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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : God’s Dilemma » God’s Dilemma

God’s Dilemma

Don - June 26, 2007

It’s off to non-mormon bible study tonight. I have a difficult time understanding what the non-mormon world – born agains etc. – believe about why man was created.

I understand that some think God wanted fellowship. He was somehow lonely and created man so He would have someone to associate with. That being so, why create man with agency? But since He did give man agency, didn’t God realize that man would sin? What does it matter? Why does man have to be redeemed from the fall just to have fellowship with God. Why can’t He have fellowship with “inferior” beings. (I associate with riff-raff and sinners and it doesn’t bother me!)

If it’s more than fellowship, and our end fate is to go to heaven to sing praises to God and worship Him, doesn’t that say something about God? That a God would need worship, so He creates man so He can have that need filled? What kind of God is that?

What about the thought that God isn’t anything like us. In their beliefs He is this spirit, ether, energy, combo God or whatever. Why would a God like that create a creature like us that is so foreign to His own being? And then want that unusual creation to come into His presence?

I just don’t find much logic in their thinking. There seems to be too many holes in their beliefs.

The more I think about what others believe about the reasons for our creation, the more I realize that the gospel provides the only answers. Not only are they logical answers, they just feel right too!

16 Comments »

  1. “Those who ask why a perfect God would create a universe that contains evil have missed an even bigger conundrum -

    Why would a perfect God create a universe at all?”

    anon

    Comment by Seth R. — June 26, 2007 @ 11:12 am

  2. I agree with the gist of this post. I attend evangelical bible study weekly.

    There idea of living in heaven and praising Jesus thru song for eternity leaves me cold (and bored).

    Comment by bbell — June 26, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

  3. Seth, thanks, I guess I had never thought of that thought

    Comment by Don Clifton — June 26, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

  4. bbell, I can’t sing, so it’s even worse for me. I don’t get how people think that even sounds like a “reward” for living good here. I guess Hell is so bad, that singing must be good.

    Comment by Don Clifton — June 26, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

  5. There are more fundamental problems than this–most churches think The Fall was a bad thing, in fact the worst possible thing that happened in all of human history.

    Yet, this implies God created a garden, and then created a tree in the middle of the garden that would have such disastrously bad effects on mankind, and then *left man alone* to eat from it–kind of like giving a 2-year-old a nuclear weapon with a great big red ‘activate’ button and telling him ‘um, try not to push that…it would be bad’.

    If the Fall wasn’t God’s will, you don’t think He could have come up with a better plan for protecting it? (Why did it even exist in the first place?)

    Frankly, the LDS interpretation is the only interpretation of the Fall I’ve heard that seems to make sense…

    Comment by KMB — June 26, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

  6. Kinda makes you surprised there aren’t more atheists, huh.

    Comment by Susan M — June 26, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

  7. KMB, your point is well taken, if God didn’t want man to know good from evil then why the tree, if He did then the fall was planned.

    Comment by Don Clifton — June 26, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

  8. To follow up. Whenever mainline Christians start talking about “perfection” as an attribute of God, I keep wanting to say “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Mainline Christianity takes its view of “perfection” from grafting Plato’s concept of the forms – namely the form of Good onto the language of the Bible. The idea is that there is some static, unchanging, self-sufficient, and self-justifying entity out there which is God. Since there can only be one ideal, there can only be one God. Since He is perfect, He cannot share His divinity or power with anyone else (since more for me would mean less for Him). Since He is perfect, He cannot ever change.

    It’s an interesting idea and a lot of philosophical hay has been made from it. But I essentially think it amounts to one of those silly logic puzzles that tricks you into a nonsensical answer. It’s a fun intellectual exercise, but pretty-much worthless for practical religion.

    The holes in the Platonic model of Christianity become apparent when one asks the very question asked in comment #1 -

    Why would a perfect being need to create a universe?

    He’s already perfect. Why change things? By the very same Greek logic mainline Christianity is stuck with, we have to conclude that if God was already perfect, any alteration of that state would mean things were no longer perfect. If you accept the Greek logic construct of God, He cannot change. Not now, not ever. Which would mean that the moment He messed around with things and created the universe, perfection was shattered, and God was no longer God.

    Thanks Plato. Wonderful corner you’ve painted us into.

