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Elder Callister's Ces Devotional-Blueprint Of Christ's Church


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Did anyone watch Elder Callister's CES Devotional last Sunday?  It was on the blueprint of Christ's Church (you can view it here if interested).  I found it very interesting.  I think that many would enjoy more apologetic talks from leaders on topics such as this.  Basically, he talked about how the LDS Church matches the New Testament Church on various points that are part of the blueprint given by Christ anciently for His Church.  They include:

 

-Organization

-Teachings

-Ordinances

-Fruits

-Revelation

 

He says that the Church should be the same, unless a "change order" is given, which is done through revelation.  He also said that only the LDS Church matches point for point the blueprint of Christ's Church.

 

I did find a few things that I'd like to discuss from his talk.  In the "organization" part, he talked about the necessary offices in the Church, such as apostles, prophets, etc.  He also mentioned seventy.  For those knowledgeable on this, I'm wondering, was "seventy" an actual priesthood office in the ancient Church?  I thought it was just that Christ had called seventy men to go out two by two, not that there was an office named "seventy".  I also find difficulty with the citation of Ephesians 4:11-13 for some of the necessary offices in Christ's Church:

 

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

This is frequently used to show the offices needed in the true Church, until we all come in the unity of the faith.  However, there is no office of "pastor".  Elder Callister said that the role of pastor is found in bishops and those that preside.  I couldn't help but think of the Catholic/Orthodox view that bishops have authority from the apostles ("apostolic authority"), but are not referred to as "apostles" per se.  In some cases it therefore seems as if the name of the office isn't the requirement.  So is it really giving a list of the names of necessary priesthood offices?  Also, as we know, "evangelist" is said to mean "patriarch", though I'm wondering if there is any ancient and/or NT confirmation for that view.

 

I have thoughts on the other parts of his talk, but I guess I'll just ask about this part in this thread. 

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He says that the Church should be the same, unless a "change order" is given, which is done through revelation.  He also said that only the LDS Church matches point for point the blueprint of Christ's Church.

 

I did find a few things that I'd like to discuss from his talk.  In the "organization" part, he talked about the necessary offices in the Church, such as apostles, prophets, etc.  He also mentioned seventy.  For those knowledgeable on this, I'm wondering, was "seventy" an actual priesthood office in the ancient Church?  I thought it was just that Christ had called seventy men to go out two by two, not that there was an office named "seventy". 

Moses also called seventy of the elders of Israel to administer. I don't have the reference at hand but it's in there. (Edited to add: I looked it up. See Exodus 24:9 and Numbers 11:16.)

 

If it's not clear from the Bible that this was an actual priesthood office, both in the Old Testament and New Testament, well, that's just one more example of the Bible not being perfect and of the need for ongoing revelation.

 

I also find difficulty with the citation of Ephesians 4:11-13 for some of the necessary offices in Christ's Church:

 

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

This is frequently used to show the offices needed in the true Church, until we all come in the unity of the faith.  However, there is no office of "pastor".  Elder Callister said that the role of pastor is found in bishops and those that preside.  I couldn't help but think of the Catholic/Orthodox view that bishops have authority from the apostles ("apostolic authority"), but are not referred to as "apostles" per se.  In some cases it therefore seems as if the name of the office isn't the requirement.  So is it really giving a list of the names of necessary priesthood offices?  Also, as we know, "evangelist" is said to mean "patriarch", though I'm wondering if there is any ancient and/or NT confirmation for that view.

 

The word bishop means overseer or watcher. The word pastor means shepherd. In a figurative sense, both words mean the same thing.

 

We know through revelation that an evangelist is a patriarch.

 

And having authority conferred by apostles is not the same thing as being an apostle.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Did anyone watch Elder Callister's CES Devotional last Sunday?  It was on the blueprint of Christ's Church (you can view it here if interested).  I found it very interesting.  I think that many would enjoy more apologetic talks from leaders on topics such as this.  Basically, he talked about how the LDS Church matches the New Testament Church on various points that are part of the blueprint given by Christ anciently for His Church.  They include:

 

-Organization

-Teachings

-Ordinances

-Fruits

-Revelation

 

He says that the Church should be the same, unless a "change order" is given, which is done through revelation.  He also said that only the LDS Church matches point for point the blueprint of Christ's Church.

