Me & Gentiles: the Existentialists

existentialismAfter reading existentialists, Mormonism seemed like a radically existentialist theology.

Like anything grown in America, Mormonism emerged in a climate of rebellion and turmoil. Springing from a backwoods boy, growing up near the spearhead of the industrial revolution in America, self-educated, proud, visionary, it lashed out against every orthodoxy in sight, it embraced the most dangerous heresies. 

It this way, Mormonism seems a massive existentialist project. ‘Existentialism’ names not a way of thinking, but a group of thinker: some Christian (like Pascal, Dostoevsky, and Kierkegaard) some post-Christian (like Heidegger and Sartre), and some anti-Christ, like Nietzsche.

Walther Kaufmann, described existential philosophers in terms that are easily analogized to how early Mormons viewed themselves as religious thinkers:

Existentialism is not a philosophy, but a label for several widely different revolts against traditional philosophy. . . The refusal to belong to any school of thought, the repudiation of the adequacy of any body of beliefs whatever, and especially of systems, and a marked dissatisfaction with traditional philosophy as superficial, academic, and remote from life—that is the heart of existentialism.

Swap out “existentialism” with “Mormonism” and “theology” for “philosophy” and it seems we have an observation as insightful as Kaufmann’s.   As a philosophical term, existentialism is nearly useless for lack of precision, but it points to a frame of mind reminiscent of Joseph Smith’s.

Joseph responded to traditional Christianity with mythic absurdity and wine-skin-bursting ideas.  Mormonism remains as conceptually hostile to traditional Christian theology as Nietzsche was to Plato.  Like Nietzsche, he deconstructed traditional Christianity with wild intuitions, myths, and sweeping observations—not careful argument.  

Joseph’s religion was also more primitive in the way Nietzsche’s philosophy was more primitive than what came before.  Joseph reached back to “translate” biblical prophets into his own religious language with the same lack of rigor, but strength of vision, that Heidegger translated pre-Socratic philosophers.  Heidegger clothed his dramatic insights in comically complicated and obscure jargon, as if he was struggling to underscore the newness of his message. Joseph translated the Book of Mormon into an idiosyncratic vernacular, struggling to underscore the sacred importance of his insight—something kept hidden from the foundation of the world.

In many ways, Joseph put absurdity front and center in religion.  But, in light of the existentialist onslaught on traditional thinking, becoming conscious of the fascinating absurdity of Joseph’s claims does not invalidate them as a stand on life.  As Camus pointed, we all must come to terms with greater absurdity than that found in the scriptures. As Nietzsche postulated, the conditions of life may require error. 

Joseph’s theological history, the history we know anyway, models the story of Heidegger’s philosophical history.  Joseph interpreted the Bible the way Heidegger interpreted his philosophical forebears, with an eye toward precision, but often a wild disregard for interpretative accuracy.  Heidegger’s “philosophical hermeneutic tracks with Joseph’s new view of prophetic “translation”. Joseph used romantic prophetic images to ‘unconceal’ the path to the way of life that developed into Mormonism.

Pascal, perhaps my favorite existentialist, was as orthodox a Christian as he was brilliant. Yet his faith was not rooted in argument, but in a supernatural manifestation of God’s love.  Like Mormons, he was a firm believer in revelation, he affirmed all love as  a supernatural event.

I began reading existentialist philosophers at BYU, starting with Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Heidegger.  Frankly, they rejuvenated my faith.  They seemed to be on the same plane as Joseph in relation to the body of old ideas that formed traditional  and systematic worldviews.  Kant, the grandfather of all contemporary philosophy and the uncle of protestant theology, deconstructed knowledge to leave room for faith, existentialists deconstructed everything to leave room for life, Joseph deconstructed Christianity to make room for a radically new way of seeing God and humanity.  I began to see LDS religious thought as a process of coming to terms with indefinable realities and absurdity.  I started viewing modern prophets as pointers, not oracles, as theological interpreters of life, never systematic theologians.

Mormonism stands with existentialist thought as a harsh challenge to tradition. Mormon life, with its thoroughly heretical foundation, can seem like as a whole, a reductio-ad-absurdum of creedal Christianity.  While Mormonism may not be in the shape it could be—massive disappointments abound– unbound by creed, thus far, it seems to weather the latter-day storms of faith, leaving room for a vibrant spiritual stand outside the confines of systematized thought.

To most, the broad strokes of religion or philosophy are much more important than the essential details. The direction we head is more important than each step on the way. Abandoning any demand for philosophical orthodoxy, as a criminal lawyer must routinely do, I tell a person’s religion by their actions, its effects, and what the person says about these actions and effects.  In this way I remain very Mormon, even after abandoning belief.  Viewing Mormonism (or Christianity) as an existentialist philosophy reveals the multiplicity of paths one can take to an authentic and redemptive theology.  We can move in the same direction, even as we describe that direction radically differently.

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82 thoughts on “Me & Gentiles: the Existentialists

  1. You have captured well some of the aspects of Mormonism that have made it so appealing to me (and probably some of the aspects that drive others batty). Thanks for writing.

  2. I see Mormonism as a reflection of the same man-centered striving to please (appease) God, with what man does…or does not do.

    In that sense, it is the same as every other religion since time began. And quite the opposite of Christianity, which is really not a religion per se…but a faith, or trusting in what God has done for the ungodly.

  3. I actually heard the most explicit blend of Heideggarian philosophy and Christianity in a lecture by an American Lutheran at the University of Helsinki.

    In many ways it was reminiscent of the stripped-down Lutheranism that you embrace.

  4. Jared, when you say Joseph put absurdity front and center in religion, how are you using absurd?

  5. Jared,

    I can understand why you feel the way you do. Because the religion of the old self has been the default religion of mankind since the beginning.

    When something new comes along like the person of Jesus for the ungodly, the Cross, obliterating the old way, then we naturally rebel…because what ‘we do’ surely must be worth something in the eyes of God.

    When one meets Jesus, either one must die, or Jesus must die.

    We have just come to the realization, the proper anthropology, that what ‘we do’ isn’t the answer to the problem…but that it is the problem.

    The Book of Romans lays it out very well. And that Book, as well as the gospel itself, is the basis for our understanding of the Christian faith, and it’s accompanying freedom.

  6. Pascal said: “If we submit everything to reason, our religion will have no mysterious and supernatural element. If we offend the principles of reason, our religion will be absurd and ridiculous.”

    When Joseph Smith offended reason his religion was absurd. Joseph’s rejection of orthodoxy is also an inherent rejection of the method of pure application of reason to scripture. In that way he opted for a balanced tipped more toward the absurd than to the reasonable. Joseph’s hermeneutic and theology were often hyper-literal and focused on Old Testament prophecy. This approach re-injected absurdities that had been weeded out by traditional theology.

    Many existentialists would recognize that some departure from reason is not a fatal flaw for any philosophy or religion. However, jettisoning too much of the ballast of reason is hazardous. Nietzsche poetically described what he saw as a flaw in the prophetic mentality:

    You bold seekers and tempters, and whoever embarks with cunning sails on terrible seas–you drunk with riddles, glad of the twilight, whose soul flutes astray to every whirlpool, because you do not want to grope along a thread with a cowardly hand; and where you can guess you hate to deduce.

    Applied to Joseph, the description is enlightening. Joseph used new-found old stories– ‘riddles’— rather than using deduction to re-interpret old traditions as the Protestant reformers did. In doing this he made more immediate the need for believers to grapple with absurdity.

  7. I am not sure I have ever though of Smith as an Existentialist, a Romanticist yes, a Rationalist maybe, but an existentialist? I’m open to the idea but, I’m trying to grapple with your use of absurd.

    I recognize declaring yourself king of the world is absurd but I am wondering if you meaning something besides the obviously ridiculous.

  8. Kierkegaard calls the Christian doctrine of Jesus as fully divine and fully human as the essential paradox of Christianity.

    What would Joseph Smith say was the essential paradox of Mormonism?

  9. I think you vastly overstate Mormonism’s exceptionalism. It was hardly the only restorationist religious movement with a charismatic leader who rejected orthodoxy and made truth claims in 19th century America.

    It’s not even the only surviving one.

  10. Why is that a paradox? Plato believed the same thing.

    Well, if he did believe that, it doesn’t say whether or not it is a paradox.

  11. If a paradox is something composed of opposite things and that seems impossible but are actually true or possible, I don’t understand why you would claim one god, eternal intelligences, and eternal progression to be a paradox. It seems quite rational. I think I need you to explain the paradox because I just don’t understand the nature of the conflict in Smith’s idea. .

