The Internet (or at least the Mormon part of it) is in something of a tizzy over some posts by Dan Peterson and Bill Hamblin critiquing Benjamin Park’s recent essay in the new volume of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.
The controversy essentially revolves around whether Park’s comments reflect a shifting away from the importance of the Book of Mormon’s historicity on the part of the Maxwell Institute.
For what it’s worth, I’ve made my own views on the importance of the Book of Mormon’s historicity very clear.
I largely agree with Bill Hamblin’s point that “there are seven clear statements in Park’s paper . . . which I believe only make sense with the assumption that the Book of Mormon is a nineteenth century document.” Whether Park personally affirms the Book of Mormon’s historicity or not (from this comment of his in 2013 he apparently does) is irrelevant to the implications of Park’s statements in his latest publication, as pointed out by Hamblin.
In any event, if any non-Mormon reading my blog wants to know the kind of thing we Mormons tend to start flame wars on the Internet over, this is a good example.
If at all you find the above discussion wearisome, please view this delightful video for refreshment. It has to be the single greatest video I’ve seen in a long time. For some weird reason it just really speaks to my soul.