Posts filed under ‘theology’
More than two years ago, the Holy Spirit began insisting that I re-read the Book of Mormon. Of course, I didn’t recognize the impulse as anything but a good idea originating within my own intellect. That’s what I do with anything – process it intellectually first.
CROSS-POSTED TO MORMONMATTERS.ORG 5/29/10. JOIN THE DISCUSSION THERE!
Distinctly Mormon doctrines relating the physical appearance of humanity to God’s own “preferred” form grew gradually in early Restoration history rather than springing forth full form. Although there are references in the Book of Mormon (the earliest recorded of Joseph Smith’s prophetic writings) to the Brother of Jared seeing the “finger” and then the full vision of Christ, even the earliest published accounts of the First Vision do not feature descriptions of two personages appearing as does the “official” version eventually recorded several years after formation of the church. This doesn’t mean that later descriptions were contradictory to the first version; it does suggest that certain features of the encounter took on greater significance in light of subsequent experience.
The emphasis on the “physicality of God” even in the spiritual realm grew in concert with notions of the Eternal Family and its role and function in achieving and living in Celestial Glory. The elaboration of this theology is natural as the early church leadership began to push, at first secretly, new forms of marriage and family life, but it was not an inevitable evolution of the theology of the 1830 Restoration. For example, no one in the Community of Christ expects that the afterlife is about progressing to populate new worlds with our own spiritual offspring, as Heavenly Father populated our own world. In one denomination, it is THE Heavenly Father; in the other it is Heavenly Father, with the seldom spoken inference that there may be Heavenly Mother lurking in the theology as well.
CROSS POST TO MORMON MATTERS:
The Community of Christ added a new Section 164 to its Doctrine and Covenants at its World Conference during April 10-17, 2010. I’ve been providing a series of commentaries on the canonization process for an LDS audience.
TH drops in with a new post about how our elegant views of God as creator run into aesthetic reality in a contest between youthful excitement, DNA extraction, and super-glue.
TH has also created her own blog, “In Our Makers Image” — which you’ll find in the Blogatorium section of the Blogroll to the right — to dwell on more clearly theological issues. Check it out after you’re finished here.
Apostle Susan Skoor of the Community of Christ has just published a moving personal testamony about the sacredness of creation. All too recently, while walking along a beach on the Pacific Coast with her husband and sister, a large wave randomly rose up and swept her husband out to sea and to his death.
The Community of Christ has a very good theory of Scripture, comfortable to mainstream Protestantism. But the theory has been validated basically on one case: the Bible.
Astronomers had a very good theory of solar system formation, but it, too, had been validated on only one case — the system we live in. When new technology found other systems, we discovered our theory contained a hidden assumption, and was leading us astray about many astronomical mysteries in our own backyard.
Does our theory of Scripture also contain hidden assumptions that can only be revealed by confronting them with the challenges of other Restoration Scriptures taken seriously on their own terms?