    I see Smith offering a proposed solution to the paradox of creation ex nihilo, a path around an offence of Christianity. Claiming “thus sayeth the Lord” doesn’t make Joseph all that unique on the American religious landscape and it certainly doesn’t make him an Existentialist.

  12. Mormonism is clearly not an existentialist project in the sense that it was founded by an existentialist. However it is a very individualist departure from traditional Christianity, rejecting the foundations of orthodoxy theology that defines the essential nature of a human in terms of that human’s behavior and they way they exist. In this way it fits the trend of existentialist thinking and seems to be a way of living according to certain existentialist ideas.

  13. For example: The idea that the individual is co-existent with God shoves Mormonism much closer to the idea that the individual is a primary focus of philosophical concern. The idea that God and man are the same species is a full deconstruction of many orthodox ideas.

  14. I see romantic elements in Mormonism, but some elements are markedly un-Romantic. But I don’t see Romantics as describing human essence as nearly fully dependent on the way humans exist.

  15. Certainly,

    A mix of Romantic-Rationalism, yes. But Existentialism, i’m not convinced. I would identfy 3 questions areas:

    First Josephs revelatory insistence about the Godhead, the nature of God, or the Incarnation just cannot be explained as a confrontation with absurdity and a leap of faith. Explaining away paradox is avoiding the offensive. Smith’s same argument for his newly revealed solutions are still used, the “christian”dogmas are incomprehensible and thus cannot be true. Not exactly theistic existentialism.

    Second, Kierkegaard roots the impossibility of direct communication in the nature of Christ and free will and faith. This seems to rule out a Kierkegaard type existentialism for Mormonism.

    Third, I wonder about the idea that exchanging the State Church opposed by Kierkegaard for the incorporated Church of the Mormon West as Existentialism. Every time I hear a Mormon talk about free will I wonder what color shirt they wore to church that Sunday, This doesn’t seem to mesh with the Kierkegaardian predicament of freedom.

  16. This is entry #237 in the “Mormonism is like X” sweepstakes. X can be anything and everything, but is almost always something the promoter of “Mormonism is like X” has either read recently or read in college. In my opinion, X is always a poor comparison to Mormonism beyond a few superficial details. This is no exception.

    The phenomenon itself is quite fascinating. I think it mainly indicates a lack of any doctrinal direction that the LDS church has had for 20-30 years now. The fact that so many things are compared to Mormonism seems to indicate that people can see it as being whatever they feel like it being, which is not a flattering state of affairs in my opinion (though I grant that it is flogged as a major benefit by the bloggernaccle ad nauseum).

  17. Indeed, Mormonism is what it is, not another thing. But is it incomparable?

    Do you see something essential to Mormonism that invalidates the comparison?

    Is there a better method for understanding the philosophical import of Mormon ideas than comparison with other philosophical and religious trends?

    You say the state of affairs is unflattering, in what sense?

    Is the lack of doctrinal direction a good thing or a bad thing?

  18. I think you have to realize that existentialism is not a school, there is no consensus on what you have to contend to be grouped with existentialism. So whether Joseph fits with Kierkegaard is interesting but does not invalidate the comparison in the least. Mormons believe in radical freedom compared to Traditional Christianity.

  19. I understand that existentialism is not a school, but I am most familiar with Kierkegaard and I have always been fascinated with his view of the leap of faith, being incomparable with direct communications with God. I also think he makes an important critique of the State Church system of Europe. Of course I am not all that convinced that the state Church is radically distinct from the incorporated church.

    I guess the incongruity of the Mormon claims of freedom and their imposition of list making, righteousness could be called a paradox, except that both propositions of a paradox need to be true.

  20. Jared C said:

    Mormons believe in radical freedom compared to Traditional Christianity.

    Theologically, that’s true in some ways. Culturally, not so much, unfortunately.

  21. Mormons believe in radical freedom compared to Traditional Christianity.

    Are you kidding? That is not remotely true in any possible sense.

  22. To me, it seems obvious that Joseph Smith followed fewer rules than, say, Luther or Paul.

    Because the rules he made for those following him didn’t apply to him. But don’t worry, there is nothing cult like in that behavior whatsoever.

  23. That sounds like a pretty bold claim.

    Yep.

    To me, it seems obvious that Joseph Smith followed fewer rules than, say, Luther or Paul.