 

I did find a few things that I'd like to discuss from his talk.  In the "organization" part, he talked about the necessary offices in the Church, such as apostles, prophets, etc.  He also mentioned seventy.  For those knowledgeable on this, I'm wondering, was "seventy" an actual priesthood office in the ancient Church?  I thought it was just that Christ had called seventy men to go out two by two, not that there was an office named "seventy".  I also find difficulty with the citation of Ephesians 4:11-13 for some of the necessary offices in Christ's Church:

 

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

This is frequently used to show the offices needed in the true Church, until we all come in the unity of the faith.  However, there is no office of "pastor".  Elder Callister said that the role of pastor is found in bishops and those that preside.  I couldn't help but think of the Catholic/Orthodox view that bishops have authority from the apostles ("apostolic authority"), but are not referred to as "apostles" per se.  In some cases it therefore seems as if the name of the office isn't the requirement.  So is it really giving a list of the names of necessary priesthood offices?  Also, as we know, "evangelist" is said to mean "patriarch", though I'm wondering if there is any ancient and/or NT confirmation for that view.

 

I have thoughts on the other parts of his talk, but I guess I'll just ask about this part in this thread.

The words pastor (one who watches over lambs and sheep) and bishop (one who watches over the lambs and sheep who are the Church) mean virtually the same thing.

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"The LDS Church is true because we are exactly the same as the Church Jesus set up in the New Testament, except for all the stuff we've changed." 

 

:rolleyes:

 

This has been a problem ever since the whole "17 Points of the True Church" story started making the rounds.

 

I'm sorry to see Elder Callister thinks so little of the college-age LDS that he assumes they wouldn't figure out the problems with his argument.  I guess as long as they don't actually read their Bibles, and just stick to proof-texting, he'll be okay.

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"The LDS Church is true because we are exactly the same as the Church Jesus set up in the New Testament, except for all the stuff we've changed." 

 

:rolleyes:

 

This has been a problem ever since the whole "17 Points of the True Church" story started making the rounds.

 

I'm sorry to see Elder Callister thinks so little of the college-age LDS that he assumes they wouldn't figure out the problems with his argument.  I guess as long as they don't actually read their Bibles, and just stick to proof-texting, he'll be okay.

I don't see what Elder Callister was doing as "prooftexting" so much as assembling an array of evidences.

 

He has a juris doctorate and a professional background in the law. Thus, I'm confident he understands that, while taken all by itself, a piece of evidence might not be probative or irrefutable, in combination with other pieces of evidence, it can be persuasive.

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"The LDS Church is true because we are exactly the same as the Church Jesus set up in the New Testament, except for all the stuff we've changed." 

 

:rolleyes:

 

This has been a problem ever since the whole "17 Points of the True Church" story started making the rounds.

 

I'm sorry to see Elder Callister thinks so little of the college-age LDS that he assumes they wouldn't figure out the problems with his argument.  I guess as long as they don't actually read their Bibles, and just stick to proof-texting, he'll be okay.

 

It has been a problem long before that, I grew up hearing these claims.  Had I not gotten grad training in the NT,  I would still be repeating it as well.

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Out of curiosity (I have not read the book, and I'm neither citing it with approval, nor am I prepared to defend its arguments, [nor, for that matter, am I necessarily criticizing it; I'm asking out of complete ignorance]) does Barry Bickmore's Restoring The Ancient Church suffer from the problems we've pointed out in this thread?

 

P.S.:  My impression is that Brother Bickmore is more doctrine-focused than structure-focused, so perhaps the answer to my question is, "No."  Thoughts?

Edited by Kenngo1969
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Wait a minute,  did he actually use this 17 Points list? From what I recall, it seems to cover his points.

 

1. Christ organized the Church (Ephesians 4:11-14)
2. The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:23)
3. The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20)
4. The true church must have the same organization as Christ's Church (Ephesians 4:11-14)
5. The true church must claim divine authority (Hebrews 4:4-10)
6. The true church must have no paid ministry (Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)
7. The true church must baptize by immersion (Matthew 3:13-16)
8. The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)
9. The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)
10. The true church must teach that God and Jesus are separate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17)
11. The true church must teach that God and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 1:1-3)
12. The officers must be called by God (Hebrews 4:4; Exodus 28:1; 40:13-16)
13. The true church must claim revelation from God (Amos 3:7)
14. The true church must be a missionary church (Matthew 28:19-20)
15. The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-20)
16. The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:16&29)
17. "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthews 7:20)

 

 

Is there a more carefully documented account of the guy making up a story of how this came about than the link given to a message board?

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Out of curiosity (I have not read the book, and I'm neither citing it with approval, nor am I prepared to defend its arguments, [nor, for that matter, am I necessarily criticizing it; I'm asking out of complete ignorance]) does Barry Bickmore's Restoring The Ancient Church suffer from the problems we've pointed out in this thread?

