The Adversary, Reciprocity, and the Atonement: Part 2A, The Role of Agency

First, I must apologize for the long delay between the first and second installments of this series. I got busy and lazy simultaneously (a rather easy thing to accomplish, really) and I was stalling for time as my thoughts coalesced. Here's hoping what we got was distilled rather than excreted.In the first installment, we surveyed the information that we have regarding the nature of Satan's plan. There are two points on which all theories regarding the plan of the Adversary must agree as … [Read more...]

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The Effects of the Christ-Event: Wider Aspects of Justification

Justification is one of the most prominent of Paul’s ten great metaphors and it’s also probably the best-known one as well. In this light, I think that I’ll try to move past an assumed understanding of justification by touching on three topics:1) The pre-Pauline roots of justification 2) Baptism and justification 3) Works of the law and justification … [Read more...]

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The Effects of the Christ-Event: Mark’s Thoughts

One of the questions I get asked when talking about the effects of the Christ-event has to do with whether this avenue of approach is fruitful outside of the Paulines. The fact is, the entire NT pretty uniformly teaches Jesus in terms of what he did/does/will do. This time we’ll take a couple of examples from Mark. … [Read more...]

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Whassup with that “one-third the hosts of heaven” stuff?

Since that shadowy character HP has lately taken to investigating the even darker figure of Satan in the dim reaches of LDS protology, David J and J. Watkins want to talk about the “third part” thing. And since I’m writing my dissy on Revelation and since I had way too much Mt. Dew after dinner, I’m going to oblige.First off, the easiest way to handle the whole thing is to rely strictly on DC 29:36-37 and be done with it:And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for behold th … [Read more...]

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The Adversary, Reciprocity, and the Atonement: Part One, An attempt to recover Satan’s plan

I don't know about you, but I've spent a bit of time lately thinking about one of the big imponderables in Mormon theology: the acts of the Adversary in the Garden. If we believe that the plan was laid out in the grand, heavenly council, then the Adversary had to have known that he was playing into God's plan. Why would he do this, especially if the motivation that we always ascribe to him is to frustrate God's plan? Let's look at what we know. … [Read more...]

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Rehabilitating Our Judas: Ms. Tchacos Nussberger

Today's NYT has a story about how GJudas finally came to light. The eye-catcher is this:I think I was chosen by Judas to rehabilitate him," Ms. Tchacos Nussberger, 65, is quoted as saying in one of the society's books, "The Lost Gospel," by Herbert Krosney. Mr. Krosney is also an independent television producer who brought the gospel project to National Geographic.But the heart of the articles is really about the legal and ethical issues involved in acquiring, handling, and publishing these … [Read more...]

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Historical Jesus: Dr. Tabor and Jesus bar Pantera

You can tell the season by the books released. Yes, it's Easter and 'tis the season for books on the historical Jesus. This particular example comes from James Tabor, a historian and member of the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina. His theory is two baptizing messiahs, John in the Jordan and Jesus in the Suba cave (yes, the same Suba cave featured about three or four posts below this one).I did five posts on the historical Jesus in John Meier's work in the … [Read more...]

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Gospel of Judas: The Beginning of a Sensible Response

Over at the Volkh Conspiracy, Dave Kopel has a piece up characterizing the media response to the presentation of the Coptic Gospel of Judas:This Friday's coverage of the so-called "Gospel of Judas" in much of the U.S. media was appallingly stupid. The Judas gospel is interesting in its own right, but the notion that it disproves, or casts into doubt, the traditional orthodox understanding of the betrayal of Jesus is preposterous.I must say I agree. What silliness. I don't think it's got … [Read more...]

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