What’s This Mormon Thing?

Hostile Anti-Mormon posts subject to editing or deletion

Does God Answer Questions?

Posted by JLFuller on August 2, 2008

Some say He is dead or that He doesn’t speak to man anymore. But yet they pray and expect miracles. Some people are very quick to limit God. One lady had her questions answered. http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/exhibit#Jennifer_prayer.

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16 Responses to “Does God Answer Questions?”

  1. Justin said

    God answers questions in His Word, the Bible.

  2. JLFuller said

    Justin
    You are way too easy. Which version? The Latin Vugate, the Greek, the Syriac, the Coptic? How about the one where God’s gender is neutered? How do you know your version was translated correctly? Who translated it and are there passages in there that are not in the others and if so who put them in or left them out and does it matter? If all the answers are in the bible why pray for inspiration? Come on Justin. I think you can do better than that.

  3. JLFuller said

    Justin
    People who visit this site and comment are thinkers. They don’t just parrot back what someone else told them to think.

  4. Justin said

    Simple, the original manuscripts. We do not have the originals, but we know what they say because of the many copies that verify each other.

  5. JLFuller said

    Justin
    I know you are sincere. I don’t doubt that. But the ugly truth of the matter is the manuscripts used to translate the current bible are all post 16th century copies. None of the earliest, i.e. Greek manuscripts were used. That means the manuscripts were actually the Latin Vulgate. Those post-Jerome are in fact copies of each other. Even the Greek version prepared by Erasmus is a hybrid Greek/Vulgate copy. (Ehrman 2005) So, when you make broad statements that require a non-existent authentic canon your words ring hollow. There is no authentic version used by first century Christians, apostles and Christ. That is my point. No religious organization today couches its theological expression with the phrase “…in so far as it is translated correctly” except one. I suggest “God answers questions in His Word, the Bible” is only partially accurate.

    I am not saying the bible is incorrect – far from it. I suggest what you said is more of a slogan than anything else. Finding truth is a process of discovery. Slogans work against the process. It tends to make people dependant on them rather than inspiring them to persevere in the learning process. Such slogans make people comfortable with not knowing. It makes people susceptible to lazy pastors and teachers who have their own parochial agenda or who are unprepared to teach. Slogans rob them of the tools they need to discern reality from propaganda

  6. Justin said

    Ehrman uses the same information I do, but comes to the wrong conclusion. The truth is the many copies allow us to be confident that we know what the originals said.

  7. JLFuller said

    Thanks for responding. If you understand Ehrman how can you say he comes to the wrong conclusion? I think the Idea is to get away from mere opinons and rely on what is avilable to form conclusions. If there is nothing usable before the 1500’s I think we have to consider the historical writers too. 1 Enoch and The Assumption of Moses for example heavily influenced Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, Hebrews, 1 John, Jude and Revelation. (E. Isaac’s interpretation of the Ethiopic Apocalypse of Enoch) http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/transcripts/?id=93.

    The point is, when we run out of genuinely authoritation first person sources we have to look for the next best sources. In the law it is known as the “rule of best evidence”. Certainly work produced by recognized scholars is legitimate to consider. The danger is in looking for work to support preconceptions. Your comment “God answers questions in His Word, the Bible” fits that bill. No legitmate scholar says the evidence supports your contention – at least that I know of. At best you are 95% plus right. The problem is which of the remaining 5% is wrong. And which of the things left out are really important?

  8. JLFuller said

    I am not a scholar and so I have to read the work presented by others to help me form my opinions. I like Ehrman because he has been through the discovery process and done the hard work that I haven’t the talent or inclination to do. I like the work done by many of the writers at The Maxwell Institute because they address the things Mormons find intereting. Even though I am biased I am not blinded by it. I also want to know what others writers have discovered. But I have little use for people whose only intent is to pass on misinformation. If they are prone to spreading disinformation about Mormons they are prone to spreading disinformation about other things too – all their work becomes tainted and suspect. Having a different theological understanding does not automatically mean one is suspect. Refusing to accept new or corrected information does disqualify someone from the ranks of the legitimate.

