Historical Concreteness, or Speculative Abstraction?
Historical Concreteness, or Speculative Abstraction?
Daniel C. Peterson
The remarks below were originally presented on 17 November 2001 at a debate organized
under the auspices of the Society of Evangelical Philosophers, who were gathered
in Denver, Colorado, in conjunction with the joint annual national meeting of
the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature (the AAR/SBL).
On the evangelical side were Francis J. Beckwith (Trinity International University),
Paul Copan (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and Trinity International
University), William Lane Craig (Talbot School of Theology, Biola University),
Carl Mosser (University of St. Andrews), and Paul Owen (Montreat College). The
Latter-day Saint participants were David L. Paulsen, Daniel C. Peterson, and Stephen
D. Ricks (Brigham Young University), Blake T. Ostler (Salt Lake City), and Hollis
T. Johnson (Indiana University). The moderator of the debate was Richard J. Mouw,
president of Fuller Theological Seminary, of Pasadena, California. The debate
had been timed to coincide with the release of a new volume entitled The New Mormon
Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement.1 However,
the book had not actually appeared by the time of the meeting.
The major point of my remarks was to indicate that, in my opinion, the very choice
of “theology” as a focus of debate grants to that particular area
of intellectual activity an importance that it does not and should not enjoy among
Latter-day Saints, and that it did not enjoy among early Christians, and that
doing so, moreover, both distorts the biblical message and unduly privileges the
position of some of our more sophisticated critics.
I have made only slight modifications for publication here, and have sought
to retain the deliberately informal character of that oral presentation.
Carl Mosser’s chapter in The New Mormon Challenge remarks, not unfairly, that
“no Latter-day Saints have yet distinguished themselves as world-class
biblical scholars, philosophers, or theologians.”2 One is tempted to reply
that, for a relatively small movement that did not reach the million-member
mark until 1953—preoccupied for its first century with fleeing persecution,
establishing settlements throughout the West, and digging irrigation canals—we
are not doing too badly. Or that, compared to the original Christian movement
at AD 171, we have an acceptable number of tenured professors.
But there is a more fundamental reason, and it needs to be stated here.
I love philosophy. But philosophy is not a primary mode of religious reflection
for Latter-day Saints. Nor is systematic theology. Not even a secondary mode.
Nor a tertiary one.
We tell stories. “Of man’s 1st disobedience, and the fruit
of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste brought death into the world.”3
Of Moses and the children of Israel and the migration of a small group of Hebrews
to the New World. Of the incarnation and atoning sacrifice of the Son of God.
Of the visit of Jesus Christ to a shattered but expectant people in the Americas.
Of the appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith. Of the pioneers,
the modern Camp of Israel under a Latter-day Moses, fleeing persecution and
colonizing the Great Basin.
And at the 1st of each month, fasting—as well as many times in
between—we tell one another of our own experiences with the grace of God and
our faith in Jesus Christ.
Our chief intellectual accomplishments, as a religious culture, have come in the
writing of history—journals, family and local histories, academic historiography.
The Bible, for us, is not a poorly organized systematic theology. It is a book
of stories, a collection of testimonies.
There is a tangible quality to the witness of the Bible that is utterly different
from the ontological speculations of the Hellenes and their imitators among the
Christians. The authors of the New Testament did not offer syllogisms and metaphysics.
They testified of “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have
handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).
The first few pages of the Clementine Recognitions, an early third-century Christian
text, offer us a glimpse of a clash between Hellenized philosophical culture and
a Christian witness that had not yet succumbed to its attractions. The first-person
narrator, who identifies himself as Clement of Rome, tells of his youthful
anxiety about the immortality of the human soul and his desperate search for proof
of it. Clement joined the philosophical schools of his native city, but he was
very disappointed and depressed to find no truly convincing arguments and
to see that his teachers and fellow students were more interested in demonstrating
their cleverness than in attaining to the truth. So desperate did he become that
he even, for a time, considered taking up spiritualism.
