A God who pats you on the head and smiles at you and gives you everything you
want, like a dotty grandfather, is not what I want. I want a God who will love
me enough to make me like Him, to burn out of me all the unholy, unlovely parts
of me. I know this process hurts. But I have been through it enough to know that
the pain of the purifying fire inherent in growth towards holiness, comes only
from Love, Inexorable Love. Those who say it is wrong to fear God, would suffer
the greatest injustice were God to "approve" of them, slaves as they
currently are to their own enthroned wills. God help us all if He is no more
than a kindly smiling force that keeps the world spinning and is pleased that we
remain just as we find ourselves, and nothing more. Dan Peterson hit the nail
right on the head as usual.
True to a point, but with the exception of #4, there are scriptures to support
the "MTD". For example, 1. Genesis 1 (God creates, orders, and watches
over the earth) 2. Love thy neighbor as thy self. 3. Men are that they might
have joy. and 5. Doctrine and Covenants 76 (good people go to the Terrestrial
kingdom - a wonderful and glorious part of heaven). In the
scriptures there are some hell-fire and brimstone messages aimed at the wicked,
but there are plenty of scriptures showing God as compassionate, forgiving,
loving, and comforting. The scriptures contain many messages aimed at many
audiences. Better, I think, to take a broader view of God based on more than a
few scriptural examples. :)
"....I can't avoid concluding that much of the Old Testament consists
of nothing more than Hebrew tribesmen ascribing their purely human acts and
thoughts to God."______________________________Deities
throughout all history are marked by characteristics of human striving. In
trying to imagine a god, man draws on what he knows or thinks he knows of
The law (and I would say, the entire Old Testament) was a schoolmaster to bring
us to Christ.This is why I have a hard time accepting that the full
Christian gospel was known and practiced to and by the Old Testament prophets
and patriarchs. To me, the Old Testament represents a fascinating story of God
leading his chosen people from their starting place -- as desert nomads viewing
God as just one more deity whose good side you better keep on or get squashed,
and who would fight his people's battles -- to an understanding of who He
really is.Who He really is is the one God of the whole universe, who
is no respecter of persons, who sends the rain on the just and the unjust, and
who is emphatically *not* a capricious Oriental despot, whacking people right
and left for the tiniest thing. I agree that "God is love" can water
that same true God down into something He isn't either -- a cosmic Mister
Rogers, a "tame Lion" -- but I can't avoid concluding that much of
the Old Testament consists of nothing more than Hebrew tribesmen ascribing their
purely human acts and thoughts to God.
abtrumpet,"....I don't see any evidence of Jesus forgiving
the adulteress at that moment. He only said he did not "condemn" her,
which, in my interpretation, means that he was giving her the opportunity to
forget the possibility that she was being falsely accused. Jesus was less
concerned with her guilt or innocence than the conduct of those who were ready
to stone her. The significance in the account was the example Jesus set for us
in the face of intense peer pressure to acquiesce to the will of her accusers.
A Quaker"...non-LDS theologists...", So... Your entire world
consists of LDS and non-LDS? That's it? That's the prism you see
God's Light through? Your simple black-and-white dichotomy that divides the
universe?I doubt Dr. Peterson see the universe in the way you
describe.As the audience of the DesNews and of Dr. Peterson is
largely LDS, and the article intends to make a case for an LDS interpretation of
the Love of God, it is entirely relevant that Dr. Peterson call upon
professional socioligists not of the LDS faith to support his thesis. Had he not
pointed this out, many would have (and in fact have done so elsewhere) assumed
they were LDS and therefore would add only minimally to the point he was trying
Again Dr Peterson chooses to influence others to think as he thinks rather than
teaching and inspiring them to think for themselves, and in the process of
championing a personal Mormon god he stumbles over the realization that God is
being itself, not a being.