  9. methodistchick said

    My opinion is that a general answer to a general question was pretty sufficient. I don’t know who many of those people are you mention, but I am very serious about including God in my daily life, and therefore feel pretty qualified to comment on the question. My experience is that by having a continued relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that I usually don’t ask questions. Rather, I attempt to learn from Jesus’ teachings and pray in a fashion that is thoughtful (knowledge in addition to tradition is central to Methodism). There are times to lament and ask desparate questions of the “why me” variety of course. In my own experiences of this type of question, an answer is revealed in my understanding and growth over time. Sometimes on my blog, I may put questions out there for others to answer as the body of Christ and in a somewhat online group worship! I don’t know that my pastor would count that as attendance though :-). Peace.

  10. JLFuller said

    Julie
    Yeah, I suppose you have to show on Sunday to get credit for attending.

  11. JLFuller said

    I have to believe though that failure to seek the best translation of scripture is really a fear response. Just like we shouldn’t take counsel from our fears, we shouldn’t accept another person’s “absolute truth” as all that absolute. If a pastor or teacher or anyone claims to be sole perveyor of knowledge you had better grab your wallet.

  12. JLFuller said

    The people we should seek out are the ones who say life is all about learning and that it continues all our life and from generation to generation. It only makes sense to this old country boy that God has our best interest at heart and understands that our times and conditions change and what happened before may not fit today or in the future. His eternal principles remain constant but how we apply them may evolve. Limiting God seems foolish to me. But it isn’t foolish to doubt the understanding of mankind. In fact it only makes sense. I suppose that is why Mormonism makes such intellectual sense to me.

  13. JLFuller said

    Julie
    “I don’t know who many of those people are you mention…” The writer I mentioned above, Ehrman, is Dr. Bart Ehrman, a professor at the U of North Carolina Chapel Hill in the religion department and author of many fine books about Christianity. He is a widely respected religious history thinker. But he is not swayed by the “me too”-isms of most Evangelicals and graduates of trade school seminaries and diploma mills. He got his Ph.D from Princeton I believe, not Uncle Elmo’s bait shop and Bible School so you may never see him on the TV religion channels. And you won’t see him hawking vacation condos at his new “Bible Study Retreat”.

  14. methodistchick said

    So, I’m 2 months late, but just saw the responses to my note… I’m still getting accustomed to this blogging… So, what strikes me is the # of responses to what I wrote. Was I that disruptive? I felt that I was pretty straightforward and open. However, am I presenting a too narrow minded statements, are you, are we both?

    Sincerely

  15. Julie
    You were just fine. Express yourself and your understanding as much as you like. The only caveate is that you bring your very best thinking shoes. The trap most commenters I read fall into is the one where they beleive their pastors. Understand one thing – a pastor’s pay check is all too often dependant on keeping a large congregation paying tithes and offerings. he can’t go outside the limits set by those who provide his paycheck. It is called the “priestcraft” in Mormon circles. His/her job is dependant on either beating up on someone else or keeping his interpreting of the gospel within acceptable guidelines even at the expense of thinking things through. That is why it is important to know and understand God’s true way of reading scripture which is to read, study and pray about what you read asking for guidance as to what is correct and what is not. This learning process works best when you apply it to everything you are studying including secular things.

    I suggest that in the end you will also discover that your understanding is enhancced by living the gospel exactly. You wiull discover that those who teach to read the bible for every onaswer don’t tell you the bible is inaccurate and has been edited and interpreted incorrectly and leaves much of the gospel out.

    You said “I attempt to learn from Jesus’ teachings and pray in a fashion that is thoughtful “. I ask just how far are you willing to go in disscovering what the truth is? If it stops at what you have been told all your life and no farther then I suggest you are only interested in the easy stuff and those things that do not make you uncomfortable. For example, what would you do if/when you discover that even within the four gospels that there is serious disagreement about such things as salvation for the dead who never heard of Christ and His gospel? Did we have a pre-mortal life where we lived with God the Father, is the Trinitarian view of one amalgamated God actually true and does it matter? The answers to these things have eternal consequenses.

  16. methodistchick said

    I agree on the thinking shoes. I also understand that there are many “lenses” to view and read the same subject. With that in mind, I believe I’m doing a pretty good job at staying open. As far as the truth on pre-mortal life and the trinity, it is a continuing journey filled with the Holy Spirit.

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