Slavery, Homosexuality, and the Authority of the Bible

I've been thinking about the status of the Bible in Mormon culture. Really, my thoughts apply to all scripture, but the Bible focalizes the issue in key ways. What is the value of the Bible for Latter-day Saints? What are we supposed to take from this strange document? I take it that we are not biblicists (fortunately!), deriving our beliefs from the Bible, but then where do we turn? The biblicist/inerrantist/Protestant position roots its interpretations in the Bible, arguing that the … [Read more...]

Twas the Morning After SBL

Do you remember Christmas morning as a kid? That pile of loot from Santa followed by that pile of loot from everybody else? Do you remember the anticipation, not just about what was in your pile, but those of your siblings?Well, it’s kinda like Christmas around here this morning. We’ve opened our tote bags after our weekend fun at the Society for Biblical Literature and here’s what SBL Santa brought us.HP’s pile:The Bible with Sources Revealed, Richard Elliot Friedman (God's words in red … [Read more...]

Proper Metaphors for Porn (and Sex)

I attended a meeting recently where a general authority (from the first quorum of the seventy) likened pornography to AIDS. He said something to the effect of, ‘The addiction to pornography is everywhere, infiltrating our society. In my mind it’s worse than the epidemic of AIDS.’ While this certainly isn’t a direct quote, and he probably meant something like, “Porn is a serious problem that corrodes our spirituality”, the metaphor still made me uncomfortable. I realize that he is obviously not eq … [Read more...]

Bring all of the Good, just not Mary, Buddha, the Rebbe, the Koran…

President Hinckley’s message that potential converts from different religions should “bring all of the good” they have learned to Mormonism so that “we may add to it” is an interesting paradox in religious pluralism. It assumes that there is good to be found in other religions (an idea which may have been absurd to some General Authorities in the past), but it also implies that Mormonism contains a fuller collection of truth. Moreover, the challenge to “bring” makes it sound as though the poten … [Read more...]

I like the nightlife; I like to boogie

Hey, Bibliobloggers! Come to the DC bloggersnacker! Go here and pretend to look up the details! … [Read more...]

Interesting Conflicts

In this month's Friend, my wife and I were intrigued by a section toward the end recommending reading for youngsters. It included a nice range of books for children, classified by age groups, such as Eight Cousins and The Royal Bee. We also found two that made us raise our eyebrows (and not because of the footnote stating that "Occasionally, characters who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will drink coffee or tea."). One, Hip, Hip, Hooray for Annie MacRae!, is … [Read more...]

Good and Evil

Today I had a thought about the problem of evil that I wanted to run by you all. In traditional Protestant theology, the Fall contaminates human nature. The Fall explains the problem of evil. Contrast this with some "Gnostic" theologies that explain evil by means of a wicked creator-god who produced a defective world. In these same theologies, human beings have their origin in the upper divine realm, and are fundamentally good. They sin out of ignorance, but by nature human beings are … [Read more...]

The Documentary Hypothesis: Do you Believe?

Mormon scholars tend to be ambivalent towards the Documentary Hypothesis, the model of current biblical scholarship. The basic idea behind the Documentary Hypothesis – that the Bible is a composition of several sources which were developed over many years and then redacted into a single work – has definite implications for the way we view the Bible. Moreover, the Documentary Hypothesis poses a challenge to traditional claims about LDS scripture.For example, the cosmogony (explanation of how the … [Read more...]


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