Quantcast

Comments about ‘Hamblin & Peterson: Might as well pray to a rock’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, Feb. 10 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Vanka
Provo, UT

Might as well pray to a rock.

That phrase exactly describes my experience praying to the Mormon God in the process known as "Moroni's Challenge".

Pet rocks were quite a craze in the 70's. And like the pet rock, the Mormon God's behavior in answering prayers depends entirely upon the superstitious mind of the believer - to endow the rock with lifelike attributes, give the rock credit for random good things in your life by calling them "blessings", and explain random bad things in your life as "divine challenges".

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Mr. Peteson implies that the mover is involved in a discretion of the movement perhaps similar to a game of chess. It denotes nothing other than to imply that there may be a capricious god that plays with man's fate not so different from Greek mythology.

Beowulf
Portland, OR

A secular humanist magazine once published a satire on this perfect deity written by a professor at a London university. I wrote in a letter of protest (which the magazine published), in which I said that no one believes in such a deity, regardless of what the philosophers say. As noted here, praying to such a being is like praying to a rock. Instead, we pray to a being who has feelings, who has pathos, and who loves his children (see Givens' The God Who Weeps). Who else could (or would want to) save us from this world of tears?

The London university professor misunderstood me, of course, making a reply that plaintively suggested that Anglican preachers he had seen preach such a God. (Really? Maybe in theory, but not in practice...)

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Vanka,

Sorry to hear that. But it does not describe my experience nor that of many others I know.

You classify God and religion as the result of a superstitious mind. Do you not know anyone who is logical yet religious? I certainly know a few.

I think you might enjoy the pigeonholing and "poking the bear" but a realistic sweep of church goers would reveal a very wide set of experiences that well exceed your description.

The Vanka
Provo, UT

Twin Lights wrote:

"Sorry to hear that. But it does not describe my experience nor that of many others I know."

I never said it did.

"You classify God and religion as the result of a superstitious mind. Do you not know anyone who is logical yet religious? I certainly know a few."

Superstitious thinking and logic are not mutually exclusive.

"I think you might enjoy the pigeonholing and 'poking the bear' but a realistic sweep of church goers would reveal a very wide set of experiences that well exceed your description."

Huh? Not sure what your point is.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Transcendent, Immanent

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word(logos) was God John 1:1. For the Greeks, the concept of the logos is the interrelationship of thought, word and being.

John dropped a theological bombshell on the Greek philosophers. Jesus was not an impersonal concept, but incarnation(John 1:14) of the eternal Logos. Logos of God when applied to Jesus meant far more than the Word of God more than divine revelation, but in Jesus we have also the reason and Mind of the Cosmos.
God is uncreated Logic in his very being and provides order, regularity, law and intelligibility to the cosmos, not as some impersonal soul but as a personal creator: through him all things were made…(John 1:3)God the Father reveals himself immanently vicariously through the Son and Spirit, the Godhead is wholly” transcendent “and unable to be comprehended.

The Holy Spirit is also expressed as an” immanence of God”. The Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love and well pleased."

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The problem is not so much with Aristotle, but with rigid, dogmatic and theological thinking being applied to philosophy and especially science. When the “doctors” of the church became acquainted with Aristotle they were very impressed his logic and scientific reasoning and so wanted to incorporate his writing into church theology.

This whole project was folly but it left us with an ancient philosopher who is still a bit too high up on a (theological?) perch for my taste. And so refuting Aristotle, as Dr. Perterson has done, leaves one with the impression that philosophy with a capital P has been thusly refuted.

And this is too bad because believers and non-believers alike can find a treasure of rewards in reading philosophers closer to our time. The same Mr. Whitehead cited in this article said William James (a very “religion friendly” philosopher) was one of the four greatest philosophers who ever lived.

I’m inclined to agree, but even if not he’s certainly more relevant than Aristotle simply by virtue of the fact that he had a couple thousand more years of human knowledge at his disposal.

windsor
City, Ut

Ah Vanka. See you are back. Haven't seen you on these boards for some time. I recognized you right away....

fkratz
Portland, OR

At age five I was given a "god-ite". This spectacular gift was bestowed upon me by a lanky high plains Wyoming cowboy who frequented mom and dad's German/American restaurant in Pinedale, WY. Along with this gift came the explanation that it was special and had to be buried for 3 months in a hill of my choosing. Instruction were given. The cowboy explained that something wonderful would happen, eventually. He walked away smiling.

That summer I was sent off the live with my Austrian grandparents in Graz. My grandmother saved my soul one day when she had me baptized in a Catholic church, fearing my eternal soul would be forever in limbo if she didn't. Dad wasn't big on religion. I also learned how to pray some. And so, given my newly found abilities, I prayed for my rock, buried there in the Wyoming dirt. I prayed that it would be all that a "goite" could be.

That fall, on a frosty morning, I dug it up, broke it open and viola'. Amazing! God did answer prayers after all.

sharrona
layton, UT

@Skeptic,a capricious god that plays with man's fate not so different from Greek mythology.

Paul refutes the Greek philosophers ,on “Mars hill”. For in him we live and move and have our Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s very existence.

Plato understood that you have to have absolutes or nothing else has meaning. But the difficulty facing Plato was his gods were not big enough to meet the need. In Greek literature the Fates sometimes seem to be controlling the gods, and sometimes the gods seem to be controlling the fates. Why the confusion? Because everything fails in their thinking at this point. ,because their limited gods are not big enough. That is why we need an infinite personal God.

The trinity in the O.T.:(Gen 1:26 KJV) …Let us make man in Our own(spiritual) image and likeness…”verse 27 ..”So God created man in His Own image…”. If there more than one God this would read, in “Their image”.

