The Mormons on PBS an Early Review

I actually do not have much time to put together a thorough review (which the film certainly deserves), but this is probably the only chance that I'll have in the next week or so and it airs on the 30th.The piece I'm discussing here is the first of the two-part series and deals with the history of Mormonism (the second part deals with the contemporary church).The first film is two hours long is divided into 6 "acts": Revelation, The Saints, Persecution, Exodus, Mountain Meadows, and … [Read more...]

Strange Bedfellows: Fundamentalism and Historical Criticism

Fundamentalist Christianity grew up around the turn of the 20th century, primarily as a reaction to liberal Christianity, critical biblical studies, and scientific challenges to religion. Though it is often characterized as an opposite to these three cultural trends, numerous studies have show how fundamentalism is actually very much rooted to Enlightenment rationality. This same paradigm is also operative in critical biblical studies. A brief comparison shows how both fundamentalism and … [Read more...]

One Eternal Nightmare

It was kind of odd that anyone even found her that day. She was alone, in the bed in the handicapped area off the main women’s dressing room at the temple. Her face was pale, and she was sweating, in tears, and sick to her stomach. Her home was some distance away but her stake had a meeting that afternoon. She’d fallen the day before and re-injured her back, causing muscle spasms and making her unable to sit, stand, or walk without pain.Her new husband had given her a blessing after the acc … [Read more...]

He is Risen?

Many LDS scholars are more or less willing to give up on historical accuracy of the accounts of Jesus's life, and even some of the historical details of the Passion Narrative. However, I haven't met any that are willing to compromise the necessity of the resurrection. Indeed, some even argue that this is the ONLY thing which needs to have occurred in order for the gospel to be "true." Presumably, the reason is because the atonement and miracle of Jesus's resurrection are the foundation of our … [Read more...]

Apocalypticism in the Book of Mormon and the Striking Lack Thereof

Lehi and Nephi have apocalypses? Why doesn't anyone else? (Brother of Jared doesn't count, he's not a Lehite) … [Read more...]

Oxford Press Puts It All Out There

Oxford Press, like some other publishers, have been cooperating to make their books available in various electronic forms. I've mentioned Logos before, as one example. Google books is another, as J. Stapley points out.I'm also aware of two subscription services, which most University students can access for free through a University connection. The first is something called I stumbled over this at BYU when I was looking for Marc Brettler's Creation of History in Ancient Israel and … [Read more...]

God-like Nature: Discovered or Recovered

As Mormons we believe that all human beings have the capability to become like God. Part of this is based in the notion that we are the spirituatl offspring of God (in other words we were "born" and "begotten" in a pre-existence and "reared" accordingly). In this life we are gods in embryo learning what it means to become like him (and her). Indeed this is part (if not all) of our human nature.One of the questions I've been thinking about lately is whether this God-like nature is something … [Read more...]

The Book of Mormon’s Contextual Vacuum

An interesting point made at school the other day has inspired me to rise, if only temporarily, from my end-of-school paper writing hell. The point of discussion was the alarming number of LDS people who do not read the Bible, especially the NT, with any regularity. We are a very Book of Mormon centered Church, in practice anyway, right now. At first blush this may not seem like a bad thing but upon closer inspection it can easily be seen that this approach is flawed. … [Read more...]