There is no new thing under the sun, said Ecclesiastes. Truly he spake. At some point in the restoration of the Church, some Mormon said, "When the Prophet speaks, the thinking has been done." Critics of the Church have never forgotten nor forgiven. It is as if that presumptuous soul invented out of whole cloth some loathsome new cultish doctrine.
This morning, I began to read Anne Fremantle's The Age of Belief, a collection of writings and commentary on early Christian philosophers. Lo and behold, Ms. Freemantle makes the observation that the early Christian Church veered between two poles of belief:
"From apostolic times on, there were two fairly well-defined Christian positions: the deliberately, and aggressively, anti-intellectual, whose supporters argued that since God has spoken to us, it is no longer necessary for us to think, and a more orthodox, but minority, position that whatever is true or good is ours."
She puts the likes of Tertullian in the former camp; Augustine in the latter.
It is perhaps human nature as we contemplate spiritual things, for these two positions to take shape. There is no new thing under the sun. We Mormons are heirs to the same human nature as the rest of our Christian brethren.
Incidentally, the life of Ms. Freemantle appears to have been a fascinating one. Read more here: