Go Figure

A recent quote in The Baptist Voice (July 2010) . . .

The spiritual beliefs of Americans are best described as confused.  When Americans were asked in 2002 if ‘the Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths,’ 44% of adults said yes.  Yet when the same research group in 2008 asked Americans to identify which books were sacred, the results were far different.  Of those surveyed, 84% said the Bible is a holy book, while the Koran and the Book of Mormon were called sacred by less than 5% of the population.

*Barna Group. “Americans Draw Theological Beliefs From Diverse Points of View”. October 8, 2002

*Barna Group.  “American’s Identify What They Consider ‘Holy’ Books.”  July 7, 2008.


  1. I think this is great news. If 84%of Americans shows that we still have a foundation in God. The figures on the Koran and the Book of Mormon are just fine tuning the numbers. We of the L.D.S. faith believe that the Holy Bible IS a Holy book.

  2. Any time the “your ‘god’/my God!” argument comes up, I’m always at least mildly amused by the comments from laymen to clergymen. I recently listened to a discussion between Shawn McCraney (Heart of the Matter) and Van Hale (Mormon Miscellaneous) on the subject of the Bible and its relation to the Book of Mormon. McCraney polemically chided that comparing the Book of Mormon to the Bible was like comparing an asthmatic kazoo player to the New York Symphony, while adding the disclaimer that he found nothing within the text of the Book of Mormon that was unorthodox to Christianity. If indeed Joseph Smith is bowing the knee to Baal and forsaking the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob good sir, please explain why.

    In the past I’ve been told time and time again that the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Bible. Yet how sure are we of that? For instance, we all know of Walter Ralston Martin, the famous “cult-expert” and forefather of fundamentalist Protestant anti-Mormonism. Those who admire Martin cite his lofty credentials, genealogy and various publications as evidence for his legitimacy. Nevertheless, I view him as one with fraudulent credentials (diploma mill) a false genealogy (sorry, as much as he said it, he was NEVER a descendant of Brigham Young) and grossly inaccurate theological works. Nevertheless, are we talking about two Walter Martins or the same person? Just because we hold different attributes to God does not necessarily imply that we’re actually viewing two completely different Gods.

    A belief in A deity, in MY opinion, is better than nothing. When long-held traditional values are continually being challenged by a widely-growing secular society, theists need to set aside their theological differences and unite on issues that they can agree on. Convicted civility. Convicted civility.

  3. “A belief in A deity, in MY opinion, is better than nothing. ”

    Please read the speech I linked to in my initial comment. I am not interested in a god who is the “supreme being” simply because he is the most powerful entity in the universe (regardless of the ontology involved) and, IMHO, the contemporary rebellion against such an entity is entirely justified, whether we are speaking of the god of Calvin, Mohammed, or yes, that of Joseph Smith.

  4. So would you be bold enough to say that contemporary Evangelical Christians espousing Calvinist principles are thus following a false god?

  5. “So would you be bold enough to say that contemporary Evangelical Christians espousing Calvinist principles are thus following a false god?”

    I would say that Calvinism (aided and abetted by its antecedents, Augustinianism and the soteriology of Anselm) radically distorts the original Christian vision of God, as revealed in Jesus Christ, and opens up the space for the emergence of the outright false god of Joseph Smith.

  6. Would you care to explain how the concept of God, particularly as established in the King Follett discourse, its at odds with the nature of God as described within the text of the New Testament?

  7. Again, Tyler, let me refer you back to “The River of Fire”, linked above. To start, how does its critique of Augustine, Anselm, and Calvin apply to the Mormon doctrine of God?

    BTW, as you are probably aware, there is some interesting stuff at “LDS.org” (the official Mormon Church site). For example, in reading the entry under “Atonement of Jesus Christ,” it seems that y’all embrace the anselmian position often called the “substitutionary penal” doctrine. Since this doctrine is demonstrably late, having originated with Anselm of Canterbury, this fact in-and-of-itself refutes the notion that y’all are in any sense a “restoration” of original Christianity.

    Further, “God the Father” entry raises the following questions: how is it that an entity that does not create out of nothing can have all power? How is it that an entity bound by time can know all things? (According to Calvin, God knows all things by the fact that God has decreed all things in advance. Obviously, that cannot apply to Joseph Smith’s god.)

    Also, I note with interest that this section contains no entry for “person” or “personhood” and that “love” is defined as a “feeling”.

  8. If in fact Christ’s death did not pay for the sins of the repentant, open the grave for the dead and satisfy the demands of an all-loving and just God, then good sir, please tell me what did it do? You’ve done next to nothing in answering my question. You’ve made virtually no attempt whatsoever to engage anything within the King Follett discourse, particularly in its relation to the contingency of God and the modes of creation, and instead change the subject to peripheral issues. Once again, at what point do you believe the King Follett discourse (the premier treatment on the nature of God in Mormon thought) deviates from what is taught within the New Testament?

  9. Again, Tyler, engage with “The River of Fire” please (it will answer your question as to “payment”) and then we will talk further about King Follett.

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