Also Sprachen Die Propheten: A Faithful Nietzsche

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time… But I say unto you..”

“Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment… For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name.”

Passages like those above seriously call into question the idea that “eternal laws” are ahistorical, self-existent or totally independent of God’s creative will. Indeed, scriptural support for such a claim becomes nigh impossible once we acknowledge that

  1. the council of the gods might be the source of any allegedly external laws, or
  2. the Lord, as a flawless self-legislator, is subject to the laws that He gives Himself, or
  3. calling a law “endless” or “eternal” does not necessarily entail their timeless ahistoricity.

It is within such a perspective – that rejects any timeless, self-existent laws before which each and every god must bow – that revelation becomes a process of – to borrow Joseph Schumpeter’s term – creative destruction. Nietzsche’s term for the person who embodies creative destruction is the “overman” – a man who is able to overcome the moral commands of those around and before him/her. In this post I will defend the idea that the church is itself (or ought to be) a collective overman of sorts. (more…)

Spirits/Intelligences: An infinite number of them or not?

June 7, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 9:40 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

I finally started reading that copy of Truman Madsen’s Eternal Man that has been sitting on my bookshelf for the last couple of years. Eternal Man is an interesting little set of short theology and philosophy essays aimed at laymen. It was published in 1966. In the second chapter of the book Madsen makes the following assertions about the minds/souls/intelligences/spirits of all people:

The quantity of souls is fixed and infinite.
There is no beginning to us.
Mind has no birthday.
No one is older or younger than anyone else.
We have always been separate from, and coexistent with other intelligences.
Creation is never totally original.
Immortality is not conditional — it is inevitable and universal.
Death does not destroy the self.
Suicide is just a change of scenery.
No self can change completely into another thing.
No one will ever lose their mind or consciousness.
Nothing is something we never were and never will be.


How Many Degrees of Glory?

March 25, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 1:09 am   Category: Eternal Progression

On Matt’s “crazy things you believe” thread several people mentioned that they don’t believe there are actually three degrees of glory, but instead see the three degrees of glory from D&C 76 as being symbolic of an infinite gradation of glory in the world to come (as Matt suggested in #5 of the original post). Although I have argued for an infinite gradation of glory in the next life, I have not abandoned the traditional three degrees. Here’s why. (more…)

On My Creeping Universalism

January 28, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 8:20 pm   Category: Bloggernacle,Eternal Progression,Life,Theology,Universalism

Questions like this one don’t create any anxiety for me these days. I blame it on my creeping universalism.

By creeping universalism I mean this: I just can’t bring myself to believe in permanent divine punishment anymore. I know some people believe in it and I don’t begrudge them their beliefs — I just think they are wrong. Don’t misunderstand — I believe in divine justice. That is largely why I don’t believe in permanent punishment. If our souls are eternal I just don’t think there is anything we could do in 70 years here that would warrant infinite punishment. So I think people pay in some fashion for every sin they refuse to repent of; I just think that process won’t take forever. So when someone asks if I will end up in the highest kingdom of heaven (whatever that means) I feel confident in saying “yup”. I just think y’all will end up in the same condition too. (Heck, I now vaguely suspect we may have always been in that condition before our sojourn here on this planet as well…) That is what I mean by my creeping universalism. (more…)

Questions On Our Eternal Being

June 11, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 7:48 am   Category: Eternal Progression

One of the most prominent and appealing concepts throughout our religion is that of continual eternal progression. Another important concept in our religion is the eternal nature of matter as opposed to ex nihilo creation. I would venture to say that these two concepts are widely agreed upon among all my co-religionists.

Some other concepts don’t merit such unanimous support. Sometimes, this is due to the slippery nature of the language we’ve given ourselves. For example, there is the question of what eternal means in these scenarios. Is it never ending progression, or is it Progression like God? Is matter never beginning and never ending or is it God’s matter? Is there a distinction between these two or isn’t there? Is there sometimes a distinction and sometimes no distinction? (more…)

Yet Another Reason Foreknowledge Doesn’t Help

March 10, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 12:53 am   Category: Eternal Progression,Foreknowledge

Awhile back I posted on God’s decision making process and examined some reasons that foreknowledge does not render decision making trivial. On that thread, Mark made the following comment and I mentioned my intention to dedicate an entire post to the same point:

Knowledge of possible futures does not seem to be much of an advantage. As each one is conditioned on the free will of multiple parties, choosing an actual direction to take is still reduced to an exercise in risk management and statistics. (Mark D)


What is final judgment?

June 26, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 1:49 am   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

Eric recently asked me how final I think “final” judgment is. The short answer is that I don’t think final judgment is very final, at least not in the traditional sense. There is nothing too earth shattering about this; the term “final judgment” is not scriptural to begin with. There are, however, lots of scriptural references to a time of judgment when all people will stand before God to be judged according to their works, and these scriptures must mean something. I am one of those heretics that believes in the continuation of free will after judgment, progression between the kingdoms of glory (i.e. the possibility of eternal progression for all but the SofP), and even the logical possibility of God’s downfall. In a personal theology with so much change and opportunity after resurrection, it becomes interesting to ask what meaning (if any) final judgment still retains. This is the question I intend to address in this post. (more…)

On the necessity of marriage (a theological conundrum)

June 13, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 10:56 pm   Category: MMP,Theology

1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this border of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.
(D&C 131)

There is an interesting theological conundrum in Mormonism that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. The above passage is the first part of it. The doctrine taught in section 131 teaches that a person cannot be exalted singly and separately — rather a man must be sealed to a woman (and vice versa) for either to exalted. (more…)

God as a Person

May 30, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 12:23 am   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man,
and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret.

There is no debate over whether or not God is a person. On that point everyone agrees. The trouble begins when we try to pin down what it means to be a person and whether or not God can have all the characteristics we attribute to him and still be personal.

The Setup

The “otherness” of God so commonly stressed in traditional Christian theology creates problems in this regard. Our notions of what it means to be a person are derived from our experiences with other people. If God is radically unlike us, it becomes difficult to explain how he is still a person. (more…)

Graphing Eternal Progression

April 7, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 3:33 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

Due to some confusion I caused myself in the last post, and also due in part to the following [il]logical problem, I have developed 5 graphical models of eternal progression that are possible alternatives which I believe are the only models there are, from a reductive standpoint. [1]

3 variations of the same question: The problem of infinity and beginningless spirits

April 6, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:26 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

1. The two track Question: If Spirits are without beginning, God has always been God, and Time is Infinite, Why did God wait forever(an infinite amount of time) to begin the Plan of Salvation? How can he ever introduce the plan of salvation if it takes him forever to do so?

2. The God via self-effort (one track) Question: If Spirits are without beginning, Time is Infinite, and God Developed himself to be God via self-effort and obedience, it took him forever(an infinite amount of time) to do this. How can God ever reach the time where he is who he is, if it takes forever to get there?

3. The infinite regress of Gods (one track) Question: If spirits are without beginning and God became God by going through a process just like we are now, even down to the fact that he had a God like we do, and his God had a God, etc etc. God had to wait forever for his God to make him God, so how can God now be God if it takes him forever to become such?

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