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It’s Yet Another Lost Key Miracle – With More Than One Positive Result

I went to the grocery store today.  I grabbed a burger on the way and ate it in the parking lot.  I threw the wrapper away and went into the store.  After I put the grocery bags into the back of the car, I took my keys out of my pocket and noticed that the ignition key was missing.  How could this be?  I had the key chain, but the ignition key was gone.

Continue reading ‘It’s Yet Another Lost Key Miracle – With More Than One Positive Result’

Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Eating with Sinners (Matt. 9)

I have made a series of posts reviewing the book of Matthew to see if Christ taught a gospel that demanded that his followers must be tolerant of any and all behaviors (as some claim).  So far, this effort has shown that this is not the case at all.  See previous posts here.

Continue reading ‘Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Eating with Sinners (Matt. 9)’

Kierkegaard on Practice in Christianity (SMPT Topic?)

In October there will be the annual meeting of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology at Brigham Young University.  The topic is “Doers of the Word:  Belief and Practice“.   The topic motivated me to review Kierkegaard’s short work, “Practice in Christianity“, and I wonder if a Mormon take on this essay could work for a paper.

To give some of the highlights, Kierkegaard speaks of faith coming in opposition to the possibility of offense at Christ as the God-man.  This offense can come in two forms, one at the loftiness of Christ, the other at the lowliness of Christ.  If one starts out accepting the God who is Christ, they may be offended at the lowliness of the life of Jesus.  Additionally if one is familiar with the mortal condition of Jesus, the may be offended at the loftiness of Christ as the Son of God.

The bulk of the Kierkegaard essay seems to center on the risk of those who center on the loftiness, and turn into admirers rather than imitators of Christ.  They distance themselves from the object of Christ, and mostly speak of observations or personal remarks regarding the Savior.  Kierkegaard suggests we should instead be imitators or followers of Christ, and treat Christ as the subject rather than the object.  Thus, Christ has ears to hear and eyes to see if we are genuinely following Him in imitation worship rather than admiration worship.  Thus Christ becomes the prototype who is lowly enough to be imitated, yet lofty enough to bring all mankind unto Him.

I think this essay would resonate with most Mormons, with the exception of Kierkegaard rejection of the kinship between God and man.  Thus I feel that Mormonism makes an even stronger case for imitation, and thus practice in Christianity.  If I were to pursue a paper on this, I would try to persuade the audience that Kierkegaard was right about imitation worship in Christianity, and that Mormonism, which embraces the kinship with Christ makes an even stronger case.  And that such imitation is the basis for religious practice.

I welcome any comments or thoughts on such an effort.

Sin and Self-Loathing

I have seen several comments on various threads that connect the preaching against a sinful behavior from a church, to the self-loathing of a church member who engages in this behavior.  I feel that this connection and result are not necessary, and that more healthy responses from the believer are readily available.

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Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: The Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7)

As I continue my review of the gospel of Matthew and what is says, and does not say, about what Christianity demands regarding unconditional love and absolute tolerance, I come to the sermon on the mount.  My motivation for this effort is claims that Christianity ought to be nearly a ‘anything goes’ religion regarding sinful behavior.  As you might suspect, I consider the sermon on the mount to be something of a ‘home run’ in making my point that Christ did not teach a ‘anything goes’ type of gospel.

Continue reading ‘Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: The Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7)’

Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Matt 4

As I start my review of Chapter 4 to see if Christianity demands absolute tolerance as many seem to think it does, I wanted to explain a little what I mean by absolute tolerance.  I am all for tolerance which compels us to respect all people.  I am also all for tolerance which compels us to be kind to all people.  But in this context, absolute tolerance would mean that we must treat all beliefs and behaviors as perfectly acceptable in the eyes of God.  This seems to me to be what many advocates of various causes claim that Christianity demands.  And it is quite frequent that I see evidence that what many seem to want is an anything goes version of Christianity which I think is in complete opposition to what Christ actually taught.

Continue reading ‘Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Matt 4’

Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Matt. 3

In my introductory post I addressed what I feel is a misunderstanding by the general public about Christianity, namely that Christianity demands absolute tolerance for all behavior because it teaches unconditional love.  I refute the idea that Christ taught a ‘anything goes’ gospel.  I have chosen to do this by working through the book of Matthew with this purpose in mind.

Continue reading ‘Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Matt. 3’


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