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Old 04-21-2010, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,275 posts, read 20,878,318 times
Reputation: 9954

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I'm going to start a thread that I hope will be different from every other thread on the Christianity forum. The purpose of this thread will be to educate and inform.

A few years back, I read a book called "How Wide the Divide?" It was written jointly by an LDS scholar and an Evangelical scholar. They took turns explaining their church's doctrines on four topics: (1) Scripture, (2) God & Deification, (3) Christ and the Trinity, and (4) Salvation. The LDS scholar has long been a favorite of mine and I read everything he has written that I can get my hands on. I wondered how anything the Evangelical scholar had to say could possibly stand up to scrutiny by the LDS scholar and I found myself thinking, "How's he possibly going to answer that question?" or "Well, this is going to be good! Evangelicals don't have a leg to stand on with respect to their position on that topic!" Well, I was in for a huge surprise. The Evangelical scholar had some very interesting insights and for the first time, I learned that there really was some good, sound reasoning behind a lot of Protestant doctrines. I suspect that a lot of Evangelicals who read the book were surprised to find that the LDS position was not as far-fetched as they'd always imagined it to be. These two men (Stephen E. Robinson and Craig L. Blomberg) did not become bitter enemies in the process of writing this book. On the contrary, they both gained a new respect for the beliefs of the other's religion and managed to find that, when all was said and done, the "divide" was not really as "wide" as previously supposed.

So, with their book in mind, I would like to propose that we do the same on this thread. Let's explore our beliefs respectfully, with a real desire to learn from each other, and to come to realize that that we don't have to see eye to eye on every point of doctrine to be able to express ourselves having to be afraid of being insulted, belittled or condemned in the process. Remember, we're here to ask one another questions and to provide information of what we believe -- not to judge one another.

I have a couple of topics I'd like to discuss, and I'll post them later this evening. Meanwhile, if anybody else would care to start the ball rolling, have at it!

Last edited by Miss Blue; 04-21-2010 at 05:29 PM.. Reason: edited out Staff reference
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,275 posts, read 20,878,318 times
Reputation: 9954
Okay, here's my first question: My church does not use the terms "sola fide" and "sola gratia." I had actually never heard them until I started posting on religious discussion forums a few years back. To the extent that I think I understand them, I do believe in sola gratia but not in sola fide. Would some of you be so kind as to explain the difference between them? Do you or do you not believe these doctrines to be true?
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,275 posts, read 20,878,318 times
Reputation: 9954
Another question: What is your church's position on the resurrection of non-human animal life (or does it even have one)? What is your personal position on the subject?
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
3,381 posts, read 3,380,989 times
Reputation: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
I'm going to start a thread that I hope will be different from every other thread on the Christianity forum. The purpose of this thread will be to educate and inform.

A few years back, I read a book called "How Wide the Divide?" It was written jointly by an LDS scholar and an Evangelical scholar. They took turns explaining their church's doctrines on four topics: (1) Scripture, (2) God & Deification, (3) Christ and the Trinity, and (4) Salvation. The LDS scholar has long been a favorite of mine and I read everything he has written that I can get my hands on. I wondered how anything the Evangelical scholar had to say could possibly stand up to scrutiny by the LDS scholar and I found myself thinking, "How's he possibly going to answer that question?" or "Well, this is going to be good! Evangelicals don't have a leg to stand on with respect to their position on that topic!" Well, I was in for a huge surprise. The Evangelical scholar had some very interesting insights and for the first time, I learned that there really was some good, sound reasoning behind a lot of Protestant doctrines. I suspect that a lot of Evangelicals who read the book were surprised to find that the LDS position was not as far-fetched as they'd always imagined it to be. These two men (Stephen E. Robinson and Craig L. Blomberg) did not become bitter enemies in the process of writing this book. On the contrary, they both gained a new respect for the beliefs of the other's religion and managed to find that, when all was said and done, the "divide" was not really as "wide" as previously supposed.

So, with their book in mind, I would like to propose that we do the same on this thread. Let's explore our beliefs respectfully, with a real desire to learn from each other, and to come to realize that that we don't have to see eye to eye on every point of doctrine to be able to express ourselves having to be afraid of being insulted, belittled or condemned in the process. Remember, we're here to ask one another questions and to provide information of what we believe -- not to judge one another.

I have a couple of topics I'd like to discuss, and I'll post them later this evening. Meanwhile, if anybody else would care to start the ball rolling, have at it!
Okay, I'll go first.

