The “Mormon Matters” Theology

Back on October 29, 2011, I wrote a post attempting to summarize the “Theological Liberal” narrative “as it saw itself” and therefore tried to write about it in a wholly positive way as best I could.

But that post really only touched on the points of Liberal Theology that are considered the most positive aspects and are typically trotted out for public consumption.

As I did this post on John Dehlin, the thought occurred to me that my understanding of Liberal Theology came substantially from my time at Mormon Matters. The three biggest influences were Clay Whipkey and John Hamer – the two “open” theological liberals that didn’t mind talking about their beliefs – and John Dehlin himself, who is not as open, but not exactly closed either. John, in particular, pointed me to Karen Armstrong’s book, which taught me quite a bit. (See also my comprehensive response to her book.) Continue reading

Why Did You Resign (from Mormon Matters)? – Side #1 vs. Side #2 and the We Attack / You Defend Model of Dialogue

football-hike-600x250In my last post I talked about the inherent imbalance in negative and positive posts on Mormon Matters. Even if there were equal numbers of them, the types of negative posts had a lot more emotional punch than the positive ones because negatives always have more inherent punch than positives.

In this post, I want to expand on this idea a bit by asking the question “whose side are you on?”.  What do we even mean by “sides”?

And since this is a long post, I should let you know that I issues challenges to John Dehlin and Sunstone at the end, once I’ve laid the foundation for my case.

There Are No Sides. Let’s Build Bridges Instead.

One of the cultural tenets of Mormon Matters (and often even the Bloggernacle as a whole) is that we do not have sides. We are all Mormons whether culturally or by belief. I have already expressed my concerns with this aspect of Bloggernacle culture, at least in some cases. Further, it’s only true when it’s true. John Dehlin would regularly talk openly about “believers and unbelievers alike”, though the preferred language is to speak of “spectrums” of belief (a term I find misleading at best, as many factors of belief are literally off or on). [1] Continue reading

What John Dehlin Really Thinks

John DehlinAs I mentioned in my last post on John Dehlin, he is hesitant to say too much about what he really believes, likely for fear it might undermine his cause. Even in the comments on my recent post there were some that claimed that wasn’t the case. But recently there seems to have been a change on this front for John. Here are some recent quotes from John.

Ordaining women….LGBT rights…..historical acknowledgment/candor — those are all very important steps for the LDS church that have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of latter-day saints across the globe. I acknowledge this from the outset.

But from where I sit, they are all merely window dressing to the real issue.

Is the LDS church really what it claims to be — “…the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased?” Continue reading

Why Did You Resign (from Mormon Matters)? Continued at Last

Way back on September 25 of 2012, I started a series of posts called “Why Did You Resign (from Mormon Matters)?”  where I started to explain why I left Mormon Matters and came to Millennial Star.

And then I was forced to stop blogging due to personal reasons. Recently I returned to blogging (at least temporarily) because I had recruited Meg Stout to Millennial Star to do her excellent posts on Joseph Smith and polygamy and wanted to be supportive of her.

But before I disappeared I had nearly finished part 4 of that series. (With at least one more part, possibly more, still planned.) So very soon I’ll be publishing part 4 which, as it turns out, is the single most important part of my explanation for why I left Mormon Matters.

And as with all of my opinions, I promise it will be colorful. But this one will be particularly divisive because I’m going challenge the entire paradigm of “dialogue” as currently implemented by Mormon Stories and Sunstone and similar groups. So get ready for a controversy and possibly a Bloggernacling. ;-)

But since its been so long, here is your chance to review what I previously wrote:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Was I DIsrupting Mormon Matter’s Real Purpose?

Part 3: The Question of Balance

 

Incomprehensible vs Contradiction

I wrote this post way back at the time of Mormon Matters and never published it. I’m throwing it up for fun with only a little bit of tweaking. I probably would handle this different today. For example, I no longer consider the creedal Trinity to be a contradiction per se, but rather to be a set of undefined statements that are used in contradictory ways so as to claim all attempts to understand the Biblical Trinity doctrine are really just forms of polytheism or modalism. But the point I make here is still worthy of some discussion.

I’ve written a lot of posts directly or indirectly dealing with the traditional Creedal Trinity Doctrine. I’ve made the assertion several times that the Trinity Doctrine is a contradiction, not just an incomprehensible paradox.

I wish to give a primer on the difference between something being incomprehensible vs. a contradiction.

Now obviously a contradiction is also incomprehensible. Consider this list of statements:

  • Joe is      a man and
  • Joe is      a woman
  • A man      can never be a woman

These statements, collectively, are incomprehensible because they are a contradiction. Unless I am tricking you by equivocating (i.e. using different definitions for the same word) in some way, the above statements are a contradiction. Continue reading