This is a continuation of the “Huge Questions” thread that Catholic Dude started. In one of his last posts, he had some good questions for me, so I decided to pick it up here.
[quote=Catholic Dude]I just saw something, you said “Jesus and the angels are the same species”, explain what this means. Are they both created beings?
I was looking into the lds site for info on that name marked on the angel stuff, and I found something… There were a few pages that said Adam was actually Michael the ArchAngel.
There are two big articles I found Here and Also here.
One thing that needs to be understood is that Catholics divide all things and beings into two categories: 1) God, who is uncreated and eternal, and 2) everyone and everything else, which is created from nothing. On the other hand, Mormons believe that God is the Creator, but He creates from something, not nothing. We have no creatio ex nihilo concept in Mormonism. Therefore, matter and the essence that spirits are made of had no beginning, and will have no end. In our theology, angels are either pre-mortal or post-mortal men. For example, Adam is considered equivalent to Michael. In a sense, all men/angels are created by God, but in another sense they are uncreated, just like God.
[quote=Catholic Dude]Also you keep mentioning “subordinate”, I dont know where TomNossor went, but we were talking about this. You seem to say that “subordinate” means inferrior to God, which is the exact same concept the JWs use. There are different degrees of subordination, for example when Jesus was not in heaven but on earth doing the will of His Father. There are passages that say Jesus took the form of a slave/servant. But He was still God. So in a sense there was a level of subordination, but not how you make it sound. Subordination is not a bad or degrading thing, like I said to Tom there are acceptable views of subordination. Jesus doesnt say “I AM” and mean that only His will is inline with the Father, but that He and the Father are one.
The JWs (who are essentially neo-Arians) start from the same premise that you do, i.e., that God is uncreated and eternal, while everything else came from nothing. The question is, in which category does Jesus belong? Catholics and others put him in the “God” category, and JWs put him in the “everything else” category, as an archangel who can be called “god” with a little “g”.
Mormons, on the other hand, lump God, angels, and men into the same ontological category. However, for us, “God” is not an ontologically “simple” entity that has to be completely homogeneous. Therefore, there can be more than one being included in the One God, and those beings can have gradations of rank and glory. In a sense, these gradations don’t have practical meaning in some contexts, because the beings who make up the One God are completely unified in will, purpose, love, and covenant.
The pre-Nicene early Christian Fathers generally regarded Jesus as subordinate to the Father in rank and glory. So far I have used Justin and Origen as examples, but I can provide more, if you like. Ex-mo mentioned Tertullian. Would you like me to start with him?
In response to my claim that both Justin and Origen claimed that the Jews of their time generally believed in an anthropomorphic deity, CDude asked me to remind him of the sources. Here they are. First, Justin is talking to Trypho the Jew:
And again, when He says, “I shall behold the heavens, the works of Thy fingers,” unless I understand His method of using words, I shall not understand intelligently, but just as your teachers suppose, fancying that the Father of all, the unbegotten God, has hands and feet, and fingers, and a soul, like a composite being; and they for this reason teach that it was the Father Himself who appeared to Abraham and to Jacob. [Dialogue with Trypho 114.]
The Jews indeed, but also some of our people, supposed that God should be understood as a man, that is, adorned with human members and human appearance. But the philosophers despise these stories as fabulous and formed in the likeness of poetic fictions. [Homilies on Genesis 3:1]
Notice that Origen specifically says that some Christians also believed in an anthropomorphic God. And why did Origen reject this belief? Because the philosophers [Origen was a Platonist] thought it was silly. Justin was a converted philosopher, by the way, a Platonist.