At the opening of BYU’s 2019 Reconciling Evolution workshop—which focuses on biology pedagogy with religious students— Associate Academic Vice-President John Rosenberg represented the University in welcoming the dozens of participants to BYU. He spoke on the pursuit of knowledge, using medieval depictions of Mary, Gabriel, and the Annunciation. I have adapted from my notes for this post, by permission.
I recently discovered an article about “the first real confrontation of Mormonism with science” during the Utah smallpox outbreak at the turn of the 19/20th century.
One of my qualifying exams was in Reformation history. As the story goes, Oct 31 is the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church, so Oct 31 is sometimes known as Reformation Day. What many people don’t know is that a) this story doesn’t mean what people think it does and b) it might not even have happened. Continue reading “Happy Reformation Day!”
I found this in a short autobiography by Glenn Pearson, a BYU professor. Boyd Peterson, Hugh Nibley’s biographer and son-in-law, had not seen it before.
While running an Institute in California, Pearson completed PhD coursework in History of Education at UCLA, but went back to BYU before finishing. Here’s Pearson’s story. Continue reading “A new Hugh Nibley story, from the Archives”
An insightful comment in an archival letter highlighted an irony for me this week. While the Church cares deeply about history, encourages historical research and production— personal journal writing, family history, etc.— it is simultaneously true that Church materials have long tended to flatten or even ignore all that history. Continue reading “LDS History and History-writing”
In response to my recent post on the temple, “How Long Adam and Eve were in the Garden,” someone asked why I don’t just jettison the Adam and Eve story entirely. The short and dramatic answer is… Continue reading “Personal Reflections on Scripture, Authority, and Negotiating Faith”
Edit: I’ve added this syllabus to the main menu at left, and simplified the url for easy access, to http://BenSpackman.com/syllabus
May 4th holds significance in LDS history: it’s the day Joseph Smith introduced temple ordinances in the upper room of the red brick store in 1842. The temple ties together a number of questions, like: Continue reading “Interpreting Scripture, History, Science, and Creation: A Free Course by Me!”
Mark Ward is a conservative Christian with a PhD in New Testament from Bob Jones University. Currently employed at Logos Bible Software, Mark authored a very readable short book on the KJV through Logos’ paper imprint, Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible Continue reading “Scriptural Language, and False Friends: A Book Note and Observations”
(Originally published in 2010 elsewhere) Most people know the genre of “parable” because they’re in the Gospels, but “myth” is poorly understood and the term carries a lot of negative baggage. Like “literal” you have to be very careful throwing around the term without defining it. 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 language or story form. Continue reading “Science and History as Myth and Fiction: Exploring Some Common Labels”
My post on inerrancy generated… a large amount of traffic and conversation. I read a great number of comments on Facebook, Twitter, and forums and message boards, across the spectrum of LDS commitment and faith. I want to take this opportunity to revisit, clarify, and add. I can’t do it all here; some will require another post.