Defending the Faith: The divinity of Christ is absolute


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  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 5:08 p.m.

    Sharrona:Jesus is described as the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being.
    LDS4:Yep & Col. 1:15,16;Heb. 1:3 agree thereby show that Christ is NOT THE God, just a perfect representation thereof.

    Sharrona: The word Arche has been understood as either “beginning” or “ruler” in (Rev.3:14)
    LDS4: Agreed, but LDS believe both are correct while Trinitarians reject one. Why did John use a word with 2 meanings when he only meant 1, especially when so many other single words, reflecting only the “ruler” meaning existed?

    S:1Cor.8:6 - there is ONE God, the Father and ONE Lord, Jesus. God the Son is the dynamic one ..
    L:But the verse shows there is only 1 God, the Father. That, combined with all of the verses that have Christ and Paul claiming that the Father is the God of Christ and that Christ himself rejects the idea that he is God (Jn. 10:30-39), and that Christ will inherit things from the Father, the idea that Christ is equal to the Father is laughable.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Dec. 17, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    @ Tyler D: Please, at the same time, realize that to equate Mormons with 9-11 hijackers is uncalled for.

    First, a sincere expression of faith is not fanatical or insane, and to suggest that it is goes in the face of modern psychology as well as sincere believers in a religion.

    In fact, the 9-11 hijackers cannot even be classified as truly Muslim. Their fanatical tie of religion to regional politics is more the latter than the former.

    Are outsiders offended by the sincere expressions of faith given by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Why? If it is because they are otherwise honest people who have somehow come to believe that religion is evil and not to be trusted, we can certainly help them to see otherwise. If it is because they have long ago made the decision to hate religion or a specific religion, then we are sorry they feel we're being divisive, but it would not be good policy for us to give up our obligation to bear witness of what we know to be true to accommodate those who would hate us anyway.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 17, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    Tyler D: It really doesn't matter whether you are of my faith or even a Christian. Fact is that Jesus Christ is the the absolute Savior of the world. In the latter days before the second coming of Christ there will be only two Churches on earth. Either they will be followers of Jesus Christ or they will not, but followers of Satan. Just as it is written it shall be fulfilled just as all prophesies concerning Jesus Christ has occurred. The 9/11 highjackers were followers of Islam, yet Islam in and of itself is a peaceful religion. They failed to follow the real teachings of their beloved Prophet just as many Christians have failed to follow the real teachings of Jesus Christ. Until the world returns to a moral world as described in the Bible, we will continue to have atrosities as you mention. I don't fear the world as it is today because I know it is only the beginning of ushering in the time when the Savior of the world shall return.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 17, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska – “Scientist I must thoroughly disagree with you. The divinity of Jesus Christ as Savior,Redeemer, Lord, King of Kings, the only begotten son of God in the Flesh, and our mediator with the Father is ABSOLUTE. There is no one else.”

    Bill, I wish you could hear your comments from the perspective of someone who does not share your faith, and feel how divisive it sounds. Having faith is fine but statements like these do little to foster Christ-like love and goodwill. I truly fear for our world when I read things like this, because the tone and zealous certainty is precisely what we heard from the nineteen 9-11 highjackers. Please think about this…

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    %Bill in Nebraska: Your language is incorrect; one really dosen't know, one believes and may have strong faith in his beleive. It is all this knowing business that is so un-Christ like that causes the enmity among the different religions. Demonstrate your believe in Christ like behavior and you have more credibility.

    %Twin Lights: In religion everything is disputable and nothing is absolulte.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 16, 2012 4:24 p.m.


    Never trust feelings? Not what I have learned (and well outside of the religious context).

    We defend Christ out of fear? So, if one of your family is (in your view) unjustly criticized and you defend him, is that out of fear Or out of love and loyalty?

    A Scientist,

    The infallible evidence of the Holy Ghost is talking to him. The same as for other folks.

    BTW, it’s not that the taste of salt needs no explanation, but rather that it is hard to explain because it is so basic (sort of like defining the word “the”).

    Despite your making it sound confusing, the godhead is really not all that tough. As to the Holy Ghost, we know what we know.

