From the Inside Flap
Blake Ostler announces his purpose as "a rescue operation to save the heart of God's revelations to the Hebrews from the Greek mind." The direct and powerful experience of the mysterious God that characterizes Hebrew religion was, he asserts, taken captive by the Greek fascination with intellectual puzzles. And the result was the complicated and unsatisfactory doctrine of the Trinity that has dominated traditional thinking ever since. Ostler steps through the common complaint that Mormons aren't Christian because they believe, not only in three separate individuals in the Godhead, but also in the deification of human beings. He demonstrates the clear biblical understanding, both in the precursors of the Old Testament and the New, that Jesus and God the Father were not one in some incomprehensible "substance" while separate in person, but were actually distinct individuals. What made them one was their indwelling love. It is that loving unity into which they invite human beings. A major contribution of this volume, the third in Ostler's series Exploring Mormon Thought, is his reconstruction of the Hebrew view of a council of gods, presided over by the Most High God. In the oldest Hebrew sources, Yahweh was one of these gods. Thus, from the beginning of the Christian revelation, there was no confusion about a shared identity, although Ostler's discussion of the king/vizier relationship in the honor and shame culture of the ancient world explains how the confusion could have arisen. In language and thought accessible to the lay reader but simultaneously rigorous and scholarly, Ostler analyzes and responds to the arguments of contemporary international theologians, reconstructs and interprets Joseph Smith's important King Follett Discourse and Sermon in the Grove just before the Mormon prophet's death, and argues persuasively for the Mormon doctrine of "robust deification."
From the Back Cover
These books are the most important works on Mormon theology ever written. There is nothing currently available that is even close to the rigor and sophistication of these volumes. B. H. Roberts and John A. Widtsoe may have had interesting insights in the early part of the twentieth century, but they had neither the temperament nor the training to give a rigorous defense of their views in dialogue with a wider stream of Christian theology. Sterling McMurrin and Truman Madsen had the capacity to engage Mormon theology at this level, but neither one did. Richard Sherlock FARMS Review
The most important book written on Mormon philosophy since B. H. Roberts's The Truth, The Way and The Life. No one in Mormon studies has done such extensive and rigourous research in philosophy before. R. Dennis Potter Insructor of Humanities and Philosophy Utah Valley State College
One of the precious few attempts in our tradition to deal in a lengthy and systematic way with very difficult theoretical issues. He does not take these problems lightly as others have, but meets them head-on with boldness and confidence. A commendable book. Brian Birch Assistant Professor of Humanities and Philosophy Associate Director for Religious Studies, Center for the Study of Ethics Utah Valley State College