But then rumors began to reach Rome of a great and powerful worker of miracles
in the distant land of Palestine. And one day, while he was walking in the city,
Clement encountered a Jewish Christian named Barnabas, who was proclaiming the
coming of Christ to the passersby. “When I heard these things,”
recalls Clement, “I began, with the rest of the multitude, to follow him,
and to hear what he had to say. Truly I perceived that there was nothing of
dialectic artifice in the man, but that he expounded with simplicity, and without
any craft of speech, such things as he had heard from the Son of God, or had
seen. For he did not confirm his assertions by the force of arguments, but produced,
from the people who stood round about him, many witnesses of the sayings and
marvels which he related.”
Impressed, a number of those in the crowd began to give credence to what Barnabas
and his fellow witnesses related. But then a group of philosophically minded onlookers
challenged Barnabas. They “began to laugh at the man, and to flout him,
and to throw out for him the grappling-hooks of syllogisms, like strong arms.”
They asked him, Why do tiny gnats have six legs and a pair of wings, while the
much larger elephant has only four legs and no wings at all? But Barnabas declined
to enter into their frivolous objections. “We have it in charge,”
he said, “to declare to you the words and the wondrous works of Him who
hath sent us, and to confirm the truth of what we speak, not by artfully
devised arguments, but by witnesses produced from amongst yourselves.”4
I find that same spirit or sensibility in the modern Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. Here is Hyrum Smith, one of the Eight Witnesses to the Book
of Mormon, writing in December 1839 of his recent sufferings in Missouri, where
he had come face to face with the prospect of martyrdom: “I had been abused
and thrust into a dungeon . . . on account of my faith. . . . However, I thank
God that I felt a determination to die, rather than deny the things which my eyes
had seen, which my hands had handled, and which I had borne testimony to, wherever
my lot had been cast; and I can assure my beloved brethren that I was enabled
to bear as strong a testimony, when nothing but death presented itself, as ever
I did in my life.”5 Four and a half years later, Hyrum Smith, with his brother
Joseph, did go willingly to his death as a martyr, a witness. (The Greek word
martyros, of course, means “witness.”)
And what do we find in the Bible? Mark Smith’s new book, The Origins
of Biblical Monotheism, surveys the traits of deities in both Ugaritic and Israelite
texts and identifies important commonalities:
- Body and gender
Latter-day Saints affirm all of these attributes. We are, however, uncomfortable
with attributes that we do not see clearly taught in the Bible or delivered
via modern revelation. Robert Wilken remarks that it was only with the second-century
apologists, who “began to offer a reasoned and philosophical presentation
of Christianity to pagan intellectuals,” that Christian thinkers began
to claim that
they worshipped the same God honored by the Greeks and Romans,
in other words, the deity adored by other reasonable men and women. Indeed,
Christians adopted precisely the same language to describe God as did pagan
intellectuals. The Christian apologist Theophilus of Antioch described God as
“ineffable . . . inexpressible . . . uncontainable . . . incomprehensible
. . . inconceivable . . . incomparable . . . unteachable . . . immutable . .
. inexpressible . . . without beginning because he was uncreated, immutable
because he is immortal.” . . . This view, that God was an immaterial, timeless,
and impassible divine being, who is known through the mind alone, became a keystone
of Christian apologetics, for it served to establish a decisive link to the
Greek spiritual and intellectual tradition.7
That link has no particular appeal for us.8
The great church fathers Clement and Origen fought against “persistent
anthropomorphic tendencies in early Christianity.”9 We see no cause to
We do not need God to be an actus purus, with all the negative baggage that
carries for his role as an object of petitionary prayer. (“The God of the
philosophers,” Alfred North Whitehead once observed, “is not available
for religious purposes.”)10
We are not obliged to insist on the absolute transcendence of a God of whom
Paul says that we all—including the apostle’s unregenerate, pagan, Athenian
audience—are of his genos (Acts 17:28-29), his “family,” his “genus.”