    Please. Within Mormon doctrine, the divinity of both Christ and the Holy Ghost are definite and indisputable.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 16, 2012 3:42 p.m.

    Scientist I must thoroughly disagree with you. The divinity of Jesus Christ as Savior,Redeemer, Lord, King of Kings, the only begotten son of God in the Flesh, and our mediator with the Father is ABSOLUTE. There is no one else. Just as most Christians believe the Holy Spirit of God to be the Holy Ghost. We know that the Holy Ghost is the third personage of the Godhead. Does it really matter whether the Holy Ghost is male or female? The thing we know is that the Holy Ghost TESTIFIES of both the Father and the Son to all who diligently seek to know. The Holy Ghost also TESTIFIES of all spiritual truth. Whether you want to believe this is irrelevant. Whether you want to have faith in this is irrelevant. The only person who can save you from eternal damnation is you and only you.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    Wonderful article Dan. Thank you.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 16, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    I love the way religious "feelings" tell us what is true and what is not. One thing I have learned over the years is never, ever trust "feelings".
    I dare suggest most that defend religion and Christ do so out of fear. I don't think I have to explain that either.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 15, 2012 9:25 p.m.

    The Holy Ghost is offered as the most "infallible" evidence of the existence of god, the divinity of Jesus, and the "truth" of the BOM and the LDS Church.

    But what is the infallible evidence of the Holy Ghost? Or any one person's experience of the HG?

    If the HG is evidence of itself (I.e., "the taste of salt" needs no explanation), then why does the Father need an inter-mediating deity between himself and man? For practical purposes, this makes the HG the most powerful and supreme deity, or at least the most relevant, in the LDS theohierarchy.

    So you pray to the Father instead of Jesus or the HG, in order to get a "testimony" that comes through the HG, but not through Jesus or the Father, and the "knowledge" of the Father and Jesus is indirect whereas the experience with/of the HG is direct and self-evident, yet the HG is the third member of the godhead about whom Mormons know the least!

    Is the HG a man or woman? A pre-mortal spirit or a resurrected but disembodied demigod?

    Neither the "divinity" of Jesus nor the HG is remotely "absolute" in Mormonism.

  • Arizona Rocks Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 15, 2012 9:21 p.m.

    I love my savior Jesus Christ who is the son of Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit testifies of the truthfulness of my statement. Yes, I too have had two way conversations with God our Heavenly Father. Holy prophets throughout the ages have seen and spoke to our Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ. They created this beautiful world for us to live in and gave us our freedom to choose for ourselves how we will live and conduct ourselves in our lives, and yes including whether we want to believe in God our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost or not.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 5:49 p.m.

    To,lds4gaymarriage,. Who is the image of “the Invisible God”’ the* firstborn
    (prototokos) of all creation(Col 1:15 NIV )

    1.God is invisible 2.In Heb 1:3 . Jesus is described as the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being.

    The Greek in Rev. 3:14, The word Arche has been understood as either “beginning” or “ruler” in that passage as well, a strong connection in the prologue to John’s Gospel (1:2-4.
    1Cor.8:6 - there is ONE God, the Father and ONE Lord, Jesus. God the Son is the
    dynamic one , whom with the Father all things came into existence.
    (John1:3),(Col 1:16)

    RE: Tyler D Jesus was the’ Son of Man.’ Son of Man is a Messianic title.
    7:13). “…Are you the Messiah,.., "I am," said Jesus. "… the Son of Man sitting at the
    right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven(Mark
    14:61-62)verse 64-65 ,the priest say ,(blasphemy). Jesus claims to be God. See
    Rev 1:7.

  • GPalmz Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 14, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    Another great article, Dan. Well done, as usual.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 14, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    @Twin Lights –

    To the Jews of Jesus’ time, all the children of Israel were “sons & daughters” of God, which I guess would square with Mormonism – so “point” for LDS. But no doubt very few acted like it, so Jesus really stood out. The examples you cite could simply mean that the people recognized that Jesus had realized fully his divine nature.

