Once Catholic, always Catholic. That inedible mark does not go away. Most Catholics are really only a good confession away from coming back into communion with the body of Christ.


If this is what you about me, I do not see how it could result in getting you in trouble. When you claimed you should be banned for your comment, I thought perhaps you were being really ugly to me somehow.

When I was truly trying to understand what Catholicism REALLY was and was told by many Catholics (and at least a few Protestants) that I was going to be Catholic again, I always took it as a complement (from the Catholics a complement).

I have said a number of times that if I ever became convinced that God was not involved in producing the Book of Mormon and restoring His Church through Joseph Smith, I would be at confession hopefully within 1-2 days. So, I am a radical change in conviction AND a good confession away from being a Catholic (that doesn’t mean I do not think the problems with the Catholic Church are HUGE, that doesn’t mean I think there is ANY Catholic explanation for the Book of Mormon and the witness of the Book of Mormon, that doesn’t mean … well you know).

But, it means that there are many good things about the Catholic Church and it is my second choice.

Charity, TOm


Christians have always believed God was a God of Spirit; incorporeal.

To summarize the Mormon argument against this fact:

Augustine believed that Christians believed in a God of flesh and bone.

Augustine learned he was wrong.

Therefore the early Christians believed God had a body of flesh and bone.

Another Mormon argument:

Many ECFs ridiculed Jews for believing that God had a body of flesh and bone.

Therefore the early Christians believed that God had a body of flesh and bone.


Why do the Jews believe differently from the ECF? Christianity is supposed to be the fulfillment of Judaism…


You are very condescending in your posts.

I have read some of the ECF, however I am not an expert.
1). Are you?

2). So let me understand what you are saying:
Because Augustine supposedly said (you haven’t provided a link yet) that God may have had a body that means the Jewish teaching about God being incorporeal is incorrect?

3). Why did BYU state that Augustine was not credible?

The link I posted claims that there was disagreement among the Jews -which is very common btw- up until Maimonides created the articles of faith in the 1200’s.
4). So Jewish teaching about God from 1200+ - now is incorrect?


TOm said in his earlier post that Augustine didn’t want to become Christian because he believed God had a body…

Meaning -

The early Christians believed God was incorporeal.

(I feel a meme coming on lol)


Hello Stephen,

Of course your mocking presentation of my point is precisely how the Early Chruch was treated by the learned. I will correct what you have said shortly so it is more accurate, but first let me offer this from Cardinal Newman:

As the modern Catholic Church CHANGES, it might think about this from Newman a bit before “global warming” is a more important teaching than avoiding adultery.

Charity, TOm


The Jews used anthropomorphic language when talking about God. This could lead someone to falsely believe that the Jews actually believed that God had a body of flesh and bones. If I remember correctly, it is this same anthropomorphic language that Mormons use to explain why they believe that God has a body of flesh and bone.


Perhaps I’m just ignorant of my peoples history but I’d sure like to see evidence that Jews believed in an embodied God?

And please, saying “the Jews believed” is as inaccurate as “Protestants believe”. There were many differing Jewish beliefs. Some may have even believed in an embodied God but they certainly weren’t the majority! One of the strongest beliefs most Jews had was that God could not be man and any physical representation of Him was idolatry.


In this excerpt, Newman is plainly referring to the Catholic Church as existing from the time it was first established by Jesus, until the present day, Newman’s day.

“if there is a form of Christianity now in the world … it is not unlike Christianity as that same world viewed it, when first it came forth from its Divine Author“

Newman acknowledges the severe distaste that he and his contemporaries had for even a thought that the alien religion he was exploring, might be true, yet that he had to finally recognize as the Catholic Church.

I don’t know where you meant to go with this; it is off topic to the OP.


This is not true and you have admitted as much in the past. There was Serapion and Tertullian (and Lacantius too BTW) unless you do not believe they were “true Christians.”

Let’s flesh this out a little. Augustine was raised as a Catholic by his mother who is a Catholic saint. Augustine left the Catholic faith in response to three attacks of the faith as he understood it from the Manicheans, one of which was that Catholics believed God is “limited by a bodily shape.” (Conf 3:7:12) He returned to the Catholic faith when an educated Christian (Ambrose) taught him this was not the case.

I do not believe Augustine was so ignorant that when his Manicheans persecutors ridiculed Catholic anthropomorphic beliefs he thought, “My mother and I have never thought this to be true, but if the Manicheans claim it is, it must be. I will cease to be a Christian.”

