The most important, most overlooked, most easy and most superlative tool in scripture study: Part 3 (updated)

(This likely represents my last post here.)Update- some of the text of this long post disappeared when I first posted it, but it's been reinserted and set off.Part 1 of the series and Part 2My note-taking mechanism consist of two things*:  Evernote and  a pocket notebook. I'll explain what they are, and how I use them to keep track of all my Church and scripture notes.Evernote is a free very easy note-taking program. I haven't used Evernote competitors like MS Onenote,  Si … [Read more...]

Quotes of Note- Elder Talmage on Genesis

"Let us not try to wrest the scriptures in an attempt to explain away what we can not explain. The opening chapters of Genesis, and scriptures related thereto, were never intended as a text-book of geology, archaeology, earth-science or man-science. Holy Scripture will endure, while the conceptions of men change with new discoveries. We do not show reverence for the scriptures when we misapply them through faulty interpretation." -Elder James E. Talmage, "The Earth and Man," LDS Church, Salt … [Read more...]

Encultured prophets and the firmament: Peter Enns continued

In my last post (and hinted at in the one before that), I raised the idea that prophets tend to share the worldviews and myths of their culture, with myth properly defined as something like "worldview expressed in narrative." Their revelations are by necessity received and framed within that worldview. In other words, prophets in different times and places would understand the world differently, though they may share some revealed knowledge of the Gospel. Put very bluntly, some prophets in the … [Read more...]

Scripture, History and Myth: A Perfect Modern Example from NPR!

We’re way past Genesis at this point, but like the poor, the issue of non-historical scripture will always be among us. Most people know of the genre of "parable" because they’re in the Gospels, but "myth" is very poorly understood and the term carries a lot of negative baggage. You have to be very careful throwing around the term. One simple definition of myth is that myth is worldview in narrative form. That is, it's a way of explaining one’s  conception of how the world works, in everyday lang … [Read more...]

Balancing tradition with faith and scholarship: a Mormon application of Peter Enns

In my own struggles to balance faith and tradition with scholarship, I find it useful to see how others have done so, particularly when I see close structural parallels between the two traditions. Peter Enns speaks from a Protestant perspective but Protestants aren't the sole source of useful insight. I've enjoyed Jewish perspectives more, explored in fictional narratives like The Chosen and The Promise. The tensions between traditional views and scholarship  that Enns highlights among … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast #35- Amos

This podcast is long delayed and the first podcast on Isaiah has been written already. Various things have prevented me from posting it so far. General Conference this weekend gives me a chance to catch up, so I'll try to post several podcasts in the next 7 days.Right-click here to save mp3TranscriptNotes to follow later. Look for a (u) in the title (for "updated".) … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast 34- Hosea

Edit: Some people are reporting errors, for others it's working. Please leave a comment or send me an email with the error message so we can get it fixed. If the links below don't work, try downloading from this alternate link.(Right-click and save here to download.)Opening clip: Loreena McKennit, "Marco Polo."Transcript Notes and references … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast 33- Jonah (u)

(Right-click and save here to download.)Openining clip: Loreena McKennit, "Marco Polo."Transcript (I ad libbed a bit more this time.)Notes and references: … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine podcast lessons 29-30(u)

It's been busy around here, putting together the Future of Mormonism series. Other things too. But we're back, trying to make up lost time. Here's the podcast on lessons 29-30, which cover Elisha and then Hezekiah and Josiah.TranscriptDownload link for MP3 (right-click and "save as" Notes: … [Read more...]

Easy Bible History for Dummies, with an excursis on why Persia is so much less threatening than Iran

Right about now in Gospel Doctrine classes, everyone should nearing the Divided Kingdom stories, when Jereboam breaks off and takes 10 tribes with him, and we get two Israelite kingdoms (Israel and Judah) with two Israelite kings (Reheboam and Jereboam.)And coincidentally  right about now, it gets darn hard to keep everyone straight. Instead of one  story, we're now switching back and forth between narrative of the northern kingdom and narrative of the southern kingdom, like in Lord of the R … [Read more...]

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