 

P.S.:  My impression is that Brother Bickmore is more doctrine-focused than structure-focused, so perhaps the answer to my question is, "No."  Thoughts?

It's been a very long time since I read that book and I haven't seen the revised version.   As I recall, he did an excellent job of compiling extra canonical primary sources....I suppose it could be accused of some proof texting but that is sometimes necessary when giving an overview of so many decades of Christian history.  These sources are more accessible now but at the time, this sort of thing had not been compiled in a readable yet scholarly manner for the average Mormon types so I really appreciate what he did.

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I don't see what Elder Callister was doing as "prooftexting" so much as assembling an array of evidences.

 

He has a juris doctorate and a professional background in the law. Thus, I'm confident he understands that, while taken all by itself, a piece of evidence might not be probative or irrefutable, in combination with other pieces of evidence, it can be persuasive.

This is the same Elder Callister that said this?

The Bible is one witness of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon is another. Why is this second witness so crucial? The following illustration may help: How many straight lines can you draw through a single point on a piece of paper? The answer is infinite. For a moment, suppose that single point represents the Bible and that hundreds of those straight lines drawn through that point represent different interpretations of the Bible and that each of those interpretations represents a different church.

 

What happens, however, if on that piece of paper there is a second point representing the Book of Mormon? How many straight lines could you draw between these two reference points: the Bible and the Book of Mormon? Only one. Only one interpretation of Christ’s doctrines survives the testimony of these two witnesses.

This despite the fact that their are multiple churches that use the book of mormom.  Despite the fact that the bible is not a single book by a single author.  It seems to me that Elder Callister is prone to simplistic arguments that lack nuance. 

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It's been a very long time since I read that book and I haven't seen the revised version.   As I recall, he did an excellent job of compiling extra canonical primary sources....I suppose it could be accused of some proof texting but that is sometimes necessary when giving an overview of so many decades of Christian history.  These sources are more accessible now but at the time, this sort of thing had not been compiled in a readable yet scholarly manner for the average Mormon types so I really appreciate what he did.

Good info.  Thanks.

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This is the same Elder Callister that said this?

 

This despite the fact that their are multiple churches that use the book of mormom.  Despite the fact that the bible is not a single book by a single author.  It seems to me that Elder Callister is prone to simplistic arguments that lack nuance. 

 

That's always bugged me too!

 

But I guess the Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price make four points, and we're the only church that goes through all four, so we must be true!

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I don't see what Elder Callister was doing as "prooftexting" so much as assembling an array of evidences.

 

He has a juris doctorate and a professional background in the law. Thus, I'm confident he understands that, while taken all by itself, a piece of evidence might not be probative or irrefutable, in combination with other pieces of evidence, it can be persuasive.

 

He's a lawyer?  That explains it!  

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This is the same Elder Callister that said this?

 

This despite the fact that their are multiple churches that use the book of mormom.  Despite the fact that the bible is not a single book by a single author.  It seems to me that Elder Callister is prone to simplistic arguments that lack nuance. 

 

 

I hear what you are saying but I wonder how many of those other Churches also say they are a restored Church, have priesthood keys, have a prophet. I know the COC disavowed the Book of Mormon

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This is the same Elder Callister that said this?

 

This despite the fact that their are multiple churches that use the book of mormom.  Despite the fact that the bible is not a single book by a single author.  It seems to me that Elder Callister is prone to simplistic arguments that lack nuance. 

I don't have access to the the speech or article you are quoting from here, and hence, I lack the full context.

 

But from the snippet you quote here, it is apparent to me that the intent of the statement is not to disprove or debunk other religious faiths, but rather, to illustrate why a second witness of Christ (namely the Book of Mormon) is crucial.

 

Moreover, while it is true that the Bible is not a single book written by a single author, there are millions of people -- not just Latter-day Saints -- who regard it as God's word and who do regard it as a witness for Christ.

 

While Elder Callister's analogy may not be persuasive to one who does not even accept the Bible as a witness of Christ, it might be meaningful to one who does.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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He's a lawyer?  That explains it!  

 

 

he's worse then a lawyer, he's a tax attorney....I actually know Elder Callister. He was in my first area and in my mission presidency. I wouldn't say i was bosom buddies life long pals with the man but I spent a goodly enough time with him i.e, ridden in the same car with him, dinners etc. He wrote that book on the atonement and he also wrote a book on the apostasy. His brother is Douglas Callister who is a legendary person and their Granddad was LeGrand Richards

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