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clarkgoble

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  1. Wrong place to post this since many (most?) here would say knowing God is also woman and that Eve was also in the image of God is necessary to understanding life’s meaning.
  2. clarkgoble

    The Book of Romans

    I originally had that, but Adam's reading is a bit different from Wright. I get what Adam is doing, largely following Badiou. I'm just not sure I agree. There's a certain problematic in Adam's thought which I think verges on what's called quietism. Adam doesn't think that's correct but to me there is a bit of a problematic "letting be" to Adam's reading of Romans as well. Of course arguably that's a long standing element in Christianity as well, such as John 3:5-9. How to take such passages isn't clear. Adam's reading is very much influenced by Badiou and I'm just not sure how I feel about that - especially compared to N. T. Wright's reading. Anyways, that's why I hesitated, although I really do like Adam's book a lot. If nothing else it makes me think. For those interested here's a discussion of Badiou on the issue, although it gets a bit dense in places. Not having read extensively in all the figures though I'm a bit cautious as I may in key ways be misunderstanding Adam. Still Adam's reading isn't necessarily the type of reading most commentaries would give - except perhaps some Lutheran ones. That said, some parts are absolutely brilliant and it's well worth reading. Perhaps with a bit of intellectual suspicion though. (That's often frequently healthy)
  3. clarkgoble

    Before the Temple is Restored in Jerusalem

    Aren't those creatures that have been for a while? I think to heal the Dead Sea you'd have to have the Jordan river start flowing into it again or have major weather changes. Who knows what climate change may bring though. We may soon jump to new stability points due to warming causing more water to flow into the region. I've long thought many prophecies such as the death of life in the ocean (Wormwood) may reflect climate change. Although heaven knows it can be interpreted in many ways.
  4. I think that gets at the key issue. What is orthodoxy? When discussed by Signature back in the 90's in Mormon Neo-Orthodoxy: A Crisis Theology, White included not only McConkie but also Chauncey Riddle and Hugh Nibley. Having taken rather intense classes from both Riddle and Nibley when I was at BYU and in particular getting to know Chauncey Riddle quite well and don't think my own views are that far from theirs. If anything I'm a bit of a hybrid. Clearly Riddle and Nibley disagreed on some things - he was quite conservative while Nibley was extremely liberal to being nearly a Marxist. Nibley was basically a platonism while Riddle was an existentialist - the exact opposite. I can't recall discussing evolution or things like that in Nibley's class, but I most certainly did in Riddle's class. I think I brought up the Documentary Hypothesis as well although I lost my notes in a flood some years ago. Anyway, I actually do think I'm pretty orthodox. I think FARMS/Interpreter is probably a much better gauge than the 80's view that was biased towards JFS and BRM. Certainly I've never had anyone question the orthodoxy of my theology before. And it's not like I'm terribly silent about it either online or at Church. (I should add that I find White's book on Neo-orthodoxy nonsense simply due to ridiculous divergence between the three main thinkers - so it's not a book I'd recommend for anyone but it's good for situating the debate over orthodoxy IMO) Why don't you think that's nuance and contextualizing? (Sincere question) I just used it as an example though. I think the theology of fallible prophets, which I've brought up, is an other example. Sorry - was more speaking of the Apostles. When you move broader than that I suspect there is more ignorance. I think Oaks is at least the equal of Maxwell in many areas. I'd say he's the most interesting doctrinally influential apostle since JFS/BRM. He's at least the equal of Roberts and arguably far more so due to his education and knowledge. As I'm mentioned before his talk on women and the priesthood was pretty significant. It's also clear he's driven a lot of changes over the past 25 including major changes to church courts, pushing for a more responsible approach to LGBT issues (prior to his pushing it in the 90's most treated it as a choice and not innate in some strong sense), and I suspect he's a major influence in many of the recent changes under Nelson.
  5. clarkgoble

