

I made a simple point. It had nothing whatever to do with specific denominational differences, let alone with political differences. And I stand by it.

It was something along the lines of C. S. Lewis's "mere Christianity."

There is a reason why Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney pose little problem, but when the name Harry Reid enters the discussion the apple cart turns over. The onus of this state of affairs, in my view, is on Reid, not on the messenger.

Glenn Beck and even Mitt Romney pose huge problems for many people, in and out of the Church, while many people like Harry Reid.

And, for the record yet again, notwithstanding bcspace's characterizations of me over at the Stalker/Toady Board as holding "leftist" attitudes, etc., I happen to be a very serious life-long political conservative. Very serious.

But I will not go along with people who try to read out of the Church those who disagree with them on political issues.

I respect and support your views here, but must still ask a fundamental question: Brother x is a fellow Saint - up to what point? Is there a point - not behavioral per se, but at which beliefs, values and perspective place one outside the class "fellow Saint", and if so, what would this be? If not, how far could fellow Saint status actually extend?

Yes, there is such a point. But it isn't in the polling booth, and it isn't at the threshold of the local Democratic Party headquarters.

Link to comment

The question at hand has no relation to being kind, civil or nice to anybody. It has no relation to how we treat others in our personal contacts. The question is at what point does a Saint become not-Saint.

The real question is why you think you can know someone's relationship with Christ...or should. Why would you even be concerned unless they are openly attacking Mormonism?

Link to comment

... Certain right-wingers have condemned me for my acceptance of Harry Reid as a Christian. Certain left-wingers have condemned me for my acceptance of Glenn Beck as a Christian. ...

I'd say if roughly half of each group is ticked off at you Dr. Peterson, you must be doing something right! :P

Link to comment
And they may well, some of them at least, be Christians.

Meaning, within the context of a substantive understanding and awareness of Klan ideology and aims, precisely what?

Bad Christians and good Christians vary with respect to the adjective, but they share the noun.

The noun is nothing but a label and a designation, like "bologna sandwich". But is it bologna, or is it turkey or chicken "bologna"?

That may be so, or it may not. But it wasn't any part of the subject of my column.

No, but it is relevant to the argument as it developed here between you and bc.

I made a simple point. It had nothing whatever to do with specific denominational differences, let alone with political differences. And I stand by it.

It was something along the lines of C. S. Lewis's "mere Christianity."

I understand that, but I'm commenting more upon the argument as it developed here.

Glenn Beck and even Mitt Romney pose huge problems for many people, in and out of the Church, while many people like Harry Reid.

I think this is a sentence fragment, but I get the gist of where it is going. I guess the question then becomes, if people as in polar opposition as Beck and Reid on core aspects of worldview can both be considered "faithful" Mormons, then this still seems to raise disturbing questions. The first I think would be to try to understand the relation of that polar opposition to the gospel in the sense that, if that opposition can coexist with the unity of worldview expected of Latter Day Saints (at this level (worldview and fundamental notions of social and economic structure) I'm not concerned with zoning codes) then is that coexistence possible because gospel principles themselves are plastic and mallabe (the "big tent" theory of, not Mormon doctrine, but the Church itself as a institution and community) or is this possible because even the deepest political questions do not really matter?

And, for the record yet again, notwithstanding bcspace's characterizations of me over at the Stalker/Toady Board as holding "leftist" attitudes, etc., I happen to be a very serious life-long political conservative. Very serious.

Well, I can't speak for bc here. In reading that thread, all I saw was a claim that you were using leftist "tactics" in debating him. I'm not going to wade into that because it seems a little too personal to be believed, given the interlocutors involved. And I know you are a very serious political conservative. So am I, which is why I take the intersection of politics and gospel teachings so seriously.

But I will not go along with people who try to read out of the Church those who disagree with them on political issues.

If I've read bc correctly over a long period of time, he's been clear that the degree to which one's political ideology and support for various policies can "read one out" of the Church is conditioned by the degree to which one actually understands what he/she is supporting. There are probably a number of LDS "liberals" who support leftist policies and ideas for psychological or emotional reasons who have less real ideological (they are educated and intellectually aware believers in their political commitments)comprehension of what they are doing than others. In the same way, if I support what I would term "strong" libertarian initiatives to legalize prostitution, child pornography and "hard" drugs in greater or lesser ignorance, my ignorance does not excuse my support if such initiatives turn out to be negative or disastrous, but if I support them with full awareness (if I want porn, prostitution and drugs to be legal because my value system - a non-gospel value system by definition - sees these as social positives), then the degree of my accountability rises.

Yes, there is such a point. But it isn't in the polling booth, and it isn't at the threshold of the local Democratic Party headquarters.

I detect some degree of defensiveness here, but be aware that, whatever is going on between you and bc, I'm trying to comprehend and negotiate your ideas here in a friendly manner. I want to understand your position and be able to disagree with aspects of it, if I see an need to, without the creation of a rift. Any disagreement is exploratory, not dogmatic. I think you probably are pretty aware of my political positions on a number of things at this point, and I am, as you are, settled and passionate on many of them. I also know how to engage in philosophical discussion, and how to be tentative and exploratory without pushing too hard, and that is all I'm trying to do here.

