Thursday, October 25, 2007

Did C. S. Lewis teach anything like the Mormon doctrine of deification

As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become. Lewis certainly didn't teach the first of these. But some present-day Mormon apologists are suggesting that Lewis accept the second half of this infamous couplet. This essay, by Gretchen Passantino, shows that this is simply ridiculous. We're creatures of God forever according to Lewis, not God's equal. To think otherwise is to quote selectively in a way that is patently dishonest.

HT: Jeff Downs

6 comments:

JD Walters said...

I find that the Mormon method of proof-texting is quite disingenous and not at all balanced. Joseph Smith apparently got all excited when he found out that the word for God in Genesis, "Elohim" is plural. He failed to consider the possibility that this was a royal plural. And granted, there are other passages where the Lord is said to be "great above all gods" but there is a definite trend towards their 'demythologizing' in the OT, leaving just one God and in any case not one of them is remotely in the same league as Yahweh. At best they might be considered inferior heavenly beings, but Mormons grab onto these passages and say, "see, the Bible teaches that there are multiple Gods".

Jeff Downs said...

The following maybe of interest...

Video Lessons on the Meaning of the Hebrew Word Elohim, by Michael Heiser.

Also, Joseph Smith and the First Verse of the Bible, by Ronald V. Huggins. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol. 46, No. 1 (March 2003)

JD Walters said...

Huggins' article is fantastic, a real work of scholarship, not least because it is very careful with the Mormon scriptures themselves. I don't see that a reasonable case can be made against his arguments without considerable exegetical twisting and special pleading.

Jason said...

Actually, the notion of a royal plural comes from some other culture in our history I think. It wasn't in the culture of the time (from what I've recently learned), and so couldn't have been applied to El by extension.

It may be noticed that I've been bringing up the common plural 'Elohim' as a title-reference-name for the _singular_ use of God in the OT, in the recent debating with Mormons here on the site. One might have thought they would try to get that in first.

Jeff G said...

Yeah, well-informed Mormons already pointed this one out a long time ago. I'm too lazy to look it up right now, but there was some article in the Mormon scholarship magazine "Dialogue" which basically said the same thing.

Victor Reppert said...

Yes. This is the Millet-Robinson wing doing some PR, and I suspect that this isn't going to sit too well with more traditional Mormons.