Apologetics Into Doctrine: Romney’s Impact

It appears that Andrew Sullivan published something on Mormons yesterday.  How do I know this without reading Sullivan?  Because there’s a zillion Mormons responding to his comments at sites far removed.  In fact, there’s a bumper crop of Mormon apologetics springing up all over the place and I’m detecting a bit of a common theme.  It is, I think, something of a South Park approach. … [Read more...]

Christianity 101, Book of Mormon Style 3

So in this last week we, that is me and the 17-18 year old gentlemen I teach, were looking at the Tree of Life vision and Nephi’s interpretation.  As you know, our goal is to read the BoM and look for foundational Christian doctrine – hence the title “Christianity 101:  BoM Style." This time we started with that mysterious man who pops up in front of Lehi and declares his intent to lead Lehi to the Tree of Life (1 Ne 8:5-7).Who is that guy and what is the Bat Signal that brings him out?  I va … [Read more...]

If the Book of Mormon is dull, the New Testament is duller

One recent, sympathetic critic called the Book of Mormon "dull."  This is not a new accusation.  Mark Twain famously called it "chloroform in print," and I don't deny the charge.  Trust me, I'm quite aware of the boringness of the Book of Mormon. Mormons are aware that the Book of Mormon can be difficult reading, and often make jokes about it.  It's characters are one-dimensional, there isn't much plot to speak of, only some of the content is occasionally moving, and even many of the theological … [Read more...]

Christianity 101, BoM Style 2

Another little doorway into Christianity lies, I think, in the second of the three enumerated purposes of the BoM and particularly in the phrase I have underlined:that [the remnant of the House of Israel] may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off foreverAs I was looking into this, I discovered something interesting:  in many web citations this particular purpose is completely missing or truncated, as you see … [Read more...]

Christianity 101, BoM Style

Tis the start of the New Year, and therefore the start of a new lesson cycle for those of us who serve as teachers in church.  What to do, what to do, we think.  A class participant who is 48 years old may have heard the lessons we are supposed to present some ten or so times!  And this year the Sunday School lesson cycle is the Book of Mormon, which most people can actually read if they try, so it’s not like we’re going to surprise anyone with some new verses about the theological insights of th … [Read more...]

“Every wo/man that striveth for mastery”: Thinking About LDS Scripture Mastery (A New Series of Posts)

**I wish I could say that my recent lack of posts at FPR has been due to the fact that I've been following the newest reincarnation "Further" (Bobby and Phil, minus Mickey, Billy) around the country in a VW Microbus, but other events have been the culprits. In any case, I am excited to be here with FPR at Patheos and look forward to being more involved again and "not fade away."** For quite some time now I have been pondering a long-term series of posts that look at the 100 Scripture Mastery … [Read more...]

The Dumbing Down of Mormon Books, Made Easy!

A recent book review of Eric Shuster and Charles Sale's The Biblical Roots of Mormonism describes the book as "a 258-page overview of about 350 Latter-day Saint beliefs referenced in the Old and New Testament." On the face of it, the book sounds like an extended exercise in proof-texting. I've talked about a few potential problems with such easy "likening" elsewhere but I haven't read this particular book myself, so I can't comment on its quality. Instead, I want to focus on the rhetorical … [Read more...]

Is Christ in the Old Testament?

What if the answer is no? What if the authors who produced the OT have no concept of the Christ that we know? What if the supposed "prophesies" of Christ in the OT are creative interpretations by early followers of Christ to make the book appear to confirm the details of his life (and the details of life massaged to parallel passages in the OT). This happens to be the assumption of most biblical scholars today. Does such a view produce particular problems for LDS readers of the Bible? … [Read more...]


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