I was fortunate as a child to grow up in Washington State on the Puget Sound. It was wonderful to be able to look west out our front window and see the beautiful blue-gray inlets and harbors framed by the strong evergreens. The view also included the perfect panorama of the majestic Olympic mountain range. Sunsets were never lovelier than right out my front door. (more…)
I’ve decided to do a series of posts based on memories of my dad. I feel that he deserves to be remembered in this way and more importantly I want to document my memories here so that my tiny children will one day be able to read about him and learn to love him like I do. (more…)
Good and evil can be defined solely in terms of the law of love… Good is whatever leads to greater love and unity in interpersonal relationships… A good act is one that leads to healing a broken relationship or growing in intimacy and meaning in existing relationships… In contrast an evil act is whatever injures or destroys a relationship; it is one that creates alienation. (Ostler, Exploring Mormon Thought Vol. 2, 111-112)
Chapter 3 in Blake’s new book is called “The Relationship of Moral Obligation and God in Mormon Thought”. In the chapter he gives overviews of several ethical theories including utilitarianism and Kant’s moral theories. In the end he concludes that a Mormon theory of ethics (which he calls an Agape Theory of Ethics) would overlap lots of other theories to create its own unique model that is made possible largely from the belief that humans are co-eternal with God. (more…)
Dealing with the death of my father has definitely changed me as a person. This type of experience really helps you to focus on the things that really matter in life, at least for a little while. I’m sure that I will go back to taking things for granted sooner or later. I also came to appreciate friends and family that gave me and my family support during this trying time. (more…)
I don’t like karma because karma likes to bite me on the proverbial bum. For the most part my life runs along pretty smoothly until I make a judgmental statement about someone and then…Ouch! There goes karma again. (more…)
Chapter two in Blake Ostler’s new book is titled “Prayer and Providence”. Although it is a full 50 pages I’ll try to cover it all in this post (and using my own words). The chapter mostly explains why many theological assumptions accepted by creedal Christianity make effective petitionary prayer impossible and why Mormon doctrines do allow for effective petitionary prayer if we are willing to accept them. (more…)
Sterling McMurrin was on to something when he said:
Indeed, since Mormonism is essentially Pelagian in its theology, exhibiting, as already has been pointed out, a quite remarkable similarity to the Pelagian doctrines of the fourth and fifth centuries, it is subject to the same criticism an condemnation from orthodoxy that made Pelagianism the most celebrated heresy in Christian history. But Mormonism outdoes its fifth-century cousin by its denial of the orthodox doctrine of creation, and it thereby produces a basic problem for its own theology in its relation to Christian orthodoxy, the problem of why the doctrine of the salvation of man should involve the traditional pattern of atonement through Christ. (Theological Foundations, pg. 82)
As part of this week’s whirlwind series on the atonement I skipped ahead in the reading of Blake Ostler’s Exploring Mormon Thought – The Problems of Theism and the Love of God to chapters six and seven which cover soteriology and the atonement. Blake proposes what he calls “The Compassion Theory of Atonement”. Here are the basic components (not necessarily in the right order): (more…)
In the back corner of the yard amidst the trees, grass, and flowers there was a kiln. It was made of roughly hewn, golden yellow bricks, stacked with loving care. The kiln was about 6 feet tall and the opening was arched, leading to a dark belly where simple dirt was changed into something strong and enduring.
The kiln was made by a young potter whose skill in making pots was renowned. The potter was tall and lean with arms and hands made strong from molding and shaping the clay. He had a firm jaw, full lips, and hair the color of wildflower honey. Glasses framed in thin gold wire rested on the bridge of his straight nose.
Each morning the Potter would come to load his creations into the kiln. In the evenings he would return to check on the baking pots making sure their transformation was complete. (more…)
As the second installment in this pre-Easter series on the atonement I decided it would be useful to give and overview of many of the popular traditional views on the atonement of Christ. Just a little Web searching turned up some very useful information. I’ll give some brief info on them and comment on the possible connections to Mormonism. (more…)
Do any of you really understand the atonement? I don’t think I do. Sure, I have the pithy one-liners about the atonement memorized just like ya’ll do but I can’t say I really get it. As we approach Easter 2006 I thought I’d post on the atonement this week to see if we can help each other understand this whole concept a little better. (more…)