God, in the view of the Latter-day Saints, is not ganz anders.
We do not need to construct ad hoc explanations—periodic materializations,
for example—for the theophanies recorded in such plainly anthropomorphic detail
throughout the Bible. We can take the “image” and “likeness”
of Genesis 1 at face value.
This delivers us from some knotty problems. For example: Marcel Sarot refers to
the dilemma that faced St. Thomas Aquinas: “The denial of emotion in God
seems to go against the witness of Scripture, whereas the affirmation of emotion
in God seems to be incompatible with the divine incorporeality.”11 Accordingly,
observes Professor Sarot, Thomas opted for a denial of divine emotion.
Sarot agrees, contending that the concept of bodiless emotion is meaningless.
For this reason, he says, advocates of divine emotion must accept an embodied
deity—or else, if they are unwilling to do so, they must forego divine
emotion: “without corporeality, no emotion.”12 Since, for Sarot, this
disjunction constitutes a devastating reductio ad absurdum, the choice is obvious
beyond dispute: Because God obviously has no body, he just as obviously cannot
have emotions. Nicholas Wolterstorff and Alfred Freddoso have taken similar
Latter-day Saints accept the Bible’s witness to both God’s form and God’s emotions.
We accept, indeed devoutly affirm, the oneness, the inexpressibly rich unity,
of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We could even, I suppose, employ the words Trinity
and trinitarianism—as Elder James E. Talmage’s hugely influential 1899 work on
The Articles of Faith in fact does—though we typically do not.14
The Bible testifies to this important truth; and so, even more explicitly, do
the peculiarly Latter-day Saint scriptures. We do not (borrowing a description
of polytheism that Paul Owen cites) “postulate different gods to account
for different kinds of events.”15 We simply feel no need to endorse
the doctrine of ontological unity worked out, most prominently, at Nicea.
Latter-day Saints know nothing of an ontological “substance” to “divide”;
we resolutely decline to “confound” the “persons.” We affirm
that the Father and the Son are distinct personages of flesh and bone. The preincarnate
Jesus was revealed to ancient Israel as the Yahweh of the Hebrew Bible. Many biblical
scholars now recognize that El (or El Elyon, “the Highest”) and Yahweh
were originally distinct.16 Even such mainstream reference works as the Eerdmans
Dictionary of the Bible and the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (sponsored by the
SBL) speak of the original distinction between Yahweh and El. It is striking that,
in the New Testament, Jesus is “the Son of the Highest” (as, for example,
at Luke 1:32).
The question is the nature of the needed oneness. Even in the famous Shema of
Deuteronomy 6:4, the matter is unclear.17 Moreover, in view of “the post-biblical
importance of monotheism, the relative rarity of its expression in the Bible
is quite striking.”18 Was early Israel monotheistic in the sense under
discussion here? Probably not.19 Exodus 15:11 (“Who is like unto thee,
O Lord [Yahweh], among the gods?”) seems to entail the existence of other
gods, as do Psalm 82 and many other passages.20 On the other hand, did even
the indisputably polytheistic Ugaritic pantheon exhibit a real oneness? Mark
Smith argues convincingly that it did, through familial relationships and the
concept of the divine council.21 And the Mesopotamian pantheon may have been
conceived almost as an ontological monotheism.22
Early biblical monotheism, if we choose to use the term, includes a divine council
of gods.23 It is only just prior to the exile that explicit monotheistic rhetoric
in something like the modern sense appears in Israel.24 (Later, as we all know,
the seventy divine sons of El and Asherah become, in Jewish tradition, the angels
of the seventy nations.)25 Elohim, of course, is plural in form. And, sometimes,
it is clearly plural in meaning. But even when it refers to a single divine
person, it implies plurality.
