Can we hurt God?

Hellmut Lotz always inspires thought in me. Usually, I try to find the quickest way to contradict him (as I don't usually agree with his conclusions). He came to a conclusion today over here and I decided that to question him on it would constitute a threadjack. So, instead, I am poaching.Hellmut said, "As for God, there is no reason to believe that he or she requires our devotion. We cannot hurt God. If our devotion were important then God would have an obligation to let us know. "My … [Read more...]

March Mormon Doctrine Madness: Bracketology

Ever since I started the Historical Mormon Smackdown thing last year, I have had a dream. I have entitled it: March Mormon Doctrine Madness.We have painstakingly come up with 64 influential forces in current Mormonism, have divided them into 4 categories, and have ranked them from one to sixteen. We now present them to the bloggernacle world to vote upon. The criterion: Which is the more influential force in Mormonism today?Having said that, I think it will be a vote for #2. I am going … [Read more...]

Historical Jesus: Italian Trial Ends

An atheist who sued a small-town priest for saying that Jesus Christ existed has had his case thrown out of court. The judge said Luigi Cascioli should himself face charges for slandering Father Enrico Righi. … [Read more...]

Does anyone ever humble themselves?

RoastedTomatoes recent post on Times and Seasons (look here) reminds me of a point that I have been making in my class, but which I am not sure results in actual doctrine. As always, when faced with the possibility of having taught false doctrine in my class, I turn to the faceless opinions of the internet for correction.RT cites Alma 32:13-16 wherein a dichotomy is established between those who are compelled to be humble and those who humble themselves. I have a notion that God is primarily … [Read more...]

Historical Mormon Smackdown: Relative General Authority Edition!

Last week, blogpoll went nuts and I made a mistake which meant that the people say that a member of the Presidency of the Seventy has more impact on the church than the general Relief Society President than the general Sunday School President.In a further effort to fill out my flow-shart of popular understanding of church hierarchy, we have the following: Which priesthood body has a greater impact on my church experience: the Presiding Bishopric or the Presidency of the Seventy?The Presiding … [Read more...]

The Exegesis of a Stop Sign

Suppose you're traveling to work and you see a stop sign. What do you do? That depends on how you exegete (interpret) the stop sign. … [Read more...]

Secular Sam’s Guide to the OT: The Lineage and Honors of Cain

No story in the OT is ever wasted, and the story of Cain and his descendants is no exception. Like the narratives preceding it, it continues to explain the “how” and the “why” of human existence – it has an etiological function. More importantly, however, it also furthers the theological motives of its author. … [Read more...]

Historical Jesus 5: The Baptism of Jesus

Parts 3 and 4 of this series on the Historical Jesus were a summary of John Meier’s ten criteria for establishing a sense of the historicity of an event. In this segment, we turn our attention to an example of Meier’s criteria in action: the case for the historicity of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. … [Read more...]