A few weeks ago there was a discussion at Mormon Coffee, an anti-Mormon evangelical Christian blog, about the LDS doctrine of progression and the human potential to become gods. I felt the doctrine did not differ excessively from the type of divine potential expressed by Christian author C.S. Lewis (our favorite dry-Mormon!):
“It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
A commenter named "Germit" told me that I was misquoting the best. He said that in this quote Lewis IS talking about an eternal progression of sorts, but attaining to the status of any part of the Trinity is far from his theology. Aaron Shafovaloff corrected me in my interpretation of Lewis by saying that Christians don’t believe that we can ever be equal with God in knowledge or power. We will always be inferior “gods”, learning, subservient, dependent under the one Supreme God who is Supreme over all “gods” and worlds and universes and reality. From what I understand of Mormon doctrine, we believe this, too. We certainly do not aspire to attain to the status of any part of the Trinity. Brigham Young declared: "Intelligent beings are organized to become Gods, even the Sons of God, to dwell in the presence of the Gods" (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.245). In his view, mankind would remain the "Sons of God" and always be beneath their Heavenly Father in an eternal hierarchy.
Now, I'm all for maintaining our distance from evangelical Christianity. I believe we do have some very different ideas of the nature of God, and that our doctrines are not really compatible. But on this particular point I felt unsettled because I feel we are being misrepresented. An informal poll of a few mainstream Mormons has shown me that none of us think we will ever attain to the same status as God. As far as I know, even our early authorities did not teach we would ever be equal with God the Father. Am I wrong?
Readers, what is your interpretation of eternal progression? In what way will we always be inferior to our Heavenly Creator? Do you know of any Mormon teachings which would suggest otherwise?