    “Joseph Smith followed fewer rules than Luther or Paul” ≠ “Mormons believe in radical freedom compared to Traditional Christianity”

  24. Which? Give me an example. Any sense in which you can claim that Mormons believe in radical freedom is just going to be a clever game of baseline shifting that can be turned right around to say the opposite.

    For example, you can say: Mormons believe in radical freedom from the shackles of false traditions.

    But then you can just as easily say: orthodox Christians believe in radical freedom from the shackles of heresy.

    See? If your claim was merely that Mormons believe in radical freedom, you could maybe make a tortured case. But you have claimed that Mormons believe in radical freedom as compared to orthodox Christianity. Which means you have to come up with some way that Mormons believe in radical freedom that can’t just be directly mirrored by orthodoxy.

  25. Which means you have to come up with some way that Mormons believe in radical freedom that can’t just be directly mirrored by orthodoxy.

    Mormons have the freedom to not believe in orthodoxy. Those that are tied to a single one idea of God, are in some sense radically less free than those who can choose more than one intellectual conception of God. The married are obviously less free in some sense than the unmarried.

  26. Those who overthrow the government are in some sense radically more free than those who support it. Why? Because good citizens have to follow the rules to make any change to the government—radicals can just burn down Parliament.

  27. Mormons have the freedom to not believe in orthodoxy. Those that are tied to a single one idea of God, are in some sense radically less free than those who can choose more than one intellectual conception of God. The married are obviously less free in some sense than the unmarried.

    But Mormons are just married to a different single idea of God. Or even if you want to argue that point, Mormons certainly aren’t radically free to choose any conception of God, but are limited to concepts of God that fit within the boundaries of Mormon orthodoxy, exactly the same as Trinitarian Christians are limited to concepts of God that fit within the bounraties of Trinitarian orthodoxy.

  28. but are limited to concepts of God that fit within the boundaries of Mormon orthodoxy, exactly the same as Trinitarian Christians are limited to concepts of God that fit within the bounraties of Trinitarian orthodoxy.

    I guess my argument hinges on the difference between Trinitarian orthodoxy and Mormon orthodoxy. I don’t see them as “exactly the same.”

  29. Those who overthrow the government are in some sense radically more free than those who support it. Why? Because good citizens have to follow the rules to make any change to the government—radicals can just burn down Parliament.

    But Mormons aren’t in the process of overthrowing orthodoxy today. That’s like saying that Canadians are radically more free than the English because Canada became independent from England. It’s nonsense. Canadians may be free from the authority of the English government, but they’re not free from the authority of the Canadian government.

    And the English can just as meaningfully be said to be free from the authority of the Canadian government anyway.

    Even a contemporary convert from orthodox Christianity to Mormonism is no more free than a contemporary convert from Mormonism to orthodox Christianity.

  30. I guess my argument hinges on the difference between Trinitarian orthodoxy and Mormon orthodoxy. I don’t see them as “exactly the same.”

    Mormon theology has a lot of sloppy places where there’s room for maneuvering, but it also has a lot of extremely precisely defined places where there is absolutely none.

    “Theological freedom” is in no way an essential characteristic of Mormonism. Mormons have merely defined different areas of theology precisely than orthodox Christians have.

  31. That’s like saying that Canadians are radically more free than the English because Canada became independent from England.

    Great analogy. Even radicals who burn down the Government are not suddenly free. They just become slaves to the effects of chaos rather than government.

  32. I didn’t say that Mormons were radically free in every sense of the word. In context, I was talking about freedom in the intellectual or ideological sphere. Mormons can accept revolutionary thinking in ways that the orthodox can not.

    To use your example: What I am saying is akin to saying that the USA is more free from the British monarchy than the Canadians where Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state.

    So if there is a possible sense where Mormons are not radically free from traditional Christians that is not the sense I am talking about..

  33. Mormon theology has a lot of sloppy places where there’s room for maneuvering, but it also has a lot of extremely precisely defined places where there is absolutely none.

    example?

  34. I didn’t say that Mormons were radically free in every sense of the word. In context, I was talking about freedom in the intellectual or ideological sphere. Mormons can accept revolutionary thinking in ways that the orthodox can not.

    Sure. Mormons can accept any idea that does not conflict with Mormon doctrine. Exactly how orthodox Christians can accept any idea that does not conflict with orthodox doctrine.

  35. example?

