The Book of Mormon’s Contextual Vacuum

An interesting point made at school the other day has inspired me to rise, if only temporarily, from my end-of-school paper writing hell. The point of discussion was the alarming number of LDS people who do not read the Bible, especially the NT, with any regularity. We are a very Book of Mormon centered Church, in practice anyway, right now. At first blush this may not seem like a bad thing but upon closer inspection it can easily be seen that this approach is flawed. Continue reading “The Book of Mormon’s Contextual Vacuum”

The Incoherence of the Flood

It’s been too long since I posted anything controversial so I guess I better start living up to my villain namesake. Actually, this discussion has probably already been done to death on the ‘nacle so feel free to ignore this post. It’s just that it’s one of my favorite heresies and never fails to stir up some conversation.

I’m a moderate Mormon, which means that I meet a lot of fellow LDS that think that I’m a flaming liberal because I’m not exceptionally conservative like they are. Trust me, there are some flaming liberals at this blog and yours truly is not one of them.

As an example, when I’m speaking with such people, I like to use the Flood as an example of how coming to see things taught within the Church from a different perspective has actually led me to receive greater insights and a stronger testimony. So lets dis the Flood, open our minds a bit, and walk away even happier with God. Continue reading “The Incoherence of the Flood”

Mosaic Musings, Part One: The Spirit of God

The other day I had a friend reveal an insight she had received about a verse in the Book of Moses that really struck a chord with me. I’d like to share this idea with you in order to flesh out the validity of it. But, as I was trying to prepare for this post I stumbled across another fun thing that I’d like to throw out there for you all to laugh at. So, like the immortal Guns ‘n’ Roses, I’m going to release two halves of this album/post on the same day. Some of you fellow Bible dorks may hate this but I promise there will be a little light textual criticism to appease you. Let’s begin. Continue reading “Mosaic Musings, Part One: The Spirit of God”

The Best Books?

In today’s Daily Unifarce, I mean… Universe, buried in the back (on p.11) was an interesting article about how LDS college age students don’t buy, and therefore must not read, Gospel-topic literature from places like Deseret Book. It also includes in a side bar the top 10 suggestions for which books are the most influential among Mormons and which are considered required reading in religious circles. Yeah, this is going to be good. Continue reading “The Best Books?”

Orthodoxy VS. Orthopraxy

I’ve been pondering (much akin to Pinky and the Brain) about the place of the Church in the categorization of orthodoxy and orthopraxy of late. I figured that we’d run out our last theme fairly thoroughly. Anyways, I don’t know exactly what it was that spurred the pondering in me but (must have been something in church) but today I listened to a lecture by Dan Peterson which went over this topic as a part of a broader comparison of Semitic world view tendencies versus Greek world view tendencies and their reflections in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and I have been inspired to write. Continue reading “Orthodoxy VS. Orthopraxy”

Defending BYU and LDS Biblical Scholarship

Much has been said in these here parts, both in times distantly past and in recent posts, about the level, quality, and state of LDS Biblical scholarship. In my mind, it is an important discussion that is vital to the advancing of our scholarship and respect in the academic community. To some degree, BYU lies at the heart of this discussion because until recently most LDS Biblical scholars were to be found at BYU. And the ones who got heard and were influential certainly were here. This seems to be about to change with all of the LDS grad students out there and this has the potential to change the dynamic of the way LDS Biblical scholarship is carried out, defined and viewed by LDS and non-LDS people alike.

BYU’s Biblical scholars and Biblical Scholarship has been under the microscope for a little while now and I fell like this is a mostly healthy exercise. Hey, real scholarship requires that we critically examine everything put forward to the group, be it academia or the LDS community in general, and that we evaluate each others work. It’s the only way to get better and it must be done honestly. However, most of the people who seem to be commenting on the issues of the level of LDS (and more specifically BYU) Biblical scholarship are in the position of not knowing all of the facts: many of them have not attended BYU (or at least not recently or not as a student). I feel it is important to say that you all need to know that if you are in this boat that you are in a position of considerable ignorance. Continue reading “Defending BYU and LDS Biblical Scholarship”

Sacramental Musings

Since I’ve started taking New Testament Greek classes I’ve started paying more attention to small details in the text, about the only benefit of reading about 10 words a minute. The thing that’s been on my mind concerns the sacrament and it’s covenantal function. David J.’s wonderfully controversial post on baptism brought forward my opinion about the sacrament being the true covenant that people attribute to baptism. I’m not going to go there with this post, but it also helped me to articulate the question I’m about to pose. Sooo, why do we take the sacrament so often?

Continue reading “Sacramental Musings”

Vessels of Wrath, Predestination Pt.2

In the first post I was a lot more bold than I will be here. In the previous post, I was standing on some big shoulders, including those of Fitzmyer and W. D. Davies. Corporate predestination is far from my idea. The conclusion of this discussion about vessels of wrath in Romans 9:22 and surrounding verses comes from me. It may have been concluded elsewhere but I did not read about it anywhere, I formed the conclusion myself from my limited training. Continue reading “Vessels of Wrath, Predestination Pt.2”

To Predestinate or Not To Predestinate Pt.1

As a freshman at BYU and a new Ancient Studies Club member I had the opportunity to hear one of the best lectures on predestination in Paul. I’d grown up being taught that I should read “foreordain” for every “predestinate” in the NT. (this isn’t necessarily wrong but we’ll get to that later) But here was an LDS scholar arguing for real, genuine predestination in Paul and boy was he convincing. Continue reading “To Predestinate or Not To Predestinate Pt.1”