Dr. David Campbell, Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at Notre Dame, in his recent lecture, ‘When God and Caesar Meet’, discussed how the large exodus from religion in today’s culture has often occurred because religion is increasingly associated with one political party.
Campbell points out this especially occurs with those in the political center and center left.
As part of an assignment, Elder Corbridge read critical material. Lots of critical or anti-Mormon material. In fact, he claims there’s virtually nothing he hasn’t read from critical or anti sources.
Elder Corbridge explained there are primary and secondary questions when it comes to the Church. The primary questions must be answered first, as they are the most important. They include:
Is there a God who is our Father?
Is Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Savior of the world?
Was Joseph Smith a prophet?
Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the kingdom of God on the earth?
In contrast, the secondary questions are unending. They include questions about Church history, polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, women and the priesthood, how the Book of Mormon was translated, DNA and the Book of Mormon, gay marriage, different accounts of the First Vision and so on.
“If you answer the primary questions, the secondary questions get answered too or they pale in significance and you can deal with things you understand and things you don’t understand, things you agree with and things you don’t agree with without jumping ship altogether,” Elder Corbridge said.
More from the talk:
“There are some members of the Church who don’t know the answers to the primary questions, and they spend their time and attention slogging through the secondary questions.
They mistakenly try to learn the truth by process of elimination, by attempting to eliminate every doubt,” Elder Corbridge said.
One cannot prove the Church is true by disproving every claim made against it. Ultimately, there must be affirmative proof. With the things of God, that affirmative proof comes by revelation through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.
John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
JST: John 1:19 “And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved. “
The video above shares several biblical passages in which God is referenced.
Isaiah 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.“
Acts 7:55-56 “5But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
Lehi’s Vision, 1 Nephi 1:8: “And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God. “
Several accounts from the Old Testament:
This suggests bodily features of God and an ability to see Him. The Children of Israel are still at the foot of Mt. Sinai at the time of this writing. 2
This type of opportunity to see the face of God or his entire body (Stephen’s stoning context) isn’t a casual or common experience. See the verse below in John 6.
John 6:46: “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. “
This verse in Hebrews stresses the same point:
Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”
Jesus himself said the following:
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”
Moses was initially fearful to see the Lord, Exodus 3:6:
“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. “
But later in his ministry Moses was permitted to look at the Lord’s back, Exodus 33:23
Moses’ encounter with God couldn’t be much plainer than read below. Many saw God and survived to tell about it.
After Jacob’s wrestle with the angel, Jacob shares this account:
Numbers 12:8 “With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
Deuteronomy 34:10 “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face“
1 Kings 11:9 “And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice“
Summary: The Old and New Testament attest that people do see the Lord under the proper circumstances and when they’re prepared.
James Smith, professor at Calvin College, makes a case against rising secularism, emphasizing the continued presence of spirituality, and he asserts that a secularist explanation of humanity cannot account for spiritually motivated behaviors. This lecture was sponsored by The Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University and delivered on March 10, 2016.
Calvin College is a liberal arts college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1876, Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church and stands in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. Calvin College is named after John Calvin, the 16th-century Protestant Reformer.
Five beliefs in this book answer the question why a loving God doesn’t stop evil. Starting with the belief God cannot stop evil singlehandedly, the book adds that God empathizes with those who hurt, heals the injured to the greatest extent possible, squeezes good from evil God didn’t initially want, and needs cooperation from creatures to overcome evil.
Oord helps shares his view on why bad things happen to us.
“God’s uncontrolling love makes it so that God can’t prevent genuine evil.”
“God isn’t sitting on the sidelines doing nothing.”
“God doesn’t permit torture. God doesn’t have the power to prevent horrific things.”
Many falsely believe this: The pain and suffering in the world is allowed by God for some greater good, some hidden purpose, some divine plan. Oord disputes this idea.
“God squeezes good out of the evil that God in the first place.”
“God does have a plan, but it’s not a detailed plan.”
“God can’t prevent evil single handedly.”
Dr. Oord is an ordained elder within the Church of the Nazarene.
William Lane Craig rightfully points out that Catholic scholar, St. Augustine of Hippo who lived from 354-430, articulated that creation wasn’t necessarily 6000 years ago. Neither did Augustine required special creation with God “poofing” Adam into existence. This flexible conception of creation arose well before Science revealed the age of the earth and universe.
Without intervention by God, Craig argues life wouldn’t have arisen. Life simply would have been so improbable the Earth would have first been swallowed up by our dying Sun before life would have had a chance to develop.
Latter-day Saints don’t believe in creation ex nihilo. We believe in eternal matter and eternal spirits. We believe God is the father of our spirits. When men developed from their ancestors, at this point God may have given the first humans their spirits.
We simply don’t know how God was involved. We welcome findings of scientists that demonstrate what occurred. But we should all recognize there are limits to what Science can tell us. We don’t need to adopt Scientism. Instead, we should marry the best of Science and our faith.
If you understand Aristotle’s views on God, metaphysics, philosophy, and the cosmos you’ll better understand Christianity. Specifically, you’ll better understand the doctrine of the Trinity, why Christians had the false interpretation of the cosmos (geocentric) for 1500 years, and other errors that were incorporated into a Christian world view.
After all, Greek thinking spread into the Roman world when the Romans conquered Greece. Roman leaders had Greek slaves teach them and their kids mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, and all other areas of knowledge.
After Jesus’ resurrection, Christianity spread into a Greek world. One that believed in things just the way Aristotle did centuries before. Eventually, Roman leaders persecuted Christians who believed in ideas contrary to the accepted Greek views.
Jews and Romans labeled Christians polytheists for belief in 2 Gods (Father & Son). This persecution continued on and off until Christians embraces Greek philosophy, defining God and Jesus being one (2 persons, but one being) and of the same substance.
Greek medicine has been largely rejected. So has Greek astronomy. A Greek view on God’s nature has persisted, however.
Aristotle had many brilliant ideas for his day. He debated non-believers and laid out proofs for God’s existence. Aristotle had a theory for nearly everything. He was correct on many things, but mistaken on many others (including theological, medical, and astronomical concepts).
Many of these errors were adopted without reservation by the educated and a very significant institution: the Roman Catholic Church. Nobody at the time conceived the Greeks were wrong. Indeed, these ideas were held up and propagated for centuries. These false ideas — geocentricism, Greek medicine, and others — were not rejected till the Scientific Revolution.
A short 12-minute summary:
From Christian Wheaton College. This is very dry. Joseph Smith makes it much simpler. He saw two resurrected beings.
LDS scholar, Barry Bickmore, discusses the transformation of the Hebrew/Jewish organization into a more Hellenized version of Christianity:
Great podcast! Faith is reasonable. And is a choice.
Abstract: In this article I argue that faith is not only rationally justifiable but also inescapable simply because our decisions regarding ultimate questions must necessarily be made under conditions of objective uncertainty. I review remarks by several prominent thinkers on the subject — both avowed atheists and several writers who have addressed the challenge implicit in issues related to faith and reason. I end my discussion by citing William James, who articulated clearly the choices we must make in addressing these “ultimate questions.”