Month: May 2009

Do you see the rimrock behind the barn??!!

Click here to see this picture!  You must.

Just over 20 years ago, the summer of 1988, I spent at Grandpa and Grandma’s house.  I painted that red barn back then (laughing).   Actually at one point while sitting on the roof, I held grandpa’s legs while he painted below an eave (We did it while grandma wasn’t looking).

But up on the rim rock behind the barn, I will never forget the experience of the Holy Spirit inflaming my heart passions for preaching the Word of God.  It was a spiritual, subjective experience that echoes now mightily in my heart.

One day, I crossed the bridge over the creek.  I walked through those fields behind the barn.  I hiked up to the top of the ridge.  I sat down with my Bible.  And God made it absolutely clear to me that He wanted me to preach the Word.

I was scared back then.

Still am. 

Glory to God! 

Looking at the picture puts goosebumps on my arms this evening.

thinking of heart issues,

Elon Todd Wood

Chapter 2 in Of God and Gods, Vol. 3 (2008) by Blake Ostler

Chapter 2 – “Monotheism and the Council of God(s)”

I have been sick but not very sleepy – perfect timing to finish reading last night chapter 2 of the third volume in Blake’s series.   But the chapter did not make me feel any better.  I read the chapter and all the end notes.

From the ill spud in Idaho, here are some quick, initial highlights and questions: (more…)

Know your LDS boundaries, friends: open theism minus creatio ex nihilo

Am I practicing boundary maintainence?  Or is Blake Ostler?

“It may appear that open theism emerges as the only viable alternative for a theology that seek to maintain that: (1) we are free to choose whether to return God’s love with our own love; and (2) God is not directly culpable for evil events and choices.  Both of these features seem to me to be essential to any sound religious worldview.  Because open theists affirm that God has a general plan but not complete foreknowledge or sovereign control, they can apparently escape the implications of Calvinism and Thomism regarding divin causality and Molinism regarding middle knowledge.  It appears that open theism alone can affirm that God’s plan does not entail that persons are not free and that God is responsible for our evil acts” (emphasis mine, in Blake’s Vol. 2, pp. 409-410).

Clark Pinnock would maintain that Calvinists defy logic:  “It should be clear to the reader why the number of strict Calvinists is relatively small.  It involves one in agonizing difficulties of the first order.  It makes God some kind of terrorist who goes around handing out torture and disaster and even willing people to do things the Bible says that God hates.”

Blake Ostler would maintain that open theists defy logic if they believe in creatio ex nihilo.

Logic . . . it is a handy tool, isn’t it?

What is your soteriology (as explained by Blake Ostler)?

Any of these?

“Calvinism.  We can do absolutely nothing;  God does everything for some as a matter of grace to save them from their culpability for original and actual sins and either leaves others to damnation (single predestination) or specifically decrees the damnation of others (double predestination).

Arminianism.  On our own, we can make no move whatsoever toward God.  God must turn us and draw us; however, God gives us prevenient grace that regenerates the fallen will so that we can say “yes” or “no.”  We cannot reach for the gift of salvation or grasp it on our own after regeneration; but we can either accept it or reject it.”

Semi-Pelagianism.  We can take only the first step in God’s direction, but we must be aided by God in this step and then God carries us to salvation.

Pelagianism.  We have all of the resources necessary to have faith and earn salvation.  We can perfect ourselves and no special grace is needed to do so.”

- Blake T. Ostler, Exploring Mormon Thought (Vol. 2): The Problems of Theism and the Love of God, p. 367

Three-person’d God

I like Anglicans.  Here are the rich words of one in “Holy Sonnet XIV: Batter My Heart”:

Batter my heart, three-person’d God; for you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me and bend

Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new.

I, like an usurpt town, to another due,

Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,

Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,

But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,

But am betroth’d unto your enemy:

Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,

Take me to you, imprison me, for I

Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.