Category Archives: Marginalia

Myth, Modernity, and Mormonism

The category of “myth” is arguably the most important for evaluating the Bible in the last few hundred years. The very earliest critics of the Bible employed the category of “myth” in evaluating the stories and histories recorded there. D. F. Strauss (Das Leben Jesu, 1835) employed the term for making sense of the life of Jesus, among the first to suggest that the gospels were not literal history.

Besides the difficulty in identifying and defining myth, the most important interpretive problem comes in trying to figure out how to understand the significance of myth. In sum, is myth a good thing or a bad thing? Basically, two different options emerged that dominated 19th c. biblical studies.
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Filed under Bible, Doctrine, Marginalia, Mormon Studies, Scripture, Speculation, Studying Religion, Theology

The Always Placid Mormons

…is how we are described by the Catholic blogger who writes as “The Anchoress.” I read her pretty much daily. On the whole, she’s usually a refreshing combination of entertainment, spiritual insight, and wisdom. My kinda person, and especially so since I teach from within her tradition.

It’s always interesting to find out how you’re viewed by others. And I don’t mind being “always placid.” If, through this Proposition 8 tempest, one of the labels that sticks to us is “placid,” it won’t be such a bad thing.

In fact, I could go for the placid thing on my tombstone: Here lies Mogget, usually reasonably placid unless you get frisky with the 2nd Amendment or you proof text from the Bible…

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Filed under Marginalia, Personal Issues

No Time

The 20th comment on David Clark’s “Mormon Anxieties” post comments that the request to support a “yes” on Proposition 8 was “time sensitive.” After comparing this to President Hinckley’s recent directive to read the BoM before the beginning of the year, this same author writes “we didn’t have the luxury of weeks and months to ‘gain a testimony’ of it.”

There are instances where we must react based without detailed thought. For example, those who use firearms regularly in their line of work rely on decisions made earlier, in more leisurely moments, about how they will react under certain legal conditions and circumstances. But moral-political propositions presented for a vote with an understanding that there is insufficient time to seek genuine spiritual confirmation seem to me to be similar to $700 B bailouts for which we likewise somehow lack the time for public debate. Katy. Bar. The. Door.

Like David, I am not going to open a debate on the Prop. 8 issue. But I am interested in the idea that there might be circumstances in which we should act without spiritual confirmation on some major political or moral decision. This does not seem likely to me, because the LDS lifestyle seems to be full of at least anecdotal evidence of major life changes made on the basis of rather sudden spiritual inspiration. I am, however, open to learning more from those who have given it some thought.

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Filed under Marginalia, Personal Issues, Speculation

Chris H. is moving to….

…his own blog. 

I have enjoyed my almost three years here at FPR. But it is time for me to move on. I will be writing about politics and political philosophy with a Mormon and leftist twist now at Approaching Justice (approachingjustice.wordpress.com).

 

It is not polished yet, but my personal favorite posts from FPR are now at Approaching Justice and here at FPR as well. Hopefully, I will have it up and running soon.

 

I would like to thank John C./HP for the opportunity to blog here and get some (negative and positive) attention on the bloggernacle.

 

It was fun getting to meet Mogget, David J., and LxxLuthor in the early days. It has also been a joy getting to know TT, Smallaxe, and Jupiterchild a bit. All of these people are far smarter than me, and I appreciate their patience. It is funny how these people seem like friends even though I have not met any of them (except John C.) and likely never will.

It has been fun.

 

 

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Filed under Marginalia, Personal Issues

Been Sittin’ On My Butt…

The first words of his testimony today were “Been sittin’ on my butt at home for the last six months so I thought I ought to at least give up smoking.” He said he hadn’t been at church during that time like he ought to, “prolly because the fish were biting and the ducks were flying.” And finally he allowed as how, after fifteen or so years, he’d started to feel like he was finally good enough to join the rest of us.

Pretty strong stuff, you know?
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Filed under Marginalia, Personal Issues

Get Thee to a Grad School

In recent weeks both TT and Chris have each made controversial posts. By this I mean no criticism, but simply that each has created entries on “hot” issues that invite responses from a wide variety of readers. I could tell from reading the responses that many folks had spent a great deal of time thinking about these issues. All in all, I have really enjoyed those threads.

But alas, I am Mogget the Bible dork and teacher. And the teacher in me also noticed quite a spread in the level of the arguments. I am not talking about who is right or wrong, but a matter of how each writer “sold” his or her ideas. For example, when it comes to time to take account of feelings, those who have experienced something have a natural lead. And in talking about the legal aspects we accord those with the appropriate credentials some respect. These are all issues of credibility.

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Filed under Marginalia, Personal Issues

Pick Romney….Please

 

With the Olympics started it looks like all of the VP chatter will have to wait until after the Summer Olympics. The question had been whether or not McCain, or Obama, or both would announce there veep choice before the summer games. Alas, that was mostly wishful thinking on the part of us political junkies.

 We Obama supporters (I have no idea as to whether this applies to anyone else at FPR, so I mean Obama supporters in general), are a bit concerned about the inability of the Democratic candidate to break away from McCain in the polls. There are of course a variety of reasons for this. The primary reason, in my political scientist opinion, is that we are not likely to see a huge popular victory not matter who wins. We are a deeply divided country and rather evenly divided between those of us who are red and those of us who are blue. So lingering with a two to five percent lead might be the norm through November. Either way Obama appears to have a strong electoral college advantage.

I have found a solution to the VP selection game that will make both conservative Mormons and me happy: Have McCain pick Mitt Romney. This act would help Mormons again feel safe within the GOP. They need to have an institutional home (we Mormons are big on institutional belonging), and feel spurned after having their golden boy rejected. I felt the same way about the Dems rejected Bill Bradley (though I do not quite categorize him as a golden boy).

I would be happy if they picked Romney, because it would ensure McCain’s defeat in November. What is better in a time of economic turmoil than for the Republicans to put a filthy rich guy in the VP slot. It would help to highlight the disconnect between the GOP and everyday economic troubles. The GOP takes pride in defending the economic interests of people like Romney. However, when they do it, they pretend that they are protecting the economic interests of the middle class common man. That is real faith base politics. Romney on the ticket would remind everyone of who the GOP really looks out for.

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Filed under Marginalia, Mormon Studies, Speculation, Uncategorized