    The physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    God has a physical body of flesh and bone.
    Humans existed as spirits before they were born but passed through a veil of forgetfulness.
    The earth will be transformed into the Celestial Kingdom.
    The first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are faith, repentance, baptism by immersion and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Three degrees of glory.

  36. Kullervo, I don’t know what to tell you. If you do not think Mormon orthodoxy is different than traditional Christian orthodoxy, you are not going to see my point.

  37. I hate to say it, but if your argument rests on a particular premise, you’re going to have to defend that premise too. That’s how arguments work.

  38. The physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    God has a physical body of flesh and bone.
    Humans existed as spirits before they were born but passed through a veil of forgetfulness.
    The earth will be transformed into the Celestial Kingdom.
    The first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are faith, repentance, baptism by immersion and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Three degrees of glory.

    I know few Mormons who absolutely agree on the meaning of any of these doctrines. There is all kinds of wiggle room. Hence, the way Mormons talk about each of these doctrines can and does radically shift over time and context. Mormons believe that modern revelation could radically change what any particular Mormon believes about any of these points. That is different than traditional Christianity, No?

  39. I agree, my argument was in some interesting sense(s) Mormons believe in radical freedom compared with traditional Christianity. One sense is—they are not married to a very particular and rigid conception of God, i.e. the Trinity and its theological and philosophical accoutrements.

  40. What about their concept of who can be a priest?

    Good example–the radical freedom of modern revelation can make any previous interpretation of scripture incomplete, wrong, or obsolete.

  41. I know few Mormons who absolutely agree on the meaning of any of these doctrines. There is all kinds of wiggle room. Hence, the way Mormons talk about each of these doctrines can and does radically shift over time and context. Mormons believe that modern revelation could radically change what any particular Mormon believes about any of these points. That is different than traditional Christianity, No?

    Similarly, the way orthodox Christians talk about orthodox Christian doctrines can and does radically shift over time and context (see, e.g., justification). While I think that most orthodox Christians would presumptively reject any new “modern revelation” as unnecessary, that doesn’t rule out progressive revelation, or the idea that the Holy Spirit can lead the church into a more true and more full understanding of God through the Bible over time.

    Given that no President of the LDS Church has even claimed to recieve one shred of new doctrine by revelation since the death of Joseph Smith, the tenativeness of Mormon doctrine appears to be hypothetical anyway.

    That’s not radical freedom; it’s just tenative orthodoxy.

    Mormons may believe that God will “yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God,” but I fail to see how that can be called radical freedom in any meaningful way.

    I agree, my argument was in some interesting sense(s) Mormons believe in radical freedom compared with traditional Christianity. One sense is—they are not married to a very particular and rigid conception of God, i.e. the Trinity and its theological and philosophical accoutrements.

    But again, it’s not as if for Mormons the concept of God is totally blown wide open and can be just, like anything, man.

    How is the Mormon concept of God not also “very particular and rigid?”

  42. Good example–the radical freedom of modern revelation can make any previous interpretation of scripture incomplete, wrong, or obsolete.

    But how is that radical freedom? The fact that current understandings of Mormon doctrine are subject to revision in light of new (hypothetical) revelation doesn’t mean Mormons are free to believe anything. Again, it’s just tentative orthodoxy.

    Even Reformed Protestants who think they know everything admit that they now see through a glass darkly.

  43. Kullervo, I think you are underestimating the intellectual constraints imposed by the doctrine of the Trinity, in and of itself.

    Mormons are free to believe anything.

    Who said this? I think you are shifting the debate into a new area. I think I have been clear that I was never using the term “radical freedom” categorically to mean radical freedom in all ways that a person can be free.

    To analogize again, I am saying that “Americans are radically free compared to some societies because they are not bound by the Sharia legal system.”

    You are answering “but they have to put up with their own legal system”

    I answer, “No kidding, but this is irrelevant to my point.”

    I am not saying that Americans can disregard their own law, I am saying that the American legal system allows far more intellectual freedom in deciding what is a valid law than does the Sharia system.

  44. But again, it’s not as if for Mormons the concept of God is totally blown wide open and can be just, like anything, man.

    Wait, have you read what Joseph Smith said about God and compared it to traditional Christian thinking on God? That is precisely how many would describe what Joseph did, i.e. totally blowing wide open the concept of God. There are confines, but they are not the same sort of confines than imposed by creedal orthodoxy.

  45. Kullervo, I think you are underestimating the intellectual constraints imposed by the doctrine of the Trinity, in and of itself.