I actually live in a Mormon area, my husband's family is Mormon, and I actually just had 2 Mormon guys show up at my door, which my son answered, and my son made an appointment for me to talk to them on Saturday!

Anyway, Mormons don't believe Jesus IS God, right? (My husband never went to church as long as I have known him, and he doesn't discuss Mormonism with me, so I think that is about all I know about Mormonism, besides people getting their own planets)

In reality, most people are truly confused by the trinity, and I don't have a whole lot of answers myself. So I am wondering what Mormons make of those verses.

John 1:1, 2, 3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He (Christ, who is called the logos or WORD) was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
3,381 posts, read 3,380,989 times
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Oops, I guess you were typing while I was, Katzpur. I'm not first, apparently.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:18 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 1,721,192 times
Reputation: 263
I'm Baptist and I was taught somewhere along the way that animals can't go to heaven since they don't have souls, and since they don't have the ability to accept Christ as their Savior. Now that I believe in the restitution of all things, I do believe that all creation will be reconciled to Him, and that includes the animals, IMO. He knows when a little sparrow falls from the sky. He created them before He even created people. He let Adam name them. So I believe that animals are very important to God. When I look into the eyes of my pets it's like what they say, "The eyes are the windows to the soul."
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,275 posts, read 20,878,318 times
Reputation: 9954
Quote:
Originally Posted by herefornow View Post
Okay, I'll go first.

I actually live in a Mormon area, my husband's family is Mormon, and I actually just had 2 Mormon guys show up at my door, which my son answered, and my son made an appointment for me to talk to them on Saturday!

Anyway, Mormons don't believe Jesus IS God, right? (My husband never went to church as long as I have known him, and he doesn't discuss Mormonism with me, so I think that is about all I know about Mormonism, besides people getting their own planets)

In reality, most people are truly confused by the trinity, and I don't have a whole lot of answers myself. So I am wondering what Mormons make of those verses.

John 1:1, 2, 3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He (Christ, who is called the logos or WORD) was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only.
Well, really briefly, since I have only a few minutes...

We don't believe that Jesus is "God" -- if, by that, you are referring to God the Father. We don't believe that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are just "different manifestations" of the same Being. We do, however, believe that He is fully divine and possesses all of the qualities and attributes His Father has. We believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all part of the Godhead but that they are physically distinct from one another. They are not, in other words, one individual but are so united that they have the most profound and complete unity of purpose imaginable. For this reason, even the Book of Mormon describes them as "one God."
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,275 posts, read 20,878,318 times
Reputation: 9954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Hope for Tomorrow View Post
I'm Baptist and I was taught somewhere along the way that animals can't go to heaven since they don't have souls, and since they don't have the ability to accept Christ as their Savior. Now that I believe in the restitution of all things, I do believe that all creation will be reconciled to Him, and that includes the animals, IMO. He knows when a little sparrow falls from the sky. He created them before He even created people. He let Adam name them. So I believe that animals are very important to God. When I look into the eyes of my pets it's like what they say, "The eyes are the windows to the soul."
The idea that animals don't have souls is a pretty common one, I think. I see them as having an animal soul, not a human soul, and since I believe that everything God created will ultimately be restored to its perfect state, they will be, too. I know that much is pretty much official LDS doctrine, but anything beyond that (like my having my pets again in the next life) is pretty much conjecture. Being such an animal lover, it's something I sincerely hope for. (I actually ask God in my prayers to let me be reunited with my deceased pets someday. I'm hoping the request doesn't strike Him as either funny or impertinent.) Here's a thought: They may not have the ability to accept Christ, but they don't have the ability to sin either.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
823 posts, read 1,081,374 times
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I have been taught that animals do not go to heaven also because they have no soul. This really saddens me because I have a 4 year old golden retriever that I love to pieces. Somewhere I remember reading though that if an animal has been loved to pieces that it will develop soul-like qualities.... but from what I understand there are no animals in heaven
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,275 posts, read 20,878,318 times
Reputation: 9954
Quote:
Originally Posted by SisterKat View Post
I have been taught that animals do not go to heaven also because they have no soul. This really saddens me because I have a 4 year old golden retriever that I love to pieces. Somewhere I remember reading though that if an animal has been loved to pieces that it will develop soul-like qualities.... but from what I understand there are no animals in heaven
I have a Golden Retriever, too! By the way, what do you mean by "soul-like qualities"?
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