Thursday, November 05, 2009

James Shewey Talks about Mormonism

Tonight is a teaching and discussion on NRMs (New Religious Movements) and world religions. Tonight the discussion is on Mormonism.

It is 7pm. The Gathering gang is typically a little late so we are waiting a few minutes to jump into the teaching. Nancy is here. Tim is visiting, because he liked the topic and he is quite eclectic in his view of religion. James, and his wife Nicole who will teach on Jehovah's Witnesses are here. Mike and Will are here as well.

7:09 and Joanne just arrived, and Mike followed by bringing in popcorn. Oh yeah! Popcorn and a Mormon. Carrie arrived just in time for the popcorn.

7:15 and we are off and running.

James worked with LDS kids in California, and took them to Utah and was involved in interfaith dialogues at BYU.

He asked the question about what we had heard about salvation. Not much was known by the group except by Mike and I. Currently the church teaches that salvation is "by grace alone."

There is now a wandering dialogue about the beliefs and practices of Mormonism.

James has brought the discussion into the point of Christology. The Triune nature of God is being considered against the Mormon idea of God being triune in purpose. A review of church history and the Trinity is following the development of the doctrine of the trinity.

7:37 James just read the Nicene creed.

Monarchism is being discussed: That the Father is above in power and authority over the other members of the Godhead.

Modalism: There are three faces to God, masks we might say, which show the different characters of the trinity.

After some debate between a couple people about whether it is important believe some of the specifics of Christianity, or whether all people have the Spirit of God.

I jumped in and mentioned some of my disagreement with some very harsh Church Fathers who established hard lines of heresy, and potentially kept very well meaning seekers from being seen as followers of Christ.

A discussion is now going on about relationship as a means of pursuing sharing our lives with one another. Mike asks what the dynamics of that relationship looks like.

8:13 After James mentions the Mormon belief that all people can become gods, Tim excuses himself. He has been a little uncomfortable since he had a little debate with one of the others about what constitutes true spirituality. I saw this coming about 5 minutes before it occurred.

Follow up and concluding discussions include dealing with Mormon missionaries, and the Mormon belief that the Fall of Man was necessary and good for humanity.

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