A Particle of Faith

I sometimes hear folks at church distinguish themselves from other Christians by asserting a difference between the LDS “I know that…” and the non-LDS “I believe that… The former, it is implied, is the stronger and therefore the better faith. At the level of individual intent, I am not sure that such is the case. But the real issue is a bit of a misunderstanding about the effectiveness of faith.The efficacy of faith does not depend on its fervor, but on the trustworthiness of its object. It … [Read more...]

Been Sittin’ On My Butt…

The first words of his testimony today were "Been sittin' on my butt at home for the last six months so I thought I ought to at least give up smoking." He said he hadn't been at church during that time like he ought to, "prolly because the fish were biting and the ducks were flying." And finally he allowed as how, after fifteen or so years, he'd started to feel like he was finally good enough to join the rest of us.Pretty strong stuff, you know? … [Read more...]

Get Thee to a Grad School

In recent weeks both TT and Chris have each made controversial posts. By this I mean no criticism, but simply that each has created entries on “hot” issues that invite responses from a wide variety of readers. I could tell from reading the responses that many folks had spent a great deal of time thinking about these issues. All in all, I have really enjoyed those threads.But alas, I am Mogget the Bible dork and teacher. And the teacher in me also noticed quite a spread in the level of the … [Read more...]

The Church and the Conversion Experience

Some time ago someone made a comment on one of our threads characterizing the LDS notion of revelation as a “hot sensation brought on by emotionally charged media.” In regard to the role of revelation in the conversion experience, the writer also felt “challenged” by the need to explain the revelatory experience to an investigator because he or she had “expected divine communication to be more clear.”I share the writer’s distaste for the maudlin and sentimental in media, from which I protect m … [Read more...]

Dei Verbum: The Word of God in Modern Times

Yesterday's post was on Vatican II as a background to Dei Verbum. Here you will see how the Catholics talk about integrating critical methods with the pastoral mission of the Church. This is a very interesting topic, but I am assured that students at BYU would find this scary and useless (See comment #30) so if you came out of that institution you'll want to read the rest of this with your eyes closed and the blankets over your head.Although pretty much all of the documents of Vatican II … [Read more...]

Vatican II and Modernity

Last time we met, Pius XII had published Divino, and set the Catholics on a glide path for a more productive encounter with modern life. I should emphasize that it's a Catholic approach to modern life, so you won't be finding a retreat from Catholic positions on faith and morals. But you will see that they are far more engaged than they had been.Before we get into Vatican II, there's one more event I'd like to mention because it gets at the relationship between exegesis and theology. Before … [Read more...]

The Shift Toward Modernity

Today's important news is that I ate my first ripe tomato of the 2008 season last night. Now we can get back to the Catholics. When last we left off in this little exercise, Pius X had dealt rather, er...firmly..., with Modernism. In addition to excommunicating many of the Modernists, he condemned much of their thought. He also required the clergy to take an anti-Modernist oath. These folks seem to have complied, but not so enthusiastically, and once Pius X passed away things began to … [Read more...]

The End of Modernism?

When last we met to discuss the world of Catholic Biblical scholarship, Pius X had just excommunicated Alfred Loisy in an effort to suppress Modernism...What else did Pius X do about Modernism? In addition to excommunicating Loisy, et. al., he called the Catholic faithful to reject Modernism root and branch. The first encyclical published was Lamentabili sane exitu, dated July 3, 1907. It listed 65 propositions, taken mostly from Loisy’s work but also including ideas from Tyrrell and a few … [Read more...]