RE: Dennis “How do you know that Psalms wasn't written and compiled a
few hundred years after Jesus lived?” 2 examples:The(Psalms)
Septuagint (LXX) is a Koine Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures,
translated in stages between the 3rd to 1st century BCE in Alexandria, Egypt.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have shown the MT to be nearly identical to
some texts of the Tanakh dating from 200 BCE but different from others.
@sharrona, How do you know that Psalms wasn't written and
compiled a few hundred years after Jesus lived? Just wondering....
Thank you for the article, I enjoyed it. I would say, however, that I don't
see any evidence of Jesus forgiving the adulteress at that moment. He only said
he did not "condemn" her, which, in my interpretation, means that he was
giving her the opportunity to repent.Still well written, however.
RE: Redhat. True, “The one ‘who believes’ in the Son has
eternal life. The one ‘who rejects’ the Son will not see life, but
God's wrath remains on him. (John 3:36 )RE: Tyler D,
“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Agreed,O.T. prophecies which were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.
“ i.e..(2of 61): Protevangelium, “ I will put enmity
between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and HER seed(sperma,4690); it
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3 :15). But
when the fullness of time was come, God sent his Son ‘made of a
Woman’ born under law(Joseph)(Galatians 4:4 NIV).Psalm 22 was
written by King David about 1,000 years before the birth of Christ. It
prophesizes about the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, which predicts
the crucifixion 400 years before crucifixion was invented by the Persians. It
describes the piercing of Jesus' hands and feet, the pouring out of water,
his thirst, his bones out of joint (but not broken), the hurling of insults from
on-lookers, and the casting of lots for his garments.
Yet there are many active religionists who tout their exemption from the law of
consequences as the ultimate symbol of their faith
I stand by my comment. I'm sure God is sometimes amused and sometime
bemoaned by the actions of humanity in trying to organize themselves into
institutions that will do anything they please in His name. It boggles my mind.
From the Gospel of John it is clear that Jesus calls, no! urges, all of us to
"love" and to "believe". Why can we say this? In that Gospel
Jesus Himself uses those two words over 60 times each, beginning in John 3:16
which is the Gospel in it's purest form. That "love " and that
"believing" is to be at the deepest "heart" level of a person.
Without any "requirements" added to John 3:16, simply our humble
response and surrender of all we are and all we have, we are by the power of the
Holy Spirit "regenerated", become children of God, born from above, and
most importantly from then on, have "no fear" of God's judgment.
When the Son of Man sets you free you are free indeed! Believers should have no
fear of God's judgment and emphasizing fear of God's judgment
rather than God's unconditional love and our "believing" response
seems to miss the point of Jesus' teaching in my humble opinion.
"...non-LDS theologists..."So... Your entire world consists
of LDS and non-LDS? That's it? That's the prism you see God's
Light through? Your simple black-and-white dichotomy that divides the
universe?Well, gee. Thank you. Glad we cleared that up. It
explains so much.
@sharrona – “The Prophetic Significance of the seven feasts of
Israel and the Christian meaning, 3 brief Examples:”Or, the
Gospels were written to conform to OT “prophecy” or
significance… which would be about as challenging as writing the 3rd Lord
of the Rings book to conform to the 1st two (I hope it’s obvious that when
writing the 3rd book, the 1st two have already been written and you have them in
hand… while writing the 3rd… for quick & easy reference).For the incredulous, extraordinary claims require extraordinary
evidence. For the credulous, only extraordinary faith is required.
"The Bible is such a gargantuan collection of conflicting values that anyone
can prove anything from it." -Robert Heinlein
Dr Peterson....as usual you bring insightful truth to a the current generations
having difficult time hearing the promptings of the God and father or us all.I know you are aware of this but you keep giving your critics and
enemies more writing material, from a fan, thanks!
