A new book written by two Evangelical Christians supports many of the views of Latter-day Saints about the apostacy from First Century Christianity. Frank Viola and George Barna have collaborated on an updated and expanded version of one of Viola’s earlier books, and titled it Pagan Christianity.
When Christ was sending out his disciples to work as missionaries, he told them “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) Latter-day Saints need to be wiser when dealing with the wolves among us.
There was an interesting post in September 2007 about a Dialogue article discussing the usual interpretation of the flood of Noah as being scientifically implausible. A couple of comments touched upon, but did not fully explicate, the way that the scriptures of the Restored Gospel and other insights from Joseph Smith can suggest a more scientifically feasible interpretation of Noahâ€™s flood.
About 15 years ago I wrote a short piece for a Sunstone Symposium panel on the topic of Mormons in the Military. It was focused on my personal experiences as a Latter-day Saint dealing with the armed forces rules on religion and the chaplains specifically. A number of things have developed since then, so it seems worthwhile to revisit the topic and elicit readers’ own experiences.
As the Churchâ€™s membership has become predominantly non-American and non-English speaking, the question of how to construct a Mormon ethnic identity within the wide variety of existing cultures worldwide has become a present concern for millions of Latter-day Saints.
In his new book, Claiming Christ, Professor Robert Millet, in dialogue with Evangelical scholar Gerald McDermott about the commonalities and differences of Mormonism and the varieties of Evangelical Christianity, makes the observation that the notion of labeling Latter-day Saints as â€œnot Christianâ€ is a fashion that became widespread only about twenty years ago.
While watching last weekendâ€™s General Conference, with the sustaining of President Monson and the calling of new people into Church leadership, one of the things I felt is how fortunate the Church is to have as its leaders men and women who have achieved significantly in many walks of life. This is in contrast to most other denominations, where people with these skills would be excluded from formal church leadership. For example, what other church has attorneys in its most senior leadership?
Ardis Parshall has presented in previous postings â€œThe CSI Effect and Mormon Historyâ€, 3/20/2008, and â€œAnd Yet Another Joseph Smith Photograph”, 4/1/2008, arresting images that have, at first glance, an arguable relationship to our known historical depictions of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but turn out, on further research, to have no chance of being what we wish they were. In commenting on Ardisâ€™ second post (#14, #48), I pointed out the reasons why there are likely to be a great many old images that resemble our mental image of the Prophet, and why it would be extremely difficult to verify any of them as a real image of Joseph.