    What intellectual constraints are imposed by the doctrine of the Trinity that are essentially distinct from the intellectual constraints imposed by Mormon doctrines about the identity and nature of God?

  46. Wait, have you read what Joseph Smith said about God and compared it to traditional Christian thinking on God? That is precisely how many would describe what Joseph did, i.e. totally blowing wide open the concept of God. There are confines, but they are not the same sort of confines than imposed by creedal orthodoxy.

    No way. Joseph Smith simply rejected the Trinity and substituted a different concept of God, just like Arius, Eustathius of Sebaste, Sabellius, John Assheton, R. E. McAlister, John Thomas, Mary Baker Eddy and Charles Taze Russell. Substituting one orthodoxy for another is only “radical freedom” in the most tortured sense.

    But far more importantly, we’re not talking about Joseph Smith. We’re talking about Mormons and Mormonism.

  47. Either a fundamentally qualitative distinction or an extreme qualitiative distinction.

    “Radical freedom” suggests something that is indeed radically free in some meaningful sense.

  48. But far more importantly, we’re not talking about Joseph Smith. We’re talking about Mormons and Mormonism.

    Huh? I was definitely referring to Joseph Smith and those that believe he was a prophet when I made the statement “Mormons believe in radical freedom compared to traditional Christianity” I made the statement offhand, when talking about the comparison between Kierkegaard and Mormon thought.

    Mormons believe Joseph Smith was saved in the Kingdom of God, the most important man of this dispensation, and died a martyr. Despite how he lived and what he said, he was not condemned for heresy, blasphemy, adultery, polygamy, or priest craft. That looks sorta like Mormons believe in radical freedom to me. It’s not a major thesis of mine, but it’s not nonsense.

  49. “Mormons believe in radical freedom compared to Traditional Christianity”

    is not the same thing as

    “Mormons believe that, as a prophet, Joseph Smith was free to disregard orthodox Christian doctrines.”

  50. Substituting one orthodoxy for another is only “radical freedom” in the most tortured sense.

    Again, our disagreement comes down to your characterization of the nature of “Mormon orthodoxy” as fundamentally qualitatively the same as traditional creedal orthodoxy. I think its fundamentally different, but I am not claiming that you don’t have a point, I am just saying that it is beside mine.

  51. But, please note, that I didn’t claim that the sense I was using “radical freedom” was not tortured in some way. . . you were the one that claimed that there was no possible sense that the statement was not absolutely false or nonsense.

    Because I clearly do have a point, all you seem to be saying is “your point is not very interesting.” Which is fine, ultimately that judgement comes down to taste.

  52. Wouldn’t the existentialist call unconditioned freedom a fools errand? Freedom is opposed by necessity, the claim for a radical freedom would need a radical absence of necessity not just the replacement of a creed with an implied doctrine.

    Brother Snuffer shows that there is a necessity to conform to the incorporated doctrines creed or no creed.

  53. But somebody has to be right.

    Their way is the same ol’ tired, self-focused improvement project which is characteristic of all man-made religion.

    Our way is so different…so God centered and ‘man deprecating’…that we (man) could never have cooked it up!

  54. Again, our disagreement comes down to your characterization of the nature of “Mormon orthodoxy” as fundamentally qualitatively the same as traditional creedal orthodoxy. I think its fundamentally different, but I am not claiming that you don’t have a point, I am just saying that it is beside mine.

    I think that you have demonstrated over and over again on this blog that you do not understand creedal orthodoxy well enough to make that kind of statement.

    It’s not your fault; you grew up Mormon.

  55. Do you think traditional creedal orthodoxy is fundamentally the same as Mormon orthodoxy?

    What are the important philosophical consequences for believing in the orthodox view of God? (That would be an interesting discussion.)

  56. Do you think traditional creedal orthodoxy is fundamentally the same as Mormon orthodoxy?

    Not in content, obviously. But in function, absolutely.

  57. Hilarious.

    I may have grown up Mormon, and never schooled in orthodoxy, but I have “thought about eternity for [ at least ] 25 minutes and think have come up with some interesting conclusions.” (I am entitled to my “half-a$$ed musings on the divine” as much as the next guy.)

    That said, I’ll have to put my views on freedom and orthodoxy in another post.

  58. Pingback: I Think You Mean Good Vicar | Sailing to Byzantium

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