    So I repeat, I don’t not think perfection means what you think it means.

    Now, if only I could master that urge to challenge every Southern Baptist I meet to a left-handed duel…

    Comment by Seth R. — June 26, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

  9. Seth,

    You mean a cave. Plato has painted us into a cave…and I’m afraid of those shadows!

    Truman G Madsen said one of the greatest tragedies that ever came to Christianity was its marriage to Greek philosophy. Amen to that! Even though greek philosophy has some great things to it and all (the Divine Comedy does a great job with it, though of course still badly flawed), the Gospel is much better coming through revelation:)

    Comment by Bret — June 26, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

  10. I’m just worried someone with more than a passing knowledge of philosophy is going to wander in here and call me out on my butchering of Plato in that comment.

    Comment by Seth R. — June 26, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

  11. Greek and Greco-Roman philosophy already did have some overlap with Judeo-Christian beliefs (it even overlaps some of the restored gospel beliefs), before apostate Christianity started adopting paganism, and some other points of Greek philosophy which didn’t overlap.

    Case in point is Stoicism. Read Epictetus, both _The Enchiridion_ and _100 Golden Sayings_. The Enchiridion helped me understand some points of the gospel that I was missing. Both of those are online, in several different translations, including at Project Gutenburg.
    http://www.gutenberg.org

    Comment by Bookslinger — June 27, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  12. God definitely did not create the world because he was bored and lonely. In Protestant thought, God was in perfect, loving community as a Trinity. His creation was an outpouring of that love. Much like married couples who decide to have children. They enjoy their family and want to extend it to others (who happen to be made in their image

    Heaven won’t be just sitting on a cloud singing songs to God. That idea not only exposes a shallow view of Heaven, it also exposes a shallow idea of worship.

    Comment by Dando — June 27, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

  13. Dando (#12):

    In Mormon thought God’s creation is an outpouring of love extended to His children and a purpose that they, since they are made in His image, progress to enjoy the fullness of that family relationship.

    Heaven won’t be sitting on a cloud. It will be, at its best, a continuation of that outpouring of love as a perfect family.

    Comment by Mondo Cool — June 28, 2007 @ 7:31 am

  14. Ironically, I think the Mormon god is crueller. If we’re going to ask “what kind of God does X?”, then what kind of God only prepares the best heaven (the only one where He will be) that is segregated based on marriageability and sexuality? The majority of human beings will never attain “celestial marriage” or “celestial families”, and yet they’re expected to have that if they ever want to live forever with God.

    Comment by Rhonda — June 29, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  15. Rhonda (#14):

    I’m not sure how “marriageability and sexuality” constitute cruelty on God’s part?
    What is your basis for saying that “the majority of human beings will never attain ‘celestial marriage’ or ‘celestial families?’”
    And, even if true that a majority will never attain, the question then becomes “why.” Did they not attain it because God somehow stacked the deck against them, or because they chose not to attain it?
    What should “the best heaven… be based on” and do we really get to dictate the terms?

    Comment by Mondo Cool — June 29, 2007 @ 7:17 am

  16. Not to be a downer, but I have to say it seems like you guys are making a typically Mormon caricature of Christianity, and throwing terms around that don;t necessarily mean what you think they mean.

    “Born agains” do not- do not- represent even a majority opinion among the extremely diverse, centuries-old collection of Christians.

    Evangelicals do not represent all Protestants.

    Mainline is not the same thing as Evangelical. At all.

    To me, this is characteristic of one of the saddest things about Mormonism and the rest of Christianity- Mormons simply don’t get it. They generally don’t even have a passing knowledge of what the different denoinations and movements in Christianity are about. They don’t understand the different mindsets and worldviews that Christians take.

    In my experience, the picture that Mormons have of the rest of Christendom consists of

    1. a caricature of 19th-century frontier revival Protestantism (from Church history, etc.)
    2. a distorted understanding of born-agains and fundamentalists
    3. a caricature of the Roman Catholic Church

    and those together paint an extremely misleading picture of what modern Christianity is all about.

    Do you not realizee that there are almost 2000 years of incredibly educated, intelligent, and articulate theologians and scholars thinking about the hard questions of life, God,the universe, and everything? And you really think the best they’ve come up with it “because God was bored?”

    Comment by Kullervo — June 29, 2007 @ 10:57 am

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