    I think there’s some truth to your point about the gospels telling essentially the same story to different audiences. But interpretation is everything is there is no way of knowing how the author’s meant what they said or even if they fully understood Jesus. For example, the Gospel of John has very different meaning if interpreted mystically rather than literally (which tends to emphasize belief over a change in consciousness). And since the author is the same guy who wrote Revelations (a most mystical work) I question the wisdom and accuracy of the literal interpretations that have been passed down for 2000 years.

    Be that as it may, I appreciate your civil response… it added nicely to the discussion.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Dec. 14, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    I have enjoyed all of the differing perspectives supplied by each of you fine scholars.

    I am no scholar, nor will I pretend to be.

    I was surprised to see the comments that argued that the LDS do not consider Jesus to be divine. I have spent over 40+ years as an LDS member and had not heard this claim before today, nor have I thought Christ was anything other than devine.

    And to "brokenclay": Without disparagement intended, I would counter that Deut. 32:17 is not "clear that other gods are actually demons." In reading the entire chapter, I think what is "clear" is that God (big "G") was upset with the Israelites because they had created "new gods" (little "g") whom they were worshipping and making sacrifices to instead of Him, who was/is the God (big "G") of their fathers. These specific "gods" the Israelites were worshipping were who he was calling devils. The chapter does not say their are not Gods (big "G"). You may still believe that based on other studies you have done, but this chapter does not provide the "clear" definitive statement that you think it does.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    Sharonna, prototokos/firstborn refers to being both #1 in rank and chronology. The same as “arche” (Rev.3:14). If Paul (or John in Rev.3:14) wanted to only refer to Christ’s rank, without implying that Christ was a created Being, could have used "archegos" (Strong's word #747). Other possible substitutes include - "aitios"/#159, "rhiza/#4491, "kefalay"/#2776, "kitso"/#2936 or "ktistes"/#2939. They could have chosen "arkone"/#758. It occurs 37 times, all in a "ruler" context.

    Col.1:15 calls Christ the IMAGE of God. See also Heb.1:3. He portrays God to us, but isn’t THE God.

    1Cor.8:6 - there is ONE God, the Father and ONE Lord, Jesus.

    Heb.1:8,9 has God calling Jesus God, but calls Himself Jesus’ God. The Father is referred to as Jesus’ God by Jesus and Paul several times.

    Rom. 8:16,17 – we’re heirs of God, like Christ. What does the Father have the Son doesn’t if both are equally God?

    The pagan influenced Creeds teach “another Gospel” and “another Jesus”.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 14, 2012 11:10 a.m.


    Of course Mormonism does believe that other groups had better insights than those that survived Nicaea.

    I have read the gospels a few times (though I am no scholar). I think they are addressed to different audiences but tell essentially the same story. The details vary by author and target audience (logical).

    In Matthew 16 Peter declares Jesus to be "the Christ, the Son of the Living God". In Luke, the divine sonship of Christ is part of the annunciation to Mary. Mark opens his account calling him "Jesus Christ, the Son of God". I don't have time for a full recitation but you get my drift. They all thought of him as the Son of God (hence divine).

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Dec. 14, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    @ Dennis: The "interesting quote" that Bill in Nebraska gave you was not in reference to the First Vision at all, but a subsequent vision, recorded in section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph received multiple visions of the Savior; the one referenced by Bill was in the presence of Sidney Rigdon who, though he later left the Church, never recanted the testimony, "last of all," that he gave with Joseph in section 76.

    Another vision, recorded in section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants, was in the presence of Oliver Cowdery who, like Rigdon, left the Church but never recanted. (Cowdery came back eventually; Rigdon never did.)

    I'm guessing that someone who knew that there were multiple versions of the First Vision also knew that the vision Bill in Nebraska cited was not one of the versions of the First Vision.

    Bill's citing of D & C 76 is a way of underscoring what many Latter-day Saints know--that Jesus is the Son of God.

