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Concept of God

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Stephen E. Parrish (with Carlo Mosser) page 194 of the Book "New Mormon challenge"

From the very beginning the authors declared that they would be kind and respectful in this book, in my opinion they are not keeping this promise for example: "Many Latter-day Saints (informally known as Mormons) have claimed...." and from here instead to call us LDS, in any occasion he prefer to continue to call us Mormons, or Mormonism. It is a subtle way to continue to offend us, but since it is their way to live we need to be patient.

Mr. Parrish continues:"The fact is, however, that there are differences of opinion among Mormosn about the nature of God. There is so much flux in what Mormons believe about God that it is very difficult to determine just what Mormonism is committed to : what is merely traditional, which statements by LDS General authorities are representative of common LDS belief, and which are merely speculative private opinions"

This problem is not caused from the LDS church but even from the critics because they instead to go to the source and that is the church itself, they prefer to quote LDS philosophers. The church has made many "official declarations about God, family and other topics and these are the stuff to discuss not lds philosophers, these people are not representing the church.

after this introduction the author starts to write down the best jokes that I ever heard in my life regarding religion and Christianity in particular.

"In the first part of this chapter I briefly describe two different God concepts. The first is classical TRINITARIAN MONOTHEISM"

Maybe Mr. Parrish has no idea about words' definition, infact monotheism means to believe in one God and Trinitarian to believe in three Gods, to mix this words is like to destroy both of them because they are incompatible!

he continues: "The second is a version of the Mormon concept of God that I will term "Mormon monarchotheism" Monarchotheism is the theory that there is MORE THAN ONE GOD (Trinitarian instead is just one right?) but one God is clearly preeminent among Gods; in effect, he is the monarch or ruler of all gods"

Well maybe Mr. Parrish forget that in many occasion Jesus maintain that the Father was greater than Him and that he was just doing His will in any occasions, so Jesus Himself was teaching that the Father is clearly preeminent in the Godhead

John 8:26
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

John 8:27
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

John 8:28
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he], and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

John 8:29
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

John 5:30
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 11:41
41 Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

John 12:49
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 14:24
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

John 14:28
28 ¶ Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Well according to this scripture Jesus believed in MONARCHOTHEISM, maybe Mr. Parrish is using another Bible because in mine this concept is very clear.

Mr. Parrish continues : " In the second part of this chapter, I discuss why classical TRINITARIAN monotheism is PHILOSOPHICALLY  superior to Mormon Monarchotheism."

well we do not care to be superior in philosophy so we can leave Mr. Parrish to lead this path, on the other hand it is seems we have already proven that Jesus believed in Monarchotheism so.....

Now is coming the best sequence of jokes about Christianity that I ever heard in my life.

Sketches of two God concepts

classical Trinitarian Monotheism

classical monotheism

Mr. Parrish defines the classical Monotheism  and Orthodox Trinitariarism and defines the last one "The specifically version of classical monotheism is unique to Christianity. The Trinitarian concept of God, put simply, is that The Father, the Son and Holy Spirit are the personal, unique, infinite Creator God. They are not three beings or three Gods, because Trinitarianism FIRMLY embraces monotheism." page 198

page 197 Mr. Parrish is trying to help us in explaining what means classical monotheism and here the jokes are coming up.

"What is the classical monotheistic conception of God? In a nutshell, it may be thought of as a God as the greatest Possible Being. God on this conception, is that being who cannot be surpassed, even by himself, it is logically impossible that one could even conceive of a being greater than God"

So in this context Jesus is not a God because

John 14:28
28 ¶ Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Mr. Parrish continues:

Personal and Immaterial . God is personal, He is self conscious and has reason, feeling and will (How lucky He is!) He can communicate using language (!) He is not some vague ( just three people in one!) impersonal principle........... as we will see on the Christian conception, he is three persons in one being ( but he is not vague but well defined and not mysterious). In effect then, on the Christian view what is really ultimate is PERSONS who are God. To say that the classical God is IMMATERIAL is to say that he is not composed of matter..... he does not occupy space......"

The god Mr. Parrish is describing is composed of nothing and instead to be everywhere is nowhere, practically he came to exist ex nihilo!

Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all other beings "God is the CAUSE or SOURCE of everything else that exists or could exist. In classical theism, God created and sustains all other concrete being: matter, spirit, space and time. (If I understand English well everything means just everything so even evil should be included)

Necessary and Self Existent. "There has been a good deal of controversy about this attribute of God. What I shall take it to mean is that God could not NOT exist. That is to say he has to exist" What a joke! I'd like to know who, in Christianity doesn't believe in the existence of God! Sometimes I have the feeling that Mr. Parrish is just kidding because sometimes he questions the obvious.

Unique "In classical theism there is only one God"

Mr. Parrish wants to remain monotheist even though believe in three different persons but just because he believes they are juts one even though they are three different one he adds:" and could be only one God - because there can be only  one GREATEST Possible Being. God is in a class by himself, and no other being could possibly approach him."

Well Mr. Parrish should chose one of the three to represent this Being because Jesus said:" for my Father is greater than I." so this should disqualify him to represent this GREATEST Possible Being.

Omniscient (before to go ahead and quoting Mr. Parrish I invite you to go to the dictionary and read what this word means and since you are there please take a look at the word omnipotent, omnipresent and so on because Mr. Parrish will try to bend even the dictionary's definition not only the scriptures and he does it pretty good)

"This is the attribute of knowing "all things". THIS DOES NOT mean that God knows thing such as what it is like to sin"

as often it happens to Mr. Parrish the Bible confute his personal idea.

Genesis 3:22
22 ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

God knows evil the only difference is that He doesn't practice it but He knows everything because it is omniscient otherwise we should use another word to describe Him.

Omnipotent: " This is the attribute of being "all powerful" This does not mean that God ha the power to do absurd things, such as making square circles,   and rock so large that he cannot lift them.................

There are things that God cannot do because they are evil or in contrast to the simple basic laws of love. Jesus explained that he couldn't do many miracles because people didn't have faith in Him, but I do no want to argue this point I'd like to point out that God is indeed omnipotent that He could do everything He wants but clearly he does thing for good and avoid to do evil things, in this case He is indeed omnipotent but His choices are selective.

Omnipresent and Immanent " This is the attribute of "being everywhere" THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE, like some cosmic gas; he is immaterial. God is omnipresent in the sense that He knows what happens everywhere (then Mr. Parrish could define Him by the word omniscient but remember Mr. Parrish declared in the past page 196  "He does not occupy space" so how can He be omnipresent if he doesn't occupy space? So if Mr. Parrish think that he is omnipresent in the sense that He knows what happens but since evangelical are far superior in philosophy he can use the wrong word to describe a different context.

Fortunately the sequence of jokes is over and I can take a breath.

Orthodox trinitarianism

Practically according to Mr. Parrish 3 being compose one God, but they are not three beings or three Gods, because Trinitarianism firmly embraces monotheism, another absurd thing but anyway the best fault in his idea is given when he writes: "The doctrine of the trinity ........... do not stem from the undue influence of Greek philosophy, as some LDS scholars and others have claimed. They stem ultimately, from the New Testament authors' conviction that it was none other than God Himself who came to redeem his creation and reconcile it to himself."

I won't  discuss Trinity here but I'd like to point just one scripture to make my point.

Revelation 3:14
14 ¶ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

See Mr. Parrish Jesus Himself here declares to have been the beginning of the creation of God, so clearly the New Testament authors', John is one of them, didn't believe in the Mr. Parrish theory.

the Mormon concept of God

The concept of God in the LDS standard works

Here Mr. Parrish is trying to define and explain LDS doctrines or scriptures without being a member of the church of Jesus Christ, it is like I would write a book in which I declare the doctrine and ideas of the evangelical. For example he declares that the Book of Mormon is giving an idea and the Doctrines and Covenants are giving another idea about God.

Well let's put the problem in this way The Old Testament is giving in many cases the idea of just one God, in fact the Jews didn't understand the idea of a son of God and the priest in the sahnedrin rent his clothes and said "our God is one!" He meant that Jesus was professing an idea in at least two Gods. But leaving aside this idea  I like to point out that the Book of Mormon has a specific purpose and it is clearly reported in the very first page

"Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever-- And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST"

The book of Mormon was written for this specific purpose, in fact God gave to Joseph Smith the revelations contained in Doctrines and Covenants just to define what they just are defined in their title the doctrines and covenants, so if Mr. Parrish is confused by the two books is just because he is confuse in his personal idea about the two books.

Mormon Monarchoteism.

I will not go through this because it is just the opposite in many of the cases mentioned above and if you want to go deeper you could read these articles Is God spirit? God once a man Bible on plurality of Gods


from page 200 to218 Mr. Parrish speak as philosopher no scripture is provide to support or explain his points so there is no ground to argue, I mean I am not interested in philosophy and surely I will respect his opinion even though is totally incomprehensible in many cases but philosophy is a special art, or treachery in which everything is possible , politicians are very good at it they say and not say, they explain in a way that no one sometimes understand, so they can promise anything because they could say later : "You misunderstood me, but I was clear". Paul point out this in

1 Corinthians 2:4
4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

in these 18 pages there are no scriptures so indeed what Mr. Parrish is saying is just "enticing words of man's wisdom"

Moral law

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 13:48  

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