Vessels of Wrath, Predestination Pt.2

In the first post I was a lot more bold than I will be here. In the previous post, I was standing on some big shoulders, including those of Fitzmyer and W. D. Davies. Corporate predestination is far from my idea. The conclusion of this discussion about vessels of wrath in Romans 9:22 and surrounding verses comes from me. It may have been concluded elsewhere but I did not read about it anywhere, I formed the conclusion myself from my limited training. … [Read more...]

The Mormon Tour Industry

While looking on this morning for something, I noticed a link to Time Out Tours. I have also noticed that Meridian Magazine has its own tour business. I am sure that there are many others out there (I'd be interested in collecting these links, so if anyone knows of one, please put it in the comments). These tours are interesting to me because they deal with not only educational tours to Book of Mormon lands, Israel/Palestine, and Church History sites, but also trips to … [Read more...]

Natural Law?

If you haven't noticed yet, we're not big on modernist notions of truth around here. Thus, as you can probably guess, I am not much of a believer in Natural Law. There is certainly a strain of Mormon thinking that has attempted to identify with the Natural Law tradition. Do we do this because there is something valuable about the Natural Law tradition besides its intellectual heritage? Does this actually have anything to offer us Mormons, or is it leading us down precisely the path that the … [Read more...]

Communal Judgment

This relates to a post I started before going on Christmas break on the topic of idol worship. I do intend to fully respond and revive that particular issue, but in this post I would like to know others thoughts on the related topic of communal judgment. In other words, in the Bible there seem to judgments made against entire groups of people: Sodom and G., the people during the time of Noah, and many of the non-Israelite tribes in the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus curses a series of … [Read more...]

The Sin Against the Spirit in Mark 3

This bit of light writing was composed in response to an email from a friend. I have left it with that content and format except for a postscript added this afternoon. The question posed was the relationship between blasphemy against the Spirit and all that other business about demons and Beelzebul in Mark 3.How amazing that your question should concern the binding of the strong man passage! That is precisely the passage we are going to cover in GD this week. Last week we did attitudes of … [Read more...]

Is Temple Prep Really Preparation?

I've thought a little about this in the past but I was reminded of it again when I ran across a couple in our ward who had gone through the temple for the first time and when I asked how it went they remarked, "Temple prep sure didn't help."There is obviously a gap between what we are preparing new inductees for and what they experience. Now, I don't necessarily have many numbers to support such a statement, but having gone through it myself, taught it, and then watched many others go through it … [Read more...]

Of Saints and Schemes

I apologize in advance if this post is mostly anecdotal, but I have been concerned for a while about the business practices of some Mormon run companies specializing in door-to-door sales. I have several friends who have taken positions in companies selling a range of things, from pest control services and alarm systems, to knives. For the most part, their experiences have been terrible. The companies of which I am aware tend to recruit male returned missionaries as their sales force. When … [Read more...]

To Predestinate or Not To Predestinate Pt.1

As a freshman at BYU and a new Ancient Studies Club member I had the opportunity to hear one of the best lectures on predestination in Paul. I'd grown up being taught that I should read "foreordain" for every "predestinate" in the NT. (this isn't necessarily wrong but we'll get to that later) But here was an LDS scholar arguing for real, genuine predestination in Paul and boy was he convincing. … [Read more...]