Hebrews is fun and different. Note that it comes at the end of Paul’s letters (which are arranged in order of length), because even way way back in the day, they were uncertain if it was one of Paul’s letters. And they were right, it’s not. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Hebrews”
We’re moving into some dense historical, textual, and doctrinal territory today, as there is lots of background to cover. I lean pretty heavily on some of my tools. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: 1-2 Thessalonians”
We recently put forth an open call for abstracts for a special issue of BYU Studies dedicated to biological evolution, LDS faith, and practice. I am the guest editor overseeing the non-scientific submissions and as such, would like to emphasize a few things from the call that seem to be getting overlooked. Continue reading “BYU Studies, Evolution, and Faith: Some Clarification”
At an amazing S&I address a few years ago, Elder Ballard described past curriculum as well-meaning, but inadequate.
It was only a generation ago that our young people’s access to information about our history, doctrine, and practices was basically limited to materials printed by the Church. Few students came in contact with alternative interpretations. Mostly, our young people lived a sheltered life. Our curriculum at that time, though well-meaning, did not prepare students for today
A friend asked me for some references on how Evangelicals think about scripture, so I naturally turned it into a blogpost. Let me introduce this with a few basic points about definitions and history. Continue reading “Understanding Evangelicals and Scripture”
As always, it’s important to start with setting and context. Remember back in Acts 19, where the silversmiths who make Athena shrines start a riot and get Paul thrown out of the city? “Great is Diana of the Ephesians”? Paul met some disciples there and stuck around for three months, and now he writes to that congregation. Paul himself is now apparently in prison (Eph 4:1) and writing letters. Whether in Rome, Ephesus, or Caesarea, we don’t know. Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon are known collectively as The Captivity or Prison Letters. These are Paul’s Folsom Prison Concert, if you will. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Ephesians”
Before talking about Paul’s Letter to Galatians , some notes on Paul’s Letters in General
The ease we have in reading, writing, and communicating makes it easy to misunderstand Paul’s letters. Continue reading “Gospel Doctrine 2019: Galatians”
My 2019 FAIRMormon Conference presentation is up now, here. There’s a lot in the footnotes as well.
The takeaway is this: Many LDS have unsustainably fundamentalist assumptions about the nature of revelation, prophets, and scripture. The conflict these cause sometimes leads to a loss of faith, instead of recognizing and reexamining the assumptions.
I draw on a variety of things to argue against these assumptions, to argue that revelation is composite, that is, always contains divine and human aspects, and we should expect those. It’s ok, though, because it’s a progressive, iterative process. As time goes on, the human progresses towards the divine until the categories overlap completely. But we’re not there yet and won’t be for a long time.
So I take Acts 15:28 as my paradigm for understanding Church leadership. “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.”
Paradoxically, it is by recognizing and understanding the presence of the human that my faith in the divine is preserved.
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However the divine inspiration or divine origin of the Torah might have worked, it apparently did not involve starting with an absolutely clean slate.– James Kugel