Orthodoxy VS. Orthopraxy

I've been pondering (much akin to Pinky and the Brain) about the place of the Church in the categorization of orthodoxy and orthopraxy of late. I figured that we'd run out our last theme fairly thoroughly. Anyways, I don't know exactly what it was that spurred the pondering in me but (must have been something in church) but today I listened to a lecture by Dan Peterson which went over this topic as a part of a broader comparison of Semitic world view tendencies versus Greek world view tendencies … [Read more...]

African-American, Feminist, and Mormon Biblical Studies

Recent discussions here and elsewhere have focused on the role of contemporary critical biblical studies and their relationship to Mormon biblical studies. Many have questioned not only the methods of a "scholarly" Mormon biblical studies, but also its possibility. In some circles, the dominant model for appropriation of contemporary scholarship is denominational, and the Catholic experience is taken as emblematic. I have been critical of such a model here. As a result, I hope to suggest an … [Read more...]

Barlow going to USU

It's official: Philip Barlow will fill the new Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University (see Salt Lake Tribune story here). This will likely disappoint some prospective students of Claremont Graduate University. However, it's great news for USU students. Barlow is an excellent scholar by all standards. So what are your initial thoughts on the appointment? … [Read more...]

Sacrament Meeting Suggestions

Sacrament Meeting can be one of the most spiritually fulfilling meetings in church. The talks can be fresh, exciting, and deeply moving. They can set the tone for your spiritual outlook for the rest of the week at least. Sometimes a talk is so good that you actually remember it for years later.It can also be one of the most painful meetings at church. Talks can be rote, predictable, and profoundly boring. My least favorite are the talks that simply quote general authorities. One of my very … [Read more...]

Defending BYU and LDS Biblical Scholarship

Much has been said in these here parts, both in times distantly past and in recent posts, about the level, quality, and state of LDS Biblical scholarship. In my mind, it is an important discussion that is vital to the advancing of our scholarship and respect in the academic community. To some degree, BYU lies at the heart of this discussion because until recently most LDS Biblical scholars were to be found at BYU. And the ones who got heard and were influential certainly were here. This seems to … [Read more...]

Trends in Gospel of Judas Studies

I know that it seems weird to identify "trends" on a document that has been out less than a year, so this post may seem a bit premature. At the same time, the fact is that two major schools have already developed regarding the Gospel of Judas. The first, following the initial release of the text, argued that Judas was the chosen disciple over all the others. The obvious shock-value of this revelation has propelled the popularity and interest in the text. The second, newer interpretation … [Read more...]

On Watchin’ the Game

The health risks of American football have been getting a lot of attention in the press lately, no doubt in anticipation of the Super Bowl. Both the New York Times and the Boston Globe ran articles on the frequency of head injuries in professional football. The articles highlighted former Patriots linebacker, Ted Johnson, who received several concussions during his career. Johnson’s head injuries resulted in severe depression and drug addiction.Like many other professional and amateur f … [Read more...]

Sacramental Musings

Since I've started taking New Testament Greek classes I've started paying more attention to small details in the text, about the only benefit of reading about 10 words a minute. The thing that's been on my mind concerns the sacrament and it's covenantal function. David J.'s wonderfully controversial post on baptism brought forward my opinion about the sacrament being the true covenant that people attribute to baptism. I'm not going to go there with this post, but it also helped me to articulate … [Read more...]