On Doing Theology

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Mormon scholar M. Gerald Bradford asserts that within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the role of theologians is not one of speculation and claims but one of helping themselves and others better understand what they have come to believe. The difference between the Church’s theology and other religious theologies is that members of the Church accept the prophet as the one who can receive divine revelation, so the prophet, not the theologian, is looked to as a source of religious truth. Theologians in the Church are still important as part of a descriptive-interpretive enterprise. They must stay true to the revealed teachings of the gospel and not speculate uncontrollably while still maintaining the spirit of reasoning that is fundamental to a deeper understanding of doctrine.

 

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