What do the Scriptures Say about “Mocking” Sacred Things?

Over on Twitter my friend Kwaku El tweeted his dissatisfaction with those who “mock” Mormonism. The ensuing discussion centered around what exactly is meant by “mocking” and when or if it is ever appropriate when it comes to sacred things (e.g. religious doctrines). Mocking Mormonism and “participating in a dialogue” are not the same & … Read more

Latter-day Khumrot and “Fences Around the Law”

Jesus disputed with the Pharisees over matters of the Law of Moses on a number of recorded occasions. (From LDS.org) In Judaism exists the concept of the khumrot (חומרות), or proscriptions that are implemented to safeguard the halakhah (הלכה)–––the body of Jewish religious laws–––from being transgressed. The khumrot of Orthodox Judaism are not the laws themselves, but are instead … Read more

Must One Accept the Nicene Creed to Be a Christian?

“17th-century Russian icon illustrating the articles of the Creed” (Source) Earlier this week I participated in an Evangelical-Mormon interfaith dialogue with students from Biola University. In the course of the evening one of the Biola students made the point (if I understood him correctly) that he has a hard time accepting as Christian those who … Read more

Saved by Charis: A Review of “Relational Grace: The Reciprocal and Binding Covenant of Charis”

Paul Writing His Epistles attr. Valentin de Boulogne (17th century). Paul had a thing or two to say about salvation. The Book of Mormon famously teaches, “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it … Read more

Another Note from Reza Aslan

The historical Jesus? I am currently making my way through Reza Aslan‘s recent volume Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Rather than offering a review his book (I instead direct the reader’s attention to the reviews offered by Stephen Prothero, Stuart Kelly, Craig A. Evans, Greg Carey, and Allan Nadler), I wanted to call attention … Read more

The Spirits of Light and Darkness

The Qumran text 1QS, otherwise known as the Rule of the Community (Serekh ha-Yaḥad), has an interesting depiction of two “spirits,” the spirits of light and darkness (רוחות אור וחושׁכ), that, the text explains, were created by God, “making them the cornerstone of every deed” (1QS III, 25). Of these two spirits, the text explains, … Read more

Tough Love from Jesus

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland had some wise words in his April 2014 General Conference address. Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock … Read more

Das Evangelium nach Lukas

Last night I was reading the Gospel of Luke in the Einheitsübersetzung when I came across this commentary. Die Sonderüberlieferungen des Lukas stehen im Dienst seiner theologischen Aussagen. Er zeigt in Jesus den Heiland der Verlorenen, der sozial Entrechteten, der Frauen, der Zöllner und Sünder. Jesus offenbarte die Menschenliebe Gottes auf bezwingende Weise. Alle Christen müssen daher … Read more

“Have Nothing to do With Them”

One of the frescoes on the ceiling of Karlskirche in Vienna (completed in 1737) depicting either: (A) an angel burning the heretical works of a Protestant theologian or (B) Moroni torching the collected transcripts of John Dehlin’s podcast interviews and Kate Kelly’s “Six Discussions.” It has just been reported by the New York Times (and picked up … Read more

Does it really say THAT in the Bible?

 Saul of Tarsus–––apostle, martyr, prophet, doctrinal expounder, defender of the faith, witness of Christ to the Gentiles, and not afraid to use some good old vulgarity now and then.  Anyone who’s read Paul knows that he was not afraid to, at times, be not only rather snippy, but also rather blunt. One of my favorite … Read more