In 1985, Krister Stendahl (1921-2008), a Swedish theologian and New Testament scholar, proposed what has become know as Stendahl’s three rules of religious understanding. These are:
- When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.
- Don’t compare your best to their worst.
- Leave room for “holy envy.”
Continue reading “The Sacrament of the Blind Boy”
Yes, I finished another book, Joseph Smith’s First Vision – A Guide to the Historical Accounts By Steven C. Harper.
It is a rather short book that I read in preparation for a Doctrine and Donuts discussion on first vision accounts.
Continue reading “First Vision Accounts”
Part One, Part Two
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
Falling Upward by Richard Rohr is a great complement to Kathy Escobar’s Faith Shift.
Rohr’s book is a meandering description of one’s (potential) journey of faith and is rich with hidden gems. Continue reading “Stages of Faith – Part Three – Falling Upward”
Part One, Part Three
Faith Shift Overview
I finished reading Faith Shift by Kathy Escobar and have been struggling about how to present the book and the material.
Kathy Escobar was a dedicated Evangelical Christian that had a desire to serve in a greater capacity than her church allowed for women. She eventually received a counseling degree and involved herself in a large, nondenominational church. She soon realized that what was going on behind the scenes was nothing like the façade presented to the congregation; it was all for show.
Continue reading “Stages of Faith – Part Two – Faith Shift”
Wow, in looking over my last posts, it looks like I am jumping ship on Mormonism and joining the Catholic church. That is not the case, but why spoil a good pattern.
The Mormon church is very efficient. Most new congregational buildings are uniform and optimized. Leadership practices are codified in handbooks. And, worship services are plain and simple. Continue reading “A St. John’s Christmas”
A few years ago I mentioned to one of my sons that if I were not Mormon I think that I would have to be Catholic. This was a bit of a shock to him at the time, but he is getting used to my “shocks” and they don’t trouble him anymore.
The principle reasons for making this statement are that only two churches, in my mind, have a claim to legitimate authority Continue reading “Catholic and Mormon”
I recently finished reading Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo, written by Michael G. Reed. The book traces the use of the cross as a symbol of Mormon Christian tradition from the time of the founding of the church (1830’s) to the late 20th century. Continue reading “The Mormon Cross”
To the Critic
One fallacy common to those studying Mormonism (including Mormons themselves) is that of quote mining; digging around through publications and writings of leaders and pulling out some obscure phrase and calling it “doctrine.” Continue reading “Mining Doctrine – Adivce to Critics and Mormons”
Part Two, Part Three
Occasionally, I learn something that is like opening a window to greater understanding. Where a vague notion may have existed before, the drawing aside of the curtains reveals a new world. Such an event occurred a couple of days ago.
Over the last decade or so, I have been going through a faith change which I did not understand. The journey has left me unsettled, with a different perspective on my faith than most of my fellow church members.
Continue reading “Stages of Faith – Part One”
October 2010, LDS General Conference, Sunday afternoon session.
I’m usually sound asleep by this session of conference. There is nothing else in the world that puts me to sleep like General Conference. Nevertheless, I remember a particular talk by Elder David Bednar that I reflect on frequently.
His sermon was entitled Receive the Holy Ghost. Continue reading “The Holy Ghost – Gift or Got”