Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Non-Gotchya on Mike Huckabee

Some in the press think that they have caught Mike Huckabee in a lie. He said he had a degree in theology, and it turns out he only had a degree in religion. Well, I have a degree in religion too... and that is a degree in theology. As a Protestant, I was an avid reader of American (Protestant) Church history... particularly the period of the 19th Century. When you read a lot of books from this period, one thing that strikes you is that Protestant terminology has evolved over time. For example, time was when if you spoke of a "professor of religion", you were not talking about a college instructor who taught world religious studies courses, but you were a professing Christian. A famous book from the 19th century by noted Christian evangelist Charles Finney, was entitled "Lectures on Revivals of Religion" -- and he was not speaking of revivals of just any religion, but was using the word "religion" as a synonym for "Christian Faith". Another phrase which you still hear occasionally is that someone has "got religion", which means they have made a commitment to Christ.

When I was attending Southern Nazarene University, I was a Religion Major in the Religion Department, and I received a B.A. in Religion. Not long after I graduated, they changed the name of that Department and it is now "The School of Theology and Ministry", and were I graduating today, I would be awarded a B.A. in Theology.

It has been my experience that telling people you have a degree in Religion only results in them coming to false conclusions about the nature of that degree, and so I have generally just told people that I have a degree in theology, because as a matter of fact, that is what I have, and that term is less prone to misinterpretation... which is why my Alma Mater changed the name of that degree. A rose by any other name is still a rose. A theological degree by any other name is still a theological degree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Huckabee was right: Mormons do teach that Jesus Christ and Satan are brothers

New campaign debate: Is Satan Jesus' brother?
Mormon church weighs in on Huckabee suggestion

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has prompted angry denunciations of religious bigotry by rival Mitt Romney as well as an official retort from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for speculating in a New York Times Magazine interview this weekend that Mormons believe Jesus and Satan were brothers.

Stirred by the debate, the Associated Press sought clarification from Kim Farah, a spokeswoman from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She said the question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith, but she evaded a direct answer to the question: "We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for."

More to the point, the official website of the LDS church explicitly makes the sibling connection between Jesus and Lucifer a matter of official Mormon doctrine.

"On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some – especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations," says the statement. "But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too, was an angel "who was in authority in the presence of God," a "son of the morning." (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25–27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer's older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)"

But Romney interprets the question from Huckabee – rhetorical or not – to be a display of religious bigotry.

"But I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far," he said on NBC's "Today" show. "It's just not the American way, and I think people will reject that."

The exchange is setting up tonight's GOP presidential debate, the final showdown before the Iowa caucuses, as a potentially fiery denouement in the first major contest of the 2008 primary campaign.

Will the Satan card be played?

Are theological questions fair game?

Huckabee, a Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor, has surged in public opinion polls and is now ahead of Romney in polls in Iowa, which holds its caucus Jan. 3.

He made the comment before Romney gave a major speech last week trying to dispel fears about his church, particularly among conservative Christians, an important voting bloc. Romney said he believes Jesus Christ is the son of God and savior of mankind, and that his White House would not be controlled by his church.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Fall Pastoral Retreat of the Western American Diocese in Los Angeles Concludes

The Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles

You can read what I was up to last month in Los Angeles last month by clicking here.

You can see photos by clicking here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Romney's problem with Evangelicals

Mitt Romney's primary problem (no pun intended) with conservative Evangelicals is not so much a question of his being a Mormon... though that doesn't help him much either, since Mormons are considered to be a religious cult by Evangelicals (and with good reason). However, I think given a choice between Rudy Giuliani, they would pick a good Mormon in a heartbeat. But Romney's biggest problem is that on the issues that matter to conservative Evangelicals... he has not been a good Mormon. He has supported abortion and gays in the military... he has changed his mind... so he says, but inconsistency on these issues is the primary reason why Huckabee is quickly becoming the candidate for those who see these moral issues as the biggest issues when selecting a candidate.

And aside from that, Huckabee has a sense of humor:

Obsession - Radical Islams War Against the West

This is a great video, that everyone should see. It is scary how political correctness is killing us. Maybe this video will help wake America up, before it is too late.