  • brokenclay Chandler, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    Dr. Peterson, you may want to reread Paul Owens' article in The New Mormon Challenge. Margaret Barker really isn't your most reliable source to be referencing. Jews have been monotheists since well before the 10th century BC. Monotheism did not come about as a result of Josiah's reforms in the 7th century. It is deeply disturbing to me that Mormons are still accepting the claims of critical scholars in order to bolster their case. For you to agree that Deuteronomy and large parts of Isaiah are late products is not only damaging to us, but it is indeed damaging to the Book of Mormon, which quotes extensively from deutero-Isaiah. It has always amused me that the LDS must denigrate and dismantle their "Scripture" (i.e., the Bible) in order to elevate other writings. When you do this, you're tacitly admitting that the Bible agrees with orthodoxy and not Mormonism-- precarious ground for you indeed.

    Deuteronomy 32 is one of many passages that is particularly devastating to LDS henotheism/polytheism. Verse 17 makes it clear that other gods are actually demons; and the OT always makes it clear that these beings are qualitatively different from the one God.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 14, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    @Twin Lights – “His disciples were not confused about what he meant. See the last half of John 6. Many left over his claims to divinity (oblique though they may seem to us now).”

    You simply restated my point: Most of today’s Christian denominations are really based on the Gospel of John – where Jesus proclaims himself in all his glory. You don’t find this in the other gospels.

    In Matthew he is the fulfillment of Jewish law. In Luke he is the comforter of the poor & outcast. And as I said, in Mark people are simply confused. Reading the gospels side by side rather than one at a time, it becomes quite clear how different the stories are.

    And to your second point, yes, there were other interpretations of who Jesus was and what he meant that we simply don’t have on any large scale today, because those views were suppressed or wiped out by the Orthodox Church (Marcion, the Gnostics, etc…); some of which had large followings.

    How do we know one of those groups didn’t have the better and more complete understanding?

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    Joseph Smith testified of the divinity of Jesus Christ. He saw Him and witnessed of Him. Joseph suffered tremendous persecution, poverty, and finally, murder for this testimony.

    Regarding Joseph Smith's "eight different versions" of the first vision. As someone who, at times during his life, has written in personal journals for long periods of time, I find it quite believable for a person to give somewhat different versions of the same incident. If I were to write today the story of one of my children's birth, It might vary somewhat from how I wrote it at the time.

    Also, if I were writing for a particular audience, my narrative - though still true - might look a bit different than if I were writing for another. Also, a man of many years, with a higher level of maturity might write things differently than a boy. Afer having gone through decades of persecution for claiming the vision, he could have been more aware of the significance and consequences of the vision. That may have affected what parts he emphasized in the different accounts. It's all good.

    My thoughts? Given what I have said above, the versions are all true.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the apostles and prophets have written that the grace of God the father and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever.... Ether chapter 12 verse 41

    This quote comes from the Book of Mormon that has as part of it's title " another witness for Jesus Christ.' The writing of these apostles and prophets and the above formula of seeking the 3rd member of the Godhead to reveal it to you is what is called faith.
    Faith is to have hope in things that are not seen, ...DISPUTE not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. ..Ether 12:6

    It is us that are on trial here, not God.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 14, 2012 7:42 a.m.


    This is speaking of Christ’s divinity in the Christian context. If you don’t believe in Christ or God, not a problem for me. Though I wonder why anyone would spend time on a church-owned news site commenting about something in which they do not believe (please don’t tell me it is for my edification). BTW, it’s Gandalf not Gandolf. He would not be amused.


    Rather we first must establish the existence of God and Christ. The scriptures are a help in understanding them and our relationship to them.

    Tyler D

    His disciples were not confused about what he meant. See the last half of John 6. Many left over his claims to divinity (oblique though they may seem to us now).

    Very Concerned, Jeff, and Bill in Nebraska,

    Well said. Thank you.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 14, 2012 5:49 a.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska....interesting quote. Which version of the "First Vision" was this one? Joseph changed the story 8 times, at least. I'm guessing this is the one that sounded the best.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:44 p.m.

    As Joseph Smith has stated: "And now, after all the testimonies that have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard his voice bearing record the he is the Only Begotten of the Father--That by him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters of God." This is not the only one but in the Bible itself, "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God." Through out the new testament there are many that state that Jesus sits on the right hand of God. Today, we have personal testimony from Joseph Smith that Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven appeared to him in the flesh. That they did indeed speak to him. We have a new scripture given to us for our day that like the Bible testifies of the Divinity of Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of the world. He is our mediator with the Father.