God who gives life to the dead and Calls into Being things that were not(Romans 4:17)

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Vanka

Perhaps you should read the whole challenge, not just the popular known bits, or better yet, read the whole chapter.

Then you might begin to understand why you haven't received an answer.

-
-
Regarding the article,

I believe this whole thing comes down to a couple of simple arguments.

Either there is a God or there isn't.

If their is a God, he must be a personal and caring God with an absolutely definable doctrine based on perfect knowledge and with perfect reason for all his actions. some of which has been revealed through his prophets,

otherwise he is not a God, and certainly no one worth worshiping or praying to.

Hospitality
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Okay, God. I'm prayin' to ya. On my terms, on my turf, and according to my commands. Why won't you gimme what I ask for? Why won't you answer me? Okay. 'Nuff. I'm done, and I'm outta here. I'm gonna do what I wanna do, with a capital "I." Hey, all you guys, you're nuthin' but superstitious nut cases. There is no God; he didn't answer me, and he didn't answer you.

This pretty well illustrates how it must be for the quitters who never get an answer. Pretty pathetic. Don't you understand that you receive no witness until after the trial of your faith?

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

@Hospitality. You seem to have a real swallow view of your fellow man (children of God) or an over bloated grandiose view of yourself, either way it doesn't appear very Christian.

brokenclay
Chandler, AZ

Orthodox Christians are keen to distinguish immutability from immovability. We believe in the immanence and personality of God. To say otherwise is misrepresentative. For God to be "unmoved" simply means that he is the first cause in a chain of effects; he is not a link in an infinite chain of events, as Mormons and those who deny the Big Bang would believe. Dr. Peterson, you should listen to the scientists in your church. They recognize the incompatibility of the traditional Mormon god and modern cosmology.

The authors speak as though the orthodox Christian has no good scriptural reason to believe in the unchangeableness and eternity of God. How do the LDS integrate the following Scripture into their worldview? Numbers 23:19; Psalms 33:11; 102:26-27; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17. The LDS god was once a man who sinned. The Scriptures find no place for this kind of god. Conceivably, there's nothing to prevent the LDS god from falling from godhood, either, as there will always be "an opposition in all things." For this reason, the fallible Mormon god isn't any more trustworthy than the capricious Muslim god.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

I find it interesting when some posters claim to be experts on what Mormons believe (though they themselves are not Mormons) and then post questions on how Mormons "integrate" certain scriptures into "their worldview". So which is it? Why the need to ask the question if you are the expert.

There is no "LDS god". There is only God. Mormons do not believe God "was once a man who sinned." The scriptures referenced are also contained in scriptures read, studied and believed by Mormons, i.e. the Old and New Testaments.

Mormons do not believe God is "fallible" either.

I am perfectly fine when folks disagree with our doctrine. However, they don't get to twist and pervert it, without being called out on it.

And please, save us from posting some random, alleged quote, taken out of context, to try and support the obvious distorted doctrine put forth above.

Instead of worrying about what the Mormon "worldview" is of those scriptures, perhaps you should be more concerned with what your own "worldview" is of 2 Nephi 9:27.

Hospitality
SPRINGVILLE, UT

@Skeptic----You're right. That was an un-Christian thing to say. Apology. I just wish people would not give up when they attempt to "prove" or "test" God, and then say that if He didn't answer them, then He didn't answer anyone. Stay on your knees until He answers! A God that will answer ME, will answer ANYone, if you don't give up and walk away.

gcrobmd
GADSDEN, AL

Vanka, methinks thou doth protest too much.

Studying science, I see evidence of divine influence, whereas some see evidence of non-existence. The atheist says an infinite number of universes exist with different constants and laws, but no one is there to criticize the poor design. But, that idea is an intellectual cop-out (superstition), says one scientist. It avoids dealing with the infinite elegance.

I think we have a real choice to make with our beliefs, and that choice reveals our hearts. Do we choose hope or despair? Interestingly, the story of hope empowers human action and increases happiness, charity, and health. I am sure for Dan Peterson, the choice of hope leads to a better life, and it does for me too.

When I am confronted with trials, by turning to God for strength, I have learned things of great value.

And, I swear, at times I can hear the voice of God ask me to do things that are good, that I would not have done on my own.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Hospitality…. Thanks you for your kind thought, but I don't think I am right, and I don't think that you are wrong. I just don't know and I just don't think others do either, and if there is a God ( and if he has to be a Mormon designed god or some other religious groups interpretation) then perhaps he just doesn't want earthlings to know. But, if there be or not be a god; I believe all the hateful battling between and amongest the different religions is detrimental to human nature of loving and kindness to all man and planet earth.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: if it truly affects all other things but cannot be affected, there appears little point in praying to it. One might as well pray to a rock.

In the area of metaphysics the answer can never lie in the word “God, Modern men are trying to find answers just in the word God and in god-words. The answer is not in the use of the word, but in its content: what God has told us concerning himself as being the infinite personal God of the true Trinity(tri-une).

Christianity there is this area of morals, as in existence, the answer of concerning an original monism but present dualism . This rests on God being good, and creating everything good, but that a non-programmed (fallen) creature revolted and brought into existence the present dualism of good and evil. Yet they are not equal, for evil is contrary to the character of God, which was the original moral monism.

Man is not just metaphysically small(finite) but morally guilty and has true moral guilt and needs a solution and that was Christ’s substitutionary propitiatory death or the whole thing has no meaning.

The Vanka
Provo, UT

gcrobmd wrote:

"Vanka, methinks thou doth protest too much."

I'm not particularly interested in what you think. Your comment suggests you flirt with irrationality on a regular basis.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments