Notes on the possibility of a profitable dialogue between Mormons and Protestants

This is a response to Gundek’s suggestions regarding the way forward in my project to create a profitable LDS/Evangelical dialogue. ¬†(Again, I didn’t edit this much and it might be a bit too repetitive, so please read charitably. ūüôā )

Like I have said earlier, I really don’t know much about being a converted Protestant, but I know that I now see something now that I didn’t see as a believing, spiritually minded¬†Latter-day Saint. ¬†I am starting with the Light of Christ because the LDS will have no problem acknowledging that whatever truth I did find, it was not from an¬†experience with the Holy Ghost, or from the Gift of the Holy Ghost. ¬†This is important because I am not LDS anymore and I want to be clear that whatever think about salvation does not threaten the LDS tradition because it comes outside of LDS covenants and outside of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. ¬†Mormonism is, by definition, the religion that is revealed outside of the understanding available through the Light of Christ, i.e. the Spirit of God, that those outside the Church have access to.

The Light of Christ seems a great place to start my dialogue with the LDS tradition because within the LDS tradition, whatever light and knowledge I have found must have come through the Light of Christ.  By couching my understanding in terms of the Light of Christ, it side-steps all LDS revelation and tradition, and tries to go to the root of what non-LDS see in God that Joseph Smith may have taken for granted, or simply failed to grasp.  It is no knock on Joseph Smith to claim that he did not understand the full nature of the Light of Christ, because the Light of Christ encompasses all knowledge.

In some ways I am trying to reverse-engineer my conversion process, restating the ideas that pushed me over the edge. The problem with this approach is that¬†¬†that once I began to recognize the reality of law and the reality of grace, and then feel the joy that this recognition brought, all kinds of ideas started clicking together to the point that I didn’t know precisely what convinced me, and how to explain why the argument was inescapable.

Continue reading

The simple fact is: God.

Having been¬†thoroughly terrified after watching the¬†Sunset Limited¬†based on¬†Cormac McCarthy’s¬†novel,¬†¬†I thought I should try to actually do a little philosophy in order to (at least?) believe in God again. I do it here in an attempt to keep myself honest in the company of those that do believe.¬†If this doesn’t make much sense, please¬†keep in mind my lingering view of philosophy, and consider this an apologia and a¬†confession.


Some thoughts to set the stage:

‚ÄúI am not a religious man but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view‚ÄĚ. — Ludwig Wittgenstein, noted philosopher.

‚ÄúBut theology is the function of the Church. The church confesses God as it talks about God‚Ķ But in so doing it recognizes and takes up as an active Church the further human task of criticizing and revising its speech about God‚ÄĚ —¬†Karl Barth,¬†noted theologian,¬†Church Dogmatics, 1.1, p. 3.

Continue reading