Reading the scriptures

Reading the scriptures April 30, 2018


Shiva Ophel
Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0.   Among the places that we visited today was Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, known in Arabic as “al-Haram al-Sharif,”or “The Noble Sanctuary”


From his location in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the irreplaceable Jeff Bradshaw contributes another Old Testament “KnoWhy” to the sputtering Interpreter Foundation, which — I’m reliably informed by anonymous people who don’t actually seem to know anything about the topic — is yet again on or near its deathbed:


“Have There Been Any Latter-Day Parallels to Balaam’s Blessing?”  Gospel Doctrine Lesson 16: “I Cannot Go Beyond the Word of the Lord” (Numbers 22-24; 31:1-16) (JBOTL16A)




Right around the time of the presidential election of 2012, in which the nation toyed with the idea of sending a Latter-day Saint to the White House, Francis X. Clooney S.J. provided a skeptical but largely rather sympathetic reading of 3 Nephi for America: The Jesuit.  (Bill Hamblin called his articles to my attention.)  Some might perhaps find it of interest:


“Reading the Book of Mormon, Part I”


“Reading Mormon II: When Jesus Came to America”


“Reading Mormon (III): The Sermon on the Mount Reimagined”


“Reading Mormon (IV): Prophecies and Ecstasies”


(For curious reasons, I haven’t, thus far, been able to come up with a link to the fifth and last installment in the series.)


Father Clooney was, at least at the time that the articles were published, a professor at Harvard Divinity School and the author of, among other things, Beyond Compare: St. Francis de Sales and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God (Georgetown University Press) and The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava Hindus (Peeters Publishing). He was the first president of the International Society for Hindu-Christian Studies and, from 1998 to 2004, the coordinator for interreligious dialogue for the Society of Jesus (i.e., the Jesuit Order) in the United States.


My friend Mike Parker was correct in noting back then that, “As is typical of this sort of thing, the comments aren’t worthy of the article.”  But he singled out one of the reader comments as an anomalous violation of that otherwise wearisomely consistent rule:  In it, P. J. Johnston suggests that “Someone should coin a new logical fallacy and call it the argumentum ad Mormonum (defined as an argument wherein Mormonism is a magical exception to the normal rules of human courtesy instilled by their parents in children of good upbringing which otherwise apply without exception).”


Posted from Jerusalem, Israel



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