Snakes Alive!

by Michelle Wiener I am thoroughly convinced that if Disney ever came out with their own version of the biblical creation story, the snake would come out swinging its hips and singing, “I ain’t so bad after all.” Recently my husband and I watched the new Noah movie starring Russell Crowe (*this blog post contains a spoiler...

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Tiamat and the Atonement

Tiamat and the Atonement One of the oldest creation myths is that of the Enuma Elish, in which the Babylonian God, Marduk, fights the sea serpent, Tiamat (this type of divine battle is called a theomacy).    In this story, Tiamat represents chaos.  The god, Marduk, fights and wins Tiamat and out of her body parts creates the...

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Of Sustaining, Dissent, and Missing Paradigms

  Guest Post- Matt Stearmer One of the most difficult tasks any believing individual will face is how to navigate the murky waters of faith and change at the exact same time. In the LDS church, how do we advocate for change while remaining faithful? I have turned to the scriptures, what my leaders have said, and personal...

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Speculations on Israel’s Concept of Holy War

The Old Testament disturbs a lot of people who read it, and draws its share of critics as a violent book, filled with bloodshed, war, and genocide. It is true that there is a lot of smiting and being smitten going on. However, it is equally true that the Old Testament expresses clear distaste for bloodshed, murder, and war. In other...

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Homosexuality: Is the Bible Against It?

I wrote the following essay a year ago while in a Writing 2010 course at the University of Utah. Although I have posted on the topic a couple of times before, it may or may not come as a surprise that I never intended to write on homosexuality. I remember a number of conversations in high school, while serving my mission, and soon...

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OF ASSES AND PROPHETS

OF ASSES AND PROPHETS by Michael Barker A few weeks ago I was studying for that week’s Gospel Doctrine lesson, which came from Numbers, chapters 22-24 — the story of Balak, Balaam, and Balaam’s ass.   As I was reading the story, a few things jumped out at me: The story of Balaam seems out of place in the total...

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Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon

Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon: Creating a Platform for LDS/Evangelical Dialogue by Michelle G. Wiener Question: Is there room for the Book of Mormon within the theological framework of “biblical inerrancy”? Recently the following paragraph from my essay “Two Lampstands: Two Branches” featured in Rational Faiths...

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Translated Correctly: Joseph Smith and the Art of Interpretation

Joseph Smith stood on the line dividing visionary supernaturalism from rational Christianity—one of the many boundaries between the traditional and modern world.  –Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling   I’ll admit it: I’m a Joseph Smith fangirl. I love the prophet and the man, warts and all. In fact, I sigh over...

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AUTHORING THE OLD TESTAMENT: GENISIS-DEUTERONOMY – A BOOK REVIEW

AUTHORING THE OLD TESTAMENT: GENISIS-DEUTERONOMY – A BOOK REVIEW by Michael Barker I’m not sure when I first learned of the documentary hypothesis, but I do remember when I first heard that Dr. David Bokovoy was working on a book that would introduce the documentary hypothesis to an LDS audience. It was during a Mormon...

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How the Ancients Read the Bible

By Sheldon Greaves, Ph.D. One of the things that creates problems when we modern folks try our hand at reading an ancient document is we automatically assume certain things about what that ancient text means, but also the role it played in its original context. Ancient peoples had certain expectations of their written works, and...

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