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I guess one could take this a couple of ways (depending on how many dimensions you compactify of course). Once God is revealed we drift away from him due to complacency, laziness, etc. Another view may be that divine events are easiest to believe when they are historical.

When it comes down to it though, if this diminishing really does happen, is it because of a lack of belief, or because of too much false belief. For the latter, I wonder if it is possible to exaggerate God to a point where his existence is just too fantastical to make much of an impact? Hope that last comment isn’t too sacrilegious.

Friedman also has a translation and commentary on the Torah that is second to none.

I’ve contrasted the diminishment of God within the various cultures/societies (within the modern church) as a function of overall belief of a culture/society. I think cool stuff happens at different rates in different societies (regardless of the percentage of church members). Besides the narrative that God diminished, is there any evidence that the biblical people just stopped buying into the whole interactive nature of Divinity? I think you could probably contrast Adam’s versus Moses’ peoples.

This relates to chris g’s first point. As to his second, I would argue that the early saints clearly started out with traditional Christian notions of God and that they slowly morphed into what is essentially a less fantastical and more comprehensible God. Yet, at Kirtland, when God was still viewed in the more traditionally fantastic role, things did not seem to be diminished any.

DKL, yes I've looked through the Friedman multi-font Torah. It's a great reference book, but tough to check out of the library and just read through. I can't believe no one has done something like that before!

J Stapley, I didn't talk about it in my short comments, but Friedman did have a chapter where he talked about the seemingly natural perspective that people in any age take, looking back to a fantastic golden age of religion (where God walked and talked with the larger-than-life religious figures of the past) and looking forward to an apocalyptic or millenial age (when God will show His marvelous power once again). Yet the present time, whenever it is, always seems to be the low point where miracles and great prophets are strangely absent, like we all have a persistent temporal inferiority complex of the present. Interesting idea.

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