Posts Tagged 'Religion'

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’

Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance

I have been stuck in recent years about how there seems to be what I would say is a misunderstanding about Christianity in the general public.  This misunderstanding is that Christianity is all about complete tolerance of any behavior.  The argument might go something like this:

P1 – Christianity teaches unconditional love.
P2 –  To love unconditionally means you must be absolutely tolerant of all behaviors
C1 –  Christianity must treat all behaviors as perfectly acceptable.

For me, the disagreement comes with P2.  It is of course possible to love someone, in spite of their sinful behavior.  This is another way of stating the familiar ‘hating the sin yet loving the sinner’.  In this circumstance, I think it is important to keep in mind that love comes in many forms, and that at times loving the sinner may require speaking out against the sin.

Did Christ really teach a gospel that required followers to always show absolute tolerance in a way that demanded treating all behaviors as perfectly acceptable?  I would say the answer to this is a firm no.

Please feel free to share you thoughts on the above.  I am planning to go through one of the gospels, probably Matthew, to review Christ’s teachings and how they relate to claims of teaching absolute tolerance of any behavior.  Or put another way, did Christ teach an ‘Anything Goes‘ gospel.

Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 3

I now move on to part three. As with parts one and two, I will only focus on the theological explanations McMurrin gives of Mormonism. The topics in this part (the concept on man) seem much more difficult to me, and it will be a challenge for me to write this review.

Continue reading ‘Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 3′

Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 2

Part 2 of McMurrin’s ‘The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion’ has to do with the concept of God. Once again I will ignore the historical background and the comparisons McMurrin makes with Catholic and Protestant belief, and will only focus on the Mormon theology.

Continue reading ‘Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 2′

Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 1

Sterling McMurrin was invited to give a series of lectures at four institutions of higher learning in Utah about the philosophical underpinnings of the Mormon religion. At about the same time, Ohio State University requested that the church present a lecture on Mormonism. Harold B. Lee asked McMurrin to present these lectures to fulfill the request. These lectures are available in the book ‘The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion’. I have read this book a couple of times and have really enjoyed it. I would like to outline the book to help me keep some of the ideas straight, and as a way to recommend the book to friends and family.

Continue reading ‘Reviewing McMurrin’s Theological Foundations: Part 1′

Those Efficient Nephite Coins

I once read, and I do not remember where, that the Nephite coin system was the most efficient coin system possible. I think it might have been an old FARMS paper or something. I am a bit skeptical of such a claim, because proving something like that would be quite a mathematical feat. And once one set up the equations or simulations they well may have stacked things in favor of the system in question.

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Alma the (Calvinist?) Younger

Most members of the church are quite familiar with the conversion story of Alma the Younger as found in Alma chapter 36 of the Book of Mormon.  It is a beautiful conversion story which provides a great example of a few steps of the repentance process.  It may also be a favorite story for many parents who have a wayward child that they hope will someday return to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It seems to me that this story, as written, could also be read as an example of Calvinist beliefs in action.  To illustrate this I would like to highlight what I see as key points of this conversion story:

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Paul, James, Faith and Works

I have enjoyed the New Testament course of study in Gospel Doctrine this year. One of the things which has added to my enjoyment is following along in the book, ‘Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament’ by Holzapfel, Huntsman, and Wayment. Last week I was glad to be able to read some about the book of James.

Continue reading ‘Paul, James, Faith and Works’


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