Elohim includes all gods; the fulness of deity is comprehended in him. Thus
the word is equivalent to “deity” or “Godhead.” In this
sense it is used in the priestly account of Creation: “Then Elohim said,
‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness'” (Gen. 1:26).
The passage presupposes the conception of the heavenly council . . . ruled over
by God. . . . Despite this court imagery, the priestly view is clearly monotheistic,
for Elohim embraces the divine plurality in unity, and elsewhere in the priestly
account [though not here] the divine name is accompanied by verbs in the singular.26
While oneness is demanded by the witness of the scriptures, the Nicene formulation
is not. (Social trinitarianism seems a much more promising approach to many
of us.) “To put it simply,” Professor Owen writes, “Christians
believe that God is one, whereas the Latter-day Saints believe that God is more
than one.”27 But that distinction is far too simple. I can accept it no
more easily than I can accept the implied dichotomy between “Christians”
and “Latter-day Saints.”
We affirm that God is the creator. In reading The New Mormon Challenge,
I have seen more clearly why creatio ex nihilo matters so much to our critics.
I have still seen no reason to believe it.
He is, however, the sovereign of the universe.
From the very start, we have affirmed the deity of Jesus Christ. The title
page of the Book of Mormon declares that its purpose is “the convincing
of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.” “Behold,”
the Nephite king Benjamin told his people in the late second century before
Christ, “the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the
Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity,
shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a
tabernacle of clay. . . . And . . . there shall be no other name given nor any
other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only
in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:5, 17).
The history of philosophy and philosophical theology is strewn with apodictic
reasoning, with “demonstrative” arguments—what the Arab scholastics
called burhaan—that no longer move us, that hold only antiquarian interest.
Knowing this, William James remarked that
as a matter of history [philosophy]
fails to prove its pretension to be “objectively” convincing. . .
. It does not banish differences; it founds schools and sects just as feeling
does. The logical reason of man operates, in short, in this field of divinity
exactly as it has always operated in love, or in patriotism, or in politics,
or in any other of the wider affairs of life, in which our passions or our mystical
intuitions fix our beliefs beforehand. It finds arguments for our conviction,
for indeed it has to find them. It amplifies and defines our faith, and dignifies
it and lends it words and plausibility. It hardly ever engenders it; it cannot
now secure it.28
Joseph Smith said that a man could learn more. “Could you gaze into heaven
for five minutes,” he said, “you would know more than you would by
reading all that was ever written on the subject.”29
Jacques Maritain tells a story about St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest of all systematic
theologians: “One day, December 6, 1273, while he was celebrating Mass
in the chapel of Saint Nicholas, a great change came over him. From that moment
he ceased writing and dictating.” When his companion, Reginald of Piperno,
complained that there remained much work to be done, Thomas replied, “I
can do no more.” Still the other man insisted. “Reginald,” Thomas
answered yet again, “I can do no more; such things have been revealed to
me that all that I have written seems to me so much straw.” He died a few
This is the Thomas Aquinas from whom my youngest son takes his middle name.
“Newspeak was the official language of Oceania.”31
Just hours before press time, the inimitable Robert Durocher, of southern California,
called my attention to the fall 2002 newsletter of an operation in Mission Viejo,
California, that calls itself “Concerned Christians & Former Mormons:
A Ministry of Reconciliation.” The contents of this newsletter seem to me
relevant to issues raised by David Paulsen in his response to The New Mormon Challenge,
which is published in the present issue of the Review, pp. 99-111: What
kind of “respectful dialogue” can we realistically expect to have with
our evangelical and fundamentalist fellow Christians? How is The New Mormon Challenge
being used by them, and what, perhaps, was its real intent? The answers suggested
by the newsletter in question are not encouraging.
