Capital Punishment and LDS Doctrinal Development

This morning my facebook and twitter feeds were inundated with declarations by my Latter-day Saint friends decrying capital punishment and the execution of Troy Davis last night. "I want to take this opportunity to voice my outright and unequivocal opposition to the death penalty," said one. "A sad day to be a Georgian," lamented another. I wasn't really surprised, but I am fascinated by how the tide of public support of capital punishment has ebbed among Mormons in my own lifetime. … [Read more...]

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On Biblical Scripture

The ProblemWhat makes Biblical Scripture, Scripture for LDS Christians?*Historically one prominent model for the authority of Biblical Scripture in Christian history (including for some Latter-day Saint thinkers) is the Prophetic-Inspiration Model: the person who writes the text is divinely inspired by God to write the very words that are recorded.  This model entails that the human being is a puppet of sorts for the divine will, a tool that can be used for the divine purpose, namely … [Read more...]

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The Flood: Global or Localized?

I would argue neither.With the rising tide of modern science, historical criticism, and other scholarly disciplines, those committed to a strict literalist interpretation of the Flood stories in Gen 6-9 have had to retreat farther and farther up the metaphorical beach in order to maintain their belief in the historical reality of the Biblical tale.  For instance, basic problems with a literal reading of the narrative include the fact that there is no geological evidence for a global flood, and … [Read more...]

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Speculation Upon The Kody Brown Polygamy Case

Taken from remarks made by a panel at the 2011 Sunstone Symposium. Participants were Kaimi Wenger, asst. professor at Thomas Jefferson Law School; Ben Winslow, multi-media journalist for Fox 13 News; DeWayne Hafen, practicing polygamist from Baja California; Cheryl Bruno, permablogger at FPR. Also remarks made at a meeting of the Apostolic United Brethren in Rocky Ridge, Utah, 8/7/11.It doesn’t take a law degree to understand the ins and outs of the Kody Brown Polygamy case currently being f … [Read more...]

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The Value of Mormon Liturgical Theology

Liturgy is prescribed or ritualized forms of public worship.  For instance, the LDS Sacrament (= the Eucharist) is a Mormon liturgical practice.  The question I pose is as follows: to what extent is Mormon liturgical practice appreciated in the development of Mormon theology?  That is, how does the Sacrament ritual, hymn singing, the standardized Sacrament Meeting routine, traditional baptismal services, normative forms of public prayer, etc., reflect and inform the creative efforts of (modern) M … [Read more...]

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Book Review: Schweizer, “Hating God: The Untold Story of Misotheism”

Title: Hating God: The Untold Story of Misotheism Author: Bernard Schweizer Publisher: Oxford University Press Genre: Religion Year: 2010 Pages: 246 ISBN13: 978-0-19-975138-9 Binding: Hardcover Price: $29.95In the face of inexplicable and extreme personal suffering, the biblical Job refuses to turn on the God who gave him life: "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). His property and children are destroyed, his body is inflicted with sores. … [Read more...]

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Pharisees, Scribes, and Modern Disciples

In TYD’s post below, “A Prophet is Only a Prophet When…,” one of the commenters, identified as Jeremiah Rush, left the following thoughts:If the Jesus as described in the new testament existed today, he would assert the mormons (and most of christianity) are like unto the ‘pharisees, scribes, and hypocrits.’ Monson as a “prophet?” A penthouse on temple square, wool suits (a wolf in sheep’s clothing), driving around in limos, having his picture in millions of people’s homes, etc–certainly not li … [Read more...]

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“Sounds like Satan’s plan!”

From the recent Newsweek coverage of us Mormons: Congressman Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) sees an even deeper connection between his faith and his economic and political views. According to Mormon tradition, God and Satan fought a “war in heaven” over the question of moral agency, with God on the side of personal liberty and Satan seeking to enslave mankind. Flake acknowledges that the theme of freedom—and the threat of losing it—runs through much of Mormonism, and “that kind of fits my philosophy.” (Alt … [Read more...]

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