No, Augustine lived in an area of Africa where MANY Christians believed God was embodied and this continued into the 4th century. This makes more sense of what Augustine wrote.

I will acknowledge, that he never called his mother or his more simple co-religionist simpletons for not understanding, but that makes much more sense than that he rejected his former faith based on something he never believed.

Actually, this is not the argument. @SunshineGrandma claimed that Christians should believe about God what Jews did. Problem was she picked a 12th century Jew and the ECF witness to the fact that Jews believed in an embodied God. Origin specifically saying that Jews and some Christians believe this.

Anyway, I do not think my arguments are near as ridiculous as you seem to think they are, but I am used to this type of misrepresented.

Charity, TOm


I was responding to what looked like an attempt at “gotcha” dialogue when you DEMANDED just a “simple yes or no.” I do not think that evidences that you were trying to understand me but rather trying to TRAP me. I do not mean to make you feel less or that I consider myself more, but I do want you to recognize that such DEMANDS come across as condescending too. Sorry if I hurt you.

I would say the same thing.


I do think concerning God’s corporeal/incorporeal nature there is enough there that you shouldn’t have claimed that a 12th century Jew is the proper witness.

Your argument falls apart if you value the ECF over a 12th century Jew. There are many works that delineate the movement from a Jewish corporeal God who could not be seen by normal means to a completely incorporeal God who could not be seen. Most suggest it was the middle ages before this was complete (much later than the transition for Christianity that I claimed).

Can you acknowledge that your argument that Catholicism is true because it conceives of God the same way Jews was flawed?

I have quoted a little from Augustine and explained the context and why I believe it is quite clear that Augustine was a Christian who believed in an anthromoporphic God, rejected Christianity because of this, and the decided he could be a Christian and not believe that God was corporeal.

The Jewish part is because you argued that Catholicism is the fulfillment of Judaism because it conceives of God the same way, but that’s not accurate.

I suspect most folks at BYU would agree with:

BUT… the disagreement started for Jews as they engaged with Greek philosophy just like Christians. Before that there was little disagreement. God could not be seen normally, but was embodied.

And IMO, modern Jews and non-LDS Christians are wrong. Ancient Jews, ancient Christians (like Tertullian and Lacantius and Melito, and Serapion and numerous unnamed individuals) and LDS are correct.

LDS do not believe what we believe because of the Bible as claimed by Stephen, we believe what we believe because God revealed it.

Charity, TOm


Most scholars believe that Jews believed in a corporeal God for a long time.
LDS hold the beliefs we do because we believe God revealed this.
I also believe it is a much better read of the Bible than the belief argued for against the Bible and the Jewish witness for centuries in the texts of the ECF. The ECF acknowledged the clear read of the Bible and argued for a figurative read of the Bible instead.
Charity, TOm


It was a request due to your resistance to answer questions with a simple answer.
Instead, your responses go on for paragraphs twisting and turning.

The “gotcha” was when you said Augustine was reluctant to become Christian because he believed God had a body and (they didn’t). Read: early Christians believed God was incorporeal.


I absolutely value the Jewish definition of God over an ECF (if he even said it…still waiting for a link).

The Jewish people have always valued debate on all issues and the incorporeal vs corporeal nature of God is no exception.

The fact that the Catholic Church teaches God is incorporeal stems from the Jewish belief that was solidified by Maimonides and accepted as official Jewish teaching.


The ONLY answer can be that Augustine is a witness to what Augustine believed and to various things concerning the 4th and 5th century.

He was a member of the what the Pastor of Hermas called an “inferior” organization that replaced the apostolic Church lead by revelation.

This makes him reliable for some things and unreliable for others.

Similar things must be said by Catholics who know what Augustine wrote. He is both reliable and not reliable when it comes to defining what Catholicism believes.

Please quote where I said this, I do not think I did.

Charity, TOm


Please provide Jewish sources to support your claim.


“The fact that the Catholic Church teaches God is incorporeal stems from the Jewish belief that was solidified by Maimonides and accepted as official Jewish teaching.”
So the Catholic Church relies upon a 12th century Jew to define truth?
I do not think this is what you mean.
Charity, TOm


We accept the same Jewish God they do.

You keep claiming all Jews believed God had a body prior to Maimonides - you haven’t provided any Jewish sources to support this.


Please explain this post.

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