The problem is there's a trap for the innocent here. I know what you mean, and
would agree with it. The problem is that Platonists would ascribe an *independent*
existence to a characteristic. Kind of like turning an adjective into a noun. So
"God" became an abstract and separate existence "an und für sich" (in and of
itself, existentially speaking), which laid the ground for later apostate notions
such as the God without body, parts or passions.

George Cobabe wrote:

> Marc - would it be true to say that we LDS believe in a universal definition
> of Godhood, and what is entailed in that high station, and see infinite
> manifestations of that universal concept?  What is "God" is a universal
> constant that many, many are exalted to conform with?
> If this is true - then does the false notion of trinitarianism have a basis
> in truth, but then it is corrupted in its application?

There is another notion found amongst some of the earliest, Greek-speaking Church
Fathers (Augustine readily admitted his ignorance of NT Greek, and the
"latinization" influence he had on early Church doctrine was key in the apostasy,
imo), called "theosis," a version of which is still found in the Orthodox Church
today. The Roman Church has lost even the modern eastern notion, which is usually
called "apotheosis" (I think -- I'm going to have to look that up if anyone calls
me on it). But first "theosis" -- that simply means becoming God. It's the LDS
concept of exaltation and people like Eusebius used it. However, so did Arius, who
was on the losing side of a debate about the nature of the trinity at Nicaea in
the early 4th century, so the baby got thrown out with the bathwater. But the
eastern church kept a version of the "Arian heresy" which meant to get admitted
into God's presence and sharing in his glory.

So "godhood" exists, and one could say theosis (or in Mormonese, exaltation) is
the process of attaining that status, but we wouldn't assign an "an und für sich",
or "universal" existence to it. That turns it into a "thing" which we would
reject. This is a very fine distinction, and I'm not sure I'm explaining it very
well. It's easy to get bogged down in philosophical niceties here.

> George

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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