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

What Is “Mormon Doctrine?”

In my first post I discussed why God was concerned with creating creeds and using them as a test of one’s allegiance to God. In my last post I explained what it means to not have creeds and gave examples of the LDS Church following that pattern. I am now prepared to tackle the question of “What is Mormon Doctrine?” To outsiders, our doctrines must seem slippery or downright fluid. It’s impossible to pin us down on anything that they care about!

What informed (semi-informed?) outsiders want to know is what our specific teachings are on all the juicy subjects they’ve heard through the anti-Mormon grapevine:

  • Was Mary really a virgin?
  • Did God once live on another planet and live a sinful life?
  • Do Mormons secretly worship other gods?
  • Do Mormons want to take over the world?
  • Do men in the LDS Church get to decide if their wives are resurrected or not?
  • Why were African Americans banned from the priesthood?

I can’t say that I blame them. Thanks to our Evangelical neighbors, a half-true version (and by this I mean “a lie”) of many of our “doctrines” has long since leaked out. Worse yet, every juicy statement made by our 19th century leaders has been carefully combed through for any bombs and all have been dropped.

Continue reading