RE: Craig Clark. "Jonah found the order unbearable”, Because
Nineveh(gentiles,repented) known for its wickedness, an enemy of Israel.Jesus used Jonah's story as example for his own death and
resurrection (Mt.12:39-41, 16:4; Lk.11:29-30,32 ) “As Jonah was three days
and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days
and three nights in the heart of the earth.” RE: Tyler D,
Current Biblical practices. The Prophetic Significance of the seven feasts of
Israel and the Christian meaning, 3 brief Examples:1) Passover
(Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Cor
5:7). Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, at the
same time that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that
evening.2) Unleavened Bread — Pointed to the Messiah's
sinless life, making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins.3) First
Fruits — Pointed to the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of
the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one Paul refers
to him in 1 Cor 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."
@MichiganderThe correct name is either Down's syndrome or Down
syndrome with the latter being the preferred. The Down part comes from English
physician John Langdon Down who fully described they physical aspects of the
syndrome in 1866. Not trying to be rude, just bringing awareness.
... also those who were born with Downs Syndrome are included in the group of
babies and little children.
Craig Clark wrote: "judge for yourselves whether the God of vengeance as
parts of the Bible suggest might be a product of human imagination."Tyler D wrote: "The Bible . . . is mostly a collection filled with
all the ethics (such as they were), prejudices, peeves, war-like tendencies, and
horrors of most bronze-age people, is the Bible itself."Thanks
for the excellent comments about the angry God that some see. This God simply is
a God that people have created in their own image.The real God is
better represented by his actual appearances to man in the four gospels and in
the Book of Mormon's 3rd Nephi. Even the whip he braided was not used on
people; it was used to drive animals from the temple courts. And let's
remember, the real God did not go about seeking to kill people but was killed by
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the
Son." (John 5:22). We shall all stand before the judgment seat
of Christ where every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. This applies to every soul that
has ever been born on the face of the earth (50-100 billion? souls) no matter
what their religious beliefs are, true or false, with the exception of babies
and little children who died before the age of accountability.
Dr. Peterson's article might have also referenced Hebrews 12, especially
verse 6:"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son whom he receiveth."Contrary to the MTD, God's
love is manifested in his merciful correction of our sinful natures, calling us
back to repentance and allowing us to partake of Christ's atonement. The
principle purpose of life is happiness--but not the temporary
"happiness" prescribed by MTD that, frankly, looks a lot more like
clinical denial. The purpose is eternal happiness--joy--born of divine approval
from living one's life in harmony with the Gospel.
Is anyone ever troubled by the fact that there is not one word in the Bible that
could not have been written by someone with only bronze-age knowledge? The best evidence we have that the Bible is a collection of writings that on
rare occasion depicts someone who has achieved an enlightened (i.e., found God)
state of consciousness but is mostly a collection filled with all the ethics
(such as they were), prejudices, peeves, war-like tendencies, and horrors of
most bronze-age people, is the Bible itself.
God is our father. Like human parents, his love is unconditional, but his
approval is not.
Sharrona,I have no idea what this has to do with this discussion or
what I commented above but thank you anyway.The Bible gateway site
shows a host of translations all at once. This citation goes back and forth
depending on the translation referenced. I don't see much consensus.
"The Old Testament story of Jonah memorably depicts God’s love for all
the world’s peoples, but it also sends that prophet to Nineveh with the
warning that its inhabitants must repent or be destroyed."______________________________What a pity Dr. Peterson stops
there. I’ll recapitulate the ending.Jonah preaches to the
inhabitants of Ninevah fully expecting them to reject him. To his astonishment,
they repent. Here is how the King James Bible describes what follows. ‘God
repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it
not.’It's what Jonah does in response that I find
astonishing. He broods. He goes outside the city, sets up a shelter from the hot
sun where he pouts, sulks, and prays to die because he thinks God has cheated
him out of the satisfaction of seeing Ninevah and all its inhabitants
destroyed.Jonah is a short book of four chapters that doesn’t
take long to read. Check it out and judge for yourselves whether the God of
vengeance as parts of the Bible suggest might be a product of human imagination.
