Compendium

April 24, 2004 | 10 comments
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Since my time as a blogger is drawing to a close, I am going to riddle you with all the ideas I jotted down for possible entries. To permit people to respond to them individually, each one will occupy an entry but with no development. You can develop them as you wish.

The first on my list:

How does this group come down on the classic questions of God’s power? Is he an absolute God who created everything, knows everything, and has all power? Or is he a contingent God who a) learned to be God, b) is eternal but so are we, c) organized the earth out of pre-existent matter, d) is teaching us to be gods like himself.

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10 Responses to Compendium

  1. Grasshopper on April 24, 2004 at 11:54 am

    fix bug

  2. Grasshopper on April 24, 2004 at 12:27 pm

    I definitely lean toward the latter. However, I think much of this depends on what we mean by “God”. There is a sense in which God is a personal being (emphasized in most LDS thought), a sense in which God is a title, a sense in which (a la Orson Pratt) God is a set of attributes, a sense in which God is whatever a person chooses to worship, and a sense in which God is an influence that pervades the universe (as in D&C 88). Charles W. Penrose gave a great quote on the compatibility of this last sense and the first in an 1884 discourse (JD 26:25-26).

  3. Aaron Brown on April 24, 2004 at 3:07 pm

    Count me in with the “finitist” crowd. I’ve never found the orthodox Christian view to be compelling, or even moderately enticing.

    Aaron B

  4. Bob Caswell on April 24, 2004 at 3:17 pm

    I’m with Aaron and Grasshopper. Although I rarely bring this up unless someone asks me… Interestingly enough, it’s one of your “four or five major areas” of Joseph’s thought. I guess on this topic, although I like the thought of the contingent God, in public I’m more of a let’s-all-get-along Mormon rather than a look-how-different-we-are Mormon.

  5. Rob on April 24, 2004 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t wonder if in some way this is a particle vs. wave question and we’ll eventually find the answer to be both–though I don’t think the traditional Christian view of a completely transcendent God is very useful or accurate.

  6. Ben Huff on April 24, 2004 at 6:56 pm

    It’s interesting to see that so far everyone who picks one seems to be coming out in favor of the second option. Some people I know think that the first option, an absolute conception of God, has been growing quickly in acceptance among LDS. Do y’all see evidence of that? Or is it just a few conspicuous folk that go that way?

  7. Grasshopper on April 24, 2004 at 10:54 pm

    I have encountered quite a few LDS on discussion boards who lean toward an absolute conception of God, some more vocally than others. There was an excellent post on this question over at Sons of Mosiah, where one of my online acquaintances (Jeff) posted his view of God as absolute:

    http://www.bobandlogan.com/archives/000080.html

  8. Logan on April 25, 2004 at 1:00 am

    You’re a _what_ kind of Mormon, Bob? Let’s-all-get-along? Is this the same Bob Caswell from Sons of Mosiah? ;->

  9. Bob Caswell on April 25, 2004 at 2:15 am

    All right, you caught me, Logan. I’ll admit it. I’m only a let’s-get-along-Mormon when someone is staring me in the face. If you find me in the Bloggernacle, put up your dukes! :-)

  10. Let Us Reason on April 24, 2004 at 12:47 pm

    Penrose on God
    Richard Bushman, over on Times & Seasons, asked about the classic questions of the nature of God and his power. I commented about a great quote from Charles W. Penrose (who happens to be my great-great-great-grandfather). The quote is too long to pos…