An Atonement Parable from Truman G. Madsen.

October 7, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 3:11 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

A while back, Jacob brougt up the idea of posting something devotional on sundays. It being conference weekend and all, I thought I’d make an effort. This is what I did between sessions.

On this blog there have been many stories or parables discussed. We have, of course, argued the intent of Packer’s Mediator. We have discussed “the parable of the bicycle”, and Geoff J has graced us with his own piano player parable,and another financial parable. In discussing the atonement in a recent thread, Blake brought up the idea of using the story of a Bishop who has a great capacity for empathy as a parable of the Atonement. Heck, I even once tried to compare the atonement to an eagle teaching her children to fly. (Sorry If I missed any.)

Redeeming Boyd K. Packer from the Penal Substitution Theory

September 4, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 2:41 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

Boyd K Packer is often maligned for his parable of the atonement he put for in his 1977 conference talk entitled the mediator.

Life before the atonement

July 27, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:00 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

One of the conundrums for me has been in resolving how the effects of the atonement were efficacious before the cause of those effects had even occurred.

The Gethsemane Event in Church History

March 29, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 8:00 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

Ok, I am studying what the church has taught about Gethsemane, and it is pretty interesting to me, so I thought I would post it here and also ask for a little help.

An [evangelical] Survey of Mormon Teachings

March 26, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 11:45 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

In 2003, Dr. Cky J. Carrigan presented this survey for our edification and perusal. First, let me say I do not find anything in what I have skimmed from this article malicious, and actually was thoroughly impressed at the effort Dr. Carrigan put into it.

I thought I would post Dr. Carrigan’s conclusions here for our discussion.

I stupidly said judgment would be fair

November 28, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 1:09 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

I walked right into it by using the word fair in the same sentence as judgment. It was a rookie mistake. (more…)

A rough and untitled outline of an atonement theory [Update 2: Exemplar-Empathy Theory]

November 5, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:16 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

I’ve been threatening for quite some time to post an atonement theory. Blake Ostler has written a good one of his own and has thrown out the challenge to the rest of us to come up with a better one if we can. As it turns out, coming up with a coherent theory of atonement is really quite difficult. We have discussed his theory and others here for months and no one has come up with a theory that answers the questions we have have discussed about the atonement. Jacob wrote an excellent paper on the atonement (it was published in the Spring 2006 issues of Dialogue) in which he critiqued some of the theories out there but ended up demurring when it came to answering many of the tough questions a theory should answer. Mark Butler has talked about a theory but has never written it down in a single and concise form that can be adequately engaged. So this post is my preliminary and very rough whack at an atonement theory. (more…)

Separating the Atonement from the Christ Event

November 1, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:50 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

Moggett started using an excellent term in some of her posts over at FPR: “The Christ Event”. The Christ Event, as I understand it, is a name for the events in the life of Jesus between the last supper (or perhaps the triumphal entry into Jerusalem…) and the resurrection, including the Garden of Gethsemane and the cross. I think this is a very useful term to be used in conjunction with the broader term atonement. Making such a delineation may not be all that important in some settings, but when we are trying to discuss atonement theories such added precision becomes a necessity. (more…)

Penal-Substitution anyone?

October 12, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 11:47 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

In the previous thread, Matt started up a defense of the penal-substitution theory, so I am putting up this post as a place to discuss it in more detail. (more…)

Some thoughts on atonement theory

October 9, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 10:22 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

Not too long ago here at the Thang we were arguing about Blake Ostler’s atonement theory. In the course of that discussion, more than one person made a statement to the effect that some particular question was the central question of atonement theory, or, on one occasion, that a given theory did not really qualify as such unless it resolved a certain problem.

When you get focused on some specific problem it is easy to start thinking this way, but I don’t really buy into it. (more…)

Relative righteousness vs. absolute righteousness

September 7, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:36 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Scriptures,Theology

Over in Jacob’s last thread one of the 5 or 6 topics we discussed was the issue of righteous societies vs. less righteous societies. I commented that righteous societies didn’t necessarily generate more righteous individuals because there is nothing very commendable about choosing the right just because everyone else is doing it. Ethical choices motivated by peer pressure are not very impressive. That led me to this idea I have wanted to discuss for some time though: I think that the scriptures describe at least two scales upon which righteousness (which I’ll define as “conduct in accordance with virtue or morality”) should be judged. There appears to me to be an absolute scale (measuring one’s conduct against God) and a relative scale (measuring one’s conduct against one’s circumstances). (more…)

How I Would Torture Saddam Hussein

July 31, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 9:47 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Ethics,Theology

Sometimes people do unimaginable things to other people. When I hear of a horrific crime against an innocent child, my first reaction is sadness. The nightly news makes me cry routinely. My second reaction is anger. My sense of justice cries out for retribution on the criminal. Saddam Hussein provides a good example because his atrocities are already part of the public consciousness to some extent. (more…)

What exactly do our scriptures mean when they say “salvation”?

July 4, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 12:44 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Scriptures,Theology

My post on Blake Ostler’s views on LDS soteriology quickly ballooned to more than 100 comments and revealed that there are a lot of differing soteriologies among us. In this post I will describe the various things I think scriptures mean when they use the term “salvation”. (more…)

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…)

A shout out to all y’all Mormon Pelagians

April 17, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 12:59 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,McMurrin Reading,Ostler Reading,Theology

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)


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