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Offspring of God

Posted by nebula0 on March 26, 2009

Alright, so this is the last little apologetics related post for a while… at least let’s hope.  But, Mormon apologists, future missionaries everywhere, it’s better to be aware of these things from the outset.  I’m sure you know about that verse in Acts in which Paul is speaking to the Athenians and says  that we are the offspring of God.  I’m sure you also know that that is a popular Mormon prooftext (i.e. a verse often used by Mormons to bolster particular Mormon claims).  Please be aware that in that verse Paul is actually quoting a philosopher named Cleanthes who wrote a poem exalting Zeus.  Given the context of the quotation, you may want to proceed rather cautiously when trying to use that tidbit to make any broad theological claims.

Well, that wasn’t so bad, was it?


9 Responses to “Offspring of God”

  1. Seth R. said

    So… was he quoting him favorably or unfavorably?

    • nebula0 said

      Doesn’t matter for the simple point I wanted to make. If Paul was quoting a pagan philosopher writing poetry to Zeus in order to make a connection for the Athenians, we should probably be a little careful about taking that same quote and trying to build a theology on it. Rather, we really ought to keep in the context of the entire speech and put quotation marks around it, and then go from there.

  2. Darrell said

    Also, keep in mind John 1:12… it speaks very differently about this subject and contradicts the Mormon claim. It is not ALL of us who are children of God. It is only those who come to Christ…

    “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”

    As you point out, the verse LDS use in Acts is taken out of context.


  3. Seth R. said

    Darrell, that assumes that we don’t have the ability to forfeit an existing status as God’s children – which would therefore require a reconciliation.

    The mere fact that John speaks of a reconciliation doesn’t mean we weren’t children to begin with.

  4. Darrell said

    Not so Seth. This verse is not speaking about forfeiting something and then being reconciled again. It specifically says that only through accepting Him are we given the right to BECOME His children. If we are all His children in the first place, as LDS teach, we would not need to be given the right to BECOME His children… we would already be so.

    Become is the operative word here… we can’t BECOME something we already are. Under your theology the fall was a good thing. The fall does not make us NOT the children of God… under your theology we still are the children of God regardless of the fall… remember the song… “I am a child of God”.


  5. Seth R. said

    Guess I just don’t read it as dogmatically as you do Darrell.

    Again, I think the primary difference between us is which verses we take literally and which we take symbolically.

  6. Darrell said


    When one chooses to take a verse symbolically there has to be a reason from the text to do so. To do so without a textual reason leads to multiple problems. What from this specific verse and chapter leads you to believe it is symbolic?


  7. Seth R. said

    “When one chooses to take a verse symbolically there has to be a reason from the text to do so.”

    Wrong. You can also use reasons from outside the text.

    Quit trying to rig the game in your favor.

  8. Darrell said

    What source or reason outside the text leads you to the conclusion that this passage is symbolic?


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