Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Take Upon You the Name of Laban

November 02nd, 2017 by G.

Masks for good and illAfter the requisite soul-searching and angst and all that, Nephi cut off Laban’s head, snicker-snack. He probably did not know at the time that he was setting up a type of Christ. (more…)

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November 02nd, 2017 06:00:10

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 2

May 08th, 2017 by Vader

The first part of this series of posts proposed a definition of freedom: Freedom is the ability to make meaningful and consequential choices. There I suggested that ability implied a free will, understood as a first cause capable of initiating new causal chains. Meaningful choices are ones which can be made rationally between distinguishable alternatives. Consequential choices are ones that have lasting significance. I further proposed that, in the divine scheme of things, lasting significance implies an eternal Judgment of those choices. Reconciling these attributes of freedom with the omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence of God requires that the causal chains generated by choices exist in a sphere significant to God, but in which He chooses not to exercise His full omnipotence, and which is bounded by His taking the causal chains arising from evil choices into Himself, in the person of the Son, via the Atonement.

In this post, I summarize my understanding of why freedom is a gift from an benevolent God, why it is precious, and  how this understanding informs our approach to liberty, here defined as the social and legal constructs that arise from our understanding of freedom and its worth.

(more…)

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May 08th, 2017 05:15:20

Notes towards a definition of freedom

May 02nd, 2017 by Vader

A summary of my understanding of freedom and its problems, based in part on things I have long understood and in part on recent insights gained at this blog.

(more…)

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May 02nd, 2017 13:19:13

No Repentance without Punishment

March 04th, 2016 by G.

hangman

Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal.

(more…)

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March 04th, 2016 07:44:36

The Lion and the Robin

September 08th, 2015 by G.

In the grove in the evening, the lion heard a great racket from a father Robin and his brood and went to investigate.

“Friend Robin,” the lion said, “why do you make a fuss?”

“Look at this nest, O Lion. All my work on it is ruined.” The nest was a ring of thorns the robin had woven to keep the young away from the edge. But in the middle of the ring at the bottom of the nest there was little. The pine needles and other such stuff the robin put here had mostly fallen away.

“Do not fret, friend Robin,” the lion said. “As I walked here, I saw several empty nests. I will lead you to one. Then it will be as if your mistake never happened.”

“O Lion,” the robin replied, “what a piteous state would be mine if all my work for my brood were meaningless. I cannot bear that they go to another nest as if all my day’s work had never happened.”

“Then you will have your brood sleep in this nest?” the lion asked.

“No,” said the robin, “they would fall. It is not fair to them to suffer for my mistakes.”

“And you see no way for the nest to be repaired?” the lion asked.

“Oh no,” said the robin, “it was a bad idea from the start.”

Then the king of beasts took the ring of thorns and placed it on his own head. “Let your brood nest in my mane, walled in by you’ve the ring you made.”

Someone must bear the consequences.

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September 08th, 2015 11:30:01

No

August 02nd, 2015 by G.

Without safety ropes, harnesses, or climbing gear of any kind, two brothers—Jimmy, age 14, and John, age 19 (though those aren’t their real names)—attempted to scale a sheer canyon wall in Snow Canyon State Park in my native southern Utah. Near the top of their laborious climb, they discovered that a protruding ledge denied them their final few feet of ascent. They could not get over it, but neither could they now retreat from it. They were stranded. After careful maneuvering, John found enough footing to boost his younger brother to safety on top of the ledge. But there was no way to lift himself. The more he strained to find finger or foot leverage, the more his muscles began to cramp. Panic started to sweep over him, and he began to fear for his life.

Unable to hold on much longer, John decided his only option was to try to jump vertically in an effort to grab the top of the overhanging ledge. If successful, he might, by his considerable arm strength, pull himself to safety.

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August 02nd, 2015 05:00:55

What is required from explanations of Christ’s Atonement?

June 11th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

What happened with the Atonement of Christ has proved to be a controversial topic over the past two thousand years. The situation is, for many or most Christians, that while Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection is known to be the central fact; a satisfactory and satisfying explanation of the Atonement is something each person may have-to sort-out for himself.

Here is a framework.