On the front page of the
newsletter, a large headline reads: “The New Mormon Challenge: Conference
on Cults and New Religions-;January 24-25, 2003.” A relatively
lengthy article follows, telling of a conference to be held on those dates at
Biola University, in La Mirada, California, under the joint sponsorship of Biola,
Concerned Christians & Former Mormons (CCFM), Standing Together, and another
organization called Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR).
speaker of the conference will be the professional anti-Mormon Sandra Tanner of
the Utah Lighthouse Ministry in Salt Lake City. Three other main speakers are
highlighted: Luke Wilson, of the Institute for Religious Research (formerly Gospel
Truths Ministries) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the publisher of various books and
newsletters critical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, most
recently, producer of a slick and slickly marketed video attacking the Book of
Abraham, will also address the group. So, too, will Craig Blomberg, of Denver
Seminary. Professor Blomberg is the coauthor (with Stephen Robinson) of How Wide
the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation32 and a contributor to
The New Mormon Challenge.33 (CCFM offers The New Mormon Challenge for a substantially
discounted price of $15.00, reduced from the normal retail price of $21.99.) The
fourth principal speaker, yet to be confirmed and publicly announced at
the time the newsletter was published, is slated to speak on “Polygamy in
CCFM plans to host a (free!) conference-luncheon for Protestant
pastors on the first day of the meeting at the beautiful Atrium Hotel near
the John Wayne Airport in Orange County. Pastor Craig Johnson, a participant in
several recent meetings between Protestants and Latter-day Saints, leader of a
Utah-based ministry titled “Standing Together,” will open the proceedings,
whose “focus will be on how wide IS the divide!” “Pastors,”
says the newsletter, “need to be better informed as well as to know where
to find help in teaching their people the difference between Mormonism and
Christianity. . . . [W]e want them to be aware of the threat of Mormonism to the
Christian body and the tools that are available to them.” Since CCFM wants
to issue personal invitations to as many as it can, the newsletter asks its readers
to send in their pastors’ addresses.
A prominent feature of the luncheon
will be a panel discussion, devoted to “the unique approaches different ministries
take in sharing Christ with the LDS people.” Another discussion, to be held
later on the same day, will bring a panel of anti-Mormon ministries together to
update those in the audience on the latest tools to “enable the Christian
to be more effective” in persuading Latter-day Saints to abandon the Church
of Jesus Christ. Donna Morley, for example, has evidently written a book entitled
A Christian Woman’s Guide to Understanding Mormonism, which is designed
to help housewives witness to Latter-day Saint missionaries knocking at their
doors. Mrs. Morley will take part in the program. Jim and Judy Robertson, of Concerned
Christians, in Mesa, Arizona, will also participate in the discussion.34 Judy
Robertson has recently published an anti-Mormon book for children, entitled Understanding
My Mormon Friend.
It will be noted that, among all the activities of the two-day
conference cosponsored by this “Ministry of Reconciliation,” not a single
Latter-day Saint appears on the program. The clear posture is one of attack. It
is also one of distortion. Additionally, on the second page of the newsletter,
a brief article entitled “The Salt Lake Tribune” falsely states that
“the independent morning newspaper has been bought by the church-owned Deseret
News,” and observes, again falsely, that “the LDS Church now owns both
daily newspapers.” The “Ministry of Reconciliation” loses no time
in underlining the conclusion that its readers are to draw from the disinformation
with which they’ve just been presented:
When people refer to Utah as
being a different country, you can understand why when things like this take place.
When the major religion controls the media as well as strong political influence
it would seem to us that it is not so much another country as it is a “theocracy.”
The way this buyout was manipulated again shows the power of the LDS Church.
In the wake of the events of September 11, massive news coverage of the Taliban
theocracy in Afghanistan—building tensions in the Near East—and the
similar, factually distorted depictions of Utah as a foreign theocracy scarcely
seem conducive to “respectful dialogue.” Nor does the article on page
three of the newsletter, the headline of which implores Latter-day Saints, “Why
Not Just Be Honest?”
