Posts Tagged ‘ Creeds ’

29: David Brooks, The Book of Mormon Musical, and Rigorous Religion

April 27, 2011
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29: David Brooks, The Book of Mormon Musical, and Rigorous Religion

New York Times columnist David Brooks very much enjoyed the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon,” but, as he articulates in his 21 April 2011 column “Creed or Chaos,” he believes the play’s authors end up celebrating a “vague, uplifting, nondoctrinal” type of religion that can’t last and doesn’t motivate people to perform “heroic acts of service,” such as serving missions to third-world nations. As a result, he uses the musical as a springboard for celebrating the virtues of thriving religions, which he says have “communal theologies, doctrines and codes of conduct rooted in claims of absolute truth.” In this…

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Absolute Truth, Inclusivism, Lumen Gentium, and Emeth

June 7, 2010
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Guest post by Thomas In C.S. Lewis’ final Narnia book The Last Battle, there is a powerful scene of an encounter between the Christ-symbolizing lion Aslan and Emeth, a noble-minded worshipper of the false Calormene demon-god Tash: “[The Lion] touched my forehead…and said, Son, thou art welcome.  But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.  He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.  Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and…

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True or Bizarre: A Poll

January 27, 2010
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True or Bizarre:  A Poll

While there are moral truths that all religions tend to share (don’t kill, don’t steal, be nice to people, etc.), religions also include “bizarre” differentiators to distinguish each religious community (often in food prohibitions, clothing choices, or supernatural beliefs). These “bizarre” elements hedge up the community and create borders between the religious group and those not in the religion.  Without these “fences,” a church would cease to be a community.  But a negative byproduct of these “bizarre” elements is that they are indefensible on grounds of logic or “truth.”  So, what elements of Mormonism are “true” and which ones are merely…

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Richard Dawkins, God and Santa Claus: Belief as a Form of Abuse

January 3, 2010
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Between Christmas and New Year I had the opportunity to meet with some friends and at one point during the evening we began discussing the role of Santa Claus in raising children.  As I was thinking about what was said on the way home I recalled an article I had read in the ‘New Scientist’ which discussed whether teaching children about Santa Claus is a ‘harmless fantasy’ or whether it is a ‘cruel deception’ [1].  This then led me to consider whether believing in God is a similar relationship?

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The Church in 20 Years

December 14, 2009
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The Church in 20 Years

Where do you see the Church in 20 years?  Today’s guest post is by David Heap.

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Gender vs. Sex

August 4, 2009
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The Proclamation on the Family states:  “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”  What is meant by gender?  One’s biological sex?  One’s gender identity?  The sexual stereotypes and cultural norms associated with one’s biological sex?

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Trying to Understand Creedal Trinitarianism – An Analogy

December 22, 2008
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In my last post I, in great detail, demonstrated why I believe the Trinity doctrine itself is not a contradiction but that creedal Christians have been trained to use it in a contradictory way. I did it using predict logic, tons of examples, and examples from real life conversations with creedal Christians. So that means no one will read it. It would seem that being precise with your language makes it difficult to read and comprehend. (A fact all programmers know.) Sometimes it’s easier to just use an example, which is less precise but more understandable. So here is an example…

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Is the Trinity Doctrine a Contradiction?

December 20, 2008
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Several times in discussions on Mormon Matters I’ve made the comment that the Trinity doctrine is a contraction. Actually, technically I was not correct when I said that. I wish to explain my self further, partially backtracking on, or at least nuancing, those comments. The Trinity doctrine itself doesn’t have to be a contradiction – indeed, I grow more convinced all the time that the Trinity doctrine, at it’s root, is what I believe. What I should have said is that creedal Christians honestly seem to me to be making a choice to interpret or use the Trinity doctrine in a…

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Virtual RS/PH #22: Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths

December 7, 2008
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Mormonism has a focus on gaining knowledge that is unique in Christendom, largely due to the emphasis that Joseph Smith placed on learning.  Joseph’s total open-mindedness to both revelation and all forms of learning are central to the Mormon religion; this open-mindedness had potential for both good and bad outcomes.  The lesson discusses two main concepts:  what is “knowledge,” and how do we gain it?

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Mormons as Trinitarians

April 6, 2008
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Mention the word “Trinity” to a group of Mormons and the response you’ll get probably will be “I don’t believe that false doctrine of Satan!” [1] Mormons often even feel more kinship with religions like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also reject the Trinity doctrine, than we do with orthodox Christians on this topic. But do we Mormons even understand what the doctrine of Trinity really is?

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What Is “Mormon Doctrine?”

January 19, 2008
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In my first post I discussed why God was concerned with creating creeds and using them as a test of one’s allegiance to God. In my last post I explained what it means to not have creeds and gave examples of the LDS Church following that pattern. I am now prepared to tackle the question of “What is Mormon Doctrine?” To outsiders, our doctrines must seem slippery or downright fluid. It’s impossible to pin us down on anything that they care about! What informed (semi-informed?) outsiders want to know is what our specific teachings are on all the juicy subjects…

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The Only Truly Creedless Church on the Face of the Whole Earth

January 15, 2008
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“[Unlike the Latter-day Saints] Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled [sic]. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.” - Joseph Smith (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 288) In my last post I explained why I believe the creeds of Christendom were an abomination in God’s sight. To summarize: I believe the content of the creeds are, for the most part,…

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What’s Wrong with the Creeds of Christendom?

January 12, 2008
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After nearly 1800 years of silence, the heavens at last reopened. The boy prophet knelt before God the Father and the Son, who told him to “join [no Church], for they were all wrong.” (JS-H 1:19) And why are they wrong? I suppose Jesus could have mentioned any number of reasons for considering no Church His own. The loss of priesthood authority comes immediately to mind. The loss of the Gift and powers of the Holy Ghost is another contender. But Jesus’ condemnation of Christendom was instead rooted in their creeds: “all their creeds were an abomination in [God’s] sight…”…

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