Author Archives: John C.

The myth of applying all scripture

An argument that I occasionally see floated in blogs is the argument that ideas are to be shunted aside simply because they neglect to consider all the scriptures. This is a strange argument to me. No single argumentative notion is capable of encompassing all scripture, or even most scripture. There may be one or two exceptions, but I would tend to think that they would be promoted by ideologues who dismiss counter-arguments without real consideration. Sure, all scripture may testify of Christ, but that argument reduces the Jews to a group of incompetents and ignoramuses. We need to accept that it helps us, in seeing the obviousness of Christ being testified of everywhere, that we are already Christian.
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Filed under Doctrine, Marginalia

The ethics of the Apologetic toolkit

To explain why it isn’t completely impossible (or unusually irrational) to hold to a certain form of belief appears to be the chief purpose for all apologetics. With that in mind, it seems to me that there are two fundamentals approaches to the endeavor. Neither, ultimately, is going to dissuade the determined disbeliever from their viewpoint, but one is better designed for the unbeliever and the other better suited to the choir. Continue reading

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Scholars and Prophets

I presented a paper at the Yale conference in February in which I argued that the reason that most people don’t read the works of Biblical scholars (LDS or otherwise) is that most people don’t read scripture in order to understand what scripture says; most people read scripture in order to interpret it in light of their own experience or to have a revelatory moment with God. Actually understanding the original intended meaning of the words is secondary to this personal divine experience and it is possibly entirely unnecessary to having this experience.  This explains, I think, why most scripture readers don’t seek the original meaning. Continue reading

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Polygamy in the Book of Mormon

It struck me the other day that the one place in the Book of Mormon where polygamy is addressed is unabashedly opposed to polygamy. This is, of course, Jacob chapter 2 (and a little of chapter 3). However, it may surprise you to learn why Jacob was so opposed to polygamy. Continue reading

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Filed under Book of Mormon, Doctrine, Speculation

A tentative list of general LDS biases in approaches to the Bible

Scholars have a tendency to operate on shorthand and stereotype whenever they feel like they can get away with it. It is a somewhat ironic tendency, in that they general also insist on a more detailed and topic-specific discussion if it is something that they care about.  Of such are life’s paradoxes, no?  (That one’s for you, Frank) Continue reading

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Filed under Bible, Marginalia, Speculation

Mergers and Acquisitions

We here at Faith-Promoting Rumor are pleased to announce a merger with the folks at Urban Mormonism. They have agreed to join forces with us here in an effort to get posts up here by people other than Mogget and Lxx. I, for one, am pleased as punch as I will finally have time for my magnum opus: The use of the Hebrew preposition b as a directional marker for the position of Kolob within the context of the Book of Mormon Isaiah passages. Coming soon to a “Know Your Religion” fireside near you!

The Urbanites will be introducing themselves shortly. Please welcome them.

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Filed under Administrative

Middle Ground or No-man’s Land?

I know that I’ve promised to do a post on predestination and the vessels of wrath in Romans 9, a post that will be at least two entries since we need to discuss how Mormons misunderstand Paul’s predestination first before we talk about important pots, but I was reading in D&C 76 today in church when I was struck again with strangeness of the description of the Terrestrial glory.

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I like the nightlife; I like to boogie

Hey, Bibliobloggers! Come to the DC bloggersnacker! Go here and pretend to look up the details!

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Filed under Administrative, Personal Issues

Bloggernacle Fantasy Football

Once again, I ask you…Are you ready for some football?

If so, please let me know in the comments to this post. I will endeavor to kill the problems that plagued the league last year (which, I think, Ned Flanders won). I will also probably run it on Yahoo again, unless someone can convince me that some other free host is better. Please keep that in mind.

So, leave a comment with your name and email address here (or send an email to faithpromotingrumor [at] gmail [dot] com). If we do not have at least six teams by midnight Sunday, this year will be a no go. Thank you!

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“I don’t think that word means what you think it means”: What is the sealing power, anyway?

The sealing power is an oft-discussed concept in LDS theology. It is used to describe the motivation of phenomena as diverse as divine intervention in weather patterns and the joining together of eternal families. As a result, definitions of the sealing power tend toward the vague side. Luckily, the Book of Mormon provides some insight into “sealing” and related terminology that allow us to write a potentially more helpful definition. As a result, the sealing power can be defined as the power to act in God’s name in such a way that one’s acts and edicts are treated as His on earth and in heaven.
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