In George Orwell’s famous dystopia Nineteen Eighty-Four, the invented
language called Newspeak enforces the Party line by making clear thought impossible.
Seemingly straightforward concepts are turned on their heads and twisted into
their direct opposites: “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is
Strength.”35 The war department is the Ministry of Peace, or Minipax. The
government office responsible for rationing is the Ministry of Plenty, or Miniplenty.
The propaganda bureau is the Ministry of Truth, generally known as Minitrue.
The secret police are headquartered at the Ministry of Love, called Miniluv:36
of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston
had never been inside the Ministry of Love, nor within half a kilometer of it.
It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only
by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden
machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed
by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons. . .
. One did not know what happened inside the Ministry of Love, but it was possible
to guess: tortures, drugs, delicate instruments that registered your nervous reactions,
gradual wearing-down by sleeplessness and solitude and persistent questioning.37
One of the most famous features of Nineteen Eighty-Four is the “two-minute
hate,” a daily telescreen special in which various elements of “crimethink”
are depicted by means of a series of horrific images and sounds, at which viewers
are expected, even required, to hiss and curse. But there is also “hate
week,” a regular week in which all Oceanian citizens attend rallies and
parades designed to inflame their hostility toward enemies of the Party and
to heighten their efforts in the perpetual warfare conducted against those enemies
by the rulers of Oceania.
We don’t live in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Direct frontal assault is not
And now, following an ancient and venerable precedent established
several years ago, I announce the book recommendations for this issue of the Review.
These recommendations have been established by the scientific procedure
of looking at the books in question, reading the relevant reviews, and speaking
with my various coeditors. The decision regarding what to recommend and what not
to recommend has been, and typically is, easy and unanimous. The apparently precise
ratings, however, are much more subjective, and they might have been different,
say, had Brigham Young University’s football team enjoyed a better season
this year. As in previous issues, the ratings are expressed according to the following
**** Outstanding, a seminal work of the kind that appears only rarely.
*** Enthusiastically recommended.
** Warmly recommended.
We commend to readers of this issue of the Review the following books:
John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne, eds., Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon:
The FARMS Updates of the 1990s
** George Q. Cannon, Life of Joseph Smith the
** Richard R. Hopkins, Biblical Mormonism: Responding to Evangelical
Criticism of LDS Theology
** Hugh W. Pinnock, Finding Biblical Hebrew and
Other Ancient Literary Forms in the Book of Mormon
* K. Douglas Bassett, comp.,
Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon: Insights from Prophets, Church Leaders,
* Kenneth Lutes and Lyndell Lutes, Words of Christ Restored for
the Last Days
I am grateful to the various people who have helped in the production of this
issue of the FARMS Review of Books. My associate editors, Louis C. Midgley and
George L. Mitton, have been helpful and enthusiastic at every stage of the project
and are great fun to work with. Our production editor, Shirley S. Ricks, has
been her usual competent and organized self, without whom the ship would have
run aground long ago. Alison V. P. Coutts, the director of publications for
FARMS and for its parent organization, Brigham Young University’s Institute
for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, is an ideal colleague
in connection with the Review and elsewhere in our work. I also wish to thank
Angela Clyde Barrionuevo for her typesetting expertise; Elizabeth W. Watkins
for her insightful editorial suggestions; Paula Hicken for her competent supervision
of the source checking and proofreading; and Julie Dozier, Tessa Hauglid, Ellen
Henneman, Larry Morris, David Pendleton, Linda Sheffield, and Sandra Thorne
for their assistance at all stages. We hope that the reviews and review essays
herein found will spark discussion, provide insights, encourage good writing,
and persuade those contemplating the perpetration of bad books and articles
to take up other pursuits. Fishing is pleasant. So is golf.
- Francis J. Beckwith, Carl Mosser, and Paul Owen, eds., The New Mormon Challenge:
Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement (Grand Rapids,
Mich.: Zondervan, 2002).