  • GFuller Mattoon, IL
    Dec. 13, 2012 7:36 p.m.

    Proud Duck, Remember the talk credited to Ezra Taft Benson, titled, "Beware of Pride"? Not accusing you, but I know that I have at times been a bit too proud of my own understanding of things. Maybe I still suffer from that. You said, "Interesting, and heartening, to see the Church emphasizing the divinity of Christ. In my experience, an awful lot of Mormons' theological culture is either unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the concept. Teaching a youth Sunday School class, I once had a bishop "correct" me after I answered a curious class member's (the bishop's son) question as to whether Christ was God. He insisted that the answer was no. "

    Suppose that the lad asked "is Jesus God" and you had answered, "Yes, but He is not His own Father." Would that have changed anything? More importantly would it have been more true?

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    Jesus is the Son of God; He is a member of the Godhead and has been from the eternities. He was born, as foretold by many prophets of the Old Testament and lived according to the precepts of His Father. He healed the sick, He raised the dead and He overcame death by His resurrection. His life is recorded by four Witnesses or Evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They all testify of His life, death, resurrection. There are many things we don't know about Jesus, St John the Evangelist said so. But what we do know is that He had power over the elements - He calmed the seas, He walked on water, but above all, He gave us hope and taught us to love one another. It doesn't matter if we believe that He is God or not. If we don't, that is our loss. But when we accept Him as our Lord and God, He opens heaven’s door and offers us life everlasting. The bible testifies of Him being the Son of the Most High and as such, he gave us a personalization of God and we became His friends for He redeemed us.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    RE:lds4gaymarriage Christ is A God, but not THE God. Consider -The Father created the Son - Col. 1:15 .
    Wrong context and Greek is helpful. Who is the image of “the Invisible God”’ the* firstborn (prototokos) of all creation(Col 1:15 NIV)
    *First born refers to position of pre-eminence’. Psalm 89:20, David my servant v 27. I will also appoint him my ‘firstborn.’ David was not the literal firstborn of his family but pre-eminent in position.. First created literally would be prototoktisis a .different Greek word.

    RE: The Greek in Rev. 3:14 calls Christ the primary/#1 creation of God). Wrong,
    ”To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler (arche) of God's creation”(Rev 3:14 NIV)

    If Christ was A God then are Mormons Polytheistic? Christian are Monotheistic(One God).

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, The Word(Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:1,14)Jesus is God. See John 8:24.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Dec. 13, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    Of course, Mormons should accept Jesus as the Son of God, as divine, as Jehovah. The Book of Mormon is very clear on this. Joseph Smith's multiple visions of Jesus affirm both the Savior's distinctness from the Father and the Jesus's reality as a divine being.

    Those who disbelieve keep insisting that we believing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot know that Jesus is the Son of God because, they say, they do not accept the same evidence we accept, so our evidence is invalid.

    Speaking as someone who is partially blind, I submit that eyesight is not all it's cracked up to be as a source of fact-finding. To base base one's belief system exclusively on a single sense (sight,in this case) is faulty at best.

    My personal experience with Christ and with the Holy Ghost are not only irrefutable sources of evidence to me of His divinity, but can be taken as reasonable evidences by any reasonable person who knows me.

    That there are so many witnesses that share similar experiences provide evidence reasonable enough to suggest as thorough investigation of the claims.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    I'm often mystified by the comments following Peterson's articles. In this case, as often happens, roughly half to two-thirds of the replies seem to be seeing things in his column that, from my perspective, he didn't say at all. They simply aren't there. Where, for example, does either Peterson or Lewis claim that the New Testament is inerrant or infallible? Thinking that it gives an accurate account of Jesus' actions and statements isn't at all the same thing as believing in its inerrancy or infallibility; we rely on errant, fallible historical records all the TIME for quotations, etc.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 13, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    @The Proud Duck: Thank you for your follow up, I think perhaps the difference is that you are not understanding the distinction between relative truths and absolute truths. They are not one and the same and most of your reference are relative.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    As far as proof, I believe it is unwise to try to “prove” the Bible (or other scripture) using the finite, man-made, scientific method. One must accept at least the possibility of the reality of the spiritual world to find the real Christ. Look at Paul’s description of faith in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” See also Alma 32:21,26-33.

