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Exploring Mormon Thought: The Attributes of God (vol. 1) Hardcover – October 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Greg Kofford Books Inc; 1st edition (October 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589580036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589580039
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,202,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


If I were to pick out a single book on Mormon theology...I'd really say this is it. -- Mormon Metephysics: Contemplations within Philosophy and Theology

From the Publisher

This is a limited, leather, signed and numbered edition. Truly a collectors piece. --This text refers to the Leather Bound edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Even the work of Sterling McMurrin pales in comparison with this work, both in scope and lucidity.
Kevin K. Winters
Ostler without grinding an axe makes the Christian creeds seem preposterous and Mormon theology highly reasonable, logical, even inevitable.
Bryce Dixon
I highly recommend this book for LDS who want to learn more about the attributes of God from an LDS and non-LDS perspective.
Jeffrey Van Wagoner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kevin K. Winters on August 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Almost since its inception, the LDS concept of God has been maligned, misrepresented and misapplied by critics and members alike (though admittedly more of the former). Starting with the theistic conceptions of the Pratt brothers (inventive and inspiring though most of it is), the critique of materialism by T.W.P. Taylder riddled with 17th century dogmatism, and the famous debate between B.H. Roberts and the Rev. Van der Donkt, LDS theism has had a rough and tumble ride. Even in the mid to late 20th century, the LDS concept of God has often been either ignored or rejected out of hand without so much as a (serious) consideration (with very few exceptions). Blake's latest work (and the next two volumes in the series) presents LDS theism in a coherent light, giving it an intellectual respectability that cannot (or should not) be ignored.
David Paulsen, respected philosopher of religion at BYU, stated this of Blake's work: "Besides providing a worthy model of bilingualism [between the secular and the spiritual] which LDS scholars would do well to emulate, this book is ground-breaking in another respect: is by far the most penetrating and comprehensive study of the LDS understanding of the nature of God yet undertaken" (p. xv). With this I must concur. Even the work of Sterling McMurrin pales in comparison with this work, both in scope and lucidity.
Blake approaches the issue of theism from a broad perspective, providing basic information on classical theism, process theism and LDS distinctives. He discusses the classical views of God, their theoretical/philosophical foundations and ably critiques them, presenting arguments against the absolutist conception that have been given almost since its inception to the present.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Oman on May 5, 2002
Format: Leather Bound
In this book Blake Ostler situates the Mormon concept of God within the framework of the analytic philosophy of religion. The result is a book length discussion of Mormon theology that surpasses in sophistication anything that has been written since Sterling McMurrin's Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion, and in my opinion Ostler's treatment is better than McMurrin's (an often overrated thinker). There has been a recent increase in interest in the philosophical analysis of Mormon theology. Thus far the results have been confined mainly to academic journals and panel discussions. With Exploring Mormon Thought, the first major book length treatment of Mormon theology, by a Mormon, written in philosophical language has emerged from these discussions. This book represents a sophisticated statement of Mormon doctrine that anyone approaching the subject from a philosophical perspective will have to deal with in the future.
One of the book's great strengths is its discussion of Christology, which to my knowledge has never been treated philosophically from a Mormon perspective. If the book has a weakness is that it probably spends more time than it needs to in reviewing and summarizing recent academic literature in the analytic philosophy of religion. The summaries will be useful for a reader unfamiliar with the material, and Oslter is obviously trying to situate his book in this discussion by signaling that he has been diligent and responsible in canvassing the relevant literature. However, the discussion gets tiresome at times, and I suspect that some portions of the book will not age well as a result. Indeed, at times one is at a loss to see what -- if anything -- is peculiarlly Mormon about Ostler's discussion.
Still, this is a must read book for anyone interested in philosophy and Mormonism.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Van Wagoner VINE VOICE on February 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Years ago I had in interest in Theology that started when I was a child visiting my grandfather. He was a step-grandson and protégé of B.H. Roberts and had many of his books in his library. I read many of those books and had discussions with my grandfather on many of the subjects referenced by Roberts, including his views on the character of God. After my mission, I went to school, got an engineering degree, went to work, got an MBA and focused on my career and did not delve much more into theology other than my normal scripture study, and some discussions with friends and co-workers. In recent years I have had a renewed interest in the subject, and I noticed that there were not many books on theology from an LDS perspective.

I stumbled onto this book after seeing some favorable reviews on the internet. This book met all of my expectations on explaining the LDS view of the attributes of God, and even exceeded them by going into a very good summary of mainstream Christian views of God. Since I am somewhat of a beginner on theology, Blake's summaries of how the great theologians viewed the characteristics of God were invaluable to me. He covered many of the discussions that have been debated over the centuries very clearly and contrasted them to LDS views.

I had always thought myself as somewhat of a deep thinker, but I discovered in this book that I hadn't even scratched the surface. It has been a great pleasure to read and learn so much. I was fascinated by the problems that are created by the traditional concepts of God. I now have a greater understanding on why so many theologians are Calvinist; it seems to be the logical conclusion to the fundamental assumptions about God.
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