- Carl Mosser, “And the Saints Go Marching On: The New Mormon Challenge
for World Missions, Apologetics, and Theology,” in The New Mormon Challenge,
- John Milton, Paradise Lost, lines 1-3.
- The account occurs at Clementine Recognitions 1.1-9. Hugh Nibley summarizes
it in The World and the Prophets, ed. John W. Welch, Gary P. Gillum, and Don
E. Norton (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1987), 34-38. I use
the translation of Thomas Smith, as featured in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed.
Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (1885; reprint, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson,
- Cited at Richard Lloyd Anderson, Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981), 148.
- Mark S. Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel’s Polytheistic
Background and the Ugaritic Texts (New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press,
- Robert L. Wilken, The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1984), 151.
- Nor, I hope and believe, for a small but growing number of Protestant theologians.
A sparkling recent example of what I regard as a healthy trend is Clark H. Pinnock,
Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness (London: Paternoster, 2001).
- Morris S. Seale, Muslim Theology: A Study of Origins with Reference to the
Church Fathers (London: Luzac, 1964), 8-9.
- Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (New York: Macmillan,
- Marcel Sarot, “God, Emotion, and Corporeality,” The Thomist
58/1 (1994): 77.
- Ibid., 82. See his entire article, 61-92, for a very serious argument
against unembodied passibility.
- For a somewhat lengthier treatment of this issue, see now Daniel C. Peterson,
“On the Motif of the Weeping God in Moses 7,” in Revelation, Reason,
and Faith: Essays in Honor of Truman G. Madsen, ed. Donald W. Parry, Daniel
C. Peterson, and Stephen D. Ricks (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), 285-317.
- For example, the second chapter of The Articles of Faith is entitled “God
and the Holy Trinity.” Elder Talmage’s work has been published in
- Paul Owen, “Monotheism, Mormonism, and the New Testament Witness,”
in The New Mormon Challenge, 278.
- See, for example, Smith, Origins of Biblical Monotheism, 140-47.
- See ibid., 153.
- Ibid., 154.
- See ibid., 11, 91, 149.
- On this, see Daniel C. Peterson, “‘Ye are Gods': Psalm
82 and John 10 as Witnesses to the Divine Nature of Humankind,” in The
Disciple as Scholar: Essays on Scripture and the Ancient World in Honor of Richard
Lloyd Anderson, ed. Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges
(Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000), 471-594.
- Smith, Origins of Biblical Monotheism, 8, 52-55, 66, 78-79.
- See ibid., 95.
- See ibid., 149-50, 151, 155.
- See ibid., 151, 154, 163.
- See ibid., 55, 135.
- “God, names of,” in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the
Bible, ed. George A. Buttrick et al. (New York: Abingdon, 1962), 2:413.
- Owen, “Monotheism, Mormonism, and the New Testament Witness,”
- William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985), 344-45.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt
Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 324.
- Jacques Maritain, St. Thomas Aquinas, trans. Joseph W. Evans and Peter O’Reilly
(Cleveland: World Publishing, 1958), 54, 56.
- George Orwell, “The Principles of Newspeak,” was written in
1948 and is often included as an appendix to Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson, How Wide the Divide? A Mormon
and an Evangelical in Conversation (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1997).
- See the responses by Benjamin I. Huff and Kent P. Jackson to Professor Blomberg’s
New Mormon Challenge essay on pp. 113-37 of the present issue of the FARMS
Review of Books.
- Extraordinarily revealing glimpses into the workings and methods of the
Robertsons’ organization can be found on the Web at www.shields-research.org/Critics/CCoM.htm as of October 2002. That they are still engaged in the same problematic
kind of behavior is evident from a telephone call that I received this very
morning, by sheer coincidence, from a trusted acquaintance who teaches in Mesa,
- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World,
- See ibid., 6.
- Ibid., 6, 167-68.