1. Establish God’s ultimate aim and hope for Man – What does God want Man to become?

2. Christians know that Jesus Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection was – in some way – essential to the fulfilment of that hope.

3. So, the explanation of what exactly Christ’s Atonement was, and how it worked; must be provided with reference to God’s ultimate aim for Man, and Christ’s essential contribution to the achievement of that aim.

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June 11th, 2015 23:21:50

Is Torture Good?

June 09th, 2015 by G.

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June 09th, 2015 11:16:31

Service and the Atonement

May 18th, 2015 by G.

Did he also experience all the small acts of kindness, and service, where people went out of their way to “lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees”? Did he experience the joy that the lonely feel when one reaches out to them to let them know they matter and are cared about? Did he feel the hope restored when we visit someone who is sick or in prison and cheered their hearts? Did he feel the relief of the overwhelmed when someone paused to share their burden with them? Did he feel the relief we feel when someone forgives us of our screwups and mistakes, or when someone shows us undeserved mercy?

-thus Jon Goff.  Read the whole thing.

It reminded me of the Royal Largesse theory of the atonement.  It gives a Christmas flavor to Easter doctrines.

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May 18th, 2015 12:46:22

Repentance is Suicide

May 01st, 2015 by MC

 

The fear of change is the fear of death. They are not similar fears; they are the same fear, only manifested in different circumstances. (more…)

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May 01st, 2015 01:11:51

The Atonement was Outside the Walls

April 30th, 2015 by G.

Reading a Catholic priest’s sermon here, I ran across this interesting point.  Both aspects of the atonement, in the garden and on the cross, took place outside the walls of Jerusalem.  That is, symbolically, outside the domain of order and civilization, and in the domain of chaos and disorder.  In other words, in both, Christ put himself in Satan’s power.  The sermoner doesn’t realize, of course, that Gethsemane was part of the atonement, but that makes his argument all the stronger. (more…)

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April 30th, 2015 11:33:20

What is Repentance?

April 22nd, 2015 by G.

Repentance is recognizing reality

from Bruce Charlton  (paraphrased)

One thing that quote means (not the only thing) is this: the reality is that sin is really bad.  Sinful, in fact.  Not least among the ways Christ made repentance possible through the atonement is simply by showing in his person how serious sin is.  Sin required the Son of God to suffer.  The human character is mostly incapable of taking a transgression seriously if it can simply be waved off.

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April 22nd, 2015 08:23:04

As Man is, God Once Was

April 03rd, 2015 by G.

As Man is, God once was.

As God is, Man may be.

There is lots of scriptural support for the second half of Lorenzo Snow’s couplet. There is little support for the first half, the way President Snow meant it.

There are alternate meanings, though.  The couplet is quasi-scriptural. Scripture usually has more than one layer of meaning. (more…)

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April 03rd, 2015 09:07:33

Christ and the General Will

April 03rd, 2015 by G.

What do people collectively want? It’s hard to say. Voting gives you one kind of answer, but voting isn’t nuanced. Voters can only say yes or no to ballot questions as phrased and as they understand them. It’s possible that with more explanation they might feel differently, or with even slightly different phrasing they choose the other option.   Or else they can only select between candidates. Different voting systems give different answers. Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem says that no voting system can ever perfectly capture voter intent. Polls are even more fallible.

That’s where the concept of the General Will comes in. What if someone knew the people well enough to have an intuitive, almost literary, sense of what they wanted? That’s why dictatorships claim to be democracies. They say they’re giving the nation what it really, collectively, wants.

The reason it’s hard to know what voters want is because it’s hard to know what a voter wants. Individuals are something like a collection of people over time. No man can step in the same river twice, the Greek said, because it’s never the same man. The mind is always engaged in editing memory to fit the needs of the present, which it wouldn’t need to do if we were really fully the same throughout, if we always had the same end in view. (more…)

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April 03rd, 2015 07:16:01

Why Two Atonements?

April 02nd, 2015 by G.

Mormon Christianity has a lot of odd little teachings that don’t seem to add up to anything at first glance.  Resurrected beings have bodies of flesh and blood.  Heaven has three main degrees.  Satan rules over the water.  And Christ atoned twice, first in the Garden, second on the cross. (more…)

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April 02nd, 2015 12:00:08