    Book of Abraham / Horus

    Don't think I made any claims about dynasties, just that there is clear evidence of civilization in Egypt going back at least to 7,000 BC and there's also evidence there (as well as in Israel) of inhabitants in the lower Paleolithic period circa 90,000 BC. There's also evidence of Acheulean hand axes going back to 300,000 BC - likely before humans had full language. The Archin 8 site is in upper Egypt. If the reference in Abraham is to lower Egypt (it's not clear from the text). However by 6,000 BC - still millennia before Abraham - there are neolithic settlements all over Egypt. If you want to just date to the first Pharaoh then we're talking the Early Dynastic Period. Even if the dating of the various dynasties were off, we're still talking about the dates for Narmer's tomb and Ka's tomb (his successor). Those date to around 3,000 BC. However archaeologists have unsurprisingly found tombs prior to the reign of Narmer, including a recent 5,600 year old one. So even if this unknown person wasn't the first Pharaoh, he was living there prior and ruling. It's not clear when Egyptus in Abraham dates to, but even if were one to take the Genesis ages seriously (rather than as reflecting Mesopotamian counting or skipping generations) we're talking around 2,300 BC. (Going by Ussher, although I don't buy his dating for a second) Exactly how we are to take the passages relating to Abraham 1 isn't clear. But I'm very skeptical it's talking about Narmer or any of the other Pharoahs for quite some time.
  6. clarkgoble

    Book of Abraham / Horus

    I think the Osiris as Jesus bit is actually very overhyped with a lot of misleading at best parallels and some deception depending upon the book in question. That said, it's also clear that all the near eastern religions shared religious elements. So you have a lot of common myths that are found in various religions including Egypt. The Marduck-Tiamat myth for instance appears in Egypt, Canaan, Greece, Israel in Psalms & Isaiah as well as Babylon. And elements that the gospel writers emphasize towards Christ can also be found in many other traditions. I'd be careful there. It appears that different parts of Egypt had their own local deities and those get mixed into larger Egyptian religion, often shifting depending upon who is in power. (Say the differences in at least emphasis as well as characterization of figures like Seth when Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt, the Hyksos or the Ptolemaic empire rule) So I'm very skeptical Egypt was ever not pagan. How to take Abraham 1 with Egyptus isn't completely clear to me. I know Robert has his own views on timing and meaning, but the archaelogical evidence strongly suggests Egyptian religion has been around for thousands of years before the Biblical dating for Noah. How one reconciles that with the Biblical account is up to the individual. Again none of this is to dispute many influences (in both directions) between Canaan/Israel and Egypt. Indeed as Robert alluded I think there are many in the Book of Mormon that explain purported anachronisms there. I personally think that one could also note that the Egyptian feminine deity tied to the Tree of Life who offers eternal waters parallels Nephi's vision at least as well as the Canaanite Ashtoreth than The Interpreter has an article on. Hathor/Mut in that context actually offers a bit more explanatory power to the whole vision IMO. There's lot of other places as well such as "the fiery darts of the adversary" that some see as anachronist to Paul yet fits some of the accounts of Hathor. So we could have a loose translation of the text that quotes Paul to translate as similar phrase that arises out of a somewhat syncretic Jewish/Egyptian tradition.
  7. I suspect it's how one raises such things. I can't really say much about your experience since I live in a part of Utah that's fairly well educated despite being purported orthodox central (Provo). That education level actually makes a lot of discussions much easier. I've just never encountered problems. But then I'm also a fairly outspoke orthodox theological proponent so perhaps people just assume when I raise them I'm doing it from a perspective of faith. I don't know. I know I'll even raise things like the Documentary Hypthesis, berate young earth creationism, etc. without trouble. But it's partially because I explain as part of that how it illuminates scripture in a faithful (i.e. historical) sense. So the Documentary Hypothesis explains Nephi's differences from the Old Testament and emphasizes Book of Mormon historicity.
  8. clarkgoble

