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Mormon Epistemology


mfbukowski

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On a now closed thread, I was about to post this to a new poster, who was alleging that one must base religious decisions on empirical data, and yet I found his blog, which he was blatantly advertising, to be in total contradiction

In regard to his own conversion to Christianity, he wrote: (emphasis added)

In reality week by week I was presented with stories of lives changed by a living, active and loving God, week by week this got more of my interest but I still wasn

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On a now closed thread, I was about to post this to a new poster, who was alleging that one must base religious decisions on empirical data, and yet I found his blog, which he was blatantly advertising, to be in total contradiction

In regard to his own conversion to Christianity, he wrote:

This is precisely what a Mormon would call a "testimony" and is the basis for your own conversion!

And yet you have the nerve to say this:

I think you just have a small problem there.

Hi there if you read what I said you will see that I am saying the internal witness came after conversion and thus wasn't and still isn't my basis for determining what is true.

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Hi there if you read what I said you will see that I am saying the internal witness came after conversion and thus wasn't and still isn't my basis for determining what is true.

Huh?

All you are doing is moving the "date of your conversion"!

There is no practical difference. It was the change of heart which was your "conversion".

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Huh?

All you are doing is moving the "date of your conversion"!

There is no practical difference. It was the change of heart which was your "conversion".

No in my view conversion is not when I get a nice warm feeling, I could have ignored that and done nothing, conversion os when I put my faith in Christ, which was not even that day. I talk more about how I believe one is truly converted in other places of my blog, however that is a lot of reading so I can't blame you for not reading it all :P

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No in my view conversion is not when I get a nice warm feeling, I could have ignored that and done nothing, conversion os when I put my faith in Christ, which was not even that day. I talk more about how I believe one is truly converted in other places of my blog, however that is a lot of reading so I can't blame you for not reading it all :P

You are quibbling over words- conversion is an ongoing process which lasts a lifetime

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Look at Peter- he knew Jesus was the savior and yet denied him- then look at the courageous individual who died crucified upside down- he was "not the same person"!

It takes years!

I will be back later- have much to do today.

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You are quibbling over words- conversion is an ongoing process which lasts a lifetime

If thats how it appears then I am sorry as I am not trying to quibble over words, however biblically you become in Christ and saved as a one time event from putting your faith in Christ.

I see it as 2 elements, Justification a one time event where one becomes righteouss in Gods sight through faith in Christ.

Sanctification is a life long process where God changes your outward self to being more like Christ.

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Look at Peter- he knew Jesus was the savior and yet denied him- then look at the courageous individual who died crucified upside down- he was "not the same person"!

It takes years!

You raise a fair point however I would say Peter was converted all the way through, just made a mistake like we all do.

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No in my view conversion is not when I get a nice warm feeling, I could have ignored that and done nothing, conversion os when I put my faith in Christ, which was not even that day. I talk more about how I believe one is truly converted in other places of my blog, however that is a lot of reading so I can't blame you for not reading it all :P

There's your main problem, dismissing Mormon's spiritual experiences as a "nice warm feeling."

It is very strange to hear a Bible-believing Christian claim that a burning in the bosom is of no importance, since it is taught in the Bible.

Following Jesus' resurrection, He walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They did not recognize Jesus, but listened to Him as "he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). After breaking bread with them, Jesus was revealed to the disciples, and vanished.

Interestingly, the disciples did not say to each other such things as:

"We should have known it was Jesus because of His scriptural teaching."

"We should have known it was Jesus because the scriptures (i.e., the Old Testament since the NT wasn't written yet) tells us that He would walk with two disciples on the road to Emmaus."

Rather, they said:

"Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:32, emphasis added).

The experience on the road to Emmaus illustrates that a witness of the Holy Ghost is not just a feeling. The Holy Ghost is both a feeling or experiencing process, but it is not empty emotion. Rather, information is always transmitted with it. Thus, Jesus did not just give the disciples a feeling, but taught them information from the scriptures which gave intellectual or mental insight and satisfaction.

The mental conclusions they drew from that information were simultaneously confirmed by the inward burning that can accompany the Holy Spirit.

Would the critics likewise dismiss Jesus' disciples' witness because it was a burning in the bosom? Would they characterize this experience as merely the emotional?

The site is down right now, but when it comes back up you can check here:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Search_for_the_Truth_DVD/Burning_in_the_Bosom

Again, your caricature of LDS beliefs doesn't adequately represent my beliefs, and you inadvertently criticize what the Bible evidently says as well.

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Look at Peter- he knew Jesus was the savior and yet denied him- then look at the courageous individual who died crucified upside down- he was "not the same person"!

It takes years!

I will be back later- have much to do today.

Catch you later, where I am its bed time soon, hopefully there wont be too much waiting for me in the mornin :P

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There's your main problem, dismissing Mormon's spiritual experiences as a "nice warm feeling."

The site is down right now, but when it comes back up you can check here:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Search_for_the_Truth_DVD/Burning_in_the_Bosom

Again, your caricature of LDS beliefs doesn't adequately represent my beliefs, and you inadvertently criticize what the Bible evidently says as well.

To be fair for some it is probably more than a simple feeling however the missionaries I have been seeing lately just keep talking about feelings. We were talking about something and he just said I feel that this is the case!

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If thats how it appears then I am sorry as I am not trying to quibble over words, however biblically you become in Christ and saved as a one time event from putting your faith in Christ.

I see it as 2 elements, Justification a one time event where one becomes righteouss in Gods sight through faith in Christ.

