Exploring Mormon Thought: Volume 3, Of God and Gods

$34.95

by Blake T. Ostler

“These books are the most important works on Mormon theology ever written.”  FARMS Review, Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University
“This may be the most exciting volume to come out on Mormon theology ever.”Association for Mormon Letters
“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.”BYU Studies


 
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Book Description:

In his long-anticipated third volume, Of God and Gods, Blake Ostler steps through the common complaint that Mormons aren’t Christians because they believe in three separate individuals in the Godhead as well as the deification of human beings. He demonstrates the clear biblical understanding, both in the precursors of the Old Testament and the New, that Jesus and God the Father were not one in some incomprehensible “substance” while separate in person, but were actually distinct individuals. What made them one was their indwelling love. It is that loving unity into which they invite human beings.
     In language and thought accessible to the lay reader but simultaneously rigorous and scholarly, Ostler analyzes and responds to the arguments of contemporary international theologians, reconstructs and interprets Joseph Smith’s important King Follett Discourse and Sermon in the Grove just before the Mormon prophet’s death, and argues persuasively for the Mormon doctrine of “robust deification.”

Comprehensive Table of Contents:

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PREFACE
PUBLISHER'S NOTE

1. DISTINCTIVE FACETS OF THE MORMON CONCEPTS OF GOD AND THE GODS

Creation by Organization of Matter
The Council of Gods
The Supreme or Head God
One God Among the Gods Appointed as Ours
Premortal Humans in the Council of the Gods
Elohim and Jehovah in Mormon Thought

2. MONOTHEISM AND THE COUNCIL OF GOD(S)

Of God(s) in Israel
Elyon and Yahweh in Deuteronomy
God(s) Prior to the Creation of the Heavens and Earth
Psalm 82 and the Council of God(s)
The Denial of Comparability to Other Gods
Creational Monotheism and God(s)

3. MONOTHEISM AND THE HIERARCHY OF DIVINE BEINGS IN SECOND TEMPLE JUDAISM

Jewish Views of the Hierarchy of Divine Beings
The Council of Gods in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Divine Beings in Second Temple Judaism
The Hierarchy of Holiness in the Heavenly Temple
Strict Monotheism in Second Temple Judaism: An Assessment of the Argument

4. THE RELATION OF THE FATHER AND THE SON: KINGSHIP MONOTHEISM AND CHRISTOLOGY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Acts 2:30–36: Christ as Lord at God’s Right Hand
Acts 7:51–60: Christ as Lord and Son of Man
Philippians 2:1–15: Christ Exalted as Lord by God
1 Corinthians 15:24–28: Christ as God’s Vizier and General
1 Corinthians 8:4–6: One God and One Lord
Christ as God’s Agent in Creation

5. MONOTHEISM AND DIVINE AGENCY IN JOHN: A CHRISTOLOGY OF INDWELLING UNITY

The Logos in Philo and the Gospel of John
The Logos Made Flesh and the Manifestation of God’s Glory
Jesus as God’s Agent in the Writings of John
Divine Agency and Angelic Mediation in the Book of Revelation
Jesus’s Relation to the Father

6. THE LATIN TRINITY, LOGIC, AND SCRIPTURE

The Creedal Formulation and Its Problems
Latin Trinitarianism
Distinct Persons in the “Unique Identity” of God?

7. SOCIAL TRINITARIANISM

Richard Swinburne’s Theory of Social Trinitarianism
Trinity Monotheism
Perichoretic Monotheism
Reveling in Mystery

8. THE GODHEAD IN MORMON THOUGHT

Mormon Social Trinitarianism
The Logical Problem of the Trinity and Mormon Thought
The Divine Kind
Indwelling Love
The Ontological Nature of Personal Existence
The Scriptural Argument for Yahweh’s Kind Uniqueness

9. CHALLENGES TO MORMON SOCIAL TRINITARIANISM

The Problem of the Godhead and Monotheism
Divine Embodiment and Monotheism
The Problem of Diminished Divinity
The Competing Omnipotents Problem
The Problem of Divine Deception

10. LOGICAL PROBLEMS OF DEIFICATION

What Is the Divine Nature in Which We Share?
The Logic of Deification: The Exchange Formula
Deification and Justification by Faith Alone
Failure of the Distinction between Communicable and Incommunicable Properties
Monotheism, Simplicity, and Deification

11. WE SHALL BE AS HE IS: THE MORMON DOCTRINE OF DEIFICATION

Deification in the Mormon Tradition
The Son of God
The Sons of God
Arguments That Essential Divine Properties Cannot Be Shared with Humans

12. THE SCRIPTURAL BASIS FOR THE DOCTRINE OF DEIFICATION

Partaking of the Divine Nature: 2 Peter 1:4
Ye Are Gods: Psalm 82/John 10:34–36
Divine Sons Who Are like Christ: 1 John 3:1–3
One Just as Father and Son Are One: John 17

BIBLIOGRAPHY
SCRIPTURE INDEX
SUBJECT INDEX


 


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

“Blake T. Ostler's monumental systematic work, Exploring Mormon Thought, continues to be a major event in the development of Mormon philosophical theology.... this book says a lot that is important and will be a welcome challenge to any interested in Mormon theology.” — James McLachlan, BYU Studies Quarterly


Other Volumes in this Series:

Volume 1, The Attributes of God
Volume 2, The Problems of Theism and the Love of God


About the Author:

Blake T. Ostler is a practicing attorney specializing in educational law, employment law and intellectual property. His books include the EXPLORING MORMON THOUGHT series and Fire on the Horizon: Meditations on the Endowment and Love of AtonementHe 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, Element, and FARMS Review of Books.

More Information:

Pages: 483
ISBN: 978-1-58958-107-4 (Hardcover)
Published April 2008

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