    The Book of Romans

    I'd start with getting an alternative translation. The KJV, especially when formatted in a verse centric way, makes it hard to follow. I'd suggest some of N. T. Wright's writings for a non-Mormon commentary. Here's a nice paper that gives you a feel for his thought. "Romans and the Theology of Paul" Most of his writings are broader than Romans or are focused on a particular topic related to Romans rather than offering a real commentary on Romans. But his work on say Justification or the like are well worth reading. For a Mormon commentary I'd strongly praise Jim Faulconer's The Life of Holiness. It's not a commentary on all of Romans, but a significant section. Beyond that I'd second Robert Boylan's suggestions, particularly the Joseph Fitzmyer commentary for the Yale Bible series. The Yale series are my favorite commentaries with only the occasional one that's a bit disappointing.
  9. I have a hard time believing that, depending upon what you mean by LDS leadership. Most I know are quite familiar with all the controversial claims. Certainly people like Oaks or Holland are. I think to portray them not as thoughtful explorers of truth simply because they may come to different conclusions than you do is unfortunate. Ironically it's exactly the sort of thing the brethren get accused of. i.e. that anyone thoughtful would think like me. I'm sure that happens. I'm very, very skeptical it's that common. That "by some" seems to be doing an awful lot of work here. I could find some Mormons who think pickles are against the word of wisdom because it's made with vinegar and vinegar comes from an alcohol producing process. Indeed I've had roommates with such crazy views. I'd not draw inferences about Mormons in general from such people.
  10. Yeah, I just read the evidence considerably differently than you do. If we were talking about the 80's and 90's I'd agree with you - there's clear evidence there. For the last few months I just don't see it. And I see evidence against it, such as the conference talk I linked to this morning. Even the Renlund fireside some refer to seems hard to see first as representing all the GAs, but secondly I just don't see them pushing against research either. Although to be fair I also haven't seen a full transcript, just what's been quoted. As I said I expected a painful transitory people as people find their more fundamentalist and unnuanced expectations aren't met. Those who stay will be much stronger and healthier in the future. I think Jana Reiss' data shows it's not affecting strong members as much though. Whether the brethren expected that or not I can't say. I agree, although I think this just reiterates Elder Oaks and Elder Renlund's point that you need the spirit. It's not overriding "truths" as you portray but contextualizes them.
  11. Well we can't know in the sense you're asking about counterfactuals, beyond once we have more experience looking at the general patterns of life and having a recognition of our own personality, needs, and weakness. However I think that, particularly when we're older looking back at our past, we can get a pretty good idea. I'd also say that God isn't misleading us although he may not be meeting our expectations. That's not misleading though. When we pray for wisdom - what we should do - it's not the same as praying for knowledge in the sense of what is. That seems obvious, but it is something I think many people miss in their prayers. They pray for some attribute, often with a set of presuppositions of what will happen that are wrong. Again just going by my own experience, God will happily explain or at least give direction for why our presuppositions are wrong. My own experience is that many, particularly when they are young, don't do that. So to my eyes this is far from a "answers are always right." To me the issue is learning to distinguish what is God from what is not God. And often, again just going by my own experiences particularly when young, we don't always do a good job distinguishing what is from God from what is our own fears, desires, or expectations. Well I can but hope not given what happens after death. Although perhaps you don't agree with that. I personally will say that in terms of accepting the gospel, getting baptized and so forth, the great work is in the spirit world not here on earth. If becoming a member was the most important thing in this life, then God would not have made it so difficult and often impossible for the vast majority of humanity through history to be baptized with authority. Given that reality, I certainly have no problem with God directing someone out of the Church for their life, if that was what was necessary for their development given their likely choices. Of course there's also a strong element of freedom in all of this. If people were willing to prepare themselves then I think there's only one way. I just think not everyone is ready for that. My guess is that a big part of being a part of the restored gospel is preparing us for our work on the other side of the veil as missionaries. There is a way to find out of course. But I'd certainly agree that sometimes people think something is a revelation that isn't. I think the Church is so focused on just getting members to try to listen to the spirit that they're more willing to accept false positives rather than worry so much about people going astray. I'm not sure that's smart, but then I'm not in charge getting direction. So I may be completely wrong in that. Again, I don't think it's God answering falsely. As I said, there's a difference between "which road is right" and "where should I go."
