Ostler on Salvation (Part 1)

June 30, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 1:41 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Ostler Reading,Theology

Chapter 6 in Blake Ostler’s new book is titled “Soteriology in LDS Thought”. For those of you not familiar with the term Soteriology, it is basically the study of salvation. As the article in Wikipedia puts it: “A particular stance on what constitutes salvation is thus known as a soteriology.” This chapter is a little unusual because it seems to be directed to non-Mormons in many ways and is largely focused on fending off accusations that Mormonism “preaches salvation by works and that it focuses on works to the exclusion of grace.” (189) Ostler goes about disputing this accusation by defining salvation in LDS thought and asserting that in LDS thought a low form salvation is possible without any work another than confessing Jesus as the Christ, and that only higher levels of “salvation” including exaltation are contingent on our works. (more…)

Taking Thang Requests — Where’s Your Head At?

June 29, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 11:07 am   Category: The Thang

Well things have slowed down here at the Thang a bit this month. For the first 28 days of June we only managed to come up with 5 posts between the two of us. It might be a slow down due to the blog muse avoiding the heat of the Arizona summer or that we are simply experiencing a little blog burnout. Whatever the case — the Thang has hit a slow patch.

It’s not like I don’t have plans… Here are some of the posts I hope to get around to: (more…)

The Devil’s GPA and how it whacked David

June 25, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:28 am   Category: Devil's GPA,Money and getting gain,Scriptures,Sunday School Lessons

The Devil’s GPA whacked David. We are discussing this episode today in Sunday School in lesson 24 covering 2 Samuel 11-12. For those of you not familiar with the Devil’s GPA, it is my codename for the three major categories of temptations we find in scripture (and in life). I’ve posted on it a couple of times before. Here is a synopsis: (more…)

Is there such a thing as spirit birth or not?

June 18, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 6:37 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,spirit birth,Spirits/Intelligences,Theology

An interesting side discussion popped up in a recent post on the topic of spirit birth. In that thread I mentioned: “I think the evidence against some kind of literal spirit birth (especially a viviparous birth like our mortal birth) is much stronger than any evidence for it.” Since the answer to this question has major implications about the nature of the Father, Jesus Christ, and even us I think it is worth looking at. In this post I will discuss the evidence I am aware of against the idea of literal/viviparous spirit birth, the evidence in favor, and since today is Father’s Day I will also mention some of the implications of this question concerning the “fatherhood” of the members of the Godhead. (more…)

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind + The Thang’s Mission

June 12, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 5:41 pm   Category: 7 Habits,The Thang

No, I haven’t forgotten that I started a series of posts on Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We’re on to Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. I mentioned in the introductory post of this series that I think this is the hardest of the 7 Habits to pull off correctly. I actually think the difficulties associated with this habit are what cause many people to throw in the towel on the whole 7 Habits model. Further, I think that Covey does not (perhaps can not) provide enough assistance and guidance on this habit in the book. (more…)

Tell Me Something Good

June 7, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 9:30 pm   Category: Life

This has been one of the most difficult years of my life. Dealing with my Dad’s terminal cancer was much more stressful than I anticipated and his final days and funeral were extremely sad and exhausting to me and everyone in my family. Throw in immediate and extended family dynamics and you’ve got a humdinger of a time. (more…)

Don’t Stand So Close to Me

June 5, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 9:48 pm   Category: Life

I have always enjoyed my personal space. You know what I mean, that little foot or so of space that surrounds your body. For the most part I don’t like people to enter this space unless they have been invited by me either through word or gesture. (more…)

What are “intelligences”?

June 1, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 3:55 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Spirits/Intelligences,Theology

Joseph Smith introduced the idea of “intelligences” in both modern scripture and in non-canonized sermons. In this post I want to explore what exactly it is that “intelligences” are. I don’t expect to come up with definitive answers because I don’t think enough has been revealed to find such, but I do hope that a fruitful discussion will ensue that helps us all sort out the various ideas that relate to the concept of intelligences. (more…)