Monday, November 29, 2004

False Lessons at the Morg

One of Morg's FAQ's deals with 2 Peter 1:4. I remember when my children were just starting to learn about math. They were so unencumbered by facts or study. They just made it up as they went along. We just encouraged them to have fun, and hoped they would eventually catch on.

This is the way I feel about the folks over at the Morg ( They are so liberated from the dreary need to argue or present facts, they feel totally happy to write whatever falls onto their webpages. No need to have them actually tie to history or scholarship. Isn't that sweet!

As usual, they avoid actually quoting the verse they comment upon, so let's start there:

[God's] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (NIV, 2 Peter 1:3-4)

The words in red are selected because they indicate what gift is being given to the saved. A good place to start with understanding is with the authoritative Greek-English lexicons. The following are brief definitions:

Divine: Greek theios which BDAG describes as "1. Pertaining to that which belongs to the nature or status of deity, divine." So Peter uses the same word in both verse 3 and 4. It is not adopted power, man by nature power or idol power, but by Divine power. So if we then participate in the Divine nature, Peter does not mean semi-divine, idol or man-like nature.

Participate: Greek koinonos which BDAG defines as "1. one who takes part in something, with someone, companion, partner, sharer...b. in something...2 Pt 1:4." It means for example to be an equal partner in a business or committing an act, such as adultery.

Nature: Greek phusis which BDAG defines as "2. the natural character of an entity, natural characteristic/disposition... sharers in the divine nature 2 Pt 1:4".

One of the major blows to the repetitive, unBiblical statement that our nature cannot be like God's is this verse and its specific use of the word koinonos. Participation, as Peter uses this word, means to be a partner or joint participant. The question is joint-participant in what? Divinity or godliness. How do we participate in being divine as a joint partner with God without being ourselves divine? Because the word means a joint-participating partner in the divine nature, and has the historical meaning of an equal partner or participant, it is philosophical double-talk to say God stays divine in this venture, but we do not.

Further, look at the powers which are included: Omniscience (1 Cor 13:12); Judgement, which previously was solely a divine function (Ps 50:4-6, 1 Cor 6:2-3), all things which Christ inherited including glory (Romans 8:16-18), and since Christ received by inheritance His divine name, through which mankind is saved, so shall we receive that name (Heb. 1:4); Dominion and Lordship over all creation (Gen 1:28; Ps 8:3-8; 1 Cor 3:21-23); Sit upon the Throne of God with Christ, being worshipped (Rev 3:21). Receive an eternal crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4).

On the last item, receiving an eternal crown of glory, there is such a basic question to ask of the Morgites that one wonders how they could miss it. How can a created being become eternal? I of course don't believe we are a created being in the sense of the post-Biblical ex-nihilo creation. But even if we were, is Morg arguing that men can become eternal beings? Being eternal means there is no end, ever. So what makes our future any different than the future which God has? Since we are properly called gods as to the nature of our salvation, as even Morg notes on their webpage, if our final existence, power, glory, knowledge and dominion are the same as God and Christ's, what is the difference between an uncreated but eternally lasting being and the created, eternally lasting being who possesses all of the same powers and abilities of God?

Lastly, when did anyone who is not LDS hear taught in their church that they would be as God? Morg only reluctantly acknowledges this to be the final destiny of saved people (I say reluctantly because they repeatedly say there are not multiple real gods and man cannot become like god, but then when confronted with 2 Pet 1:4 must acknowledge that men can be properly called gods, they just lack eternal existence prior to their life on earth).

Saved mankind are properly called gods as to their final state. We boil down to arguing whether part of a human being has eternally existed or not. I will discuss that next. It is the height of hypocrisy to say Mormons are creating false gods, but then acknowledge they actually do correctly describe mankinds final state.

Someday Morg's nephews have some great stories to look forward to. Children love fantasy.

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