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Exploring Mormon Thought : The Problems of Theism And the Love of God (Hardcover)

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In volume 2 of the three volume 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. Ostler also argues that in LDS thought ethical principals are not simply commands or grounded in God?s immutable nature. He rejects the traditional view that grounds all moral principals in God and argues that moral obligation arises ?in-between? persons. He argues that the traditional view cannot makes sense of moral obligation and develops an ?agape? or theory of love as the basis of ethics. He argues that ethical obligation arises from the requirements necessary for the mutual realization of our shared divine nature.Ostler also explores the nature of sin in LDS thought and the conditions that give rise to a sinful condition. He argues that sin arises from the creation of an ego that turns on itself to be absorbed in self-concern as to how it appears to others. He develops a theory of original sin based upon self-betrayal and self-deception. He also argues that self-deception is the primary concern of Paul and the James in the New Testament and that Paul develops a theory of grace to answer the concern of the self-deceived belief that we need to justify ourselves before others by our own righteousness. He also argues that James develops an idea of faith and justification that arises from a self-deceived Paulinism that uses grace as an excuse to sin.Ostler also argues that Paul?s doctrine of justification by grace is best viewed from the optic of honor and shame cultures. He argues that God?s righteousness that is given as a matter of grace is equivalent to God?s promise to honor his covenant with Israel. He also suggests that Christ is the sole mediator of the benefactor/client relationship recognized by God and thus Christ becomes the sole means through which the grace of God?s righteousness can be realized. Ostler also develops a novel theory of atonement and vehemently rejects the penal substitution theory as a morally inadequate way to express atonement. He develops a new exegesis of the Book of Mormon view of atonement. He suggests that God?s mercy is his willingness to stay execution of judgment to give us a space in which to repent and choose freely to return to God. God?s justice is his commitment to honor the desires of our hearts to restore to us what we have desired. 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. Finally, Ostler argues that creation out of nothing is not consistent with the type of freedom of will that is necessary to sustain loving relationships of the kind revealed in scripture. He argues that only the LDS view of uncreated intelligences allows for the kind of free will that is essential to leaving the beloved free as to whether to enter the divine relationship offered as a matter of grace.


Publisher Greg Kofford Books Inc
Mfg Part# 9781589580954
SKU 202213564
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 1589580958
Release Date 3/1/2006
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