Can Men Become Gods? James White (Baptist) vs Martin Tanner (LDS) – Debate Notes


Here is a link to the debate:

And here are my notes on the winning LDS points made in favor of theosis, becoming as God:

Men becoming Gods was universally taught in the early Christian Church and some Protestant reformers even taught it and many Catholics recognize it

Salvation means becoming like God

The disciple is not above his master but everyone that is perfect shall be as their master

References many Christian early fathers books on theosis deification

We become transformed into the very likeness of the Lord

Book of Revelation says he that overcomes will inherit all things

By communion with the Divine we rise to be the Divine

The only Christians who reject exaltation theosis deification are the evangelicals and a few groups of Protestants

BH Roberts said man is the same race as the Gods: he has descended not from lower races but from higher

The Bible speaks of divine counsels and gods and these are not idols

The Bible says we will reach the stature of Christ in all his completeness

Colossians says Jesus the son of God has in him the full nature of God . And we grow until we reach the stature of Christ in all his completeness. Thus you obtain the status of God.

2 Corinthians 3 we are being transformed into his very likeness

It’s not a partial likeness. The New Testament language says into his very likeness

Revelations 5:10 we shall reign on Earth with him

1 John 3:1-3 when he shall appear those who are faithful shall be like him

It doesn’t say sort of like him or kind of like him it just says like him

It doesn’t say like him except in the sense that he is God it just says like him

He that overcometh shall inherit all things

It doesn’t say some things or most things it says all things

Baptists don’t like the idea that God was once a man but we have Jesus who was once a man

Paul says we are the children of God

Of course God is unique, everyone is unique

No Christian has ever claimed that deification means we supplant God
Or that we are somehow above God or become part of the godhead
The idea is that those who are enthroned God’s will be below the savior

Note and this is natural – everyone is below someone else and it does not mean we don’t continue to rise but as we rise those who are above us rise also and that is good and the natural family order

God provides in the Divine council in the midst of the Gods, in the Assembly of the Gods he gives his decisions says the Bible

Baptists say that we cannot limit God yet they at the same time limit God in his ability to make us Gods

The early church fathers said God could do all things and that includes making the faithful joint heirs with Christ who would inherit all things. So much for the unbridgeable Gulf between God and man which protestants push.

The Bible is silent about where God came from.

Many Bible translations talk about God’s creation in Genesis as a creation out of pre-existing chaos and matter not out of nothing

Note: Protestants like to talk about how God created man and Mormons talk about how man has always existed – the difference here is referring to two separate things: the essence of man (intelligence) has always existed just as long as God and everything else has (no beginning, no end), but God did indeed create man spiritually and physically

Protestants reject the early Christian teachings of becoming a god by saying that these references merely mean somehow joining with Christ as a spiritual being. Protestants reject the truth that we are the children of God and the same race as God.

Protestants do not believe we will become like Christ

Psalm 82 verse 1 God dwells in the council of the Gods

The Good News Bible says that God dwells in Heavenly council of Gods psalm 82:1

Whenever the Bible says something Protestants don’t like they claim it’s a context problem

God certainly is different than man, but Paul and the early church fathers thought that we are The offspring of God and that we are prototypes of God; in other words God’s in embryo

In a sense we share the same nature as God as it states in the New Testament that we are his children. As a child is born it has the nature of its parent but it can develop that nature more and more; this is why we are both children of God and we must believe in Christ to become children of God in a greater sense.

Joseph Smith, Catholic scholars, and Orthodox scholars believe that Genesis creation speaks not about a creation out of nothing but a creation out of existing elements and matter. Also many of the early church fathers believed there was a pre-existence of humans.

Jeremiah refers to people existing before Earth. Most Jews who read that saw it as saying and believed it to say that there was a pre-existence and many Christians read it the same way.

The New Testament implies life before Earth by asking why was this man born blind was it his sin or his parents

There are many ways to interpret the Bible this is why there are so many Christian denominations

Those who believe that Jesus is God believe that God is an exalted man.

The early church fathers had a common saying “we don’t think great thoughts we do great things”

The Eastern Orthodox Church today, the Catholic church today, and the latter-day saints believe that men can become gods

CS Lewis taught about God making us into Gods

Isaiah 43:10 says there is no other God beside me and this must be read in context – this account was about people worshiping false gods. But there are many clear references in scriptures such as psalm 82:1 that there are other gods which are true. God says he is the Lord of lords that means he is over other deities.

Protestants say that Jesus is the only exalted man

The three-in-one God subject is found in scripture but to say that that God is of one substance undividable is not found in scripture and is merely the Creed

God himself affirmed that Adam and Eve would become as God in Genesis. God said man is become as one of us.

Job 38:7 the sons of God shout for joy before Earth

Origen and nearly all of the Orthodox Christian fathers support the doctrine of theosis

The Book of Mormon does not talk a lot about deification, the point of that book is not to tell every doctrine, but we do read a lot about deification in the Bible and the doctrine and covenants and other scripture.


Note: We always must go back to the fact that the LDS Church is not bound to just the bible, the “solo scriptura” like the protestants are. We have opened the whole thing up, and answered many items which the rest of Christendom deems “unanswerable”. We are bringing God’s Kingdom here and now, and revealing its mysteries! Get on board folks!

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