  12. That presupposes they are discouraging it, which I disagree with. Certainly if you were to go back in the past there were some clear examples of people discouraging such things. A few talks by Elder Packer in particular come to mind. However I'd argue the constant refrain of "seek out of the best books" is a doctrine of research. There have been many talks along those lines. Last year's talk by Elder Evans in Priesthood session was one I particularly liked. The introduction to the Gospel Essays is worth reading on this as well. "The Church places great emphasis on knowledge and on the importance of being well informed about Church history, doctrine, and practices." And “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118). This is more than a simple exhortation to learn about the gospel. It is an invitation from the Lord to recognize that not all sources of knowledge are equally reliable. Seeking “out of the best books” does not mean seeking only one set of opinions, but it does require us to distinguish between reliable sources and unreliable sources.
  13. Faith without works is dead. That is faith manifests itself through our actions but figuring out our actions requires study. Faith in Christ I think can never be abstract although we frequently talk about it as if it were. I agree with your general thrust of course. I'm just emphasizing what I think Oaks was getting at. Research alone is insufficient. But study and research are, I think, essential for faith. If life is a developmental building process, then we shouldn't assume God's answers are always to make life easy for us but to guide us into development. While I think Elder Holland's teaching can be misapplied and construed, I also think it's true that God directs us for what is good for us in a developmental sense and not necessarily what we think is our goal. I've certainly seen that many times in my own life. Interestingly, and this is where many Mormons are likely to break with Elder Holland, this may very well mean that God leads people out of the Church temporarily so that they can learn important lessons. Or perhaps, given their personality and experiences, a direct route to the Church isn't possible for them. Most Mormons hearing that then get upset, but it seems the clear implication of Holland's talk. I remember being surprised when he gave it. (And he's said similar things in the past) Sometimes we pray for some developmental aim - say making us patient or wise. We don't think through that God's not going to give us that characteristic miraculously as if he could change us against our will. (Since effectively what we have are competing wills) What God gives us are the experiences so we can change our personality and habits. From past experience and prayer, that's never straightforward, is often unexpected, and frequently painful but in the end does answers ones prayers. Despite having a theology that focuses so much on our personal development, I think we frequently hope it's not true and that God just magically changes us at a snap into a different person. The sum of Mormon theology seems to indicate not only is that not something God will do but it's something he can't do. It's the big limit on his power.
  14. It's definitely a possible reading. I think the main arguments against it are that the main texts simply don't portray Jesus' fast as miraculous but just something that made him hungry. (Matt 4:1) Mark just mentions it is passing. Luke 4 gives the account most in keeping with your reading. "He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry." (1) But even that can be read either way and is clearly dependent upon Mark. Again though the miracle is the temptations of the devil, not the fasting, at least as portrayed. John doesn't even mention it. We can of course read it in this miraculous way. And I'm not saying in the least that's an indefensible reading. Indeed one could see it as commenting on Deuteronomy 9. There at the end of the 40 days the people have become corrupt and built an idol. Jesus is temped with idolatry. And Dt 9:9 has Moses saying, "I ate no bread and drank no water." I'm just saying if we read it as fasting during the day and then a small meal at night that's compatible with the text too. I confess to me that if the fast is miraculous it actually undermines the significance of the fast. Since what makes the fast so powerful is giving up material things for God. If God is enabling it, then it really isn't the difficult sacrifice portrayed. The alternative is that what counts is the symbolism as repeating Moses's actions in Dt 9 & Ex 34 and the physical effort doesn't matter as much. Certainly both Mark, Matthew and Luke are presupposing that the reader will pick up on Jesus as a second Moses with the inversion of meeting Satan. They're not the only to follow the type settings. Elijah obviously is in imitation of Moses too (1 Kng 19:8). Outside the Bible you find similar typology in Apocalypse of Abraham, 2 Baruch, and the Protovengelium of James. Outside of Judaism it's interesting that there's a somewhat similar account with Pythagoras only he dies of starvation after 40 days.
  15. clarkgoble

    Masonry essay on the church website

    Without saying anything inappropriate, what's interesting in Masonry that Richards talks about are the lost keys. This goes back to the origins of the Five Points where Hiram or Noah is murdered, necromancy is used to try and find the key. Within Masonry you end up with a key that symbolizes or points to the real name. I'd argue something similar happens in what Joseph restores. Suggesting strongly that these are initiation ceremonies but that they prepare one to receive what is promised rather than give it. We know that the anointing/washing preparatory to the endowment is itself preparatory to a second one given by the Prophet himself. As I said, Masonry, which is picking these things up from hermeticism, rosicrucianism, gnosticism and kabbalah, is missing the core elements. (Much like the Christians saw gnosticism as a counterfeit) So there definitely are core elements missing. It's also interesting that the gnostic documents that have come out since Nauvoo - the Nag Hammadi papyri, the Bruce Codex, and more - give us a much better knowledge of what was going on that was available in the 19th century.
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