Exploring Mormon Thought: Volume 2, The Problems of Theism and the Love of God
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Book Description:In volume 2 of the series, Exploring Mormon Thought: The Problems of Theism and the Love of God, Blake Ostler explores issues related to soteriology, or the theory of salvation. He argues that the commitment that God loves us and respects our dignity as persons entails that God must leave us free to choose whether to have a saving relationship with him. He explores the “logic of love” and argues that the LDS doctrine of a "war in heaven" embodies the commitment that God leaves us free to choose whether to enter into relationship with God. He explores the nature of inter-personal prayer and the contributions of LDS beliefs to a robust prayer dialogue. He offers a view consistent with LDS commitments that makes sense out of asking God to assist others, to alter the natural environment and to grow in relationship with God.
He then turns to the concept of grace and argues that the traditional views lead to insurmountable problems. He argues that though God does not owe any obligation to us to give us grace, God does so out of love. However, because divinity arises from loving relationships, he argues that God could not fail to give sufficient grace to all persons and remain a loving God.
Praise for the Exploring Mormon Thought series:
“These books are the most important works on Mormon theology ever written. There is nothing currently available that is even close to the rigor and sophistication of these volumes. B. H. Roberts and John A. Widtsoe may have had interesting insights in the early part of the twentieth century, but they had neither the temperament nor the training to give a rigorous defense of their views in dialogue with a wider stream of Christian theology. Sterling McMurrin and Truman Madsen had the capacity to engage Mormon theology at this level, but neither one did.” — FARMS Review, Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University
“This may be the most exciting volume to come out on Mormon theology ever. I eagerly await it as I think it will demonstrate a maturity of Mormon theology in that it will take ‘as given’ a presentation of the basics of Mormon thought. One hopes that other authors will present engagements with other major thinkers such as Heidegger, Gadamer, Derrida, or others. However clearly before one can move on to this more ‘mature’ level of discourse, the beginnings have to be established. While I'm sure other writers may take exception to some of Blake's positions in this first volume, he clearly is blazing the trail in an exciting way. Further it opens up to non-Mormons a clear and lucid presentation of Mormon theology that one can't get from most other writings.” — Clark Goble, Association for Mormon Letters“I hope that Ostler’s work finds a wide audience within the Church. Anyone who thinks seriously about the meaning of LDS doctrine should read it. It is a book that will take some time to unpack and some time for its influence to be felt.” — James McLachlan, BYU Studies
Other Volumes in the Exploring Mormon Thought Series:
About the Author:
Blake T. Ostler is a practicing attorney specializing in educational law, employment law and intellectual property. He holds a J.D. from the University of Utah. His books include the EXPLORING MORMON THOUGHT series and Fire on the Horizon: Meditations on the Endowment and Love of Atonement. He has published widely on Mormon philosophy in journals such as Religious Studies, International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, Dialogue: Journal of Mormon Thought, BYU Studies and FARMS Review of Books.
ISBN: 978-1-58958-095-4 (Hardcover)