1. Some think the Bible leaves too many questions about theology.
2. Some think LDS revelation answers the divisions that evangelical denominations had among themselves about theology. I ask myself, “How big and fundamental were the divisions about God?”
3. And then some think LDS scriptures only created more questions and confusion about theology with the belief of God(s) and Goddess(es).
The King James Bible declares propositions. Conservative evangelicals derive belief from those propositions. Yet so do LDS. Dan Peterson has some ideas. Blake Ostler has some ideas. Kevin Barney has some ideas.
Based on the King James Version, I have a solid idea what to believe and trust about God. But in 2009, I have no idea, no idea really, what the LDS Church believes in common consent about LDS Heavenly Father and LDS Heavenly Mother and all the other Gods and Goddesses. And yet isn’t this the heart of religion?
This ought to be the biggest discussion in 2009. Blake Ostler likes to discuss details. Kevin Barney likes to discuss details. And I wonder if the 2009 LDS Prophet and Apostles (Sent Ones) by God like to discuss details. Do they honestly like the KJV details about God? Blake’s details about God? Kevin’s details about God? Or their own ideas?
I am not “Bored in Vernal”. I am “Confused in Ammon”.
We need a new conference in the I-15 Corridor.
[Btw, I caught your comment, Steve E., before it vanished. – chuckling]
Excellent point, Todd. Thank you!
We thank thee, oh God, for BYU professors and FAIR/FARMS apologists, who clarify for us what comes out of the Salt Lake City fog machine, and who save us from the destructive teachings of LDS prophets and apostles, and who even sometimes chasten us for believing what our own leaders tell us.
I guess I don’t see as much of a problem as you do, Todd. I see conflicts within the Bible that Restored Christianity resolves, but that’s not to say that all questions are answered or even that Mormonism does not create new questions. Since when was answering or creating questions a problem?
The process of creating and answering questions is eternal and is called “learning.” It involves creating hypotheses, exploring options and pleading and being grateful for guidance the Lord gives us along the way.
We thank thee oh God, for John Calvin, Karl Barth, and Paul Tillich, who clarify for us what came from a holy book that was supposed to be complete, inerrant, and readily understandable to everyone, regardless of whether they had a PhD or not – but for some reason, is not.
Karl Barth and Paul Tillich – and to think that people actuallly quote these guys.
Among the LDS, Truman Madsen knows most of all that Tillich had no faith.
Don’t they say the PhD is “piled higher or deeper in . . . “
And you see Todd, I’m actually fine with that. I don’t mind the fact that Christian scholars are all over the place, and that Bible scholarship is even needed in the first place.
But apparently it’s a big issue for some individuals.
Well, Seth, I suppose some can accept the charade of some “Christian scholars” but I can’t.
On the topic at large, I think answered theological issues are kind of like missing links in evolution. Every time you find one, you create the need for two more. Of course people hash out theology and issues pertaining to life, the universe, and everything.
On a side note, it’s always kind of annoyed me that the LDS church won’t come to a position on how many wives God has. We are the children of “heavenly parents,” says the Proclamation on the Family, but no one seems to want to say how many parents there are.
My LDS friends tell me it doesn’t matter, and as far as the fundamentals of Mormon theology go, I agree. But gosh darn it, if I were a Mormon woman, I’d wanna know if God has one wife or a Brigham Brougham full of them. I just would.
It’s really no more troubling than the fact that God is always described as a man in the Bible with apparently no place at all for women.
I’d want that problem definitively addressed by the Bible too. But it doesn’t seem to be.
That’s actually on my list of things to hash out in regards to what evangelicals believe, Seth. Right now, I think the closest thing there is to the Bible explaining it:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27
I’ve always taken that to mean that God has attributes from both genders even if He’s always described as a “He.” It’s not like Hebrew had a neutral gender case. I think that Latter-day Saints would actually agree to some extent with that interpretation, since they see Heavenly Mother (or Mothers) as implicitly acting as one with God, even if she’s never mentioned.
Another clue is perhaps found in 1 Corinthians 11:7:
7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
And you get passages like this in the Old Testament:
Ezekiel 3:23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.
Perhaps man was fashioned after the Lord and women after the glory of the Lord? I’m cool with that. I can be glory.
But you’re right, the Bible doesn’t explicitly say it. The difference is, we don’t claim to have anyone who can just go ask God and settle the issue for us.
Early LDS leaders taught that God had multiple wives. I suspect that the current leaders still think so, but are sticking to the “we don’t know” position because a polygamous God would be rather intractable in our day and age.
God doesn’t have a tangible body, so the idea that He is a “man” misinterprets the masculine description for Him. Christ who became flesh and dwelt among us tabernacled in a male body. I think you are on the right track in 1 Cor 11, God created man out of the dust of the earth and then created woman out of man. That is why wives are to submit to their husbands as husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. The creation order is not inconsequential.