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Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
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February 18, 2021 8:19 pm

Fan Mail Friday

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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February 18, 2021 8:19 pm

We haven’t done one of these for a couple of years, but when you get a letter like this, you have to resume the series!


.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. It's fan mail. Friday welcomed this addition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry in with me today is Johnson. My colleague at MRM Friday.

Eric, we haven't done one of these shows and quite a wild, but we did get a response to an article that I wrote titled as God is man may be a latter-day St. by the name of Robert took exception to what I wrote in that piece and so were going to look very quickly at some of the things that he said, but the article that I wrote was called ask God is man may be, it can be found on our and I'm basically referring to course the Lorenzo Snow couplet as man is God once was, as God is man may become the quotes from the article and then he says, respectfully, here is my answer. He says this doctrine. This doctrine of becoming a God course.

That's the context is no different than the ancient biblical doctrine of deification, which is essentially the very same as that taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Now this doctrine of deification that he's talking about is otherwise known as the Llosa's. We've talked about this on this show several times that we've addressed it on our website as well.

But when he says Eric this doctrine is no different than that, but he leaves out the word that in the ancient biblical doctrine of deification, which is essentially the very same as that taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church in the next sentence.

Robert says in the beginning of the establishment of the Christian church. There were leaders and theologians that essentially taught and said the same thing as Joseph Smith and Lorenzo Snow.

And of course Lorenzo Snow was credited with Lorenzo Snow couplet is man is God once was That is an inaccurate assumption and here's why I chose not to take this man's argument seriously. Besides the fact that authority responded to the things our website. When you make an assumption such as this that what the church's teaching is no different and the very same and the same as every argument you make based on that premise is going to be faulty so he can give me quote after quote after quote from the early church fathers that he thinks supports Joseph Smith. The fact is, they don't support Joseph Smith. Now he mentions the Eastern Orthodox Church, which last I checked, Eric is still in existence today and since this notion of a comparison between the Llosa's and then the Lorenzo Snow couplet has been around a lot of them have objected to the comparison that Mormons have made. Now this goes back I think it goes back to 1988 there was an article in the unsigned magazine.

It was authored by Dr. Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen T Rex. It was titled comparing LDS beliefs with first century Christianity. Let me read you a statement from that article that I'm absolutely sure Robert is getting his information from if not from it directly. He's gotten it from some other Latter Day Saints writing which kinda springboards off of it.

The question is, is it true that because Latter Day Saints believe that human beings can eventually become like God. They are not Christian.

The authors write as even a cursory glance at early Christian thought reveals the idea that man might become as God known in Greek as the Llosa's may be found virtually everywhere from the New Testament through the writings of the first four centuries church members take seriously such passages as Psalm 82 six John 1033 to 36 in Philippians 2536 which I might add. We've talked about on this show and written about numerous times in which the authors say, a plurality of gods and the idea of becoming like God are mentioned. Notice the assumption that is being made by ricks and Peterson there. Assuming the Christian church. The New Testament church was polytheistic, I don't see that in the New Testament.

The only way I see anything close to that is if you take a verse, and you inject the presupposition and make the verse say something that I don't think the verse is saying at all. And that's unfortunately what happens a lot, but I made the comment earlier that the Eastern Orthodox Church is still around and they have responded to this notion that Eastern Orthodox Theo's.

This is similar to the doctrine of deification as is taught today by the Latter Day Saints church and we don't find the Eastern Orthodox scholars saying yeah right you're like us were like you they don't say that the Mormons are quick to say were like the Orthodox but the Orthodox are not quick to say they were like you Latter Day Saints. Don't you think that if the doctrine is no different than that of the ancient biblical doctrine, deification, or that the doctrine is the very same as is taught by the Eastern Orthodox church that there would be this reciprocal understanding of the doctrine we don't find that so based on this premise, I can't take this individual's arguments seriously because everything is spring boarding off a faulty assumption bill you write about this idea of godhood in the Llosa's on the website and you cite from a book by Richard and Joan Austin Ln., Richard Austin used to be a reporter with time magazine and he wrote a book a few years ago called Mormon America. The power and the promise.

So I will not take the time to actually cite two different places where you put it on the website.

So if you're interested in this. We don't have time to go through your entire article, but I think the two quotes that he gives are excellent. The first one is found on page 312, he talks about how LDS apologists have use this I think you're right. I think it probably started in 1988, but this is what he writes.

Robert Millet, speaking at a 1998 church educational system firesides that this quote a study of Christian history reveals that the doctrine of the deification of man was taught at least into the fifth century by such notables as Ira Naess Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Athanasius and Augustine Stephen Robinson in his books are Mormons Christians and how why the divide site such patristic authors as Ira Naess Ye are gods and all of you are sons of the most high for was necessary at first that nature be exhibited.

Then after that which was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality and any quotes from Athanasius. The word was made flesh, in order that we might be enabled to be made gods now on the surface bill when you hear these quote from these early church fathers. It sounds like wow maybe this is what Mormons believe today. And so we've got an issue. How are we going to solve that. Will he writes a whole section in the book Mormon. America and how God came to be God. This is what Richard Austin and Joan Austin Lane. They cite from an Eastern Orthodox teacher Bishop where Bill tells little bit about Bishop where Bishop wears a very well respected Eastern Orthodox clergyman.

He also goes by the name Callistus where, but he is responded to the Mormon specifically on this subject. And here's the point. If you make a comparison with another group and the group comes out and says there is no comparison quit making the comparison they don't agree with you, and so this is why when Robert says the doctrine is no different. I have an objection to that because that's not true. So, referring to the early church fathers, as well as CS Lewis, the British writer who wrote mere Christianity and many other favorite books that many Christians enjoy many Latter Day Saints like you CS Lewis and his quotes and so this is what Bishop where says in response to the Latter Day Saints dating this comparison and this is what he writes. It is clear to me that CS Lewis understands the doctrine of the Llosa's and essentially the same way as the Orthodox Church does indeed he probably derived his viewpoint. From reading such Greek fathers as Athanasius on the other hand, the Mormon view is altogether different from what Lewis and the Orthodox Church believe Orthodox theology emphasizes that there is a clear distinction in the current phraseology and ontological gap between God and Creator and the creation which he has made. This gap is bridged by divine love supremely through the incarnation, but it does not abolish the distinction between the uncreated and the created still remains. The incarnation is a unique event deification on the Orthodox understanding is to be interpreted in terms of the distinction between the divine essence and the divine energies human beings share by God's mercy in his energies but not in his absence either in the present age or in age to come, that is to say in the houses the saints participate in the grace, power and glory of God, but they never become God by essence to see what he did. Bill, he showed that there is no comparison when the Mormon says the Llosa's is support that the idea that people can become God as he says, no, not in the essence, but rather in the power and there's a much different nuance that that Robert and and Millet and Peterson are making, and I think that's why this is problematic in Mormonism most certainly the God they worship you would think is of the same essence as the God that preceded him. And remember in Mormonism.

They have what's known as this infinite regression of gods who the first God is no Latter Day Saints knows they never even tried to answer that question, but they believe that their God was once a man who's the offspring of a God who also was once a man going clear back into eternity past the certainly that is not a Christian teaching. It's never been embraced as being Orthodox teaching and when I say Orthodox, I don't mean it in the sense is the Orthodox Church, but I'm incorrect. They've never seen this as a correct teaching, but it is a major doctrine in Mormonism, it least. Peterson recognizes that if this doctrine is true there is what is known as he says, a plurality of gods that's not something that Christians have historically taught if you look at the verses the proof text that many Latter Day Saints have used. To support that faulty premise. What did Robert right at the very end of his letter. While at the very end. Robert thinks that he's made his case and I can understand that coming from his faulty premise. He thinks he may have made a case but then at the end he says.

Therefore, in speaking about me. He says now that you know that the doctrine was taught in the early Christian church for over 500 years. I hope that you will take the time to answer my answer to your misguided question and I regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and its teachings, and it would be the decent thing to apologize to the prophet of the LDS church himself. What am I apologizing for. I stated a truism.

According to the context of Mormonism. He is basically in his own mind. He thinks he is supported the conclusion that I already accept in the context of Mormonism. I just don't believe that his premise is a good premise and therefore everything based off of that false premise is going to be questionable, and I think Robert has proven my point. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research.

We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

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