Oh boy, back to the LDS Trinity

Clyde D. Ford, a physician in SLC, sent me a twirlin’ and a whirlin’ with his May 5, 2008, Dialogue paper on alternative trinitarianism.  And it’s 11:17 p.m.  I need to go to bed;  I’ve got a big day tomorrow.

But doesn’t he know “what is the Book of Mormon doctrine of the Trinity?”

After working all the way, page after page, through ancient backgrounds, to early 19th century opinions, and key issues and questions, now, who am I suppose to turn to for an authoritative answer on this vital question?

5 comments

  1. “now, who am I suppose to turn to for an authoritative answer on this vital question?”

    Todd, an outsider to evangelical tradition might ask the same question of your religion. Who do we turn to indeed…

  2. Seth, I am trying to determine what is authoritative and what is fringe LDS ideas about the Trinity. I suppose the LDS authorities and apostles allow a lot of speculation on who God really is? More so today than even in the past?

    I am looking for clear, authoritative positions by the LDS Church on sovereign Jehovah Most High God. Surely, for any Christian teacher and proclaimer, this subject of God should consume all our attention.

    Unfortunately, it seems like the LDS Church is not looking for strong, historical, gracious evangelical apologia of the Triune God fleshed out with scriptural exegesis. It seems most LDS like to delve into the discussions about creeds or to point out “Christian” alternative positions on the Trinity spawned by those who care not for serious conformity to all the infallible, scriptural data. I can’t think of one LDS authority who is in serious dialogue or who is desirous to listen to any conservative evangelical on the topic of God for concrete answers. Why?

    Sadly, when I share Bible verses that anticipate, hint, or explicity reveal the eternal, Triune Jehovah, I think most LDS could care less. They smile at me outwardly, but inwardly they don’t put too much stock (place their strong trust) in the Old Word scripture in specifically revealing God in vibrant detail.

    Here is my recommendation: Begin with the biblical data. Simply trace YHWH through the OT and how that name is connected with Elohim and El Elyon. Secondly, can you see where the Hebrew Bible would make distinction (very important) between LORD and His suffering Servant Son, but also where the Koine Greek New Testament also would equivocally establish both Father and Son as the one (equally important) Jehovah, Creator of all.

  3. Ah, so many good books. So little time…

    At the moment, I’m working through Rough Stone Rolling, Mere Christianity (embarrassed to admit I haven’t read it yet), and a book on World War II. In addition to professional reading, regular scriptural study, and blog stuff of course.

    You should ask my parents. Trying to get me to try anything new when it wasn’t originally my idea is like pulling teeth. My mom had to literally drag me, whining all the way, to see Star Trek III. Of course, once at the theater, I loved the show – just like she knew I would.

    I definitely have a stiffnecked side.

    Not that I wouldn’t appreciate the gesture – quite the contrary. But I know myself and who knows when I’d get around to reading it – beyond the introduction, and maybe the first chapter?

  4. One of the best contemporary works on the Holy Trinity is Greek Bishop John Zizioulas’ “Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church”. A preview is available at Google books.

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