So I will tentatively disagree on one point. You say there is a point, but it is not at "the polling booth". Why not? Where else, in the political sphere, is there a more telling indication of just what our real values are than at the place where we exercise the power to impose them on others? Voting, after all, is not just armchair discussion of political philosophy, but behavior.

Link to comment

The real question is why you think you can know someone's relationship with Christ...or should. Why would you even be concerned unless they are openly attacking Mormonism?

Juliann, really, if you cannot engage the argument here, just as you doubled down and refused to engage it in a philosophically substantive manner on the other Beck thread, then why bother? You are clearly threatened by something that lurks within this whole concept of the intersection of the gospel and politics/political ideology that you do not want to deal with and hence the avoidance behavior that we've seen throughout the day on this issue.

You can't even represent the Church's position on abortion properly (relying on Charity and and bc to do it for you) and used the term "murder" when she used the word "killing", effectively misrepresenting her statement.

Perhaps this is, indeed, to some degree, the bitter fruits of postmodernism and its effects upon the critical faculties we otherwise bring to serious discourse.

Link to comment

Perhaps this is, indeed, to some degree, the bitter fruits of postmodernism and its effects upon the critical faculties we otherwise bring to serious discourse.

Huh????

What does this have to do with anything? And what evidence do you have for the effects of postmodernism on "the critical faculties we otherwise bring to serious discourse."?

Edit: don't bother to answer- I don't want a derail, but if you want to start a new thread on this- knock yourself out

Link to comment
I'd say if roughly half of each group is ticked off at you Dr. Peterson, you must be doing something right! :P

That's how I regard it. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.

Meaning, within the context of a substantive understanding and awareness of Klan ideology and aims, precisely what?

Meaning that, if the particular Klansman subscribes to the basic tenets of Christianity -- e.g., Jesus is Lord -- he's a Christian.

An appalling one, to be sure, but, still, a Christian.

The noun is nothing but a label and a designation

That's what most words are.

No, but it is relevant to the argument as it developed here between you and bc.

bcspace and I had no argument. He engaged no issue that I had raised, and no issue that I intended to raise, and no issue to which I intended to respond.

I think this is a sentence fragment,

No, it's a complete sentence.

but I get the gist of where it is going. I guess the question then becomes, if people as in polar opposition as Beck and Reid on core aspects of worldview can both be considered "faithful" Mormons, then this still seems to raise disturbing questions.

I doubt very much that they're in polar opposition with regard to their overall worldviews. They do disagree strongly (though, even there, they are not polar opposites) in their political opinions. But worldviews are much, much bigger and broader than politics.

is that coexistence possible because gospel principles themselves are plastic and mallabe (the "big tent" theory of, not Mormon doctrine, but the Church itself as a institution and community) or is this possible because even the deepest political questions do not really matter?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

If I've read bc correctly over a long period of time, he's been clear that the degree to which one's political ideology and support for various policies can "read one out" of the Church is conditioned by the degree to which one actually understands what he/she is supporting. There are probably a number of LDS "liberals" who support leftist policies and ideas for psychological or emotional reasons who have less real ideological (they are educated and intellectually aware believers in their political commitments)comprehension of what they are doing than others. In the same way, if I support what I would term "strong" libertarian initiatives to legalize prostitution, child pornography and "hard" drugs in greater or lesser ignorance, my ignorance does not excuse my support if such initiatives turn out to be negative or disastrous, but if I support them with full awareness (if I want porn, prostitution and drugs to be legal because my value system - a non-gospel value system by definition - sees these as social positives), then the degree of my accountability rises.

As a conservative, I see liberalism as a mistake. Sometimes a very serious one. But, speaking as a Latter-day Saint, I will not agree that, in and of itself, it's a sin for which one is morally accountable.

I detect some degree of defensiveness here,

None at all.

but be aware that, whatever is going on between you and bc,

Nothing is going on. Nor will anything go on. I've read at least some of the things he's written about me over at the Stalker/Toady Board. I've never interacted with him much, and now I have no interest in ever doing so. No big deal.

I'm trying to comprehend and negotiate your ideas here in a friendly manner. I want to understand your position and be able to disagree with aspects of it, if I see an need to, without the creation of a rift. Any disagreement is exploratory, not dogmatic. I think you probably are pretty aware of my political positions on a number of things at this point, and I am, as you are, settled and passionate on many of them. I also know how to engage in philosophical discussion, and how to be tentative and exploratory without pushing too hard, and that is all I'm trying to do here.

I should let you know that, from fairly early tomorrow through at least Sunday night, I'm not going to be around. I'll be traveling between my TTh classes and over the weekend. And yes, some will be right to suspect that these obligations were arranged several months ago in order to save me from being humiliated in this thread.

So I will tentatively disagree on one point. You say there is a point, but it is not at "the polling booth". Why not?

Because the Brethren have expressly declined to stigmatize partisan political differences as constituting apostasy, and because I emphatically deny that it's the right of ordinary members of the Church to seek to sow discord in the Kingdom by setting up standards that the Lord and his prophets have pointedly refused to authorize or endorse.

Where else, in the political sphere, is there a more telling indication of just what our real values are than at the place where we exercise the power to impose them on others? Voting, after all, is not just armchair discussion of political philosophy, but behavior.

How I vote is, at most, between me and the Lord, not between me and my bishop.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...