Sanctification is a life long process where God changes your outward self to being more like Christ.

To call one view "biblical" is problematic because so many folks interpret the Bible so many different ways. How do you advise people get over this barrier to understanding to reach true "biblical" faith?

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To be fair for some it is probably more than a simple feeling however the missionaries I have been seeing lately just keep talking about feelings. We were talking about something and he just said I feel that this is the case!

How do you square your criticism with the description of the disciples on the road to Emmaus which was mentioned above? (One of my all-time favorite stories in the NT)

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. . . however biblically you become in Christ and saved as a one time event from putting your faith in Christ.

Biblically?

Nah, salvation is a process not an event.

I see it as 2 elements, Justification a one time event where one becomes righteouss[sic] in Gods sight through faith in Christ.

That is what we call conversion.

Sanctification is a life long process where God changes your outward self to being more like Christ.

Matt. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name

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To call one view "biblical" is problematic because so many folks interpret the Bible so many different ways. How do you advise people get over this barrier to understanding to reach true "biblical" faith?

I would say simply trust Christ for your salvation and none of your works, be born again and the bible will take on a whole new significance to you, however you are right I will refrain from using that term all the time, however the bible is not as vague and open to interpretation as some say. Its more about whether you let it speak for itself or let other things speak for it.

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I would say simply trust Christ for your salvation . . .

Does that include trusting what He taught (and giving it preeminence over the misinterpreted teachings of Paul from which Evangelicals derive their doctrine)?

. . . be born again . . .

Been there, done that. :P

. . . however the bible is not as vague and open to interpretation as some say.

Humm, is that why there are so many different religious groups with different doctrines?

Its more about whether you let it speak for itself or let other things speak for it.

I agree. So why do people let their misinterpretations of Paul override the clear and plain teachings of Jesus?

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I would say simply trust Christ for your salvation and none of your works, be born again and the bible will take on a whole new significance to you, however you are right I will refrain from using that term all the time, however the bible is not as vague and open to interpretation as some say. Its more about whether you let it speak for itself or let other things speak for it.

A text can never speak for itself. A text is a product, not a creatio ex nihilo agent of dissemination. Communication at its basic level requires a sender and receiver, even if the receiver isn't listening or understanding, or if the sender isn't making sense. To claim that you are simply letting the text "speak for itself" is evidence that you are reading uncritically, without due regard for the "text itself" as something to be participated in, not simply something to wash over you and give you the secret key. Reading is by grace and works, not grace alone.

PS- I know I'm throwing a lot of questions your way, but you still haven't responded to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, who felt a burning and knew that they had spoke with the risen Lord. I'm pretty partial to that story.

road_to_emmaus1.jpg

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A text can never speak for itself. A text is a product, not a creatio ex nihilo agent of dissemination. Communication at its basic level requires a sender and receiver, even if the receiver isn't listening or understanding, or if the sender isn't making sense. To claim that you are simply letting the text "speak for itself" is evidence that you are reading uncritically, without due regard for the "text itself" as something to be participated in, not simply something to wash over you and give you the secret key. Reading is by grace and works, not grace alone.

Well if your saying the bible can't speak for itself I guess there is nothing more I can say, until next time. The way I look at it scripture judges me, I don't judge scripture.

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Well if your saying the bible can't speak for itself I guess there is nothing more I can say, until next time. The way I look at it scripture judges me, I don't judge scripture.

That's very strange to me. According to the Bible (which you say you are following closely), God judges humans; not the "letter that killeth," but the "Spirit that giveth life," as Paul might say.

I noticed your blog cites a video featuring Shawn McCraney. I recently reviewed his self-published book, arguing that as a Mormon Shawn seriously misunderstood the LDS religion, a misunderstanding he has carried into his new ministry work.

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=21&num=2&id=774

Also, I added a "PS" above for you regarding the disciples on the road to Emmaus. :P Have a good rest.

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No in my view conversion is not when I get a nice warm feeling, I could have ignored that and done nothing, conversion os when I put my faith in Christ, which was not even that day. I talk more about how I believe one is truly converted in other places of my blog, however that is a lot of reading so I can't blame you for not reading it all :P

I understand our propensity to argue over terms and their usage. In my opinion, the point of conversion began the moment you acted on that warm feeling. That was the point you turned and took that first step in repentance. Many only look at the concept of conversion when they believe the process is complete. Yet when we look deep into this concept it is flawed because our process of conversion is never complete UNTIL we are truly dead to self will and Jesus reigns fully in us.

When that happens, we would never need to tell people of our conversion! They will readily see the spirit of Jesus flowing through us, allowing us to do the works Jesus did leading to even greater...

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No in my view conversion is not when I get a nice warm feeling, I could have ignored that and done nothing, conversion os when I put my faith in Christ, which was not even that day. I talk more about how I believe one is truly converted in other places of my blog, however that is a lot of reading so I can't blame you for not reading it all :P

Denial - it's not just a river in Egypt.

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Well if your saying the bible can't speak for itself I guess there is nothing more I can say, until next time. The way I look at it scripture judges me, I don't judge scripture.

How do you know the bible is "true"?

Why not the Avesta or Bhagavad Gita or the Koran or one of dozens of other alleged "scriptures"?

How do you know the Bible is no more than myths- like the Norse legends or Greek Myths? Why don't you hold those to be scripture?

Yes the Bible is old- but so what! So are all the others! Being old does not prove it is from God!

You were right to say that your heart changed- THAT is the only thing that can tell you that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And that is the only thing that can tell you the Book of Mormon is "true" scripture also.

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