Of course the Bible can used to support MTD. It can be used to support
Catholicism,the tens of thousands of different forms of Protestantism,
Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. While an exact number is impossible to
find it has been calculated that there are well over 100,000 forms of
Christianity and every one of them can successfully support their different
beliefs by using the Bible. Every one of them can also use the Bible to show
that all the others are wrong. So what is so different about MTD? As
the all wise Homer Simpson once said: "The Bible says a lot of things
Re: "God is love" (1 John 4:8). It’s not simply that God
"loves," but that He is Love itself. Love is not merely one of His
attributes, but His very nature.God is light (1 John 1:5), which is
the opposite of "darkness." In Scripture "darkness" stands for
sin, evil, death; and "light" for holiness, goodness, life. God is
light, means that He is the sum of all excellency.RE: Twin Lights,
"God is *a spirit"(John 4:24 KJV). "As translated
correctly"=(God is spirit John 4:24 NIV), There is *no article’ in the
Greek text before the word spirit. The word spirit is first in the sentence for
emphasis. The literal idea would be like, “Absolutely spirit in His
essence is God.” Jesus did not leave any doubt about this truth. God(The
Father)= spirit!RE: Moontan, but few are chosen." “…
His mercy toward them that fear Him" (Ps. 103:11)."He saith
to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy."(Romans 9:15)It is pure sovereign grace which alone determines the exercise of Divine
mercy. The elect are designated "vessels of mercy" (Rom. 9:23).
Great piece, and very much needed in this Christian culture. Reminds me of the
most frightening verse - for me - in the Bible: Matthew 22:14 - "For many
are called, but few are chosen."
Mercy cannot rob justice--this is the reminder that God is not always forgiving
and those who ignore and rebel against His commandments will pay the price,
either in this life or at the judgment day because it would be unfair of God to
give the same blessings and rewards to those who do not keep His commandments as
to those who do keep His commandments. The tension between mercy and justice is
resolved in only one way--the atonement of Jesus Christ who pays the price
required by justice for our sins on the condition that we obey His commandments
to claim mercy.
In the apparent conflict between a loving God and an angry God, the greatest
weight should be given to the actual appearances of Christ in the New Testament
and the risen Lord in the Book of Mormon. In person, he frankly seems to be
quite compassionate and to have no desire to kill people. On the contrary,
people killed him. Even the whip that he braided was merely used to drive
animals, not to strike people.I suspect the angry-God syndrome is
more a reflection of reprobate mankind getting what the laws of nature impose on
those who need to learn the hard way. Frankly, I suspect that a lot of the
atrocities attributed to God tell us little about God and more about people
creating a God in their own image. Frankly, parts of the Old Testament are
borderline nonsense anyway.
Jeffrey R. Holland, April 2014 said,Sadly enough, my young friends, it is
a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them
to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only
don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the
head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.
It’s easy and tempting to project a human psychosis onto God. Men have
been doing that for thousands of years. Evidences for it are abundant in the
pages of the Bible which was written not by God but entirely by the hand of
man.So if you find yourself torn between a God of wrath and judgment
and a God of love and mercy, you need only search the Bible and selectively pick
the passages that conform to your point of view. That’s how simple it is
as Dr. Peterson has just demonstrated for us.
Thanks for the straightforward look at God's love. Of course he loves us
and is patient with us and all our sins, He is our Father. But like any good
father He reprimands us for our sins and demands our repentance or suffer the
consequences. We must be good as He is good, and clean as He is clean if we want
the ultimate reward of immortality and eternal life. He will help us if we
submit to his will, but He will not, He cannot, save us in our sins.
Humility isn't thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself
less. All the words in the world don't mean anything, it's what you do
that shows your devotion to God.
Dennis,Though I do not agree that there will be no judgement, I do
agree that the variables would make the task impossible for any save the one
perfect judge - imbued with perfect love, full of mercy, and a knowledge of all
things and of us from beginning to end. And that is why he sits in that seat
It's going to be interesting in the "next" life when we find out
there is no such thing as a "judgement". There are too many variables
that make it impossible and frankly I were it not for mankind's constant
effort to scare and control all this judgement silliness would never have