    Respectfully,there IS evidence. It is SPIRITUAL, but nonetheless real. It is seen in the testimonies of Christians everywhere and the understanding, joy, hope, charity, clarity of purpose, and awareness of life’s meaning they experience when they believe in Christ and act in faith in that belief. That is the evidence (I believe) Paul was referring to. Also, look to Moroni 10:3-5.

    I add my testimony. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our advocate with the Father, Jehovah, our King, the Messiah, the Only Begotten Son of the Father, the Creator, and Head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. I don’t know how to be clearer.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    For more clarity, please refer to the LDS Topical Guide. One can get to it by going to LDS.org, choosing “Scriptures”, then “Study Helps”, then “Topical Guide.”

    “Jesus Christ, divine Sonship.”
    Jesus Christ – Jehovah
    Jesus Christ, Redeemer
    Jesus, Resurrection

    If one would take the challenge to carefully and diligently study the teachings in the scriptures listed in those (and many other) topics, one would find plenty of times when Jesus referred to Himself as Diety, or the Only Begotten Son of God. It’s there for those who want to search it out. Modern revelation adds many corroborating scriptures. Taken all together, there are overwhelming numbers of quotes and writings (both by Him and about Him) in the scriptures that testify He is Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Savior of the World. Because of this, I agree with C.S. Lewis’ analysis. He was either who He said He was or a brazen liar. I believe He was who He said he was.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 1:03 p.m.

    In John 10:30-39, Jesus answers the Jews who claim that Christ was asserting that he was God. He asks why it's wrong to call himself the Son of God if other Jewish leaders were called Gods themselves. Jesus had a clear opportunity to confirm that he was God, but he equated himself to their mortal leaders. He confirms that he is the Son of God, because God brought him into the world, sanctified him, and his spirit indwells him.

    If Jesus is truly God, why did Jesus basically lie by comparing his divinity to mortal Jewish leaders and saying that instead that he was God's son rather than being fully God?

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:54 p.m.


    "Through the ages insistence on un provable absolutes has given rise to the most destructive and un-Christ like societies."

    Horsefeathers. I can't prove that an individual human being has inherent moral value, that all men are created equal (the vast preponderance of the evidence says otherwise; just ask Aristotle), or that words like "justice" or "beauty" have any real meaning, or objective worth. Yet I insist on those absolutes. So did Christ, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, J.S. Bach, and literally every human being who ever contributed anything good to the world.

    Some people decline to *admit* that they "insist on unprovable absolutes." But of course everybody does. It's not that people "insist on unprovable absolutes" that makes the difference between good and evil, but rather *what* putative absolutes they insist on, and how they balance competing absolute truths against each other.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    Blue, the answer to your question is -- yes and no. Peterson's argument is based on a premise that's taken as a given: that the record of the life of Jesus stated in the Bible is more or less accurate.

    Given that premise -- and yes, the assent of faith is involved -- Peterson's argument is that that record portrays a Jesus who declared he is God, and was acknowledged as such by his disciples. That is, faith in the divine Christ is an intrinsic part of Christian faith, and without it, Jesus isn't worth more than idle historical curiosity.

    It's not so much "You must believe that Jesus is divine," but rather "If you accept the best evidence that exists for Jesus' life, and believe He's worth bothering with, you must believe He is divine."

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    Christ is A God, but not THE God. Consider -

    The Father is the God of Christ, even the resurected Christ - Jn. 20:17, 2 Cor. 11:31, Eph. 1:2,3,17, 1 Pet. 1:3, Heb. 1:4-9

    Christ, even the resurected Christ, is subject to the Father - Jn. 20:17, 1 Cor. 11:3, 15:28

    The Son is, as are the faithful, to inherit from God - Rom. 8:17, Heb. 1:4
    (If Christ is fully God, what does the Father have that Christ doesn't that Christ will later inherit?)

    The Father created the Son - Col. 1:15, Rev. 3:14 (The Greek in Col. 1:15 says that Christ is the image or representation of God, not God Himself. The Greek in Rev. 3:14 calls Christ the primary/#1 creation of God)

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    If one wishes to adhere to the more sincere sentiment of Mormonism then Brigham Young's doctrine of Adam/God is the most relative.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    Articles such as this; which I find fascinating, tend to always result in arguments back and forth -- including belittling comments and name calling.

    As for myself, from my own personal experience, I believe fully that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. You may argue that my personal experience isn't worth me, but to me it is worth everything.

    Both extreme sides of this argument may quote any and all sources to prove their point and in the end, little if any difference will have been made -- so what was the purpose? I will remain steadfast with my own beliefs. And since I can't imagine that my personal beliefs can effect anyone else negatively -- I'll continue on.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:09 p.m.


    It depends on if it is a straight pin or a push pin.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Dec. 13, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    Interesting, and heartening, to see the Church emphasizing the divinity of Christ. In my experience, an awful lot of Mormons' theological culture is either unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the concept. Teaching a youth Sunday School class, I once had a bishop "correct" me after I answered a curious class member's (the bishop's son) question as to whether Christ was God. He insisted that the answer was no.

    In my experience, this kind of thing flows from Mormons' perceived need to distinguish themselves from other Christians as to the nature of the Godhead -- after all, the thinking goes, if we're not radically different, what was the point of a great dramatic Restoration of the primitive gospel? And yet in doing this, and striving so hard to distinguish ourselves from some of the potentially problematic details of the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, we tend to steamroll clear past the creeds' underlying message: the divinity of Christ -- and throw that out with the "one Being" bathwater.

    Again, glad we're fixing that. Hope it sinks in.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    Re, coleman51: "...with His and our Father." It does not escape the attention of the likes of J E Talmage that Jesus never uses the phrase "our Father" except when teaching his disciples to pray. Rather he says "my Father and your Father," reserving for himself a unique relation to the Father that we do not share. This phraseology is retained in the Book of Mormon as well, indicating (depending on one's perspective), a recognition by Nephi or Mormon, or by Joseph Smith, of the distinction made by Jesus as reported in the gospels. --AGF

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    Before you can talk about the divinity of Jesus, shouldn't you first establish the divinity of the Bible?

    That hasn't been proven - not by a long shot.

    Otherwise, this is all just so much arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    RE:Free Agency,As a Jew I can say that this article is unconvincing:

    "Deut, 6:4, S/B ("Hear, O Israel! The LORD(YHWH) our God(Elohim) is One(Eschad) LORD(YHWH).!"Jesus is God in the O.T.and N.T..

    Isaiah 9:6, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,’Mighty God’, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Luke 2:14-15, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which’ the Lord has told us about.”

    By accepting worship, Jesus shows Himself to be the Lord God Almighty. Matthew 28:9-10: And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and Worshiped him.

    Luke 24:51-2 they Worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    @Kenny......Quoting scripture that was written by "men" doesn't make much of an argument. These men didn't know anything more than we as a society know.

  • Getting it Right Sunnyvale, CA
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    My faith is that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, our Savior and redeemer. Some of the wise comments here coming from an imperfect and corruptible human beings are philosophies of men mingled with scriptures and their own opinion and beliefs.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    It was the consensus of Jeremiah and the post-exilic prophets that Samaria and Jerusalem were destroyed for their "syncretism" --i.e., their acceptance of gods other than YHWH. In other words, the prophets were monotheistic while Israel was not. --AGF

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    I think from the above comments there is a great deal of confusion about Jesus and what role he has played. I, for one, believe the article accurately conveys the correct principle that Jehovah was and is Jesus, and is the God of the old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joseph Smith was very clear on that point while pointing out that He was the Son of God. It was also clear in the teachings of Paul and is shown throughout the Book of Mormon. That we pray to the Father in behalf of the Son is simply what Christ asked us to do from the scriptures. While I believe that too often referring to Christ as our Elder Brother diminishes His godship, we Latter-Day Saints do point out a correct relationship we have with Him and with His and our Father. The only way, however, to know these things is through the Holy Ghost. That becomes a very personal matter between the worshiper and God and as such cannot be verifiable to any non-believer. Nevertheless, it is a very real experience and cannot be discounted so easily by some.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    The divinity of Jesus is absolute in exactly the same way that the divinity of Zeus is absolute.

    The popularity of an idea, or its capacity to make you feel better about yourself, is not a measure of its validity.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    The 10 Commandments do not state there are no other gods - they state that we should have no other gods before God - if God is at the front, we can worship as many other gods as we want.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Through the ages insistence on un provable absolutes has given rise to the most destructive and un-Christ like societies.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    In response to Mayhem:

    Much depends on our definition of "divine." More depends on the relationship between "God" and man. In positing a god who is not capable of accepting prayer we create a sort of demigod, unattested in scripture except with the mortal Jesus who laid aside his divinity for a short time. In the Book of Mormon all prayer is addressed to Jesus and answered by Jesus. Likewise the dedication of the Kirtland temple, 7 years later (when absurdly claimed by many, Joseph Smith no longer accepted the fatherhood of Jesus). --AGF

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 13, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    The fact is we simply don't know what Jesus was (other than the son of man, of course) and even what his contemporaries thought of him. The Gospel of Mark suggest that he confused everyone, even his own followers. And the other gospels, especially John, paint very different and sometimes contradictory pictures.

    Despite Lewis' claims, it seems more likely that Jesus was in fact a great teacher, but was later put on a pedestal (with varying degrees of supernatural qualities) in an effort to convert as many followers as possible. There's no way the Roman empire would have substituted their gods for simply a wise Jewish rabbi.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    Oops, I'm enbarrassed. The phrase I meant about the Bible was "inerrant and infallible," not "inherent and infallible. Should have proofread better!

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    @ AGF: Why, logically, is Jesus less divine because, as you state, "prayer is not appropriately directed to Jesus?" If we are counseled to pray to His Father (i.e., as He taught in "the Lord's Prayer," for example), rather than Him, how does that diminish his divine Sonship? His instruction that prayer be directed to his Father, and not Him, bespeaks His absolute respect for, and obedience to, the Supreme Creator whose eternal plan he effected. (". . . not my will, but thine, be done.")

  • Kenny_Merriken Lake City, FL
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    There is only one God. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." Deuteronomy 6:4// There is only one Savior. "I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:11// There is only one Lord. "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" Ephesians 4:5//Jesus Christ is Savior, Lord and God. He is the Word made flesh at Christmas. John chapter 1.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    As a Jew I can say that this article is unconvincing. First of all, in the Jewish concept, the Messiah was never supposed to be divine. God is one--and ineffable. You simply can't have a physical God in Judaism. And you definitely can't have God "split into three beings" in Judaism.

    C.S. Lewis's well-known quote is unconvincing too, because it's based on the premise that everything in the Bible is inherent and infallible. We don't really know which words in it are truly Jesus's and which were put into his mouth by writers with their own platform.

    Finally, the Jesus in the picture (a typical one) acconpanying this article simply does not look Semitic in any way.

    I don't make these points to tell anyone what to believe or not to believe. But I hope they help non-Jews see why Christianity has had so little attraction as a religon to the overwhelming majority of us Jews.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    What the author of the title (not necessarily DP) probably means is that a belief in Christ's divinity is absolute to a traditional profession of Christianity. The curious thing is that Mormons from Brigham Young to Bruce McConkie have in part and practice rejected this divinity by insisting that prayer is not appropriately directed to Jesus, thus effectively denying any equation of Jesus and Jehovah. Added to this, we routinely refer to Christ unscripturally as "our Elder Brother," which is hardly in keeping with a profession of his divinity. --AGF

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    How can the divinity of Christ be absolute?
    Have you seen him? Met him? Had a two way conversation with him? Seen a picture of him?
    The entire concept of Christ is simply based on faith. The same standard for believe could given to Gandolf, Zeus, Aries, Hercules, Christopher Columbus or anyone else at anytime in history. As long as you can't prove anything you can say anything you want and appoint any attributes you care to.