What is the Moral Lesson of Genesis?

Latter-day Saints are studying the Old Testament this year.  Unfortunately, many LDS readings of the Old Testament adopt a hermeneutic wherein the stories in Genesis provide moral role models.  It seems that we have come to see the scriptures as a kind of guide book for living a moral life, in spite of the fact that the stories never tell their readers to emulate any of the characters.  If we adopt this reading strategy, we miss important ways of engaging in moral reasoning, and quite frankly, mi … [Read more...]

The Myth of “Listening” to the Scriptures

So, I am still thinking about the interpretive claim made by another blog that "God is a child sacrificing, misogynist, racial bigot."  I started writing a post about the nature of interpretation and the naivety behind the myth that the scriptures contain a meaning prior to human interpretation. What I have found objectionable about this particular reading is not simply its conclusions, but the way it presents these conclusions as the outcome of an unbiased reading of scripture.  While I was t … [Read more...]

“Generous Orthodoxy” and Continuous Revelation

I recently came across a phrase from feminist theologian Hannah Bacon that I really liked.  She talked about a "generous orthodoxy," a term used "to identify orthodoxy as an emerging, incomplete process that is never closed in on itself, always receptive to the voice of the other." (See Bacon, "A Very Particular Body: Assessing the Doctrine of Incarnation For Affirming the Sacramentality of Female Embodiment," in Women and the Divine: Touching Transcendence, eds. Gillian Howie and J'annine Jo … [Read more...]

A Mormon Tribute to MLK

Given some of the discussion of Martin Luther King, Jr. in some LDS venues, I thought it would be a good time to reread my own tribute written five years ago.http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithpromotingrumor/2009/01/an-american-prophet/  … [Read more...]

Repost: Ethics as an Interpretive Lens

This is a repost of an earlier post of mine that seems relevant today.How should we evaluate and adjudicate doctrinal and practical matters? As LDS we look to scripture, authoritative statements by leaders, and to the history of LDS practice and thought. Appeals to these sources of authority, however, not only fail to yield definitive answers, but also obscure the authority with which they are invested. The authority by which these sources are invested is never itself investigated. The … [Read more...]

Yes, M* is a Child-Sacrificing Misogynist and Racist Bigot Blog

I believe that I recall the last time I posted M*.  It was April 2012.  JMax was defending Mormon racism and inventing a new history of the exclusion of those of African descent into LDS priesthood and temple rites.  (You can read the post and comments here.)  After they closed the thread without explanation, I decided that I had too many things going on in my life and I unlisted them from my RSS reader. … [Read more...]

FPR Best of 2013

This year, like many years past, we had some great posts.  We tend to be pretty inconsistent week to week, with regular life taking over, but every time we think we are going out of business, something else sparks our interest.  Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.This year we also resolved to quit reading some of the more problematic Mormon blogs and "journals" (or at least to quit publicly commenting on them).  There were a handful of frustrating exchanges on other blogs, bu … [Read more...]

Even Christ’s Body Has an A**hole

Communities sometimes find themselves in deep division over really important issues.  There is no universal answer to how to respond to these divisions, but one example from the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians, has been deeply influential for me, and one with conflicting messages in our present circumstances. … [Read more...]


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