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April 19, 2021 9:29 pm
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited 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. So glad you could be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson.
My colleague at MRM we continue our look at a book that came out in late 2020, titled the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement.
It is a book that has a number of authors in it who have written chapters responding to what are known as the gospel topics, essays, and as we been mentioning in the series. The gospel topics essays came out beginning in 2013 and were posted incrementally up to the year 2015 and they were meant to tackle some of what we would call the more controversy all issues of LDS doctrine. They were basically forced in doing this because the LDS church realized that because they did not have clear answers regarding these issues for its membership.
Many people reading about the LDS church history and doctrine on the web were becoming very confused and many were leaving the church because the church refused to give the membership some solid answers. So today we are looking at chapter 2 with the chapter dealing with the subject of godhood in Mormonism, its title, becoming like God because that was the name of the essay that the church produced this chapter is written by a man by the name of Richard Sherlock, and as we mentioned yesterday, Mr. Sherlock's brief bio at the bottom of page 51 says I converted to Roman Catholicism from the LDS church in 2010 so he is writing as a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
But I'll tell you upfront.
A lot of what he says. Dealing with this topic.
I don't think most Protestants would have a problem with it because I think he's expressing historical issues and in doing so he is showing that the LDS position is tenuous. Today we're looking at page 54 and he does use this word univocal quite a bit. That's not a word.
We normally use in conversation. It basically means one meaning, but Eric wouldn't you agree that the use of this word is important because what he's trying to show is that the Mormon church tends to give one meaning to a word, especially when it comes to the subject of God and the refused to embrace any type of figurative language that probably should be utilized in a lot of the passages that they use to support their position regarding God. In fact, on 54, he says a univocal use of language brings God down to our level and then he says on this view, the language means the same would apply to God as it means when applied to human beings in Isaiah 66 to we read from the Lord, my handmade all these things then God must have a hand in Isaiah 6 we read of Isaiah's vision of the Lord sitting on a throne. Does this mean God sits on a real throne like an actual king when the psalmist writes when I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, Psalm six does this mean that God has fingers. Finally, in Exodus 3311. We are told that the Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend that we can tell you from experience that we have had Latter Day Saints draw that type of a conclusion based on these verses that Mr. Sherlock goes on though he says on a univocal understanding of language. This must mean that God has a face just as Joseph Smith said when he told of his 1820 visionary experience. He says Mormonism is deeply invested in the univocal use of language about God.
Thus, when God says that he will create man in his own image. It means an image just like yours or mine with face, hands, eyes and ears and we could even add a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's because that's how Latter Day Saints leaders have described their God, and yesterday show. We covered Genesis 126 and 27 which contains the phrase in his own image, showing that it could not possibly be referring to this idea that God must have a body of flesh and bones, because as I mentioned in that conversation in Genesis 126 and seven Joseph Smith himself said the conversation takes place between God the father and Jesus the son or the pre-incarnate Jehovah as Mormonism teaches, and certainly the pre-incarnate Jehovah did not have a body of flesh and bones at that time so it would make no sense to draw the conclusion that image is speaking of a body of flesh and bones. We look at page 56 and he's going to enter into the discussion dealing with Theo since that we've talked about the doctrine of PO since numerous times on the show.
It comes up a lot because even though eastern Orthodox scholars have refuted the LDS understanding of the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of the OCS or deification one apologist still keep using it. They don't seem to care or human care to listen to what Eastern Orthodox scholars have set on this issue in refuting their conclusions, but Mr. Sherlock touches on this and I think he's done what he's dealing with. He has to because that is found in the gospel topic essay becoming like God. He cites a number of text that Mormons have used that they feel are proof text to support this idea of men becoming gauzy for instance, quotes Psalm 82.
Matthew 548 second Peter 14 and then he says after this brief consideration of available biblical texts.
The gospel topics essay turns to an analysis of patristic texts that seem to speak of man becoming God. That is the process of deification the patristic period goes from 8100 to 8451 and there are a number of men who would fall into this category of being a patristic father eight. Because patristic actually means father so a church father. In this case. So what Mr. Sherlock is going to note are two specific church fathers, beginning at the bottom of page 56.
First, the essay cites an often quoted passage from St. Ira Nance, who died about the beginning of the third century of the Christian era, 200 in his work against heresies, he writes that Christ quote did through his transcendent love become what we are that he might bring to us what he is himself" of course, this passage does not actually support the traditional LDS claim that the goal of human existence is to become a God on our own. It supports the human tell us as being union with God.
This view can and has been understood as deification in a broad sense, then he is also going to quote Clement of Alexandria now both of these individuals are in the gospel topic essay dealing with becoming like God. Clement of Alexandria wrote the word of God became a man, that thou may us learn from man.
How man may become God and again that statement made by Clement of Alexandria has been used in a number of apologetic works produced by Latter Day Saints to try to support the notion that the early church fathers believed like they did for the solution to this, we have to go back to page 56 in Mr. Sherlock's chapter where he says at the outset. The essays admit that what exactly the early church fathers meant when they spoke of becoming God is open to interpretation and he says this of course implies that the interpretation given in this essay is not the only plausible interpretation now. Eric you and I caught that when we did our review of this essay years ago and it seems to undermine the case that this LDS scholar whoever it is a could have been a number of scholars that worked on this essay, becoming like God. It seems to undermine what they're trying to show they wanted give the impression that this was easily understood in the early years, but that statement where the essay says what exactly the early church fathers meant when they spoke of becoming God is open to interpretation, at least to us seems to open the door to show that the only misinterpretation doesn't really have to be taken all that seriously in light of other plausible explanations. Know what I mean by that is the other plausible explanations. If there plausible. They're going to still fit within the realm of Scripture. In other words are not going to contradict other verses.
I think this idea of men becoming deity as Mormonism teaches certainly conflicts with other verses in the Bible and because of that needs to be rejected and we need understand the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions. Nowhere teach the OCS as the Eastern Orthodox do. But when you come to the Eastern Orthodox there scholars today will distance himself from any kind of LDS interpretation that somehow Amanda can become deified without having any union whatsoever with the father or the son, and I think that's important in and it needs to be emphasized again.
It is wrong for Mormon apologist. It's wrong for Mormon leaders to keep making this comparison of their doctrine of deification with the doctrine of the Osos and Eastern orthodoxy. When you have their own scholars Eastern Orthodox scholars refuting the Mormon conclusion and they mention the Mormon church by name, so you can't be confused they are making it very clear that what the Mormons are teaching on this subject does not reflect what Eastern Orthodox is teaching at the bottom page 57. He goes on, and he says that Jesus became what we are that we might become what he is in the exchange formula. We are not gods by nature.
We are creatures that ties into.
I think what he says on the next page and 58 at the bottom where he says like Irenaeus, as well as to Tulia at the same time. Clement of Alexandria was one of the earliest clear Trinitarian's in the patristic. He writes of the sun being quote coexistent with the father" and quote the word itself, the son of God, who, being by E quality of substance one with the father is eternal and uncreated." Then he goes on to write at the top of page 59. Christ, being of one substance with the father is the foundation of Trinitarian theology. The unity that the Latter Day Saints explicitly deny. However, if our Telus is seen in the sun, a point Clement makes clear in our Telus's union with God not becoming a separate God. I think that Mr. Sherlock is certainly agreeing with us, that any comparison to Eastern orthodoxy is not substantiated, and toward the end of this section on the bottom of page 59, he says, of course, the patristic writers never spoke of quote unquote becoming God in the sense of becoming another or separate God the father and yet in Mormonism. The idea that as God is man may become and so they hope that someday they will become as God the father, thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry.
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